If you belong to a firm catering to B2C, there is a high possibility that you have a call center or chat interface (irrespective of the team size) handling direct client interactions. And, if you have had a call center, you must be well acquainted with the problems that one has to face as far as the operations are concerned.
One significant development in this domain came when Artificial Intelligence (denoted as AI in the remaining article) made its inroads as chatbots. The very beginning of the usage involved basic FAQ based chatbots which had a series of options to choose from. IRCTC’s Disha is one such example. This indeed helped because a lot of generic call volume got redirected to the bot and only the critical cases came to the team.
Next in the line came customer support bots, which helped in solving basic level concerns, and if anything escalated beyond, a connection to the human agent was made. The likes of these got implemented by Amazon.
Indeed, they were helpful, but the significant human dependency still remained, and the bots gradually became more of a support function to the team than the front runners they were expected to be.
However, things have started changing and the bots have started evolving from being the basic chat automations to critical sales intelligence providers which can act and respond like a human.
The Human Dependency – The Major Challenges
Everything that is highly human dependent comes with a default set of limitations to begin with. Some of these limitations being fatigue, boredom, health and individual efficiency.
Now, most of them can be handled by maintaining adequate manpower and managing the shift system, but what about the latter? How to manage efficiencies? More so, how to maintain uniformity in several communicational patterns?
We will discuss some of these at length here, and then talk about how AI can transform the sector in addition to improving the efficiencies.
So, coming back to where we left, some of the most common issues which plague the efficiency management for call centers/chat interfaces that can have probable business impacts are:
- The shift cycle especially; the alteration between day and night shifts which can significantly affect a person’s natural biological cycle thus, reducing the brain’s activity
- The attrition rate followed by the period of training for the new employee
- The adherence to the protocols; a miss here and there and it comes with its consequences
- Round the clock availability (this applies to small and medium scale businesses which incorporate a chat/call facility)
The one solution that answers these is chatbots but then how “enough” are the standard FAQ based chatbots? To give an understanding of what we mean when we say what we said, try answering the questions below:
- Is your call center/chat interface handling full-fledged conversations and not just FAQs?
- Is your call center/chat interface doubling as a platform for sales?
- Have you been incurring additional training costs or finding it difficult to have your call center/chat team reach its up-sell/cross-sell goals?
- Is your HR department plagued with a high attrition rate in the call center team?
- Is there a lack of synchronization between your marketing and sales team and the analytics obtained is coming out as different for both?
- Are you despite running all the campaigns and relying on the call/chat data still not sure what your customer profile is like?
If your answer to most of the questions mentioned above is a YES, and you are exploring the domain of automation or technology to bring you some respite, your answer lies not in a chatbot but a SMART COMMUNICATOR.
Now, how is a smart communicator better than a chatbot? Check out below:
So, a smart communicator not just converses but also learns over time and starts replicating a human in addition to providing the analytics- both predictive as well as descriptive.
(NOTE: A smart communicator can also double up as a sales agent which can effectively up/cross-sell and recommend products to the client along with generating an accurate trait profile of the person concerned, it all depends upon what kind of communications you want it to have)
But are smart communicators available in market or was this just a fictional picture that got painted?
The reality is, smart communicators exist, all you need to do is contact the right person!
(Know more about Racetrack.ai’s Smart Communicator)