Will AI (Artificial Intelligence) Replace Or Enhance A Call Center?

AI Replace Or Enhance A Call Center

In this age of technology, we move towards a day when all our problems can be resolved at the press of a button. However, such a day of instant quality solutions to the difficult problem is still a distant dream. However, some think that the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) will change the whole call center scenario and replace the human agents for a faster, quicker and richer customer experience.

We are already seeing AI at work at some of the biggest brands. IVR and chatbots have already become very popular as a customer service solution. But they cannot offer a solution to all the issues a customer might face. And as of now AI also lacks the human touch that most customers want.

Therefore, even when many see AI as a saving grace that replaces human agent but keeps the human touch, the reality is far from it. While most AI systems (IVR, Live chat system etc.) can resolve the basic queries, they do not have the machine learning capabilities to offer solutions to complex problems. Sure, the data shows that AI has been extremely helpful at times, but to call it a savior would be an exaggeration. You can call AI a performance enhancer for the contact center, not a replacement.

Here are five reasons why AI will not replace a call center in near future:

1) AI is extremely expensive to fully implement

As the popularity of AI in customer service increases, many small and medium businesses start worrying about how much money they have to spend to meet the customers’ need for a faster solution that only AI can offer. While you want good CSAT scores by meeting customer expectations and providing them with good customer experience, you should also ask yourself whether it is worth shelling thousands of dollars on an AI system just to meet customer expectations.

Knowing your customer base is the key here. While a business with a younger customer base may want to choose AI over call center as young customers want a prompt solution to their problems, businesses with older customer base would do well by sticking to contact centers. According to SoftwareAdvice, 63% of people over the age of 35 prefer human interaction in the form of a phone call compared to an automated live chat.

2) Contact Center AI technology is not up to the mark – yet

Properly setting up the systems that require AI and the automation that encompasses it takes a vast amount of resources including money. And yet, today most AI systems do not have machine learning capabilities that help a customer find the exact solution they are looking for. Today AI is in a place where it is nothing more than a system that pulls from a database. If the customer query fetches the wrong result, then the customer has to go back and put a new set of keywords. The machine and AI today does not have a self-taught system that is smart enough to correct itself.

3) AI can streamline your lower level inquiries

People still prefer human agents over automation in sales and customer support. But AI can make the lives easier for customer support agents. You can set up an online FAQ form or get a system with IVR capabilities to streamline the regular queries and basic solutions. It will ensure that the customers call your contact center only when it is necessary and urgent.

4) Technology today requires sophisticated answers

The problems or pre-smart gadgets era were far less complex than the issues of today. As the technology advances, its issues grow more complex, and their solutions, therefore, have to be more sophisticated. And only a real live human agent can provide you with the solution as of now.

There is no way you can tackle the vast possibilities of customer queries through FAQ page, IVR or chat. The complex the problems, the more you need a human to resolve it.

5) AI is a complement to contact center operations

Today most contact center solutions offer a number of automation features that SMBs want to achieve through AI including – IVR and advance scripting. These features can definitely improve your contact center operations. But it is not yet in a position to replace it.

AI is still not in a position where it can replace a contact center. While it can definitely act as a performance enhancer and complement your call center operations, it still requires a lot of time and resources to implement. In addition to that, AI is not in a position to resolve complex queries – that power still remains with the human contact center agents. So, it can be said, AI has miles to go before it can become a successor of the contact center, if at all.

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