AI’s and Staffing – Will they Replace Call Centers?
Call centers have become a household method for business owners to grow and outsource certain tasks, workflows and administrative functions which comprise repetitive, rote routine but at the same time regularly occurring and constantly changing tasks.
As a businessperson, you can generally do most of these on your own, if your organization hasn’t reached a threshold in terms of key accounts, payables, clients to attend to and on top of that, meeting clients and closing deals with your customers.
This is why outsourcing has become a viable option.
Artificial intelligence has greatly put an automated edge towards the majority of call center operations.
AI and Call Centers
AI eventually speeds up a lot of rote routines. Sometimes, because of the nature of back end tasks and administrative functions, a lot of those tasks can pile up without you even knowing. That is the reason some companies choose to outsource.
But what if you want more done in a faster paced time frame?
Will AI remove Call Centers?
Let’s face it when there are a ton of quotas and a ton of sales you need to execute then manpower alone may not be able to accomplish it. Or at least you’d need a sizable amount of staff to get things done.
But for now, it looks like AI cannot replace the human touch.
There’s a limited number of tasks which AI can perform. For one thing, AI has become more prominent because of advances in a field called Natural Language Processing (NLP)
AI can help with common queries and complaints
If there’s a way to automate FAQ’s then your AI can be programmed to address these concerns or requests in context of a call center setting. You can provide common phrases or knowledge bases which will then serve as the parameters for whether a call is taken up by an AI or routed to a live human agent.
This saves your agents tremendous amounts of time because they don’t have to be bogged down by constantly repetitive complaints and questions.
And if you route these common questions through an AI, you’ll be freed up to address more pertinent issues.
AI’s can improve customer response time
Most inquiries require an agent to look at a K-base article. The use of AI can expedite and even enhance the way an agent responds to a customer’s requests. They can take the information they need, compare it and cross check it with other products, and cross-sell if a customer’s product isn’t readily available.
These are functions which generally take time while on a call. These can be freely expedited if you train your agents to use the AI when it is needed and to attend to customer concerns when human interaction is required.
AI’s can help your employees achieve their KPI’s
If you use API’s as a soundboard to check the performance and use objective metrics of how your agents perform, then that can only help them grow and accomplish much more while they comment on the tone of voice, measure how many times a CSR interrupts a caller or mention if the CSR is talking too much.
With this though, you cannot remove the need for Human Managers and Supervisors.
Since AI and it’s advancements are still at it’s infancy, you cannot rely on these metrics alone.
Managed Operations as an outsourcing model, helps measure these rubrics against actual human assessment.
Think about it though, if their performances were reliably measured, that can mean they can work on their own tendencies as far as Customer Service is concerned and they will become more reliable and more astute employees in handling customer calls.
AI can improve the resources of digital marketing professionals
Imagine being able to ask for pictures, word corpora or materials at the click of a mouse. You no longer have to pore through material at random to create digital marketing content.
This is just another shortcut which AI can allow. It will improve the way you can tap into information and imaging technology and media in general so that you can make more informed choices and you can further augment the creativity of your call center team.
Again, this is not a substitute for a human content marketer’s touch. Content marketing still requires you to make decisions based on streamlining the information you find and this cannot be done through just mindlessly culling from all of the information, imaging technology and available media you can find.
AI’s minimizes human errors
If there are such repetitive tasks such as data entry, computation, uploading in bulk and other routines then minimizing the chance that there are errors that can ripple across the rest of the pipeline?
This then improves productivity and at the same time helps you focus on the essentials of any given task.
Automation improves employee satisfaction
AI’s not only serve your bottom line but they help employee satisfaction. It’s because when repetitive tasks are automated, they can then be free to attend to higher order functions.
Call center agents can hone their skills on escalations calls if they don’t have to consistently attend to FAQ’s and rote calls. It helps then grow and sharpen their skills as customer service professionals.
AI can create content but cannot replace Human Creativity
In general, AI can create content, multimedia, written content or even blogs and graphics if you need them. Yet they cannot replace human creativity or direction. You still need to tell it what to do and to sift through what may or may not work as far as your content marketing strategies are concerned.
All of these functions more or less belong to the purview of Call Center operations.
Sure AI can be used to assist with all these functions, but remember that Outsourcing is meant to give you a chance to give a more Personal, and Human touch to your sales and your customer calls.
If most automatable tasks are delegated to artificial intelligence, that is going to give you the chance to be more creative and to scale your business as your own pace.
All in all, for now AI will not replace Call Centers. But it can improve the functions of call center staff from Customer Service agents to Sales and Content Marketing specialists.