What is the next step for contact centres

by Miriam Beattie | Mar 22, 2023

Publicly, the workforce has always feared a “robot takeover.” But in our digital world, there will always be things that AI and automation either can’t understand or just can’t accomplish. Inside the call center, automation improves efficiency because it can replicate and optimize the work of an agent and multiply your workforce without additional overhead, but it can’t do the work of an agent. Robotic processes and AI simply don’t have the capacity to provide the skill and tact required once digital options have been exhausted by customers. If you want to know anything other than your account balance, pay a bill, or hours of operation, you’re still going to need a person.

If your call center multichannel strategy has been set up correctly, AI will deal with easier queries, while the more complicated questions and complaints are left for live agents. Once your customer does connect to a live agent, it is imperative that you build the ability to record,  analyze and optimize your campaigns in order to connect customer actions to marketing and sales by providing data and analytics to improve efficiency and execution.

Internally, workforce probably shouldn’t fear that imminent robot takeover any time soon, however. AI and automation markets are growing.  The global business process automation market size is expected to reach $19.6 billion (USD) in 2026. Customer service continues to improve through automation by allowing simple, routine and requested tasks to be handled instantly. With the ability to recognize images, text, or speech, automation can align any customer touchpoint with a process and trigger an event or task. By investing in these technologies, contact centers can transform business models, reduce human error, automate mundane tasks and remain competitive while advancing the careers and knowledge of your live workforce.

The biggest challenge for call centers has been identifying which business processes to automate. Obstacles such as faulty data and outdated assumptions of technology can lead decision makers down the wrong path despite their best intentions. Ideally, processes that directly lead to positive customer experience outcomes or that prevent problems before they escalate may be ripe for process mining. When your technology is designed and built around your strategies, it can connect your processes to your people. Automation in technology creates big differences in your bottom line and begins to transform your digital customer strategy.