According to a recent U.S. survey, 59% of customers said they will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience. This means, lost for good. Superior user experiences are key to winning customer loyalty and reducing the associated costs of acquisition—in short, they help your business grow. The most critical customer interactions often come through a contact center. The trick is, how to ensure customers—both internal and external—receive a positive experience while your customer service representatives continually learn to improve that experience?
Conventional Contact Centers are hopelessly outdated
We’re all aware that the traditional approach to Contact Center interactive voice response (IVR) systems has outlived its usefulness. Age-old IVR systems are constrained by fixed, pre-recorded responses that frustrate customers and can misdirect them – reducing the productivity of your service teams as they pass customers around to the right department. If the systems are rules-based and fully deterministic, how can customers engage with you on their specific issues? How can the experience be pleasant if the customer has to figure out a complex tree of selections? If the systems fail to transcribe speech accurately, are your teams wasting time on wrong issues, or forcing customers to repeat themselves over and over again? These systems are built for execution but not learning and continuous development.
With the advent of omnichannel customer communications, new and increasingly valuable data has become available to assist contact center teams – but is this data accessible when needed? Customers want to interact with you in any available channel – voice, web, mobile app or social media – and they expect that their interactions and intent are known to your contact center teams. This information can help your teams determine criticality, likelihood of attrition, product issues, and more. According to a recent Bain report, “During…times of rapidly shifting customer behaviors, sentiment analysis is a powerful way to keep a pulse on customers and even the broader population to understand changing needs and anxieties, and new moments of truth.”
In one case, a multinational computer technology vendor experienced fast-growing product expansion, causing product information and warranties to rise exponentially. Their customer service teams were tasked with increasing numbers of calls on product inquiries and issues. They needed to detect and respond to product quality issues faster than their IVR systems could support. One of the requirements was to listen and extract customer sentiment across a variety of social and traditional channels. By integrating sentiment insights from 27 social media sources with structured data on 900+ products, they were able to reduce warranty costs by 15%, at a value of $120 million in savings.
An Innovative AI Approach
The combination of finely tuned cloud analytics and multilingual AI is key to achieving superior customer experiences at scale. In contrast to conventional IVR, a modern AI-driven solution offers countless features and benefits through human-like understanding and continuous adaptation.
Technology is available today to empower virtual agents with auto-tuned AI speech models. This is the first step to eliminating those clunky fixed-response systems and providing an elegant, custom and interactive experience for your customers. With human-like text-to-speech conversations generated on the fly, your customers can direct the conversation and get specific answers to complex questions – reducing their time to resolution as well as reducing the impact on your service teams.
With access to social sentiment, multi-channel communications and your company’s customer data, AI-powered systems provide relevant information in real-time to eliminate customer service guesswork, eclipse call time and speed order processing. This also provides your service teams with the insights necessary for generating “next best offers” to keep customers engaged in the event of a return or providing key information—in the moment—on availability, returns, tracking, service and deliveries.
By empowering both chatbots and your service teams with intelligent decisioning on the fly, you can establish and maintain ongoing productive relationships with your customers.
Setting Up the System
Connecting powerful, real-time cloud analytics to Google’s Contact Center AI (CCAI) provides customers immediate 24/7, AI-driven self-service that is natural and seamless. This approach can listen, understand and interact with customers in a human-like manner. When the conversation requires, the digital agent transitions the call to a human agent who can tap into an AI-powered knowledge base and provide a fast, accurate resolution.
At the center is an infrastructure with virtual agents that handle incoming calls at scale. Each virtual agent employs a chatbot that can talk, listen, learn and understand. The chatbots use speech-to-text and deep learning to understand customer inquiries. When cloud analytics are applied, the responses are tuned to provide in-the-moment subject matter expertise to your human service representatives as well as to the virtual agents supporting the Contact Center.
Inherent to CCAI is a technology called Google Dialogflow which allows the virtual agents to speak with contextually relevant replies. When responding to calls, the virtual agent may opt to transfer the call/chat to a human service representative equipped with Agent Assist—a CCAI feature that can be informed by real-time intelligent decisioning to continuously guide human agents by identifying the customer’s intent and providing real-time, step-by-step assistance.
Real-time Insights and Results
By engaging omni-channel customer communications in your knowledge base, your teams can quickly address customers’ needs and intent to serve up accurate and timely responses. Solutions that employ a real-time, scalable analytics core to ingest and understand thousands of data points and offer predictability or forecast essential factors are the key to better customer insights. Applying intent and sentiment gives you the opportunity to identify the appropriate offers and responses for any number of simultaneous customer requests while locking in sustainable customer loyalty.
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