Earning Customer Loyalty with AI-empowered Contact Centers

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The dynamics of what constitutes great customer service is fast-changing. The pandemic expedited digital transformation by nearly half a decade, and customer service is not impervious to this change. Innovation in customer service is a hot topic today. The balance of power is shifting in favor of brands that recognize the power of innovation in customer service. After all, customer experience is the number one brand differentiator.

One of the primary tenets of customer satisfaction and loyalty is customer experience. This is particularly true of the healthcare insurance sector today. The conversations customers have with brands, especially in challenging times like a pandemic, go a long way in establishing and increasing customer lifetime value.

The massive number of conversations between customers and brands, whether digital, in-person, or a mix of both, need to be heard, understood, and addressed effectively – and most importantly, with empathy.

Over the last few years, business process management providers have struggled to improve and innovate customer experience via traditional contact centers. Customer service representatives weren’t able to efficiently nor empathetically resolve customer issues due to scripted answers, legacy user interfaces, and multiple siloed applications. This problem has been magnified over the last year in almost every industry – with even more pressure on the healthcare and insurance sectors due to the fundamental nature of the business and many clauses attached to each policy.

While companies scrambled for solutions, technology came to the rescue. Enterprises postponing decisions to update their IT infrastructure were forced to adopt digital transformation strategies to be agile and cater to their increasingly digitally-savvy customers. Digital transformation not only automated repetitive but critical tasks without human error, but also freed agents’ time to concentrate on providing customers with personalized experiences.

A recent survey revealed that nearly 76% of respondents said they would prefer to speak to a human in a time of crisis. That being said, organizations still struggled to handle the enormous call volumes they were facing. The only solution was to scale their environments and processes to stay relevant and competitive. Therefore, what they needed was intelligent technology that could work alongside a human agent in real time to provide that tailor-made resolution to the customer.

Cutting edge technology like that provided by a conversational service automation platform has radically improved both customer experience and agent satisfaction. A combination of AI, ML, RPA, and automation has enabled enterprises to deliver the ideal balance between human and machine response and convenience, all while reducing business costs and improving performance.

Customers now have AI-driven digital avatars that they can use as self-service, and if required, can immediately request to speak to an agent co-piloted with technology. The technology listens in to the conversation in real time and feeds the agent with all the required, relevant information, resulting in the average customer call-time being halved, even while addressing more complicated tasks.

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the digital transformation of contact centers is that enterprises now have complete visibility into all conversations that take place. Analytics provide customer journey mapping and insights into the products and services customers want – an element that was quite simply impossible to capture earlier. The analytics and insights also inform the company of agent productivity and effectiveness even when they work remotely – that way, call center agents are also able to work from home without risking their health.

Now more than ever, artificial intelligence technologies that help companies streamline contact center customer experience have a vital role to play in engaging with customers. As economies continue to reopen and rebuild from the damage of COVID-19, how well these contact centers are able to manage contact traffic and provide great CX will have an impact on the future of entire industries. Contact centers will be key to renewed growth in the travel, restaurant, and retail industries as customers embrace shopping and in-person experiences once again.

It’s clear that contact center interactions present an opportunity for brands to build trust, loyalty and increase their customer base, but this is not happening for many brands. The disconnect between consumer frustrations with call centers, and the solutions companies are offering can be solved by automation technologies. COVID-19 has shown that embracing emerging technologies can deliver demonstrable and sustainable long-term growth and business value. The future looks exciting for companies that can pivot and meet the changing market needs. The possibilities of how technology can partner with an enterprise to boost and enhance business processes are infinite, and contact centers must harness the possibilities presented.

About the Author

Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder, and CEO of Uniphore, is a modern-day entrepreneur with a passion for technologies that have massive societal impact. Umesh co-founded Uniphore with Ravi Saraogi to bridge the communication gap between man and machine using voice and speech. Umesh holds patents in Speech Recognition Technologies and Voice Biometrics and is the author of many technical papers. Umesh is an alumnus of Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, and also a renowned ‘TED Talk’ speaker.

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