Contact centers have come a long way since their inception, and this transformation has become only possible because of the new technologies that have surfaced up from time to time. Cloud technology and AI have been the most applauded for their various result-oriented benefits.
But despite these new technologies, the question is, how much of the current scenario is turning out to be better than the previous versions of contact centers. This is one basic question that needs to be addressed before opting for these technologies.
However, the first criterion for this transformation is the scale of your contact center and its respective needs that are looking for a transformation. Even if such change looks viable, is it worthwhile to invest in these new technologies?
Well, when it comes to new technology, the answer lies in the number of utilities it brings and how perfectly it addresses the individual contact center needs. The needs may vary, and so do the technologies that address them. But how contact centers are deciding on the new technologies that are transforming them. Let’s look into it.
How Effective is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
AI has touched several aspects of contact centers, and process automation is one of them. In this way, the artificial intelligence helps the system to respond to the customers with a proper solution at the right time, automatically.
So, it has eliminated the need of customer service to a certain extent because sifting through the information and picking a relevant solution for the customers is all about a speedy processor and an accurate algorithm that could prompt response to the customers, immediately.
CEB a subsidiary of Gartner has found that the best type of customer service agents who deal with complex customer issues are those who guide the conversations and proactively lead the customer to a mutually agreed solution.
According to research done by Epsilon, 80% of the consumers are more likely to make a purchase after a personalized experience with the service.
However, such delivering a personalized experience needs a thorough understanding of the customers. Such human understanding is still far off for artificial intelligence because the factor of personalization is still complicated to automate. However, companies are constantly putting efforts to provide customers with a personalized experience through AI.
For example, if we talk about advertising, which creates an audio-video experience for the customers. It has not remained a speculative game with the help of artificial intelligence. Earlier marketers used to predict what will work best with a specific set of customers. But now with the help of digital information and AI, it has become easier to strategize the advertisements for the customers.
By 2020, digital companies are going to use AI to predict customer intent as much as 15%. All in all, it’s an instrumental technology, but it is still a far-fetched dream for AI to replace the agents.
Because it’s only well-trained live agents that can understand the customer psyche and layers of customer emotions, however, AI is gradually becoming more emotional with time. But we have yet to witness a time when AI will work without any human support. That is not the case right now. And a good AI supported tool is still very costly.
Do You Need Natural Language Processing (NLP)?
Natural language processing (NLP) is one of those new terms in the customer service domain that have influenced the ideas of automated communication with powerful and intelligent insights.
The role of NLP in customer service is to understand human voice and its modulation to extract some meaningful insights that further help in rational decision making. This technology is still transforming, but many companies are trying to use it today.
So, natural language processing is a method to interact with computers with better precision. Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Siri are the best examples that work based on natural language processing.
By 2020, Gartner has predicted that 85 percent of the customer interaction will happen without the presence of humans. Natural language processing also helps in analyzing text and in deducing some results out of it to make predictions that includes spell check, auto-correct, and other grammatical support in the text document. Today, the web gives scope to a tremendous amount of written and audio material that can be fruitfully used in machine learning.
Now, the question is if you need NLP or not? Well, the answer lies in the scale of your business and the gravity of your business needs. It is still costly because it involves a sophisticated algorithm and modern computers with faster multi-core CPUs to analyze the bulk of data for precise insights. However, with time, the cost behind NLP is only going to reduce.
Can It Work without Chatbots?
Chatbots have become a medium for round the clock customer support. And most companies use them to respond to the customers 24×7 without any need of a live agent. This type of virtual assistance is faster and intelligent. Chatbots are best for routine queries or frequently asked questions.
However, there are two groups of people, ones who speak in favour of the chatbots and those who speak against. People favoring it say that it’s an easy way to address customer issues and help them find answers without any delay. Because it sifts through the data faster than humans. People who don’t like it say, it takes more time to find an answer as chatbots ask cross questions until they become precise about the query.
Now, to answer that question, chatbots are useful if you have a customer base spread across different countries, and you want an economical way of 24×7 customer support. But yes, they are not yet capable to replace human interactions completely, at least in near future.