As customers ringing for assistance, we’ve all been there. The frustration of being stuck on hold; the despair and anger at wasted time through poor customer service automation.
Given this common scenario, why do 80% of businesses still not invest in leading edge AI to improve customer experience, reduce customer churn and costs, and drive sales?
If the AI business case is now proven to positively impact your bottom line, what’s holding businesses back from adopting this exciting evolution? Fear of change? Scepticism as to whether the AI technology is genuine? Capital or innovation budget constraints to drive the savings? Fear of relying on decisions made by a ‘black box’, designed to enhance business success?
There are 7 compelling reasons to embrace AI technology in your business immediately:
1. Happiness of staff accelerates the happiness of customers. A contact centre is your front line of business. Do agents actually care? Explaining your “why” for centre agents to engage with your business, means sharing your vision with customers through them. AI tools will help you understand both your customers requirements, and where your agents are struggling, excelling, or failing. Even if you outsource your call centre, make sure you spend time integrating it with your business and bringing them on board with your vision. This is a challenge because it can mean investing more time, but long term you’ll have a much happier and focused agents that will make your customers happy also.
2. Make AI work to your advantage and it will transform your bottom line. This one has become increasingly tricky, mainly because of ‘AI’ becoming such a buzzword, that it’s difficult to distinguish what AI really is, what it really can, or cannot do. You need to understand its strategic applications and as you choose to intelligently invest, it will then reward you incrementally. It might require changes in the way you currently perform tasks, or more time investment in order to find benefits. Investment of time (and money) will revolutionise the way you currently perform tasks, and when used in optimally, dramatically transform your business bottom line.
3. Full transparency leads to rewards. AI enables transparency so that high level executives can have an overview of what is going on in the contact centre - without relying on manual reports that are prone to human error. This means that people with decision power can react to the latest market trends and make data-driven decisions immediately, rewarding their customers and employees in a very timely manner. Contact centres are way too busy these days to dedicate time compiling and then reacting to reports - they are too busy “stopping the fires”. While this might sound controversial, it is of utmost importance to allow full transparency of the interactions, for transformational outcomes. Lastly, being transparent with your customers - being honest, explaining the process in a timely manner, is important to prevent misunderstanding.
4. AI can accelerate learning. Encourage a mentality of failing fast and learning even faster. On the employees side encouraging them to share their mistakes and the mistakes of others will reveal weaknesses and open space for improvement and training. We’ve heard a lot about the fail fast learn fast approach in the startup world. It actually applies everywhere but you need to be able to identify and rectify these failures intelligently, rather than regurgitating old solutions. AI automates this identification process to multiple levels of overview, rather than relying on ad hoc customer feedback or random mandatory compliance checks. AI can provide real-time analytics to managers on customer sentiment and agent performance and trends. Embracing mistakes to enhance performance going forwards for all agents means creating an environment where the whole team pulls together.
5. Befriend technology to gain competitive advantage. As Gasparov says, “we need better humans and more technology.” Resisting the AI revolution means ignoring progress. AI is a powerful tool to help people learn and improve speedily - burying your head in the sand is not a sound business approach, if competitors are stealing a march on you. Embracing AI can be a huge competitive advantage and differentiator. It allows you to not only react expediently to potential failures, but learn how to better deploy automation and take advantage of cutting edge tools. Be prepared to upgrade and unify your systems and introduce other step changes such as a better CRM system, to be able to measure and improve rapidly.
6. Conversational intelligence brings revenue. Would you like to know what your best performing agents were saying to customers who ended up extremely excited and happy? Would you like to train your full team in that direction? The good news is that one word could often make a difference. According to research by Professor Elizabeth Stokoe, the word ‘any’ is wired to a negative response in our brain, so for a positive outcome you should probably use the word ‘some’ instead. ‘Anything else I can help with?’ at the end of a conversation might discourage even those with questions to ask any, while ‘Do you need help with something else?’ will encourage even people without any questions to come forward and be heard. It’s a simple thing. The speech-to-learning platform from Sentient Machines allows full engagement with the AI behind the scenes, allowing you to focus on your goals and targeted revenue outcomes.
7. Prevent churn by reacting to negative emotion immediately. Lastly, but most importantly, before your customers churn there might have been a series of events that led up to this. AI can predict this, and discover customer frustration in real time, giving you a timely opportunity to react and bring customers back from the edge for enhanced customer service experiences.
To embrace the above steps check out the state of the art speech to learning platform from Sentient Machines.