When new business owners set up their customer service department, they often view it as a cost center. As a result, they attempt to spend as little as possible by hiring too few agents, outsourcing overflow calls, and purchasing older automation solutions that don’t work well. What they typically don’t realize is that, with the right solution, their customer service operations could actually increase ROI.
This solution is called call center automation. It integrates with a variety of other customer service solutions so that any customer service department can implement automation without compromising frictionless customer experience, even temporarily.
Why Insufficient Call Capacity Affects Customer Experience
Nearly everyone who has tried to call customer service has had the experience of being placed on hold for half an hour or more. This is due to a common problem in the world of customer experience; call centers are understaffed and can’t handle their call volumes. The result is long hold times, inefficient processes, poor analytics, and little possibility of improvement.
At the same time, Forbes found that over three-fourths of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. As a result, insufficient call capacity and the hold times that come with it can be a decisive turnoff for a potential customer.
How Can Call Center Automation Increase Call Capacity?
The most obvious solution to streamline customer service is to hire more agents. However, that would require more equipment, more employees, and a higher budget, making it an impractical option for many companies. But this doesn’t mean companies should give up on effective call center capacity planning. Instead of trying to stumble along with understaffed call centers and overworked agents, they can implement Replicant’s call center automation solution.
In the past, automation has a rather poor reputation among customers who have called the customer service line only to be put on hold for hours and never have their issue resolved. While this is often the case with older solutions, new call center automation technology allows more natural conversations with customers and escalates certain requests to the appropriate live agent. Today, machine learning is able to improve efficiency over time, offering the ability for full contact center optimization. Learn which chats and calls you should automate.
How Automation Works Alongside Live Agents
Replicant doesn’t aim to replace live agents. Rather, it’s intended to work alongside live agents to handle repetitive and mundane customer requests through contact center optimization. Depending on a business’s current customer service situation, automation makes it possible for agents to answer more interactive requests while minimizing or eliminating customer wait times.
Customer service centers get hundreds of calls every day from customers who simply want to edit their account information, reset a password, or cancel a credit card. From the customers’ perspective, an automation system immediately resolves their issue – and they won’t need to wait even five or ten minutes for a live agent to become available. From the agent’s perspective, they’re not spending hours every day talking to irritated customers who have been holding for a half-hour. They’re also not spending their time inputting the same information, answering the same questions, and watching the backlog of calls pile up.
Benefits of Automation in Customer Service
Fortune believes that for technology to be successful in the customer service world, there must be a “clear and measurable impact to bottom lines.” Contact center optimization through automation has far-reaching benefits that impact the day-to-day of customers and agents in a call center.
Because contact center optimization doesn’t depend on agents to function, it can help protect against unpredictable spikes in call volume. As a result, call center automation is particularly effective for companies that are growing, experiencing seasonal surges, or modifying processes.
Especially with current labor shortages, jobs need to be appealing to hire and retain skilled agents. Answering calls might not seem attractive to a potential employee, but the job can become far more interesting and interactive with call center automation solutions handling all Tier One calls. Agents don’t need to spend their workday resolving tedious questions. Instead, they’ll answer more meaningful customer requests and actually make a difference in how customers view the company.
If you’re ready to increase call capacity, reduce hold times, and improve customer service, request a custom demonstration. Learn how call center automation can improve your ROI based on your company’s particular goals, needs, and challenges.