How Conversational AI Drives Contact Center Digital Transformation
While contact centers under siege from the Covid-19 pandemic are busy looking at ways to automate customer interactions, they may be missing a trick by not considering how they can bring their wider ecosystems together and learning how to understand how contact center digital transformation can be achieved.
The need for increased self-service within contact centers has never been more obvious than in the last six months. Just as customers desperately wanted help, reassurance, or advice, organizations were struggling to keep their main lines of communication functioning. Lockdowns in multiple countries, staff sickness, and a lack of infrastructure, both internally and at a country level, created a level of difficulty never seen before by most organizations.
But while the most obvious solution going forward is to introduce some form of chatbot, this only solves an immediate pain point. It misses the larger opportunity of pulling together all touchpoints in the customer journey and building an ecosystem that delivers a superior customer experience and provides numerous operational benefits to the enterprise.
Conversational AI allows organizations to achieve this by providing a central interface surfaced over any channel that controls and orchestrates the myriad of back-end processes, integrations and chatbots required to deliver a response to your customer’s query.
To help explain the concept further, I’ve listed five key ways you can use conversational AI to revolutionize your contact center:
1. Bring Together Sales, Customer Service and Technical Support
Simplify your customers’ life by providing the same online experience regardless of which department they need with a master-bot.
Highly intelligent, the master-bot manages each customer journey through existing chatbots, back-end systems, knowledge bases and other AI assets including third party chatbots to deliver the correct response. This approach allows for business users in each department to maintain control over their specific domain, while delivering a frictionless experience to the customer.
Throughout the entire process the master-bot maintains the context of the conversation allowing it to recognize opportunities such as a product upsell and access the relevant part of the ecosystem for the correct information.
2. Deliver an Enhanced Omnichannel Customer Experience
Customers want to interact with you, but on their terms, using their preferred communications tools. They’re fed-up of only being able to carry out certain tasks on your website because your mobile app doesn’t have the functionality.
Conversational AI enables you to deliver the same experience over any channel because people simply need to ask for what they want to achieve. The conversational application connects to your back-end systems and processes to make it happen.
A master-bot takes this a step further. It provides a single interface accessible over any channel for all your customer facing departments. This helps you build familiarity and trust with customers, which increases use of the application, providing you more opportunities for digital engagement.
3. Give Back-office Systems a Voice
Over the past 18 months businesses have invested heavily in back-end automations such as RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology. While it’s delivered countless improvements to the business, there has been no easy way to connect those systems directly to the customer.
Conversational AI allows you to integrate easily into existing back-end systems and services and incorporate them into customer interactions to deliver more complete, accurate answers. From simply raising a ticket in ServiceNow to more complex processes such as Mortgage approvals, integration allows you to deliver an even greater experience to your customers.
4. Learn How to Better Serve Your Customers
Calls may be recorded in your contact center, but how often is that data used to better understand your customers and the products and services they are looking to buy?
With built-in data tools that support privacy regulations, conversational AI allows you to analyze customer interactions in real-time and use the information to personalize the conversation even further, improve the application and deliver actionable data back to the business.
It also allows your master-bot to take advantage of opportunities presented in the conversation. A request about a loan for a new car, is an excuse to offer a quote for insurance from yourself or even a trusted partner.
As far as the customer is concerned the experience is seamless and adds just one more good reason why they should choose your company next time.
5. Support for Remote Workers
There will always be a reason why a customer would prefer to call a contact center instead of using digital channels. But your master-bot can still help you, and your staff, be more productive.
As great as your employees are it’s hard to know everything. A conversational AI application can deliver the answer to a query faster than most people can look up the answer on an intranet.
This helps to lower call times and increases first call resolution rates because of the confidence in which your staff deliver the answer.
It can also act as support for remote workers where a supervisor isn’t easily available to confirm an action.
Having ensured all the information at-hand, the chatbot can make an instant judgement to maybe replace or refund low-cost items. Bringing satisfaction not just to a customer wanting their problem dealt with quickly, but to the employee too, who just wants to do a great job.
Delivering Contact Center Digital Transformation
The surge in natural language technology has seen enterprises building a multitude of standalone chatbots with different tools, often within the same business unit. Most of these single function chatbots won’t share information or resources, let alone a platform.
A chatbot developed for sales will likely not be able to access the knowledge assets of its customer service neighbor. This not only results in duplication of implementation resources and cost, but the answers given are frequently different to each other, introducing doubt and confusion into a customer’s mind.
Creating an ecosystem controlled by one master-bot enables enterprises to deliver innovation to the contact center that strengthens it against the next business-continuity threat, while delivering a faster, more meaningful experience to customers.