The What, Why, & How of Contact Center Automation
This post will encourage contact center automation by simplifying what it is, explaining why it’s worth your while, and touching on how you can get started.
The contact center industry (even the small ones in SMEs), are on the frontline when it comes to reaping benefits from automation. Be that as it may, some contact center managers still reserve their chances at automation altogether.
What is Contact Center Automation?
Automation, in general, happens when a process can start and execute unsupervised by mere mortals. When mapped to the contact center context, there are several processes we can configure to start and run automatically.
In the spirit of keeping things simple let’s focus our attention on just three such tasks. We’ll compare and contrast how they run prior and post automation. Then we’ll discuss a few advantages that come with automation.
3 Contact Center Tasks To Automate
Let’s start with what happens without automation of any sort…
Contact center interaction often begins with an incoming call… so let’s start right there. Before getting into why they’re calling, you typically want to know who they are. The manual way of doing this is by asking who it is on the other end.
You may have seen some effort from contact centers with bots that ask for identification information. The problem with this is that they assume customers know their customer id number by heart!
When they have your name down, a search process (and awkward silence) starts. Hoping they find your file, it takes at least a day for the matter you called for to escalate to the right actors.
These three processes are central to each support session experienced daily in an inbound contact center.
With automation, these would go down differently…
1. Incoming caller recognition
As soon as the caller gets through, they’re immediately recognized. Recognition is the general term for knowing their name, their relationship with the company, products currently using, and any relevant past activities that will help with the call.
Already, that frantic search for their information goes out the window…
Knowing who they are also includes who they last spoke to. Chances are they want to speak with the same agent. Contact center automation allows for smart call routing before initial contact with an agent. The old (and not so smart) way of doing would be through call transfers and cold calling.
2. Customer data collection and presentation
Now the call lands in the care of the perfect agent. We must take notes about the session to inform future communication. It’s the same details that get processed when resolving that caller’s concerns. With automation, NLU can note speech keywords and tag possible helpers to the conversation.
Sometimes the caller has to wait for minutes in a queue. With a thoroughly integrated and automated contact center, this is totally optional.
For one, because we now have on record that they need help, we can call them back as soon as there is an agent available. Virtual queue management falls into another important benefit from automation. Outbound call automation.
3. Outbound calls
Most contact centers operate by waiting for the customer to call in… ergo inbound call centers. Automatically scheduling outbound calls begets a blended call center.
Outbound calls help keep customers comfortable with your products and services. It also helps with keeping customer information up to date. Customers that randomly get calls from service providers are less likely to go looking for alternative providers.
In the long-run, it elongates customers’ lifetime, lowering churn rates… serving as a sales strategy, customer retention is cheaper than new client acquisition.
Key features of an automated contact center
To help you automate your contact center, consider the following features of one that’s automated.
1. Automated contact centers require less staff
Having automated most of the customer support processes in a contact center leaves it requiring fewer agents to function at peak performance. Conversational IVR systems will handle some calls. That will do away with some of your wage bill.
2. Automated contact centers are a web of integrated tools
A lot of the tasks that start “on their own” wait for triggers from other software applications. This interconnected nature is often the first step you can take toward automating your contact center. It makes sense to go the no-code automation route to save time and money.
3. Automated contact centers are user friendly
The purpose of automation is simplification. Go with in-house designed solutions to solve problems. Try to only make light of work that troubles contact center agents. Using drag-and-drop workflow creation tools is one way to stay on the side of ease. They make work that would have taken developers a month to fix, easy and doable in a few minutes.