In the last article, we explored automation’s potential to deliver swift query resolution while carving out multi-million-dollar savings for contact centers. Companies know this and are investing heavily in AI and automation solutions. Yet many consumers are not happy with the state of affairs. Why is it that most automation projects fail to deliver on expectations?
When it comes to automation, faulty strategy and execution can lead to disappointing outcomes. For instance, automation gaps due to poor integrations can lead to fragmented user experiences and create an inconsistent and frustrating journey. Similarly, some automation projects fail to consider user intent, leading to mismatched interactions. Over time, these setbacks can erode customer satisfaction and trust in your brand.
How can we ensure your contact center’s automation journey doesn’t face this fate?
The Road to Intelligent Automation
The solution lies in strategically building your automation. Here are the key things to consider when moving toward contact center automation:
- Define Your Success Metrics: Replace broad goals like “improving user experience” with measurable targets. This could include metrics such as containment rate (the proportion of total interactions completed without human intervention), customer effort score (the effort needed by a customer to interact with the contact center), resolution rate, or customer satisfaction (CSAT).
- Leverage Your Data: Use existing data to understand your current operations and customer behavior. This involves identifying high contact points, top call drivers, and areas where customers are falling out of the service flow. Align your automation strategy with this data to address key areas of optimization.
- Focus on the Customer Experience: Automation should not compromise the quality of the customer experience. For instance, a solution might effectively contain 90% of interactions, but if it frustrates customers and leads to a poor experience, it’s not effective automation. Striking a balance between maintaining customer satisfaction and increasing efficiency is crucial.
- Implement Conversational Design Best Practices: Today, successful automation often involves conversational AI, which should be personalized, predictive, and interactive. This means engaging customers naturally and conversationally, understanding their intent, and offering predictive solutions based on their behavior.
- Ensure Seamless Handover to Humans: While the goal is to automate as much as possible, it’s important to have an efficient handover process to a human agent when the situation calls for it.
- Continual Improvement: Automation should not be a “set and forget” process. Constantly evaluate and fine-tune your systems based on user feedback and friction points in the customer journey.
Gearing Up for the Next Big Impact
To reap the full benefits of automation, companies need a platform that manages the entire customer contact center experience in one place. To enable this, they need key capabilities:
- Conversation automation through AI for superior customer interactions
- A comprehensive contact center platform for streamlined agent experiences
- Effective workforce engagement tools for performance analytics
Several companies have deployed 7.ai’s Engagement Cloud for intelligent automation success. This SaaS-based, low-code/no-code, channel-agnostic platform has delivered an over 25% increase in NPS, a 300% increase in digital interactions, and a 36% increase in containment without impacting CX.
Contributing author: Chamath Perera, Principal Product Management at 7.ai