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One of the major perks of AI is its ability to increase performance and productivity in the contact center at the agent and process level. It can be deployed in a number of ways, including streamlining data analysis, speeding the hiring process, aiding customer service, personalizing marketing efforts, and even sales and lead generation.
AI systems are most useful when used to enhance existing business investments. This is because precision and automation significantly reduce the amount of time spent on getting projects right. This can be a huge relief for departments that may be understaffed or have large workloads. When employees have more time to focus on other assigned tasks they can get more done in their workday. How exactly can AI be used for things like agent training, data analysis, and more?
Let’s take a look at a few of the ways AI can help reduce internal friction while maximizing existing investments in systems, people., and processes.
People processes & AI
Recruitment and hiring
An investment in human capital, for the purposes of this blog post, can be classified in two ways:
- First, human capital pertains to a company’s employees and their ability to recruit and retain the right talent for the business. Utilizing data to better understand the various employee profiles required and trends within the market allows organizations to recruit and retain the talent to make their business successful.
- The second form of human capital investment is where AI can make a big impact related to employee training and education. This is where enterprise resource planning (ERP) and workforce engagement management (WEM) come in.
By utilizing an ERP application, informed by structured data, employees can access training modules, handbooks, certifications, and knowledge bases from a single access point.
In the contact center industry, employee training and education have become more important than ever, particularly within a remote workforce. Making these applications accessible to employees at their discretion not only increases human capital for a business overall but frees up time as well.
For example, contact center agents appreciate self-paced personalized eLearning tasks curated from their past customer conversations using objective speech analytics that help them perform their job at a higher level. This is particularly important in an industry that has high turnover rates. But there is yet another benefit to your organization: we’ve also seen that an improvement in employee experience translates to an improvement in the customer experience.
Automating employee self-service
Most employees are no longer worried about AI replacing them.
In fact, today’s contact center agents understand and are embracing the many benefits derived from automation – whether it be AI, workforce engagement management (WEM), or Machine Learning (ML). From virtual agents to chatbots, speech analytics, and more, the number of applications available to assist employees in their day-to-day workload and free them up to perform more meaningful, mission-critical tasks has never been greater.
One area in particular that has benefited greatly from automation is employee self-service (ESS).
ESS has already been transformed by advancements in technology and the rise of HR platforms like Workday, Zenefits, and Namely, to name a few. For example, no longer do agents spend their first days at a new company wading through a multitude of paper handbooks, contracts, and forms. Everything is now digitally enabled, at their fingertips online or in an app. The introduction of automation into these platforms and employee processes overall has truly shown the human capital benefits of AI.
Business systems & AI
Data gathering and analysis
Data is the most important form of capital for today’s businesses. In an increasingly digital and mobile environment – data has become king. When it comes to automation, data’s relevance is twofold. Not only do you need good data as the input for AI (i.e., the fuel), but by utilizing AI you can also increase the quantity and quality of data you output and understand and utilize it more efficiently. It is a virtuous cycle.
When it comes to ESS, the potential data available to a company and the ability to better understand your employees and business through that data is immeasurable. Understanding your agents and what they are looking for from an employee experience standpoint can be the difference between success and failure. The workforce of today has changed enormously compared to even just five years ago.
We’ve seen this in the contact center and customer service industry as well. Allow agents to work from home and work on whatever devices they prefer while giving them AI-enabled tools and they’re more likely to stay with their company.
For example, contact centers benefit greatly when AI Virtual Agents help customers self-service and gather key information if required for escalation to a human agent. Agents are able to focus on thornier issues and have the necessary information, sourced by the AI, available at their fingertips.
With Millennials and Gen Z comprising a larger percentage of the workforce, their ideals and preferences have become magnified – particularly Gen Z. More than any other generation, Gen Zs are more sensitive to social issues like sustainability and will seek out brands that align with their ideals for employment, rather than the highest bidder. Identifying macro trends, like the ideals of a generation of employees, and trends within your own workforce through your employee data will help ensure you are able to recruit and retain the talent needed to be successful.
Workflow processes & AI
Creating workflow efficiency
We’ve all heard it before: Time is money. Recouping time investment is perhaps one of the most obvious benefits to automation, ERP, and WEM implementation as these applications allow employees to save time by removing the mundane from their day-to-day work.
Not only is time saved by not working on these tasks (e.g., unlocking access to an online banking portal), but employee time can be used to complete more mission-critical tasks, ensuring that working hours are more valuable to the business and the employee.
Business capital is more than just money and in 2021, data, human, and time capital are arguably even more important as they play a large part in the success of a business. Each of these plays a part in your employees’ and customers’ experience with the company as well. Happy employees, happy customers, happy life.
Chatbots and customer service
Customer service is possibly an obvious place where AI is being seen more and more. For example, chatbots are increasingly appearing on company websites. These chatbots allow people to interact with the business through AI and can connect them to a real person if the situation calls for that. Chatbots are convenient for customers and are available 24/7.
There are so many different ways artificial intelligence can improve customer service and, therefore, performance and productivity. AI tools, such as speech analytics that incorporate AI can help call center agents to have better interactions with customers. AI provides personalization through data collection and aids customer service representatives in resolving customer issues and complaints in a shorter time.
Marketing & lead gen
Many companies are moving towards AI-powered marketing. Artificial intelligence collects information on customers, such as their buying habits and what products they’re looking at online. This gives businesses the unique opportunity to gain direct insight into the ways they should be marketing towards people.
Social media is a prime example of AI in marketing. Al-powered algorithms are designed to learn what people like to see in their feeds. The algorithms will then take this information and start to push products and advertisements to people in a personalized way that has never been accomplished before.
AI is definitely the future of business and all of these points are just a fraction of what AI is capable of doing.