May 1, 2019 | By

Turning the Tables on AI: How Bots Are Helping Agents Help Themselves

I was recently watching an episode of Last Week Tonight and to my surprise, John Oliver took on the subject of automation and its impact on the workforce.   Will machines replace jobs?  Not really, they’ll replace “tasks” John Oliver points out. They will likely change jobs, but not take them away.   

So what does this have to do with CX?  AI and automation are often used interchangeably, and both have been labeled a death knell for jobs in customer service.  However, as John Oliver points out – that’s not necessarily true.  In the world of CX, AI is actually enabling customer service agents to be even better at their jobs.  How?  By offloading simple, repetitive tasks and giving human agents more time to handle complex or sensitive situations and create opportunities to create longstanding customer relationships.  

And that’s where I want to focus today. With customer service reps (CSRs) now having the opportunity to take on those complex and sensitive situations, how can AI help a create the types of experiences that both resolve issues quickly and also lead to long-term brand loyalty?  How can AI help them do their jobs in a way where they are constantly adding value?    

I’ve spent a lot of time around our customers over the last year and have seen some really interesting use cases of Bold360 emerge.  One of the more prominent ones has been around using AI internally to assist CSRs.   An internal deployment makes a ton of sense and the list of benefits are wide-ranging, but there are some common benefits I’ve heard.

Three of the most common agent-facing AI benefits

  • Consistent Customer Experiences: Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than if they get three different answers to the same question from three different agents.  Leveraging AI internally allows CSRs to all access the same – updated – information, so no matter who your customer speaks to, you can be assured that their responses are both consistent and accurate.   
  • Easier Onboarding Agent turnover is very real and very costly issue for many customer service teams.  Constantly bringing in new staff means always having to be in training-mode.  Plus, it’s super important to get these new recruits on the front-line as quickly as possible. AI can provide on-the-job training by helping new employees answer questions astutely and quickly.    
  • Higher Agent Satisfaction: Just like customers, your support teams get just as frustrated when they can’t easily find a solution – especially because they are supposed to be the experts.  AI assisting in the background helps minimize those “I’m sorry sir, I don’t know the answer” moments – making their job easier, less stressful and overall more enjoyable.   

I could easily expand this list to the top 10 benefits with things like KPI impact, agent utilization, and training improvements, but the bottom line is that AI can have a very positive impact on front-line employees. Contrary to what we hear, AI won’t mean the end of the human agent – what it will mean, instead, is the advent of the super-human agent.

To learn how AI is having other tangible impacts on agents, have a read through this Aberdeen report AI in the Contact Center.

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