AI voice bots have the power to introduce more consistency and technological automation into what could otherwise be an expensive and time-consuming process. Human agents are able to empathize and solve more complex problems than their AI counterparts.
The ideal solution for most call centers is to use a combination of both.
But what does this balance look like?
The Power of AI Voice Bots
An AI voice bot is an advanced application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, capable of processing spoken language and formulating responses on the fly. If trained on the right data sets and properly harnessed, it can fill in for a human call center agent, taking calls, directing callers, providing answers to specific questions, and even resolving problems automatically.
These are some of the benefits of employing AI voice bots.
· Immediate response times. One of the most attractive advantages of AI voice bots is the potential for immediate response times. Instead of waiting on hold for an available agent, callers can be greeted by an AI voice right away. In many cases, they can also be served right away, turning a formerly hours-long experience into a minutes-long, convenient one.
· High volume processing. With a traditional call center, there’s a strict upper limit to the number of calls you can process per hour. But AI voice bots are much more scalable. If you work in a business that requires high volumes of call processing, AI voice bots are highly advantageous.
· Low costs. Any form of automation has the power to reduce costs dramatically. If you can use AI for the majority of your calls, and only use human agents when necessary, you can greatly reduce labor costs and pass those savings on to your customers or optimize for higher profitability.
· Dissemination of information. AI bots are especially skilled at disseminating information. They can answer easily processable questions, provide mundane data (like hours of information), and even help customers with routine requests. They can often do this quicker and more efficiently than human agents.
· Quick issue resolution. AI voice bots can’t solve every problem, but the problems they can solve are usually resolved very quickly. Combined with immediate response times, this leads to much faster and more satisfying resolutions overall.
· Repetitive problem handling. Human agents sometimes tire of dealing with common, repetitive problems from customers. AI voice bots can take this work over almost completely, reducing human agent fatigue while still helping customers.
The Unique Capabilities of Human Agents
Many people still prefer talking to a human agent, rather than a voice bot. That’s partially because there are so many unique advantages that human agents still retain.
· Empathy. Voice bots can attempt to mimic emotional understanding, but only human agents can practice genuine empathy. Sometimes, empathy is the best course for issue resolution.
· Complex issue resolution. Even the most advanced AI systems aren’t capable of resolving every conceivable problem. For more complex issues that require more dialogue and investigation, human agents are the exclusive option.
· Bonding and overall experience. People generally can’t build rapport and familiarity with an AI voice bot, but they can with human agents. This makes human agents superior for building better brand relationships.
It’s unlikely that AI voice bots will be able to match these capabilities in the near future, making human agents a practical necessity for most businesses.
Perfecting the Balance
So how do you perfect the balance of AI voice bots and human agents?
These tips can get you started:
· Create and nurture the right AI system. Not all AI tools are created equal. You need to choose a strong tool and train it on the right data to ensure it works properly. This also includes making adjustments in the future, based on the feedback you receive.
· Field most requests with voice bots. You should consider fielding most requests with AI voice bots initially. This allows you to take advantage of immediate response time, while simultaneously allowing you to filter out the most common and repetitive inquiries.
· Provide alternatives early. For customers that can’t be served with bots alone, it’s important to offer alternatives. Early in the experience, give customers the option of reaching out to a human agent if and when the bot appears incapable of serving them.
· Get feedback and improve. Collect data and conduct surveys to refine the AI voice bot experience for your customers. There are practically infinite ways to optimize this balance.
Human agents aren’t as good as bots in some respects. Bots aren’t as good as human agents in some respects. It’s important to utilize both if you want to maximize efficiency in your call center and keep your customers happy.