With the digital transformation totally changing the way we work and live our lives, we are part of a huge revolution where new technologies and innovations are constantly simplifying the way we undertake daily tasks, and many of our work-related tasks too.
By utilizing new technologies and developing new digital systems, we’re able to direct and focus our attention on important tasks that enable us to stay competitive.
Every contact center comes with its own unique set of goals relating to its development, along with challenges involving communication internally and externally. Along with these requirements, businesses are always looking for ways to improve their processes and efficiency. Cloud-based platforms and multi-channel solutions are spearheading this new way of working.
Let’s start by looking at the short answer regarding some ways in which you can keep up with the digital revolution and create a stellar automated contact center that will keep you ahead of the game and relevant in your industry.
How can I automate my contact center? There are many ways of automating your contact center to keep your business competitive. Automation can be in the form of artificial intelligence such as chatbots, or via the use of omnichannel technology. Automating workflow, sales interactions and sales agent help will enable your business to grow.
Organizations are quickly realizing the huge level of capabilities which can be utilized within Omni Channel platforms and automation. These are the driving force within the latest digital trends in the contact center landscape.
Now that we understand how automation is set to revolutionize your contact center, let’s take a look at exactly why organizations of all sizes should be looking to automate their contact centers as soon as possible.
Why do I need to automate my contact center?
A call center is usually an extremely time and resource-strapped area of businesses and becoming more efficient is an essential step for any organization that uses a contact center.
Automation will efficiently and simply deal with the challenges of time and energy usage within its everyday functions and there are many new technologies that are perfect for many needs of contact centers.
The customer experience is a number one priority for all businesses, both large or small and any effective call center managers and directors should be constantly looking for new ways to optimize their processes to not only include artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots and online agents, but also a way to empower their living, breathing human staff, ensuring they have the tools to work smarter and more efficiently.
Call center automated software is able to deal with the more lengthy, repetitive and more process-driven tasks, which enable live agents to spend more time focusing on and engaging with their customers, through real-life conversations and serving the customer to his best ability.
If customer service staff are able to spend less time entering data, plowing through a series of applications and CRM’s to find product numbers and details, and more time actively assisting clients, the result will be in much more time and energy-rich environment. This will, of course, assist in driving more sales and keeping companies ahead of the curve, in terms of the competition.
Let’s take a look below at the importance of automation of both your internal and external systems.
Why automation is important both internally and externally.
Customer service agents are usually working between both internal and external contact center functions and switch regularly between these roles.
For instance, they are working on behind the scenes type processes such as data entering and collection or switching between apps to find product information and other ways of serving the customer.
This is alongside their external role of engaging directly in real-time with the customer so it’s very important to make sure effective automation exists both in internal process and external communication. So, the critical function of automation is to ensure your live agents are as completely assisted as possible.
For example, Chatbots are probably the best example of customer-facing contact center automation, where they are interacting with clients and gathering basic info. They will then add context to the situation to enable agents to focus more clearly on the more complex aspect of the interaction, which is, of course, solving the customer’s issue.
So now we’ve seen the importance of keeping ahead of the game in terms of contact center automation, let’s take a look below at 6 ways you can get your call center ready for the digital explosion in 2020.
6 best ways to automate your contact center in 2020
Although this list is not exhaustive, let’s take a look at some of the crucial ways automation should be at the center of your call center operations and some of the key elements Companies should be integrating into their processes in 2020.
There is a wealth of vendors and providers who are now offering many different types of powerful and widely available automation.
Let’s start first by looking at how automating workflow will enable those repetitive daily tasks to be more efficiently accomplished.
The workflow of a contact center is immense. Let’s take a look below at some of the important functions your busy call center agents will be performing every day.
- interacting with clients
- managing internal interactions
- inputting data
- switching between applications
- covering multiple channels,
Automation is essential to making the ever-increasing complicated data of your call center agents as easy as possible while simplifying the whole process.
By using innovative technology such as artificial intelligence, agents are more able to handle the relative aspects of their everyday processes.
Call center automation software can assist agents with the following tasks:
- Switching applications
- Locating information for agents
- Data input
- Lead follow up
- Sending emails
- Organizing and raising invoices
These functions are easily managed by agents as many of the above automation isn’t difficult for your contact staff to understand, and with the correct training, it can very quickly become an important part of the way your contact center operates.
Customer service agent guidance
Your overstretched customer service rep will constantly be juggling information from both external and internal elements of your business.
Your sales staff have extra burdens in terms of working within PCI compliance and making sure information is kept secure. Medical centers have extra compliance to deal with, in terms of HIPAA for example, and many other regulatory bodies within contact centers’ busy roles.
Automated agent guidance can provide agents guidance on how to handle specific situations and making sure your staff are adhering to the many rules and regulations they may encounter within your business.
This guidance is available in a few important forms, but all have the same mission in mind, which is to provide your agents with enough real-time assistance to allow them to be fully compliant during any of their client interactions.
One of the most useful forms of guidance for your agents is in the form of chatbots who are able to directly interact with your contact center staff, and as well – as like our own commbox – integrate seamlessly into all your company-wide customer-facing processes through modular systems.
Contact Centers wade through enormous amounts of data during their working hours. Such data as:
- Customer information
- Product information
- Sales information
The wealth of huge data sets needs automation to correctly organize it and drive it through the proper channels.
With automated forecasting, companies are able to more effectively understand the large amounts of data generated. They’re able to better optimize it and do much of the thinking previously required by real-life members of staff.
By using analytical tools and starting the process of automating your forecasting, businesses are able to more easily make predictions and understand trends contained within contact center data.
As we are in such a digital age, customer expectations are growing rapidly. The idea of customer self-service is a concept that relies heavily on automating current systems.
This way of customers obtaining the important information they require, such as answers to specific questions or details on products is becoming more important to busy customers looking for answers.
There are several different kinds of automated interaction tools within contact centers. These obviously include chatbot technology, but can also extend right through to your knowledge base or even an artificial intelligence-powered IVR.
Chatbots have the capacity to start a dialogue with a customer who may be browsing on a website, while also giving prompts to the potential customer with regards to their previous browsing history. Once the chatbot has obtained some generalized information about the customer, it can then escalate any information into a live agent.
There are many important sales tasks that would benefit from automation. Your call center has the double hit of not only interacting with your customers regarding service or product issues and the usual questions required of a customer service agent, but also sales aspects.
Automation can increase sales opportunities by simplifying repetitive processes such as sending sales announcements or after-sales follow up communication. Automating will allow these marketing tools to be sent at the correct part of the sales cycle.
Sales and marketing automation, as a general term, includes automating just about any task related to the sales and marketing process. More specifically, this could also include such tasks as customer onboarding and fulfilling call center sales campaigns.
Sales automation focuses on really simplifying and automating the sales process, ultimately leading to shortening the sales cycle and leading to more closed leads.
Let’s not forget that a call center ultimately wouldn’t be able to successfully operate without proper planning and management. workforce management software can often be structured together with other forms of call center software.
One of the most important parts of any call centers operations is being able to effectively schedule. This complex task benefits from the use of AI as there are many areas scheduling needs to cover, such as data organization and other important decision-making tasks.
Scheduling correctly for each agent can be done more efficiently and effectively with the help of automation. Difficulties historically found in scheduling a large group of agents, ensuring difficulties such as overlapping and making sure there are no gaps, can be eradicated when using a process involving automation.
Automations are set to become the main function in all contact centers of the future – without a doubt. As AI and similarly related technology continue to evolve and grow even further, call center automation will further continue to expand, creating a sleeker and more effective way of communicating with your customers.
Although AI is still developing and it’s in early growth stages, 2020 is set to see organizations and businesses taking on board this innovative technology.
Omnichannel platforms are the ideal way to begin your journey in automation. If you would like any information on how to start the process, get in touch with us here at Commbox to enable your agents to perform more efficiently, work smarter, save time and create more sales opportunities to enable your business to stay relevant and keep competitive.