Customer service is expensive. As a customer service leader, most likely, your organization views customer service as an expense.
This expense is driven by people. It’s expensive to employ highly skilled live agents, with wages on the rise across the board. When you do get people in the door and trained, it’s also difficult to keep them. In fact, the customer service industry has the highest employee turnover rate of all businesses, with some industries as high as 45%. Cost to serve is also high, as high as at least $1/minute of talk time.
AI can help you enable and empower customer service agents by giving them better tools, better intel, and a focus on higher level tasks. This makes their jobs easier and less frustrating - increasing retention, reducing turnover, and saving businesses a significant amount of money.
1. Have Agents Focus on Higher Level Tasks
By using AI and intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) in your customer service channels, you can allow customers to complete many simple tasks through self service rather than with a live agent. Most service leaders agree that up to 40% of live service requests could be resolved through self-service. With almost half of simple tasks able to be completed through self service, that is a large chunk of time that live agents could dedicate to higher level and more complex tasks.
And customers are also primed for interacting with AI now more than ever before. The vast majority of customers are now more comfortable using self-service for customer service requests than before the pandemic, according to CCW Digital. Customers are ready for this shift.
2. Streamline Customer Service Calls
Even if most of your customer support requests still need to be handled by live agents, AI can help streamline and make those calls easy for your agents. It’s rare that a contact center has agents available to immediately answer customer calls. Optimize that inevitable hold time with an IVA that can determine caller intent, authenticate, and then intelligently route callers to the right agent. The IVA can then perform a warm hand off to that agent, providing them with all the information already collected. This makes for quicker customer service calls - and less frustrated customers.
3. Provide Agents Better Information and Tools
AI can also empower customer service agents by providing them better information. 60% of service leaders agree that improving access to knowledge is the most urgent way AI can add value. Depending on the complexity of your business, customers are likely calling for a wide range of reasons - and your agents need a lot of information and skills to successfully handle calls. And in nearly every service organization, the current tools that agents are given make this challenging.
A staggering 91% of companies say that their agents have to access multiple screens or systems during typical interactions, according to the 2022 CCW State of Contact Center Technology Market Study. That means on live service calls your agents are navigating multiple systems to try to get the answers they need as quickly as possible while a (likely frustrated) customer who’s already been waiting on hold waits again.
AI can help unify customer and knowledge base information into a consolidated view. Our customer service insights hub creates views by role or department so that all relevant information is displayed in one place. It can also study calls to better understand what requests are most frequent to better serve up the right information more quickly.
Your customer service agents are a highly valuable resource. It’s a common worry that AI will replace jobs or reduce headcount. Instead, AI can empower your agents by providing them better tools and information, streamlining calls, and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
Read more about the other ways AI can benefit the customer service organization.