Creating the Business Case for Automating After-Call Work

Creating the Business Case for Automating After-Call Work

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Think about everything you ask your agents to handle after they conclude an interaction with a customer. Depending on your industry, you may require them to:

  • Categorize and log the call
  • Document and summarize the interaction
  • Update information in multiple systems
  • Perform follow-up tasks such as sending confirmation emails, triggering fulfillment, and more

Now, consider how long it takes them to complete their after-call work (ACW). Add that to agent talk time and you get the average handle time — which across industries is more than six minutes. Imagine being able to shave 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or more off that time by automating ACW. What would that mean in terms of your contact center costs, staffing, wait times, call quality, and customer satisfaction?
That’s the thinking you need to apply to create a business case for automating ACW. Using conversational AI and robotic process automation (RPA), your organization can automate ACW and promises management to improve agent productivity and accuracy, shorten average handle and call waiting times, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce costs due to fewer callbacks on the same issue.
Here’s how you can get started creating a business case that convinces key stakeholders that AI-powered automation can achieve a remarkable return on investment.
Start With Your Current State
The best place to begin is by understanding what your agents are expected to accomplish today as part of their workflow once the interaction has ended. Which tasks are your agents asked to perform after each call? Consider the work output, systems, and tasks involved.
Now it’s time to gather your baseline metrics that describe ACW today in your organization:

  1. How much time do your agents spend on average on ACW?
  2. How much of their time on average is spent handling call summarization as part of ACW?
  3. How long are wait times for customers before they can speak with an agent?
  4. How accurate are call notations and summaries?
  5. How many repeat calls are due to missed commitments and follow-ups?
  6. What additional time is added to call handle times to address repeat and escalated calls due to missed commitments?

Describe Your Future State
At this point, you can start identifying which ACW tasks to automate to deliver the greatest benefits to your contact center. Look for areas that present recurring challenges such as poor accuracy that impacts future customer interactions and satisfaction, lack of follow-up that results in repeat calls, and long average handle times because of logging into and using many different systems after the call.
Here are some typical areas to consider:

  • Creation of the call summary: Instead of the agent manually creating the call summary, during the interaction with the customer, a conversational AI and automation solution automatically listens and transcribes the call in real time. After the call ends, the call summary is automatically created and presented to the agent to edit and confirm.
  • Updates to systems: During and after the call, a conversational AI and automation solution automatically updates the CRM system as well as others and provides automated call disposition to maintain the quality of call categories.
  • Management of commitments: With automated promises management, conversational AI and RPA extract and track promises and commitments made by agents in real time, align expectations with customers immediately following the call, and manage fulfillment after the call.

Determine the Business Impact
For each set of tasks that you identify for automation, define the criteria that would make your automation initiative a success. Look at your baseline metrics that you gathered earlier and choose a realistic set of no more than three or four metrics to focus on for your initial effort.
For example, you could state your goals for automation to be three of the following typical ACW automation benefits:

  • Reduce the duration of ACW
  • Reduce average handle time
  • Improve accuracy
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Reduce call waiting time
  • Reduce repeat calls

For your success criteria, determine what a realistic goal would be (Uniphore can help you understand what companies in your industry have been able to achieve by automating ACW). For example, your goal could be to reduce ACW time by 50%.
Take the Next Step
As you develop your business case, you’ll need to begin looking for a solution that can help you achieve all your stated goals. To learn about the technologies and capabilities you’ll need to achieve your success criteria, read our buyer’s guide for contact center executives, “How to Choose a Solution for Automating After-Call Work.”

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