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Intelligent automation drives successful contact center operations by improving the performance and engagement of front-line agents, whether remote or in-center, and enabling them to deliver the quality experiences customers expect. customers demand.

A successful contact center operation depends on coordinated performance between operations, supervisors and agents. But agents are the main point of customer contact, so it’s especially important to ensure their ability to deliver not only positive results, but also quality experiences: in a significant sense, an organization’s reputation depends experiences of every customer who contacts customer service. Increasingly, intelligent automation is playing a major role in the process.

Why? All centers take steps to support their agents, but too often these steps are not enough to alleviate the many frustrations associated with the job and the high attrition rate it is known for.

This shortcoming can be overcome by automation. Intelligent Automation, an AI-powered technology, helps ensure agents have the comprehensive support they need to succeed. With its unique ability to process the massive amounts of time-sensitive data generated by contact centers and translate that data into immediate, automated actions, triggered by real and changing conditions, intelligent automation drives efficiency and agent engagement, which in turn produces consistent, global results. -class experiences that enhance an organization’s customer service reputation.

See also: The call center conundrum: the future is flexibility

Intelligent automation as command center

Intelligent Automation acts as a command center, integrating seamlessly with ACD and WFM systems to monitor call volume as well as staffing and workflow processes. It allows organizations to set parameters and set thresholds based on their particular needs, triggering automatic responses that help agents always stay ready to perform at the highest level.

For example, by monitoring center-wide operations as well as agents, intelligent automation identifies unforeseen moments of opportunity in real time (e.g., agents idle due to a sudden drop in volume of calls) to conduct important training, coaching or other professional development activities. . An alert to start a training session is delivered directly and automatically to the agent’s desktop. There’s no need to schedule or travel to a training room, and if call volume suddenly picks up, the agent is notified, again, directly, to return to work. The training session is paused until another opportunity arises.

See also: 5 steps CIOs can take to democratize automation

What could go wrong?

On a typical day in a typical contact center, where hundreds of agents field thousands of calls, emails, chats, and other inbound contacts, schedules are tightly calibrated, but deviations are inevitable. Scheduled agents may arrive late or not at all, they may or may not notify supervisors in advance, incoming calls may affect an agent’s scheduled break, lunch or end of shift, pre-programmed training sessions can be interrupted by “everyone on deck” alerts when call volume increases, etc.

Automation, especially intelligent automation, can turn those schedule-breaking complications that often dominate a workforce manager’s day into a collection of data points on an end-of-shift report. of work.

For example, if an agent working in a queue where calls spend an average of seven minutes ends a customer call three minutes before its scheduled break, taking another call immediately will eat away at that break. But intelligent automation recognizes that the agent needs to take a break in three minutes and automatically notifies them to take their break early, redirects the next call to another agent, updates the break time in the system WFM and notifies the agent and supervisor that the break was taken early.

The agent takes their full break, customer calls continue to be answered without additional delay, and the labor manager remains free to focus on more strategic projects rather than pausing work already underway to manually update the WFM schedule.

Leave me alone

In addition to removing common frustrations from the agent’s workday (in the example above, she got her full break), intelligent automation can also provide “surprise” breaks to reward agents when circumstances permit. This is a unique example of the ability of technology to simultaneously contribute to agent satisfaction (by providing an unscheduled break) and increase efficiency/productivity (by reallocating idle time to a break wellness) when the call volume is low.

The organization can configure the system to prioritize agents based on parameters it chooses (those with mandatory assignments pending completion or hours worked that day or week, etc.) and automatically offer those breaks that roll up morale (and reduce costs) when call volume slows — assuming enough agents are available to maintain service levels.

With its ability to capture, process, and act on multiple sources of real-time data streams, intelligent automation helps organizations make smarter decisions every minute and better adapt to emerging customer service trends. It eliminates repetitive, low-value tasks and improves agents’ ability to focus more on the “people” skills, such as flexibility and empathy, which are most valuable for solving problems and ensuring that customers feel valued.

Remotely or centrally

The pandemic imposed a massive transformation of the contact center agent role, which was not really suited to remote work. In the center, supervisors had a direct view of the agent teams and could react to visual signs of trouble. Obviously, this vision disappeared when agents were forced to work remotely.

But intelligent automation, a “location-agnostic” technology, enabled centers to adapt quickly and deliver the same high-quality support and productivity tools to agents anywhere, as long as they had access. to internet. Cloud-based, scalable and intuitive, it enabled contact center operations to quickly transition to a remote-only workforce model and then smoothly pivot to the hybrid workforce model at distance, which has now emerged and is likely to dominate operations in the future.

At a time of great upheaval, AI-powered intelligent automation has enabled many contact centers to survive the pandemic by cushioning the blow of remoteness, providing geographically dispersed agents with a vital sense of continuous connection. with their managers, camaraderie with their colleagues and shared culture in their companies.

Intelligent automation creates a virtuous circle

Contact center agents solve human customer problems through their uniquely human capacity for empathy and situational dexterity, characteristics that no automation technology can imitate today or likely will be able to imitate anytime soon. But automation remains a key ingredient to successful customer service delivery. By automating repetitive manual tasks and providing an unprecedented level of assistance, AI-powered intelligent automation makes the agent’s job less stressful and more rewarding. More engaged agents are more likely to create better experiences for the end customer. And it’s always good for business.