Leadership Conversation / 17.02.2020

Deliver Better Customer Service with Front Office Automation for Contact Centers

Have you ever imagined how great it would be if the Customer Care agent from your bank sets the tone of the conversation with you based on your past interactions, is able to empathize with you and can even anticipate your issues or expectations from that particular call? Well, all that is possible thanks to Front Office automation, which is fast transforming Contact Centers, as we speak.

We all know that Customer service can make or break a brand. All research points to the fact that customer experience has become the number one brand differentiator ahead of product and pricing in 2020. It has been a while now since we’ve seen progress in back-office automation including the recent focus and attention on Robotic Process Automation (RPA). But getting the back office automated is only half the battle. The key to sterling customer experience is front office automation and thanks to AI, automation and Machine Learning, these lofty goals are very much achievable.

Front office automation can transform how companies engage with customers, communicate better, empathize and resolve their queries to their ultimate satisfaction. Within the front office there are multiple applications that do such tasks as recording the customer information, updating their request/complaint/query, fetching information, but all these as of now are mostly done by humans, by varying degree of success. In an industry which is dogged by attrition issues and inconsistent performance, with AI and automation, it is possible to give a consistent reliable performance by letting humans focus one thing which is conversation. Through front office automation we can now free up the agents time to let them do more productive work, reduce the average handled time, cut the hold time , eliminate the after call work to near zero reduce manual error and resolve customer queries with closer integration with back office, at the click of a button.

Today every Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) is perennially struggling with ever tighter budgets and attrition, clients are pushing for more innovation and cutting edge solutions, they are no more satisfied with standard contact centre metrics like first call resolution (FCR), CSAT or SLs, they want cognitive solutions and automation which can have substantial impact on cost and experience. Clients are more and more focused on outcomes rather than transactions  . This is the age of restlessness and instant gratification. What worked in 1990’s and 2000’s will not work for these clients. They have moved beyond the labour arbitrage kind of solutions; they are looking for domain expertise and innovations.  A powerful automation platform like Conversational Service Automation can help to achieve all of these transformation needs and more. A single platform which can resolve customer queries at the website or IVR and provide voice authentication at IVR as well automate non-productive activities during the call. A platform which removed inconsistency in performance and cuts the learning curve of newer agents. The direct result of this kind of an automation is reduced cost of operation and considerably improved experience because the Contact Center agents are now free to nurture valuable customer engagement, which is of course the nub of a Contact Center’s existence.

How to kick start the Front Office automation journey 

A successful Front Office or Contact Center automation has three key stake holders to satisfy

  1. The End user / Customer
  2. The call center Agent
  3. The management of the contact center

All three have one motivation i.e. to resolve the question as accurate and as fast as possible but what they want from automation is different. Customer wants answers where the brands interface (IVR / Website / Chatbots) are cognitive and able to pre-empt questions, while the call center agents want help which is useful and not intrusive. The management wants consistency in quality and cost control. Any automation solution should be able to address all three on the same platform.

Any automation solution that is implemented should result in faster, consistent and more accurate service, it cannot and should be not be choice between the three. The automation platform should be able to reduce transaction times as well augment agent to offer more accurate and consistent answer. AI powered Conversational Service Automation can augment the agent capabilities as it can take over all the mundane and repetitive tasks, while the agent is able to be more productive and direct 100% of their attention on the call with the customer. The agent can work with a single screen and all the knowledge bases can be automatically flashed on the screen without the agent having to fetch them manually. Speech Analytics will provide key insights on customer intent, sentiment, tone to be exercised by the agent and the right approach to resolve the customer’s query. Automation’s impact comes in when a platform can use the knowledge of “intent” in a real time bases and guide both the agent and the customer to right answer. This will reduce AHT, improve FCR and delight the customer. Most importantly it  will enable consistency  in answers even if the agent is taking her first call or has 10000th call.

Uniphore Front Office Automation Suite

Uniphore’s Conversational Service Automation is all about automating the front office. Today many Robotic Process Automation solutions are used for back office automation. But most of the Contact Center Infrastructure solutions that are provided by major vendors do not have a proper front office automation solution. This is where a unique solution for the front office is needed and Uniphore’s Conversational Service Automation can help to do just that. It is an integrated Front Office automation suite that automates your Contact Center.

Check this blog to learn more about how you can achieve Front Office automation with Conversational Service Automation!

By: Jafar H Syed – Sr. VP & Chief Strategy Officer