Chatbots essential for the contact centre of the future
Today’s contact centres need to change faster than ever before in the aims of increasing service quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Chatbots, backed by artificial intelligence and round-the-clock connectivity, are one of the best solutions to turn an old fashioned call center into a contact center of the future.
Speaking during a webinar on the impact of bots on customer experience, Johan du Preez, Business Development, Automation at iOCO said that it’s becoming significantly easier for contact centres to automate tasks that traditionally depended on human interaction. This gives human agents more time to focus on tasks that drive revenue for the company.
There are many common call center problems that stand in the way of top-tier customer service. These include limitations in self service, limited 24/7 availability, long waiting times due to a lack of agent resources, call dropping and call bouncing, and inconsistency across channels.
Chatbots (also known as digital agents and intelligent assistants) can deliver powerful benefits in the form of lower call volumes, reduced call handling times, fewer agent transfers, and improved self service.
Unlike the basic text-based chatbots of yore, today’s bots are powered by natural language processing, machine learning, intelligent data, and analytics tools to combat some of today’s biggest customer service challenges.
“From an operational point of view, companies need integration through portal and backend systems, workflow and task automation to be used more effectively, and to use their data for trend analytics and issue identification,” Du Preez remarked.
“Contact centres need to expand and extend customer self-service capabilities to allow 24/7 support, rapid call resolution, reduced or eliminated call bouncing, and proactive communications of issues.”
Chatbots have proven records of success, one of which was highlighted during the webinar. A local telco company used chatbots to great effect such as reducing call handling time from 8 minutes to under 2 minutes in the highest volume call category.
According to Du Preez, the technology is only as good as how it’s implemented and leveraged across the organisation. He recommends that businesses start by setting the right expectations. Bots have to be tailor-made to match business objectives whether it’s cost saving, customer service or revenue generation. Based on these, the organisation must identify candidate scenarios and analyse the available data to determine which would best meet the mandate.
The need to deliver a positive experience to the customer has compelled today’s contact center to reinvent itself and to seek newer and advanced solutions. With talk of digital transformation all around us, chatbots are one of the leading Industry 4.0 to drive this opportunity for business.