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How to Identify Call Types That Are Ideal for Voice AI Automation

Call center automation is part of the rise in hyperautomation, which is driving businesses to automate as much as they possibly can. One way they are doing this is by deploying voice AI to automate calls. Removing calls from human agents makes sense, as long as the AI can deliver an equal or better customer experience than a human agent. Not all types of calls should be automated, so figuring out which types of calls to automate is a critical first step toward success.

What types of calls should you automate with voice AI?

Choosing the right call types to automate is extremely important. When you choose the wrong ones, it can result in annoyed customers and a lack of ROI. To ensure you make the intended impact on your customers and business, look for call types that meet some or all of these characteristics:

  • High volume: Identify a call type with at least a few thousand calls each week. Automating high-volume call flows will have a significant impact on your call center operations and enable you to achieve economies of scale.
  • Low emotion: Call types that don’t require high emotional intelligence and evoke low emotion from customers are perfect for AI. Customers aren’t looking for empathy on these calls — they just want their issue or question resolved. Think transactional or operational call types, like scheduling a service, updating an address, or requesting proof of insurance.
  • Low complexity: Predictable call flows that can be scripted are great candidates for automation. Even if the call script involves multiple steps or conversational turns, like figuring out a payment issue or changing a delivery date, call types that have an established outcome can be resolved by voice AI.
  • Seasonal: If your business experiences periodic call fluctuations due to seasonality or specific holidays, the spikes in call volume are a great opportunity to automate the high-volume call types that create long hold times and force you to staff up. For example, retail and e-commerce brands can automate the many order status and purchase return calls they receive during the holidays.
  • IVR ineffectiveness: Leverage your IVR data to identify the call types that aren’t being fully resolved in the IVR, are escalated to an agent, and also meet some of the above criteria. Where your IVR is ineffective, voice AI may be able to resolve these use-cases.

If you’re having trouble identifying call types that meet some of those criteria, here are some common ones that span all industries and are ideal for automation:

  • User authentication: Two-factor authentication, security questions
  • Account management: Change address, transfer funds, update users
  • Payments and returns: Make payments, access invoices, request returns, manage payment plans
  • Order management: Check on order statuses, change orders, cancel orders
  • Appointment or reservation scheduling: Make appointments, change appointments, cancel reservations
  • Tech support: Tier-1 tech support, password reset
  • Proactive outbound service: Renewal reminders, late payment notifications

How to prioritize which call types to automate first

After creating a list of call types that fit the previous criteria, it’s time to nail down which call types to prioritize. If you’ve chosen to partner with a voice AI vendor, they can help guide you here. Regardless of whether you’re buying or building voice AI, here are three steps you can take to figure out which call types to automate first.

  1. Think about use-cases specific to your industry. Every industry has opportunities to automate unique call drivers. Evaluate your industry’s call types and see if any are high volume, low emotion, low complexity, driven by seasonality, or unsuccessfully handled by your IVR. Here are some examples of industry-specific use-cases where automation can make a big difference:
    • Retail and e-commerce: Use intelligent voice AI-powered conversations to give shoppers faster resolutions to their most common service requests, like delivery status updates, account updates, and return processing. While customers are on the phone, voice AI can even provide shoppers with downloadable return labels or their nearest FedEx location via SMS. This makes self-service easier and reduces time to resolution.
    • Insurance: If a policyholder starts the insurance process and doesn’t finish, voice AI can be programmed to give them a call or send them a text to schedule a call-back. Aside from using voice AI to improve conversion of new policy sales, you can even increase upsells by having AI automatically place outbound calls to existing policyholders.
    • Telecommunications: When outages happen, customers flood your phone lines with questions. Instead of reacting, you can get ahead of these requests by using voice AI to proactively notify customers of outages and when service has been restored. Voice AI can also walk customers through basic troubleshooting steps, collect information to pass on to agents, and transfer more complex technical issues to a live agent.
    • Consumer services: Most consumer services require scheduling and rebooking appointments, which takes up valuable agent time. With voice AI, customers can call 24/7, get automatically authenticated, and make and adjust appointments on the fly.
  2. Leverage your agents and their insights. Your agents know the types of calls they get repeatedly, the ones they can handle in their sleep, and the ones that frustrate customers the most. These Tier-1, transactional, and routine calls are the ones that cause agent turnover and are ripe for automation. Tapping your agents for their insights can help you prioritize automating calls that won’t just increase customer satisfaction, but agent engagement and productivity too. Plus, including agent input makes agents feel part of the change management process.
  3. Dig into your data. There are a few data points that you can look at to help determine which call types to tackle first. In addition to call volume, look at average handle times and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. Are there call drivers that have unusually high average handle times or lower than expected CSAT scores? If it’s taking an average of seven minutes for customers to update their billing information, that’s an opportunity for voice AI to provide a faster resolution and higher customer satisfaction. By automating these calls first, you can drive drastic results.

Automating call centers with voice AI is an important step forward in modernizing the customer experience and turning your call center into a revenue generator. By automating the right call types, you’ll be able to see ROI fast and create a positive impact for customers and the business.

Ready to identify the call types that you should automate first? Contact us and we’d be happy to help.

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