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Conversation Design: The Key to Effective Contact Center Automation 

There are many reasons why automation has become an obvious solution for contact centers aiming to overcome today’s customer service challenges. But when it comes to actually choosing a Contact Center Automation partner, things become a bit more complicated.

Many providers will boast the ability to resolve tier 1 cases, automate service across every channel, integrate with your existing systems, and add deep insights through built-in analytics. 

These are all critically important features, of course, and part of why Replicant is a solution of choice for many contact centers. However, no element is as important to a successful Contact Center Automation deployment than conversation design.

At Replicant, we believe that great conversations are those that resolve customer issues quickly and naturally, no matter the channel or language. 

Without great conversation design, customers quickly grow frustrated by automation. As a result, agents end up fielding just as many tier 1 calls as they did before a solution was deployed. On the other hand, great conversation design means customers get smooth resolutions to their requests on the first try, every time. 

Here are five reasons why conversation design is key to effective Contact Center Automation:

Great Conversations Drive CSAT

At the end of the day, no amount of call containments or resolutions matter unless Contact Center Automation can serve customers the way they want to be served. 

How effectively can it extract intents from free-form, natural language? Does it allow customers to quickly rattle off a list of questions and address them all without needing the customer to repeat themselves? Does it understand positive and negative intents, even when it’s not a simple “yes” or “no?”

If an automated conversation doesn’t go well, customers are quick to ask for an agent. This not only defeats the purpose of automation in the first place, it sends agents customers who are already frustrated by a poor experience. 

Replicant’s Thinking Machine excels at understanding human contexts for every conversation. Rather than repeating long menus or asking for keywords, it allows customers to state any number of requests and responds accurately in less than a second. 

With every turn in a conversation, Replicant’s Thinking Machine nudges customers closer to resolution, even when conversations are non-linear. It’s a major reasonwhy the Thinking Machine regularly returns CSAT scores on par or better than those of human agents. 

Consistency Is Key

Effective Contact Center Automation brings customers a consistent brand experience across every channel. To achieve this, conversations must be designed and powered by a single engine that shares a vast intent library. 

Without an effective single-engine library, customers receive disjointed experiences for every channel they use to contact support, including instances where they need to switch channels during a single conversation. 

This is even more important today given that 49% of consumers, on average, use three to five different communication channels to contact customer service. In addition, a majority still feel that the phone is the easiest to use channel

Replicant believes that great automation starts with the voice channel. The Thinking Machine has successfully automated millions of calls that include loud background noises and a range of languages, accents, and dialects – and it gets better with each conversation. By using a voice-first approach, consistency across chat, SMS and other digital channels becomes more achievable than ever, not merely an afterthought. 

Great Design Speaks to Everyone

Replicant’s conversation design principles are built on the understanding that automation must be human-centric. But humans are complicated, and no two are the same. 

Customers speak in different languages, dialects, colloquialisms and in different environments. Your Contact Center Automation should leverage conversational AI that can effectively serve all of them. 

At Replicant, being human-centric doesn’t mean humanizing our AI or serving up artificial empathy to frustrated customers. It simply means helping every customer effectively and consistently, no matter how they speak. 

The Thinking Machine is upfront about being a machine, avoiding sounds and crutches like computerized typing sounds that only confuse customers and add time to conversations – not value. 

We meet the customer where they are, whether they’re a family in Detroit with an accent, a cashier in Quebec with a unique French vernacular, or a truck driver accustomed to using colloquialisms to call into tow shops. 

Speed Is Everything

Latency is the number one complaint a customer has when it comes to automated voice or chat systems. That doesn’t only mean how long the duration of their interaction is, but how long it takes between turns in a conversation. 

We believe that patience should not be a requirement for customers speaking with automation. In fact, many of our millions of automated calls have been urgent situations like emergency roadside assistance requests. Low latency (less than one second between turns) means Replicant’s Thinking Machine lowers AHTs and pushes conversations toward resolution faster.

Our experts design conversations around clear and concise questions that are cooperative, action-oriented and eliminate misunderstandings. But we also know that customers sometimes need a moment, whether to find a piece of information, talk to someone nearby, or take another call. 

The Thinking Machine can be placed on hold at any moment, and pick up the conversation right where it left off or refresh the customer on the context with ease. In addition, the Thinking Machine leverages every piece of data it can so that it never asks a question for which it can find an answer to itself. 

Escalations Should Be Seamless

Many conversation designs look great in theory, but how they handle unpredictability and real-world challenges can be a different story. Out of the millions of calls and chats the Thinking Machine has automated, many have included customers that don’t simply take the “happy path.”

That’s why we highlight sentiment analysis and use every turn as a chance to catch whether a call is going poorly. When they are, escalations can happen even faster. 

With Contact Center Automation, containment becomes less about achieving a high number, and more about ensuring that customers who want to speak to an agent are able to, while those who speak with the Thinking Machine receive the best possible outcome. 

When escalations do occur, the Thinking Machine focuses on getting customers where they need to go as efficiently as possible. We make sure that live agents who pick up a conversation are equipped with every piece of information and context they need via an automated screen pop so that customers get the most seamless experience possible.

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