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Why Contact Center Operators Need to Take Advantage of Intelligent Automation

Abby Jacobs
February 13, 2018

By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their interactions with brands without talking to a human.

So say the researchers at Gartner.

Perhaps this is why many line of business owners see the future of customer service in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), software robots, and machine learning (ML). The truth is, in today's hyper-competitive digital economy, organizations that choose to embrace intelligent automation will come out on top.

The call center industry will be transformed by the use of intelligent automation to drive productivity and customer satisfaction. Beyond the technology, it's essential for call center managers and agents to focus on efficiency, so they can spend less time on routine activities, and more time on improving customer experience, driving customer loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of their customer base.

Customer Service Transformed

The traditional contact center operation model has largely been based on a tiered approach to customer service: A customer calls to resolve an issue, the agent fields the call and after answering some basic questions, the customer is routed to the appropriate department or representative to handle the issue.

With the emergence of technologies like conversational interactive voice response (IVRs), intelligent routing and triage, virtual assistants, social media, and chatbots, the call center value chain has become more sophisticated, expanding far beyond the human agent.

The traditional contact center model has evolved to support multiple channels and advanced technologies. On the other hand, many environments still struggle with creating a seamless omni-channel experience.

According to one Gartner report, 85% of customer service centers now have multi-channel capabilities. And, yet, most lack any form of advanced customer service case management or problem resolution functionality. While the ability to manage and escalate a customer's case across channels may have once been a luxury, today's customers expect nothing less.

This is the age of ever-rising customer expectations. Customers expect their issues be resolved in real-time, which is driving the pivot to a concierge approach to customer engagement. To succeed, enterprises need to prioritize customer journey mapping and gain a deeper understanding of the capabilities required to deliver exceptional customer experience.

Technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have immense power to simultaneously help develop this foundational understanding, while delivering on the promise of delivering transformative customer experiences.

Building a Smarter Contact Center

Call center agents are the frontlines of the contact center.

They must be able to seamlessly navigate multiple communication channels in real-time across the customer journey. This is where a core suite of seamless, multi-channel technology integrations, including automated business processes, unified data, and intelligent software robots, can empower agents by providing context to customer interactions via a comprehensive customer record.

Intelligent automation has the power to bridge communication channels and back-end systems across the enterprise, to deliver a single view of the customer. Built on a case management approach, combining AI and automation capabilities can enrich case logic by providing recommendations for better, faster problem resolution. Additionally, this convergence of technologies can also help contact center operators maintain comprehensive communication histories across every channel, and ultimately empower agents to consistently meet customer expectations.

In this episode of Appian Talks, Appian's Director of Product Strategy, Arturo Oliver, reveals the secret to transforming your contact centers, including:

    • The latest trends in Customer Engagement

    • How AI can transform the agent & customer experience

    • The 3 phases of call center operations

    • How to future-proof call center environments through automation

Listen below to discover how to build a smarter contact center and provide intelligent customer engagement.

[podcast id="14033140" text="The Need for Digital in Insurance" on Spreaker."]