From old-timey switchboards to super-powered CRMs, contact centers have always embraced technology.
When it comes to implementing new technology in the name of customer service, contact centers have always answered the call. A terrible pun, we know, but contact centers have been around for more than fifty years, and have been harnessing technology to improve customer relationships since day one. From the switchboards of yore to the super-powered CRMs of today, the evolution of contact center technology has primarily affected the frameworks necessary to run an ever-growing industry. Nowadays, the focus of that same innovation has expanded from strictly creating efficient customer journeys to building the emotional relationship between a brand and its customers as well.
Contact center technology powers the engine of everyday operations – most obviously by enabling robust CRM systems that deliver information and the connection between agents and customers. As the internet’s influence on customer experience grew, CRMs became an essential framework to centralize and leverage customer info so that brands could serve their customers quickly and effectively. Agents were able to access more information about the customers they were dealing with faster than ever, and with an eye to making customer service even more immediate, companies started to develop multi-channel approaches to their newly super-charged CX operations. The days of notepads, data silos and difficult communication quickly slipped into the rearview as complex CRMs became commonplace and web-based business became the norm. But as that technology continued to evolve at breakneck speed, so did the challenges of maintaining valuable human relationships in an increasingly digital world.
New approaches now have big challenges to solve. The volume of contact center calls is way up, staff retention has become an ongoing issue, and increasingly, customer queries are becoming more involved, requiring more time and attention. In addition to overseeing operations, contact center managers now have to find ways to make operations smoother and more cost-effective, while easing agent workloads and elevating customer experience, as these factors have become all-important KPIs for the contact center industry.
Enter AI. Beyond the ubiquitous chatbot, AI-powered apps and processes are rapidly being implemented by contact centers with the goal of improving service personalization, building more intuitive customer journeys, and assisting agents with everything from handling tedious processes to improving emotional perception. Let’s take a closer look at how:
• AI-empowered knowledge management systems offer all agents a holistic view of the contact center’s operations, democratizing and curating important customer information so that agents can help quickly and effectively. Customers increasingly prefer to have a variety of options for their customer service needs, so a knowledge management system that incorporates AI can help ensure a more consistent, personalized customer experience across all channels, which goes a long way to creating and maintaining loyal customer relationships.
• AI-enhanced monitoring tools offer a myriad of benefits, including real-time metrics and advice on agent interactions, prompts to strengthen customer rapport, and personalized insights and tips that can improve customer relationships. Tools like conversational analysis can advise agents about the customer’s emotional state as well as their potential needs and interests, while agent performance tracking can help improve individual feedback, training and career development, helping your best agents stay satisfied and motivated.
• Chatbots and other AI-powered assistants can help ease agent workloads by automating tedious, mundane tasks that otherwise take time and focus away from customers. By allowing agents to focus on what they do best - bringing a human touch to a brand’s CX - automation can help reduce the workload stress that can lead to agent burnout, an important consideration in reducing agent attrition. Automating tasks and processes that tie up agents saves money, reduces errors, and ensures adherence to company guidelines – all important factors in creating a consistent customer experience across all channels.
When used with both business goals and workplace culture in mind, new contact center technologies are making the most of human-lead, AI-assisted workflow to create better customer, and agent, experiences. Thoughtfully implemented, AI-driven contact center technology has the power to create a more personalized experience for customers, a stable and efficient contact center work environment for agents, and the kind of consistent, intuitive customer experience that builds a brand’s reputation and revenue.
bespokeCX gives contact center teams the framework, tools and perspective to deliver consistent customer experience while supporting a more robust workplace culture. Our unique, AI-driven approach maximizes operational alignment and agent impact, helping your brand to build both reputation and revenue through better contact center performance and next-level customer experience. Visit www.bespokecx.com to learn more.