Blog article
See all stories »

How to deploy AI to improve customer engagement and retention

Initially many people expected AI to be a job-killing technology, however, that hasn’t happened. Instead, it has become a vital component for employees across the workforce, enabling them to do more qualitative tasks and remove the remedial, repetitive aspects of their roles that don’t require human control. 

Artificial intelligence has the potential to create lasting customer relationships and provide avenues that lead to greater retention. To do so, it must become a tool that is used in conjunction with humans through a blended approach, as opposed to being widely deployed and left to run on autopilot. 

The overwhelming majority of contact centre agents in a study we ran said they felt that AI supports them in their roles and were positive about the role that AI will play in the future of financials services’.  

The rise of automation and customer expectations

The rise of automation has followed in AI’s footsteps, but interestingly employees have quickly understood it will help them in their daily work if they adopt it and learn to get the most out of it.

Customer expectations have changed during and since the pandemic entered our lives. Gone are the days of voice calls being the primary contact method. Instead, messaging has become the engagement method of choice for customers to reach you because their time is more limited from being on endless Zoom and Teams call, and convenience has become essential. 

Therefore, financial services providers have needed to pivot to provide top-level customer experience through digital channels such as instant messaging and SMS. 

Where AI comes in is its ability to seamlessly gives customers the right information they need at the right time with self-service options, eliminating the need for a call to customer service and instead take the pressure of your customer experience team. It offers agents more information to handle complex issues that self-service can’t resolve.  

If you take insurance as an example, agents can now focus their attention on interactions with customers that require more depth, explanation, and detail. Whereas the simple, repetitive FAQs and minor details are automated via voice assistants or chat bots for example. This means you’re maximising your existing capability to upsell, provide consultancy and create better relationships with customers because your customer service teams aren’t focusing on simple queries that automated tools can answer.

AI software has been developed so that it can analyse calls and decipher their impact on the customer, such as how the issue was resolved, whether the customer’s loyalty will increase in the future because of the call and what could have been done to help smooth the situation if the customer gets angry or upset. It is also being used to help predict customer behaviour on the phone and to provide recommendations to agents on how best to deal with the issue.

Where its implementation has seen real value is handling the huge amounts of data financial services providers deal with every day. We are creating more data now than ever before and businesses receive, process, and store an enormous amount of data daily - even smaller companies. AI can handle this big data faster and more accurately than humans and through machine learning, data can be organised and categorised like the human brain. 

In our survey of contact centre agents, the majority of respondents (57%) said they believe AI helps them solve customer queries faster and more than half said it provides them with more information on the customer to handle queries quicker, enabling them to focus on more challenging tasks.

How is AI shaping the future for contact centres?

AI is not the enemy. When deployed correctly, it can thrust contact centres towards a streamlined and efficient future. This advancing technology is tasked with unburdening contact agents – and it’s thriving. It tackles the basic questions and queries that don’t require agent interaction, allowing teams to reallocate agent resources to the more complex, high value or emotive queries. 

There is one thing that technologies will never be able to replicate – human instinct. We can train a computer to perform highly complex tasks, and respond to customer queries with a selection of pre-automated options – but they will never be able to ‘think’ like a human. A huge part of the contact agent job is to read the situation, understand the customer’s genuine feelings and respond accordingly. It’s that creative and emotive thinking that underpins the contact centre’s entire purpose.   

In our survey, 65% of agents said they can provide a more personalised service over automation. Additionally, 63% believe they can handle more complex queries and 58% can show more empathy. 

Contact centres will always be founded on human agents and the unique, irreplaceable value they bring to the service. Technology is only strong as the human input it receives. And whilst AI is evolving rapidly, with spending on AI systems predicted to reach $97.7 billion by 2023, it is all with the intention of championing the workers who are already driving the industry forwards. 

 

3183

Comments: (0)

Jason Ross

Jason Ross

CEO and Founder

Cirrus

Member since

13 Apr 2022

Location

London

Blog posts

1

This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Customer Service 2015-2019-2025

In the industry of customer service how it will grow nowadays. How was it in past and how it will become in future. Sharing innovative ideas about customer services like call centres, phone answering, business process outsourcing, lead generation, verification service, chat support etc.


See all

Now hiring