In the current environment, contact centers are flooded with customer questions and complaints more than ever before. They are under constant pressure to be responsive to customer needs in a timely manner and with fewer resources. This pressure from customers will continue to increase as work from home and increased digital operations remain commonplace even after COVID-19 has subsided.
Contact center interactions with customers are a critical point of customer engagement, with a major impact on customer loyalty. Poor engagement with contact center agents can greatly reduce customer retention, especially when customers experience the frustration of long hold times and are forced to repeat information to multiple sources. Unfortunately, traditional self-service solutions, such as interactive voice response systems, often fail. These self-service solutions fail to address the customer’s request because they do not have the data and intelligence to complete it from end to end. This results in the customer having to be transferred from a self-service channel to an agent-assisted channel, leading to higher call volumes for agents and bottlenecks within the call center and ultimately resulting in a failed customer experience.
Poor contact center engagements do not only affect customers. Call center employees often spend a disproportionate amount of time on unfulfilling, manual, repetitive tasks. This leads to frustrated and unhappy employees and helps explain why call centers have the highest turnover rates of industry. On average, a company spends about $4,000 on hiring someone new and about $4,800 on training them, ballooning operational costs. For these reasons, contact centers must modernize their operations. About 74% of organizations see conversational assistants as a key enabler of the company’s business and customer engagement strategy. However, fewer than 50% of the top players in automotive, consumer products and retail, and banking and insurance have deployed voice/chat assistants. Without properly integrated technologies, error rates will continue to soar in end-to-end processes and workers will be forced to rework parts of the process, wasting a company’s time and money.
A transformation solution for contact centers to modernize their technology is to combine conversational AI and robotic process automation. We have partnered with boost.ai and UiPath to create a prototype of this solution.
The benefits of conversational AI and automation in contact centers
Many organizations have started to see the benefits of having conversational AI chat assistants to service their contact centers. These benefits include fewer calls to customer service, a significant reduction in customer churn rate, and a more than 20% reduction in customer service costs for the organization. Over the next five years, the conversational AI market is expected to grow even further as customers’ demands for higher value and the need for continuous efficiency increase. Even though conversational assistants are expected to become more popular among contact centers over the years, they are only part of the equation for a successful contact center transformation. The next level is to integrate the conversational assistants with backend systems and processes to complete end-to-end processes via automation.
What are the benefits of combining conversational AI and automation? Conversational AI, combined with automation, gives companies the opportunity to humanize consumer relationships while streamlining customer service operations. By combining conversational AI and robotic process automation, a company can offer customers 24/7, instant, humanized interactions with accelerated outcomes from automating manual and repetitive tasks. Additionally, this will leave companies with full audit trails to improve data integrity and streamlined processes. Automating front and back office activities allows companies to offer a seamless, yet efficient contact center customer journey. Additionally, this solution has a rapid time to value and can be implemented in as little as two weeks. Automation and AI should be implemented from the front to the back office reduce costs and minimize the burden on the back office.
Automation and AI to assist with loan forbearance
We have joined forces with boost.ai and UiPath to develop a prototype around mortgage forbearance to demonstrate the capabilities of combing conversational AI and robotic process automation. The initial prototype integrates chatbot and RPA technology to automatically process a loan forbearance request from a customer. The chatbot is able to answer questions around mortgage forbearance and refinancing and guide the customer through the process on how to initiate the loan forbearance request. Additionally, the chatbot can redirect the customer to an agent or representative if needed. The RPA component authenticates the user with user’s credentials, initiates the loan forbearance process, and then sends a confirmation email to the customer.
This solution provides a personalized, zero-touch customer experience by simplifying self-service and orchestrating omnichannel requests. Some additional benefits of this solution include:
- Eliminated served contacts
- Reduced customer effort
- Increased customer loyalty and retention
- Reduced overhead and training costs
- Assured compliance
- Rapid results.
Contact center solution across various industries
This solution can be applied across various industries and can be used with a range of use cases. Here are a few examples of how this solution can be applied in other industries:
- Insurance – A claims bot can assist and gather documentation and details related to an incident, even enabling the uploading of images, documents, or video that provide more context to help in subsequent validation and claim processing. When it comes to processing the claim, RPA can eliminate any manual entry by directly logging all available details or images into the appropriate system.
- Retail – A personal shopping assistant chatbot can help answer the queries of the customers (i.e. customer returns) and recommend products based on customer preference. In the case of customer returns, RPA can come into play by initiating a product return and refund by sending a return shipping label based on the information gathered by the chatbot.
- Life Science – AI-powered chatbots can triage patients and guide them to receive the appropriate help when they are looking for information about the cause or treatment of their symptoms. An RPA component is incorporated as a chatbot can lead the patient towards picking a time to see a doctor, and the bot will automatically schedule an appointment.
- Energy and Utilities – Chatbots can improve the overall customer experience by updating customers on the status of a service outage or a query on a utility bill. Once a decision has been made, RPA can simulate the highly rule-based billing process in case a change needs to be made.
This contact center solution provides an end to end contact center transformation that combines our consulting services with cutting edge intelligent automation technology. Our solution will define a contact center of the future that will define the mission, vision, and strategic goals for the contact center. It will identify use cases to improve customer experience and operational efficiency and leverage cutting-edge technology to build intelligent automation solutions. Finally, implementation, maintenance, and support of the solution will ensure smooth technical delivery.
Find out more
Get in touch with us to engage with our intelligent automation experts to discuss how your contact center organization can accelerate digital transformation by leveraging conversational AI and robotics process automation.
Head of Data-Driven Intelligent Operations & Corporate Functions.
Contact Center Lead (Americas).
CCO & Co-founder.