Welcome to the life of a contact centre agent, a role that’s both demanding and indispensable in customer engagement. In an environment where empathy and performance are equally important, their days are filled with challenging calls with each one requiring patience and a quick mind.
But agents that work together with AI chatbots and automated systems find that their jobs aren’t as daunting anymore.
[See: Webio's Agent UI Puts AI Front and Centre]
Being on the frontline of customer interactions, agents often face a volley of irate messages from distressed customers, especially when handling with money issues. Imagine dealing with an upset customer or trying to decode a complex query when you’ve already had a long day. The pressure to maintain composure, understanding, and efficiency is immense. But it's not just about handling difficult calls. Agents juggle multiple tasks - from managing call queues to updating CRM systems, all while keeping a track of their KPIs. Without a doubt, it’s a high-pressure environment that sees many agents leave the role before long.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are not just buzzwords; they're tipping upside down the way contact centres operate.
AI-Led Customer Conversations
In contact centre software, an AI-based user interface is designed to make every conversation smoother, more intuitive, and surprisingly ‘human’. This isn't a glimpse into a distant future; it's the reality of modern contact centres, run on conversational AI. A well-designed customer engagement user interface brings the AI to the agent in a way that is easy to use and make the most of.
AI and Agents Working Together
AI chatbots, for instance, can field basic enquiries, process simple requests, or even identify the customer’s emotional state, prepping the agent on what to expect. For example, the UI should display in real-time the flow of the conversation, the data gathered and the emotional state of the customer (among other things). This doesn’t mean AI is replacing humans. Rather, it’s about the synergy between human empathy and AI efficiency as both take care of the customer’s needs.
This partnership allows agents to focus on providing more personalised and appropriate service where it truly matters. AI chatbots handle the mundane tasks like data entry for ID&V, letting agents concentrate on the human aspect of their job.
In the heart of a busy contact centre, AI is transforming the traditional user interface into a dynamic, intelligent hub of customer interaction. The AI-driven platform doesn't just respond; it anticipates, adapts, and assists. Agents are no longer just reacting; they're engaging with a system that understands context, deciphers intent, and provides real-time, data-driven insights. An AI-driven user interface acts as a navigator for the agent to manage their conversations with AI as their partner.
See: Evolving Role of AI in Contact Centres: A Copilot for Customer Service Agents
From Natural Language Understanding to Custom Language Models, these advancements are making conversations more natural, efficient, and better at query resolution. The importance of a design-centric approach to these innovations, ensuring that they're not just technologically advanced but also aligned with the needs of both agents and customers.
See A Look Under the Hood at the Tech that Powers Webio’s Conversational AI Platform to find out how entities, intents and language models work in conversational AI.
Better Agent Experience
Picture the daily life of a contact centre agent: the constant switching between applications, the relentless pace, and the pressure to deliver. Now, reimagine this scenario with AI as their ally, their co-pilot. AI equips agents by providing an uncluttered, logical interface that reduces mental load and allows them to focus on what they do best - understanding and solving customer issues.
Improved Customer Engagement
In customer engagement, finding the right balance between intimacy and efficiency is fundamental to success. A well-designed AI interface can help achieve this balance by providing personalised, context-aware responses while keeping the conversation on track. This leads to not just satisfied customers but delighted ones, who feel heard, understood, and valued. Better engagement doesn't just resolve issues; it builds relationships and loyalty.
AI is always working and can handle multiple conversations at the same time, which means customers are answered immediately and the process of query resolution can begin.
When asked, many agents express a desire for tools that make their job less stressful and more rewarding. They value solutions that reduce their workload without compromising on customer experience. AI and automation offer just that – a way to balance the scales, making their roles more sustainable and enjoyable.Call centre agents are eager for technology that helps their job performance. They want:
An Insights panel in the user interface could help in better conversation management across various channels. The goal is to have all necessary information readily available to complete conversations without having to go elsewhere for the data.
Smooth interaction with AI chatbots is also a priority. Automation can take over mundane tasks such as identification and verification, and facilitate forms and payment processing directly within conversations. This leads to quicker, more accurate data gathering and transactions, resolving issues on the first attempt.
A notable feature is the Propensity Guidance technology, which can predict the direction of a conversation within three utterances. This allows agents to provide relevant information and guide customers more effectively.
Importantly, agents do not view AI as a threat to their jobs. Rather, they welcome it as a tool that equips and empowers them. This technology ensures compliance, offers quicker and better resolution to customer issues, and accesses FAQs from company knowledge bases and databases.
Agents in general say that they prefer digital messaging to talking to customers on the phone.
Finally, working alongside AI gives agents a more interesting a rewarding role which results in agent morale going up, which has the knock-on effect of agent performance going up. The tangible impact of all these improvements is increased productivity and efficiency. AI-enhanced interfaces help agents handle more calls, resolve issues faster, and reduce the time spent on after-call work. The benefits aren't only in terms of numbers but increased efficiency contributes to a more positive, less stressful work environment, creating a virtuous cycle of improvement and satisfaction.
The benefits of having AI blended with agents in contact centres can be summed up as:
Agents equipped with AI tools are empowered to do their job better, striking a balance between efficiency and empathy. This collaboration is not just about improving customer service; it’s about enhancing the work lives of those at the heart of it – the contact centre agents themselves. What results is a more engaged, motivated, and effective workforce and thus lower attrition rates.
If you need to improve your customer engagement, talk to us and we'll show you how AI automation via digital messaging apps works.
You will love the Webio experience.