AI and Human Intelligence: Equilibrium for a Seamless Customer Experience by Jim Iyoob, Chief Customer Officer, Etech
Technology has not only come a long way, it has developed in a way that can mimic human behavior and responses, and create a huge advantage for busy call centers. When you implement an Artificial Intelligence (AI) program, you must still maintain a detectable and effective human touch integrated with the automated responses. Learn the importance of blending technology with “heart” and how to get it right the first time.
The Unintentional Cold Shoulder
Even though consumers have grown accustomed to interacting with automated services and not having to interact with another human when paying their bills or receiving answers to their questions, there are some situations that require a wholly human element. When that time comes, your callers expect efficient and professional service. While that service can most certainly be provided by an AI program, your customers are likely to feel more comfortable and more willing to call again if that program has all the warmth and professionalism of a human agent.
Something else to think about is the fact that if your AI program is not sophisticated enough, it can cause more problems than it solves. Customers can become frustrated with repeating their responses over and over, which can send them straight into the arms of your competitors. So how do you utilize such technological capabilities the right way?
Find the Balance Between Man and Machine
The best and first place to start is with analytics. The automated call center program you select should be able to study your agents’ interactions and learn from them to become better at taking care of your callers. When done right, your customers are fully aware that they ae dealing with an AI program, but don’t mind because they still feel taken care of, which is exactly what you want.
That being said, it’s important that your AI program recognizes when it encounters a situation that’s best left to a human agent. Some calls and issues require a bit of human empathy, and even the most well-programed automated call center program can’t deliver that. There are occasions when a caller just wants to know your company truly cares and is making an effort to resolve an issue, even if it takes longer than he or she might like. A human agent can provide this human touch in ways that are still beyond the capacity of AI.
Look Ahead to Stay Ahead
As you’re perfecting your call center’s automated program, be sure to use data from past caller interactions to anticipate potential problem areas. When you find them, you’ll want to either add more responses, options for the caller to select or simply give the caller the choice to speak with a live agent. If the interaction is an online one, you can set up new popup windows that can better assist your callers.
Just like a caller might be transferred to a different department or agent who’s better able to help her or him, you can design your AI program to detect which channels are better to assist certain callers, another situation in which analytics and data can be a huge help. You can also ensure that the program decides which agent group to put the caller in touch with based on the specific issue, agent availability and the customer’s expressed needs.
Whether your callers interact with a human agent or an AI program, the main goal is to have a great personalized customer experience. Make sure that customers do not have to repeat basic personal and account information when they call to speed things up. Your customers will love it, and so will you.
Make Sure Your Agents Know How the AI Program Works
While an automated program is meant to make life easier for your live agents, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t understand how the technology works. Introduce them to the program and its features and let them know exactly what the program is designed to accomplish, such as handling calls during peak intervals, managing simple inquiries and effectively putting callers in touch with the right department. This extra bit of knowledge provides for a seamless transition from AI to human, and your agents have a better awareness of any information the AI program sends them.
Technology is meant to move humanity forward, and it can most certainly do the same for your business and your call center. Enhance your automated program with human characteristics and insights to provide your callers with an even better customer service experience so they actually enjoy reaching out to your call center.
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