Many call centre experiences are not positive. Call abandonment rates and poor KPI attainment point to a range of customer frustrations. However, budget constraints and the inability to flex in response to surge can make it difficult for support teams to respond effectively to the volume of customer support requests.
The key question is: do support staff need to be involved in all aspects of a support request? There are many tasks customer support teams action that are simple, repetitive and consume a large proportion of their bandwidth. Many of these tasks can be automated though customer self-service using NLP technologies (Natural Language Processing). Today, voicebots (voice version of a chatbot) are able to process a significant range of tasks without needing human involvement.
Voicebot automation of services can be used for both inbound and outbound calling use cases. The automation can be used for just an aspect of complex processes or fully automate self-help for simple requests. In our experience, the most effective implementations are where call centre agents and voicebots work side by side, the voicebot doing the menial repetitive tasks, and the human the higher order, more complex tasks.
Inbound Use Cases
· Authentication, Validation and Triage (these repetitive tasks can be done by a voicebot while a customer is waiting for an agent to be available, and can also ensure the customer is being connected to the appropriate customer support team).
· Self Service (tasks like checking a balance, changing an address, booking and appointment can often be fully automated without any support staff involvement).
· Sales Support (many pre-sales activities like checking if an item is in stock, product recommendations, and conversational FAQs can be fully automated, or handed to a sales agent for more complex sales).
Outbound Use Cases
· Primed Calling (primed with information from CRM systems, voicebots can be very useful in high volume, dept collection, payment reminders, and appointment reminders/adjustments. They can even offer payment terms).
· Cold Calling (often an area of outbound calling that suffers significant burnout and churn. Voicebots are not phased by abuse or call hang up. They can be very effective at high volume outbound calling where leads, now warm, can be transferred to human agents to complete the sale).
· Smart Speaker (Alexa, Google Home, Siri are all fantastic examples of voicebot automation of ordering, reordering and access to online content).
Automating these conversations reduces the cost to serve, improves customer experience and reduces the amount of menial work call centre agents do. Doing so also provide businesses with instant scale during periods of surge, maintaining service levels and KPI’s.
The additional benefit of automation comes from the data collected as voicebots remember every conversation. This data provides companies with extremely valuable insights on customer sentiment, trends and bottlenecks in internal processes.
These technologies also offer an alternative to offshoring call centre services. They resolve common offshoring challenges like foreign accent barriers, multilingual requirements and the training burden that comes with churn.
For all the above reasons, voicebots offer organisations better accessibility for their customers, scalability at lower cost, better consistency and better customer experience, whilst keeping customer insights inhouse.