In the call center world, efficiency is the name of the game. Customers are looking for faster results without sacrificing quality of service. Call center automation software is essential to accomplishing this goal. Is your business up to the challenge?
If so, you need to familiarize yourself with the latest tools and technology. While robots and AI aren’t quite ready to take the reins of customer calls, they are more than capable of assisting your call center agents in their daily work to create a friction-free experience for your customers.
So what does an optimized and automated call center look like, and what are the benefits for your call center? Read on to find out!
What is Call Center Automation?
Simply put, automation is the practice of using software or technology to address time-consuming or repetitive tasks in your call center operation. When implemented correctly, automation software should significantly reduce the need for human action or intervention.
Common types of call center automation include:
Robotic process automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, focuses on covering basic tasks that would otherwise be considered manual work for your agents. These tasks are usually very easy to program and should enable your staff to focus on more complex items.
Statistical machine learning
This type of automation technology focuses on analyzing and mapping patterns in your customer and data, agent activity, and much more. From there, you can streamline your operations and maximize efficiency.
AI and natural language processing (NLP)
From active listening to customer sentiment, this intelligent technology can analyze agent and customer interactions in real time, and offer suggestions based on tone of voice, language, and much more.
Depending on your unique operational needs and gaps, you may use a different combination of technologies to automate your contact center. While some effects are immediate, others will reveal themselves over time. Let’s explore some of the benefits you can expect from an automated call center.
How Automation Can Benefit Your Call Center
Improve first call resolution
First call resolution, or FCR, is one of the most common KPIs in the contact center. By eliminating manual, time-consuming tasks from your agents’ plates, you can increase this important metric. In short, call center automation makes it easier for agents to resolve customer issues in a single interaction.
Better customer satisfaction
When implementing automation tools, it’s important to consider how they will affect and improve the customer experience and their overall journey. Using data and intelligence, automation tools can ensure your customers connect to the correct agent the first time, while providing them with valuable information to solve their query more efficiently.
Boost agent satisfaction
Automation isn’t just a benefit for your customers; it’s also great for improving your call center employees’ experience. And with the Great Resignation looming over the contact center world, you’ll need all the help you can get! By automating manual tasks for your staff, you can help raise employee engagement, which will improve your customer satisfaction levels in turn.
Lower cost of operations
Contact centers still often carry the label of ‘cost center’ from the days when they were viewed as a necessary cost of running a business. With higher agent efficiency and improved First Call Resolution, you can expect to see a lower cost of operations for your call center.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Gartner, Conversational AI will reduce contact center agent labor costs by $80 Billion in 2026.
Provide after hours service
You may not have a 24-hour contact center, but with call center automation you can still serve incoming callers after hours. It’s as simple as offering them a call-back for later or giving them access to self-serve tools.
6 Ways to Automate Tasks in Your Call Center
Now that we’ve explored the many benefits of call center automation, it’s time to discuss what it looks like in action. There are many tools to help automate different parts of your operation, but you first need to know what gaps you’re looking to fill and the functionality you need.
The contact center is a massive hub for customer data; a staggering amount of information flows through your operation on a daily basis, and with the right software, you can use that data to analyze trends and make predictions on everything from customer behavior to daily call volumes. This data can even inform your agent scheduling or the best time to perform lead outreach.
2. Customer self-service
Self-service is one of the hottest topics in the contact center right now, and for good reason. By empowering your customers to solve their own basic queries, you free up valuable agent time for more complex issues. Self-service can be as simple as offering an FAQ or knowledge base, or as advanced as an AI chat bot on your website or mobile app.
3. SMS notifications
Text messaging is a super easy way to follow up with your customers without the manual effort. It’s a great way to follow up with them after an interaction to gather feedback, send a reminder, or even prompt an action.
4. Agent workflow
As careful as your agents might be, human error is always a challenge in the contact center. However, you can minimize these mistakes by automating your call center’s workflow. By leveraging AI and other automation features in your phone system, you can automate repetitive tasks so your agents can stay focused on the more demanding parts of their work.
5. Call-Backs and virtual queueing
Customers hate hold time — that’s a universal truth. Fortunately, there are ways to automate your call center processes so they don’t have to wait to speak to an agent. It’s as simple as setting up an automated call-back offer in your interactive voice response (IVR). Callers who opt in can go about their day while their place in queue is saved. When a live agent is available, they’ll receive a call connecting them immediately with support.
6. Automated agent guidance
With AI and natural language processing (NLP), call center automation can support your agents during customer interactions. Using features like sentiment analysis, these tools can make suggestions in real time to your agents so they can provide the best help possible to your callers. For example, agent might receive pop-ups on their screen with recommendations on how to upsell the customer or legal topics to avoid.
Leading Software in Call Center Automation
Now that you understand the power that comes with automating your call center, it’s time to explore the different solutions that can help you achieve just that. Here are some of our top picks:
Fonolo’s suite of cloud-based call-back solutions is a top pick for automating your call center! This isn’t your average add-on call-back feature; it’s a powerful solution that automatically offers your callers in queue a call-back and instantly connects your customer with a live agent when they reach the front of the call queue.
This call center software integrates with your existing CRM and offers features like smart dialing, intelligent call routing, on-screen caller information, and much more.
NICE in Contact
This cloud suite is great for contact centers looking to offer an omnichannel experience. This solution features AI-powered self-service chatbots, as well as intelligent workforce management.
If you’re in the market for an end-to-end cloud contact center solution, be sure to consider TalkDesk. They offer customer experience analytics, self-service solutions, workforce engagement tools, and much more.
8×8 is an all-in-one platform that offers speech and customer experience analytics. They integrate with your CRM and scale with your call center.