Why Your Call Center Needs AI-powered Conversation Intelligence
This article was originally published on Insidebigdata.com.
By Brian Steele, VP Product Management at gryphon.ai.
Pandemic-related stress, work-from-home policies, and economic instability required 70% of call center employees to deal with more emotionally charged customers in 2021. Challenging calls led to increased talk times, forcing call centers to expand their workforce to accommodate. Compounding this challenge, increased turnover rates have contributed to longer wait times and overextended employees.
It’s not easy maintaining quality service in this environment. Technology can help fill both outbound sales and customer service gaps created by exiting employees. Specifically, real-time conversation intelligence technology gives call center reps the ability to handle unexpected customer service challenges while meeting key KPIs.
Traditional call center monitoring solutions leave intel on the table
Traditional call center monitoring solutions are fairly straightforward. They typically record calls and save transcripts. But while this strategy accurately records call center conversations, the information it captures is often underutilized. And that means the organization misses out on opportunities to improve.
Here’s what I mean: Imagine a scenario in which a customer service rep finds a new way to successfully de-escalate a call with an angry customer. What comes next? The rep might tell their manager, who makes a note to schedule a training session about how to de-escalate angry customers a month from now or maybe adds a sentence to an onboarding document for new reps. This leaves other reps in the dark about the new tactic and precludes opportunities for immediate improvement. Reps can only benefit if they have easy access to the solution.
Skill development is even harder with call center turnover rates now reaching as high as 80%. It’s difficult to develop common goals and understandings when four out of five people on your team will exit the business — managers must invest added time and energy to teach the same lessons to a new group of employees.
Many call centers are recognizing the limitations of traditional recording software. Inbound call centers struggle to maintain high customer service while outbound call centers struggle to effectively reach prospects. Fortunately, conversation intelligence solutions can address both of these problems and prevent experienced representatives from going elsewhere.
How can conversation intelligence optimize call center operations?
The capabilities of conversation intelligence tools extend well beyond transcription. AI-powered software can document quantitative metrics like the volume and velocity of calls as well as qualitative metrics like how effectively they handle objections. This technology enables sales reps to move through the sales funnel faster and customer service reps to address caller needs more efficiently.
As the AI becomes more familiar with your organization, it recognizes patterns and common situations that reps encounter. From there, it identifies how certain actions or tactics affect the success rate of a call, filters through the information in real time, and offers smart suggestions to reps in-call. In the case of a rep who found a new way to de-escalate a call, they could flag the solution to their manager, who can then make it available for other reps on the team that same day.
Think of conversation intelligence technology like vehicle GPS. Conversation intelligence reroutes a conversation much like GPS suggests an alternate route based on variables like traffic congestion — only in this case, it coaches call center reps to avoid potential missteps and help the customer faster. And the best part? This type of coaching is effective at any scale.
The value to new and underperforming employees is significant. Instead of struggling through unique call situations alone, they have the collective experience of the entire team at their fingertips.
Conversation intelligence tools are the antidote for employee attrition
As customers expect faster response times and sales prospects become harder to reach, call center leaders are watching experienced employees walk out the door. Conversation intelligence helps your organization overcome these challenges through intuitive real-time coaching and post-call analysis — capabilities that empower your organization to maintain top-notch service regardless of turnover rates.
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