COVID-19 has all but overwhelmed customer service departments. It’s impacted the customer experience, it’s made callers less patient, and it’s stressed out many call center agents. So, what do you do? The calls keep flooding in and human agents can’t always keep up. Thankfully, new technology is doing a lot of good when it comes to automation and customer interaction.
From artificial intelligence and machine learning to collaborative robots, there are some pretty amazing ways that call center technology has adapted in the United States.
AI and bots are streamlining call centers.
If you’ve ever been on hold for an unnaturally long time, you’ve probably been tempted to hang up mid-call. The same applies to current contact centers. So, if your contact center agents can’t quite keep up with high volumes, where do you turn? The simple answer is artificial intelligence and call bots. Not only can bots answer calls faster than a human agent but they also bring a level of automation. AI tools like interactive voice response can answer calls, take down essential customer information, and event create virtual callback queues.
With the aid of natural language processing and speech recognition, interactive voice response makes customer calls easier on both the callers and then customer service reps. Plus, an AI call center can route calls to the right agent in real-time for the best results. If your call center isn’t this kind of deep learning technology, you may be falling behind the competition.
Collaborative robots can automate the ordering process.
If your call center is taking a large number of phone orders, a collaborative robot may be able to help. Collaborative robots, also called cobots, are designed to share space with human workers. You may have seen an example of a collaborative robot in a factory as a robot arm that assists with packaging. Think of it like this: Say you’re running a larger retail business and you want your call center to improve customer satisfaction with faster packaging and shipping. Once your contact center takes an order, it can then be sent to the packing floor where a robot can lift and pack materials and goods. Collaborative robots excel at “pick and place” and are only becoming more affordable.
Brands like Fanuc America are using their Fanuc Collaborative Robots to develop new best practices for cobots that can speed up automation. The collaborative robot market is even expanding to government agencies and recent developments show that bot technology only continues to improve. Cobots can accomplish much more than traditional robots and they can do it much faster. By streamlining the connection between the contact center and the packing floor, you’re making it easier for the customer to get what they want when they want it. How’s that for customer experience?
Predictive analytics help make stronger decisions.
You’ve likely heard the term predictive analytics in conjunction with the IBM Watson assistant. While this type of computing power is a solid example of the technology, it’s also helping call centers and customer service departments. Predictive analytics can benefit your contact center by anticipating what a customer’s wants and needs are going to be. It can also help your contact center determine which customers are at risk and help curate a stronger customer experience for them. While early applications were somewhat finicky, the technology has only progressed in recent years and is helping businesses navigate COVID-19 in a more effective, intuitive way.
From bots that can handle a payload to artificial intelligence, the customer service industry is experiencing large-scale technological growth. While technology has yet to eradicate COVID-19, it’s doing its best to make surviving it as a business that much easier.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!