As the economy is beginning to turn the corner and emerge from one of the worst economic slowdowns in over a decade, business leaders ask some tough questions. First, the customer service industry did not come out unscathed. There are lessons to be learned, and there are tough decisions to be taken. The sooner the head honchos of the burgeoning customer service industry realize that, the better it is for customers and businesses alike.
You may recall that most businesses were in denial when the crisis began unfolding in the first quarter of 2020. Before they could even realize what was happening, work-from-home became a standard practice. Industry after the industry got inundated by calls from frantic customers. Customers were at once feeling jittery, confused, and even terrified. This situation led to significant contact centers spikes, and frankly speaking, the customer service industry was ill-prepared for this. But by now, lessons have been learned, and change is in the air in the $350 billion customer service industry.
Automation could have played a pivotal role in normalizing contact centers’ operations and the customer service industry. You can learn more about Conversational Service Automation. Automation could have also meant better customer service for panicky customers and an overall better business sense for brands. So, let’s delve deeper into contact center automation.
Why is contact center automation crucial?
#1 Humans alone cannot handle customer needs
Imagine a 500-seat contact center somewhere in the world. During regular times all these agents would be sitting in one centralized location. But now, most of them are working from their homes and logging in remotely. The trouble doesn’t stop there. To add to their misery, the customer calls to these contact centers have increased manifold. Thus, there is tremendous pressure on each contact center agent to deliver more while being cut-off from his peers, supervisors, QA officers, and managers who would otherwise be readily accessible should he face any difficulty. Now, this is a tough nut to crack.
Automation comes as a godsend. From making sense of what the customer is saying in real-time to understanding the customer’s real intent, conversational automation and analytics play a significant role in today’s contact centers. It could be about augmenting the agent capabilities, providing a background on the customer’s history with the brand, doing the after-call work; there is so much that automation can achieve. Even the supervisors can suddenly take over a call from a flailing agent or remotely monitor and support him. All this makes AI and automation crucial in a contact center setup of today.
#2 Customers value time, and you better help them
How many times have you been put on hold by your favorite brand when all you wanted to do was check the status of a particular transaction, or you just wanted to get some necessary information? Well, brands better sit up and take notice. This kind of needless hold, even for essential services, can put the customers off. And when customers are frustrated, they look to do business with your competitors. So brands better beware.
Again, automation holds the key here. Today, people are happy to interact with a chatbot or a voice bot if it gets their job done. Investing in an intelligent virtual assistant can help the customer service industry resolve customer FAQs, support transactional queries, and fulfill basic customer needs. This way, customers are happy that they can get things done faster with the utmost efficiency. And the best part is that your overworked contact center agents who are most probably remotely logging in can heave a sigh of relief and focus on more valuable tasks. Now that’s a win-win situation for you and your customers.
#3 Saving costs is a top priority for every business
You know the saying – cash is king. Well, during a significant slowdown like the one that we are witnessing, money becomes the God-Emperor! Brands can go bust just because their cash reserves got depleted, even though their business model was sound. That is when prudent cash management can mean the difference between doing business for another day or falling by the wayside. Business leaders need to take cognizance of this fact.
Enter automation – the slayer of costs and the savior of brands. In the customer-facing contact center arena, automation can save unnecessary costs, bring in financial prudence, and make processes more efficient without bloating the bills. That’s why suddenly Chief Customer Officers and Chief Financial Officers are finding themselves on the same side of the fence – both want to bring in more automation. Automation means you can handle more customers with the same number of agents, let the agents do more productive work while making AI and automation do the mundane and repetitive tasks. That’s a win-win situation from customer service and financial planning, naturally!
Learn more about how Uniphore can help you automate your contact center now!