Virtual Hold Technology has changed the face of customer service as we know it. Instead of sitting on hold after calling a contact center waiting for the next available agent, virtual hold technology allows a customer to be called back from a customer service agent. This saves time for both parties and improves customer experience. As technology has advanced, artificial intelligence (AI) applications are taking contact center interactions to the next level. While virtual hold technology still fills a valuable function, adding AI applications to the process provides additional opportunities for helping customers and creating a more positive experience while increasing productivity, efficiency, and revenue.
Chatbots & Virtual Assistants
Chatbots are automated AI applications that use text and auditory interfaces to interact with customers. Customers can pose their queries to the chatbots, which use data to respond to questions with accurate information. Virtual assistants can similarly communicate with customers; however, they use more advanced language processing technology that has a greater ability to analyze natural language patterns. This allows them to better respond to human emotions while providing more accurate and efficient responses. Both chatbots and virtual assistants push customers forward in their customer journey while helping companies provide better customer service.
Benefits of AI Assistants
AI assistants automate processes that help improve productivity and enhance customer service. They promote better customer engagement by offering more responsive and efficient interactions. Instead of having to call a contact center, AI assistants allow customers’ initial interaction with a company to resolve issues to be automated. Customers can pose their queries about such things as products, services, repairs, or troubleshooting to the AI assistant. Often issues can be resolved through these channels without having to be elevated to human agents. However, when AI assistants are unable to resolve issues, they can identify when they should progress to a human agent. When cases do go to human agents, they can be processed more efficiently since the agents already have initial information from the AI assistants.
Reducing the number of cases that go to human agents and being able to resolve the issues that do progress more efficiently reduces the overall number of employees needed and saves costs. With AI assistants, customers receive an instant response to their queries. Furthermore, AI assistants allow customers to access support 24/7. These factors all contribute to providing high-quality customer service. When customers receive quality customer service, it boosts customer satisfaction, promotes loyalty, and reduces churn.
Shifting to Self-Service
The expanding use of AI assistants signifies a shift to customer self-service. Rather than relying solely on contact centers, AI assistants allow customers to take the initiative in resolving their own problems. Self-service lets customer issues are addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible while providing a more individualized, customizable customer experience that is often possible when it solely involves a customer contact center. Self-service lets customers help themselves. Due to this, it’s important that AI assistants and other self-service platforms are easy to use, organized, intuitive, and streamlined. Furthermore, these platforms must be optimized for use across a variety of devices and operating systems. When customers are able to help themselves and solve their own problems, they are often more satisfied with their experience with a company. AI assistants make this possible.