While live chat, email, and contact forms are increasingly popular for customer inquiries, the contact center is still a vital resource for companies. 76% of customers prefer to contact customer service over the phone. In addition, 64% of customers are more satisfied when companies offer real-time responses to their inquiries.
Contact center automation (CCA) enables organizations to deliver exceptional customer experiences, increase employee engagement, promote efficiency, and boost profitability. Desktop robots can automate tasks for frontline employees, increasing their capacity to take on higher-value work, like engaging with customers. We detail five benefits of CCA below.
1. Customer experience
The quality of service that customers receive influences how they feel about your brand. CCA can improve customer experience, leading to higher net promoter scores (NPS) for your company. Here is how CCA improves customer experience.
Improved first call resolution
Customers are happiest when their problems are solved, ideally on their first call to your contact center. The most important driver of customer satisfaction is first call resolution. Customers want to have their concerns resolved as soon as possible. CCA simplifies work for frontline employees, making it easier to resolve issues quickly. CCA also reduces the need to send requests to the back office that can extend an interaction by hours or even days.
Quicker resolution of customer concerns
CCA improves the quality and speed of customer interaction. According to Blue Prism, CCA can reduce average handle time (AHT) by 50%. Call time is cut in half because CCA creates workflow shortcuts, eliminating lengthy manual processes and decreasing call and hold times. In addition, CCA can extract information from an interactive voice response (IVR) system and start processing requests before a customer speaks to a frontline employee.
Higher quality interactions
Frontline employees must have the knowledge to respond to customer inquiries quickly and accurately. FLEs can use CCA to gain faster and more relevant access to the answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). When questions are answered easily, the entire call is of a higher quality. FLEs can also use CCA to retrieve customer information so they can personalize a call, leading to happier customers.
2. Employee engagement
CCA promotes employee engagement by making frontline employees’ jobs easier. Other benefits include more pleasant customer interactions, ease of achieving targets, and increased downtime for FLEs. These benefits lead to more engaged employees, fewer absences, and better retention.
CCA makes it quicker and easier for FLEs to resolve customer requests by simplifying workflows and removing much of the manual and repetitive work employees typically need to perform. According to Kearney, automation can reduce the time that FLEs spend on processes by as much as 25%. CCA also reduces the risk of errors, which means customer requests are processed correctly the first time. Additionally, when FLEs handle fewer manual tasks, they can focus on more engaging and fulfilling work, such as caring for customers.
More fulfilling employee experience
CCA enables FLEs to complete calls faster, with higher quality and better resolution, leading to better performance. When FLEs can quickly resolve customer calls, they have more time for recharging or self-improvement. They can also invest the time they save in employee engagement, including training, coaching, and fun activities like team events.
All these benefits can reduce the rate of employee attrition and the cost of recruiting and training new employees by improving employee retention in contact centers.
3. Operational efficiency
CCA can improve operational efficiency by reducing long hold times, and decreasing after-call work rates.
Higher-than-average cost per call indicates inefficiencies that contact center automation can improve. Digital workers are cost-effective because they automate repetitive and manual work and reduce the amount of after-call work FLEs need to accomplish.
A high number of call transfers also results in inefficiency because higher-paid resources resolve problems that automation could solve instead. Using digital workers to perform work means FLEs can focus on more complex work.
CCA can dramatically reduce call volume, thus lower costs. Boosting first call resolution by ten points results in a 10% reduction in call volumes.
Improved operational efficiency
Contact center automation can improve first call resolution, which can dramatically and positively impact operational efficiency. Reduced complexity, increased processing speed, the ability to complete more work while a customer is in a conversation, and higher call quality all contribute to improvements in the rate of first call resolution.
4. Value creation
When digital workers remove repetitive, manual processes, FLEs can reinvest time saved into sales. Instead of reducing your employee footprint, you can use digital workers to redirect FLE efforts to top-line revenue.
Improved up-sell and cross-sell opportunities
CCA can bridge across contact center data sources and tools to provide a 360-degree view of the customer, which can help FLEs have the right conversations and promote the right products. The combination of increased data accessibility from all data sources, and proactive presentation of information gives the FLE a starting point from which it is easier to transition into a sales conversation. Additionally, CCA can inform “next best offer” algorithms to ensure customers receive recommendations for the right products.
5. Risk control
In addition to increasing value for your organization, contact center automation can also manage and mitigate risk.
CCA reduces errors and typos that result from manual work, such as transcribing data from one system to another. Eliminating these errors increases accuracy, enabling FLEs to meet customers’ expectations and fulfill requests correctly.
CCA manages and mitigates risk by automating compliance. With workflow automation, digital workers perform tasks the same way each time, unlike employees who can make errors or skip steps. Reducing errors also reduces the need for re-training and call monitoring. Bots can also access information and process it without ulterior motives that may influence how data is recorded.
CCA as part of an automation center of excellence
If you already have an automation center of excellence that doesn’t extend to the contact center, you have the infrastructure you need to accelerate and expand your program. CCA allows you to create interactions between the contact center and back-office automation. If you don’t have an automation program, CCA is a great place to start.
CCA is a great tool to help contact centers achieve their goals of improving the customer and employee experience, lowering costs, and optimizing top-line revenue growth.