As counterintuitive as it many sound, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to improve the human centric customer service experience. Today, customers have come to expect the speed and accuracy of AI functions combined with the emotional intelligence and human intellect of a real person. When blended well, they can create a seamless interaction with satisfying results for both companies and consumers.
AI cannot provide the human touch customer experience consumers desire. Those interacting with a call center want a professional response that is flexible enough to address their own specific needs. AI programs can become rigid and frustrating, throwing callers into an unending loop of repeated phrases or unhelpful call transfers. Who hasn’t found him- or herself stuck on the phone for too long and then hanging up without a suitable resolution? When customers become frustrated, they give up and take their business elsewhere.
When analytics correctly inform the AI program, magic can happen. Call centers can listen in on agent interactions and examine caller queues to find out where most problems or success stories occur. The AI can then, through machine learning, understand how to behave in a certain way during each of these points. Perhaps it can automatically transfer the caller to the most appropriate department or allow the caller to skip all automated information and speak directly to a live agent. The data collected can also be used to train employees to change their behaviors and make callers happier.
With customer experience, human connection is often the ultimate goal. An AI program that is designed with analytics can bring a live agent into the equation when it deems itself inadequate. Instead of becoming frustrated to the point of hanging up, the caller gets personal attentional at the exact time it is necessary. Often, a few understanding words from another person can satisfy the caller and keep him or her on the line until the problem is satisfactorily resolved.
Your human employees are also a great resource when designing helpful AI features. Many times, experienced agents go “off script” to adapt to their caller’s unique needs and find the solution that works perfectly for him or her. AI can be trained to mimic these successful behaviors and even coach other employees to practice the same behaviors in their own calls. In this case, your entire company benefits.
An AI call center experience can still feel human. It is comforting when an AI program collects important data so that once a live agent is on the line, the caller does not need to repeat key information such as a name or address. This small act of personalization can make customers happier and more pleasant for the employees to interact with throughout the call.
As technology continues to advance, it is important to find the sweet spot between AI and human interaction. Even the most tech-friendly customers crave the efficiency of AI and the personalization of the human experience. When well-integrated, they can help optimize customer experience, enhancing operations and providing clients with excellent service that fosters repeat business.