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Rewarding customer experience (CX) is much more than a series of brand-customer interactions; it is what customers crave and what successful organizations deliver. In a world of rapidly evolving technology, rising customer expectations and tighter budgets, artificial intelligence (AI) can efficiently enhance CX in cost-effective ways. Read on to learn 3 AI strategies contact center managers should prioritize as a means of improving CX.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key component of the digital transformation of customer experience (CX) that is occurring across all sectors. Though the ever-changing nature of AI development means that its capabilities are continuously improving, the verdict on the most talked-about development is in: AI is a tool that all forward-thinking organizations should implement.
The substantial benefits of AI include strengthening sales, boosting operations, engaging customers and generating insights, according to a Capgemini study. That’s why investment in this field is skyrocketing as contact center directors look to enhance CX through AI that works 24/7.
According to the latest research by IDG, in August 2021, 38% of organizations said that they anticipate investing more dollars towards AI and machine learning (ML) tools and solutions over the next 12 months to become a digital business. AI is truly the driving force behind the digital transformation of CX. The dynamic nature of AI and the broad scope of implementation is as exciting as it is daunting.
Here are the top strategies for enhancing CX through AI:
Contact center managers are all too aware that customer expectations have changed dramatically, with consumers wanting instantaneous answers and responses to queries, complaints and requests. Tolerance for waiting is low and expectations around swift CX processes have never been higher. This is why increasing numbers of customers turn to self-care options, which may require interactions with AI-powered bots.
AI progress, especially in terms of natural language processing (NLP) and ML, means that customers can express themselves naturally (either through voice or text) and AI bots can understand and reply appropriately to them. Additionally, bots can assist human agents in CX by giving them key information. The desires for immediacy, availability and autonomy have accelerated the trend towards self-service, with 77% of customers saying chatbots will change their expectations of brands in the next five years, according to Salesforce. Providing rewarding self-service options is crucial for contact center managers hoping to enhance CX. A digital transformation of CX is truly underway as self-care meets customers’ needs for timely answers and lightens agents’ workloads, enabling them to focus on high-value requests.
Algorithms that identify a customer profile (income, location, new vs. old client, gender, age, interaction history, etc.) have accelerated the digital transformation of CX. However, deploying sentiment analysis can raise CX to a higher level entirely. How? By relying on speech to create an emotional connection with customers.
Sentiment analysis can identify and analyze customer emotions, whether they are expressed over the phone or via chat. Empowered with emotional analysis capabilities, AI-powered tools will offer advice to an agent on how to respond. This support will be invaluable to agents trained to manage a bot’s socio-emotional signals, both in terms of generation and detection. Agents will then enjoy the increased communication skills bots provide that enhance CX.
Despite the digital transformation of CX, agents will always play a vital role in customer service. But now, the combination of the human touch with the precision of AI is ushering in the era of augmented agents, which means empowering them with AI-based tools that raise their performances and increase their capabilities. Interactions turn into conversations and agents become the best possible brand ambassadors, able to provide customer experiences that are efficient, helpful, rewarding and personal.
Contact center directors understand that enhancing modern CX means tailoring strategies to individual customers’ needs, which is why personalization is the most essential component of any customer journey. Microsoft explains that 72% of consumers expect customer service agents to know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights from previous interactions.
To summarize: AI-based sentiment analysis leads to greater personalization, which is a key component of CX since the levels of customer engagement are higher when brands make efforts to personalize relationships with their clients. Contact center managers who want to enhance CX, therefore, must focus on greater personalization through AI tools.
If personalization is the way to enhance customer experiences, this can only be achieved through leveraging data to maximize insights and present a complete view of a customer. Phone conversations, emails, social messaging and customer history must be factored into any engagement.
This data helps contact center managers uncover new reasons for interactions that might become repetitive in the near future. Knowing about these new types of requests ahead of time helps contact center managers to organize their contact center workforce and tools accordingly, thus strengthening the overall CX strategy.
Highly-proficient CX requires analyzing vast amounts of data in minutes which is something AI-based software can do in seconds. All effective contact center managers know that, for customers who do not want to wait, every second counts. Therefore, the speedier and more accurate an agent’s engagement, the higher the customer satisfaction (CSAT) and the more likely a positive review will be given. Significantly, the Temkin Group points out that 77% of customers are likely to recommend a brand based on a single positive experience.
Modern customers are savvy enough to recognize the brands that make an effort and those that fall short. Tellingly, customers are willing to pay more for better service and enhanced CX, which is confirmed by a Walker study which shows that CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. To meet these expectations, a digital transformation of CX should be every contact center manager’s goal.
Research indicates that 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one. Contact center managers know that this is the best way to achieve increased operational efficiency, introduce new revenue streams and meet changing customer expectations. AI’s role in this digital transformation of CX is significant.
Interested in learning more tips for enhancing your CX through rewarding, frictionless customer journeys? Turn to Odigo, a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) industry leader in helping organizations improve their CSAT scores and achieve more rewarding CX and memorable customer journeys through smooth, channel-less communication.
Did you know that Odigo has been named as a Visionary in the 2021 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for CCaaS for the second year running? We believe that’s because the company has a strong vision for the development of natural language capabilities and automation as part of its contact center platform.
Would you like to know about Gartner’s insights into the world of CX and CCaaS?
1. Gartner and Magic Quadrant are registered trademarks of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
2. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
3. Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, By Drew Kraus, Pri Rathnayake, Steve Blood, 9 August 2021.
2022 research commissioned by Odigo sees overwhelming support for the claim that AI investments improve the customer experience. The vast majority of respondents also stress that AI is a long-term investment and takes time to properly integrate and deliver maximum ROI.
WhatsApp Business has emerged as a method of brand communication that has a high open rate compared to email, works more rapidly, and targets multiple points of the customer journey. It delivers interactive options for customers that add value and targets them on a familiar channel, which is why WhatsApp is an indispensable addition to contact center solutions.
Outbound calls can be a great way for organizations to reach out and build loyalty or anticipate and provide for potential customer needs. However, some outdated practices have created negative associations for customers. As a result, guidance and outbound call regulations have been developed both for the purpose of protection and to steer contact center best practices. What do organizations need to consider when using outbound calls to deliver additional value to customers, and how does geographical location affect that?