Even with the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence over the past year, enterprises still compete on a premise as old as time: They must be customer-centric. Businesses that cater to the unique needs of their customers will thrive in any market.
Unfortunately, technology is often counterproductive to this ideal. Some enterprises have adopted smart chatbots that fail to understand the nuances of what the customer needs help with. Others send their customers down a rabbit hole of self-service menus and options that don’t get them anywhere near the help they need. Still others use robo-agents for customer support that cannot understand the unique accents of their diverse customers.
In other words, enterprises should not adopt just any customer-facing technology with the assumption it will ultimately prove beneficial. Businesses must be selective in choosing which technologies will truly benefit their customers. From this perspective, one of the highest leverage solutions any business can adopt for their customer support are AI-powered voice collaboration platforms like Vocol.ai.
These solutions can assist brands with in-house customer support as well as third-party call centers transform their operations and ultimately make them even more customer-centric.
Whether in-house or third-party, customer service agents have one of the busiest jobs among knowledge workers. They may handle calls or chats from the moment they clock in to the moment they clock out. While interfacing with each customer, the agent is also multitasking. They must listen to what the customer is asking for, so they can properly address their concern.
On top of assisting them, the agent must also record notes for documentation, especially if they will be unable to provide immediate support. In between calls or chats, the agent must also produce service reports. Because these agents are in a rush, the quality of this documentation may suffer. It may be unclear how to best follow-up with an open ticket, or how to improve agent trouble-shooting of a recurring customer problem. The feedback loop needed to continuously improve customer support cannot be pieced together from insufficient documentation.
Voice collaboration platforms offer a better way. These tools can provide complete AI-generated transcripts of customer interactions. The tool will identify whether the agent or customer is speaking and write down their speech verbatim, a feature that even includes multi-lingual support. This frees agents from having to take notes, so they can focus exclusively on solving customer issues. With Vocol.ai, agents save 20 percent on post-call tasks, which they can now dedicate directly to the organization’s customers.
Agents who need to get back to a customer can refer to these transcripts to ensure they correctly solve the issue. They can also file these transcripts and refer to them later on, so they can think of ideas on how to improve their own servicing and the overall organization’s customer support.
Agents are simply better when they have a cutting-edge tool at their disposal.
In customer support, situations reoccur, and agents will notice that the language used typically falls into a pattern. A customer calling their internet service provider (ISP) will usually say that their internet is “down” or “out” - which are generally urgent situations given the high expectation for uptime. These calls are important to address: One Harvard Business Review study found that irate customers who had their complaints addressed in five minutes or less were willing to spend more on future purchases with the company.
These patterns are where AI-powered voice collaboration platforms also shine. Using natural language processing, they will filter calls for different keywords specific to an enterprise’s industry, like the ISP example. The voice collaboration platform will segment the calls into different buckets, so that proper action is taken: One flagged with multiple examples of urgent language may be escalated immediately to a customer service supervisor, for example.
These voice collaboration platforms will not only categorize different calls, but they will also create a summary for easier reference. Even more impressively, these solutions will automatically create a to-do of what needs to be done. Items can be checked off as completed, allowing agents to keep track of unresolved issues. This itemization also makes it easier to hand-off tasks, such as between agents in different shifts, who can also review the summary for quick context.
In short, a voice collaboration platform improves team communication as much as individual performance.
Even with auditing processes in place, there is no guarantee that your agents are assisting customers in the way the business would like. On average, auditors can only review up to two customer service calls per agent per week. Stretched thin, auditors only get a very narrow window into how an agent is doing.
With the support of AI-generated summaries, auditors can review up to twice as many cases per week. They can also quickly use keyword screening to check whether a standard operating procedure (SOP) has been used, such as an upsell offer for returning customers. As a result of this efficiency, enterprises will use fewer auditors, who they can redeploy to other more critical areas of the business.
Voice collaboration platforms also enhance data-driven decision-making. On a high level, businesses will have a greater understanding of the ratio of different types of calls (i.e. inquiries, suggestions, complaints), and how each was respectively handled. For example, if many customers routinely ask whether the business has a branch in a particular location, this interest may indicate a genuine market need. Businesses can make decisions like these that improve their bottom line.
With the aid of the voice collaboration platform, businesses will also be able to deep dive down to the agent level. For example, the customer service supervisor can use keywords to grasp the quality of an agent’s customer support. The manager can then provide necessary interventions, such as coaching or training, which will improve the agent’s performance in the short-term and increase the possibility of their retention in the long-term. Employees, after all, want to remain at organizations that invest in their personal development: 94 percent said they would stay longer with a company if it invested in their growth.
Very few business leaders come from a customer support background. As a result, they tend to view customer service as a pure cost center, preferring instead to focus on other areas of the business. This view is short-sighted and overlooks a major opportunity.
Brands and call centers that reinvent their customer support through voice collaboration platforms will gain a massive competitive advantage over their peers. These businesses will solve customer issues more efficiently and thoroughly, improve collaborative workflows between teammates and departments, and develop greater accountability through enhanced auditing and data analytics.
In other words, they shift what is ostensibly customer service into what is really customer success, aligning their organization’s products and services with what customers need help with. By achieving such customer-centricity, these customers will in turn be company-centric, going to them whenever they need relevant problems solved.
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