Maintaining customer experience in a time of unpredictability is no small feat. Unexpected volume means that agents are not only overwhelmed and inundated with repetitive tasks, but customers are also unbelievably frustrated with subpar support driven by long queues and poor service. Brands are posed with the difficult task of handling the unexpected without detracting from customer’s experience.
Managing the unpredictable, coupled the stress and concerns around retaining and training agents, creates a perfect storm for contact centers. It seems like an impossible task.How can you implement a CX strategy that supports customers AND alleviates the hiring pressure associated with having enough human agents? According to Forbes, brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience. So getting customer experience right is not just important, it’s essential to the success of your brand.
That’s where Conversational AI comes in. Intelligent Virtual Assistants have the capability to be your very best agent. They can handle unlimited volume while still satisfying customers, personalize while maintaining consistency, and IVAs continue to improve over time.
Scalability has never been more important. Contact centers need the ability to handle the unexpected. IVAs mitigate customer frustration caused by long queues and take away stress from customer experience leadership who are concerned about when the next unpredictable spike in volume will hit. IVAs have the scalability businesses need to handle any volume, at any time, without the stress of needing to quickly train new agents.
The reality is that customers have evolved. They don’t just want immediate care without wait times, they want the opportunity to self-serve. And, they want your best agent, every single time they interact with your brand. It simply isn’t possible for live agents to provide the same level of consistent care for customers. According to Gartner, by 2022, 85% of customer service interactions will start with self-service, up from 48% in 2019. By leveraging properly deployed Intelligent Virtual Assistants, customers will get the care they need, when they need it.
Sure, speed and efficiency matter for customers. But what’s even more important is adding personalization and consistency. Personalized service is a key driver of customer loyalty, and it reduces frustration from your customers. In fact, according to a study run by UDrum.com, 53% of consumers would switch away from a brand due to a lack of personalization.
Because IVAs have a higher propensity to retain and recall information more than humans, they are able to personalize every interaction in a way that a human cannot. IVAs have access to various data sources including CRMs, knowledge bases, payment systems. This means that IVAs have the ability to leverage multiple sources of information on a single customer at a single point in time. And, just like your very best agent, IVAs are able to incorporate this into the customer care interaction.
Customer frustration is a tale we’re all too familiar with. After multiple attempts of problem-solving through various digital tools and website assets, a customer finally realizes they can’t come to a resolution without contacting an agent. Because IVAs use data hooks and custom integrations, this customer would be approached with the empathy that they deserve due to the context carried over regarding their previous attempts at problem-solving. Customer data would be pulled into the interaction, including prior history and even patterns detected from the breadth of the brand’s call volume. This drives a level of human understanding that simple isn’t impossible for live agents who feel stressed and are bombarded with transactions and repetitive tasks. IVAs approach every single call with the same level of enthusiasm, support, and care, regardless of the type of interaction.
Consistency Drives Loyalty
Consistency is key is a common saying, and this rings true to digital agents. IVAs ensure consistency because they follow business rules every time, just like your very best agent. Poorly executed customer experience isn’t just annoying, it actually results in lost customers. This type of consistency is a cornerstone for the continuous improvement of IVAs.
Mirroring the high performance of your best agent, IVAs also get better over time because machine learning can improve the application from the large volume of interactions it pulls into its knowledge pool.
Training agents can keep contact center leadership up at night. It’s difficult to provide the right level of training to ensure they are operating at their highest potential. IVAs are programmed with customer business rules to follow every time, and improve from past experiences, to keep customer experience at the highest quality.
Customers AND Agents are Happy?
It seems too good to be true. How can you possibly increase customers’ satisfaction while making your live agents happier, too? With an IVA, increased self-service and better customer experience lead to a more productive and meaningful role for live agents.
Customers are less frustrated if they end up needing to speak with a live agent because they’ve received a conversational and human-like interaction with an IVA, instead of waiting in a long queue or dealing with an outdated IVR system.
Plus, IVAs are able to easily take data-driven tasks and leverage existing digital assets. This frees agents up to spend more time on complex and invigorating tasks, like cross-selling or upselling. Agents won’t receive countless, repetitive customer interactions for password resets or the routine inquiry.
Agent turnover is at an all-time high, and we understand why. IVAs can solve this problem by elevating human agent value by removing the monotonous and allowing human agents to refocus on things they find more interesting.
IVAs can be the rockstar of your organization
You’re always on the lookout for one of your ‘best agents’. Someone who handles every customer interaction with grace, empathy, and accuracy while maintaining compliance to business rules. An agent that is able to approach every situation, regardless of the frequency, with the same level of positivity and care, despite high volumes and stress. Well, look no further. An Intelligent Virtual Assistant is just that, your very best agent, every single time, at scale.