Over the past two years many AI-based tools have entered the call center. This includes AI-based Voice Bots, Digital Assistants and Speech Analytics tools. This year, we can expect these technologies to continue to grow and mature. Three AI-based trends that will grow within sales and support call centers this year are:
- AI-driven Voice Bots
- AI-driven self-assistance
- Live and Historical Analytics to improve performance.
AI-driven Voice Bot
Compared to a voice-enabled IVR solution, an AI-based voice bot isn’t limited to simple, monosyllabic responses. Using tools such as intent analysis, it understands, for instance, what a person means when they say, “I’m busy!” or “not really!” These bots can be set up in about 10-20 days and are increasingly taking over L1 tasks in the call center.
Last year, we launched our voice bot, and its uses ranged from serving simple cancellation requests to reminding customers about payments. These bots have reduced agent workloads by nearly 90%, leading to faster resolutions, lower wait times and happier customers.
As customers and call center managers get more familiar with this technology, we expect to see widespread applications for voice bots in the call center.
AI-Driven Self Assistance
Self-service is a growing trend in customer support. Last year, call centers who implemented self-service reported 3 to 5 times increase in productivity. 40% of customers also prefer self-service for simple transactions and queries. And, since self-service frees your agents to attend to escalations and other complex interactions, it improves the overall customer experience.
Unsurprisingly then, this year we are seeing a surge in the demand for AI-driven self-assistance to answer FAQs or manage quick transactions such as giving order status, and booking or canceling orders. This includes AI-driven chatbots and voice bots across websites, phone calls and other digital channels.
Live & Historical Analytics to improve performance
This year we can expect speech analytics and sentiment analysis to be the new tool for measuring performance. These tools can measure customer happiness from their tone of voice. It can alert supervisors when callers or agents use curse words. It can alert supervisors and managers if callers or agents raise their voices for extended periods during any ongoing call. Speech analytics can be used on historical data too. It can analyze every single call recording within a given timeframe—something that no human Quality Assurance team can realistically achieve.
Since it is virtually impossible for any call center manager or supervisor to otherwise access such information, we expect these speech and sentiment analysis dashboard to be invaluable to them.
AI within the call center is now less about hype and more about implementation. The expectations have been set over the past few years. I look forward to 2020 being a year of reckoning.