Thursday, June 20, 2024

[Full Guide] Everything About Call Center Automation

Call centers are an integral part of customer service in most businesses. Call center representatives help customers with general products/services-related inquiries, book appointments, tackle technical issues, and more. Despite digital advancements and increased ways of interacting with customer support, many customers still prefer to use call centers to get assistance. In fact, 55.4% of contact centers have witnessed increased use of inbound calls during 2022-2023. This urges the need to optimize call center operations, and one effective way is call center automation.

In this guide, we will cover all about call center automation, including its overview, importance, and how to get it done. So, let’s head right to it.

  1. What is Call Center Automation?
  2. Why is Call Center Automation Important?
  3. How to Automate Call Center: 7 Areas to Automate
  4. Wrapping Up

What is Call Center Automation?

Call center automation is about using technology or software solutions to handle call center routine processes. It is meant to completely remove or significantly reduce human intervention in many time-consuming tasks.

Let’s consider an example to better understand call center automation. Suppose that many call center queries you receive are about checking the account balances. However, human agents are currently helping customers in getting the account balances. So, you can automate this task with an interactive voice response (IVR) system or a chatbot. When a customer calls, the IVR system can guide them through a series of voice prompts, verify their identity, and provide the requested information without involving a human agent.

In simple words, call center automation can automate many repetitive tasks, which lowers the burden of agents and increases customer satisfaction.

Why is Call Center Automation Important?

Call center automation has become essential in today’s competitive and digitally advanced era. In addition, customers prefer convenience in all their interactions with the business. So, why call center automation is important is evident from the below points:

1. Improve Employee Satisfaction

Call center agents are often involved in the same set of tasks every day. They may be answering the same queries the whole day. This routine work can lower their morale or make them less productive. Furthermore, they may be more stressed by the workload.

Call center automation can eradicate many repetitive tasks of agents. It can take control of repetitive queries of customers and leave agents to tackle more technical issues. This way, the workload is reduced, while agents get to work on different sets of queries, which keeps them focused. So, when agents/employees are happy, they will offer better services to customers.

2. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is very crucial in today’s era. A bad call experience can make your customers quickly switch to your competitor. In fact, 80% of customers say that they would do business with the competitor after just one bad experience.

Call center automation can help significantly improve customer satisfaction. Instead of waiting in a long queue to hear from the human agent, the advanced interactive voice response (IVR) system can let them solve their queries themselves. Similarly, call center automation can also help direct customers to the right agent, which increases the first call resolution rate.

3. Eliminate Human Errors

When human agents have to deal with more workloads or the same repetitive tasks, they are more vulnerable to making errors. These errors lead to unhappy customers.

Call center automation can help eliminate human errors. It can replace many human tasks with automated ones, which eradicates errors. Secondly, when human agents have less workload, they are more focused and reduce the chances of human errors.

4. Round-the-Clock Customer Service

Human call center agents can work for limited hours. If you want to offer 24/7 customer service, you have to deploy more human agents, which adds to the cost.

Call center automation can assist in offering round-the-clock customer service. It can handle common customer queries on its own, which helps customers get 24/7 customer support on common queries.

5. Save Costs

Call centers involve many expenses, including salaries, computers, office infrastructure, service fees, and more.

Call center automation can help save costs significantly. Once common queries are automated, it means you need fewer human agents and resources to handle calls. This then leads to reduced expenses.

How to Automate Call Center: 7 Areas to Automate

Now that we have looked into the basics and importance of call center automation, the next question is how to automate call centers. So, here are the 7 areas to automate in a call center:

1. Customer Interaction Automation

The first thing to automate is customer interaction. There are many ways to automate customer interaction. If the customer is on the website, you can deploy an AI chatbot, like VOC AI, that can answer their queries or direct them to the right support agent. Similarly, you can use advanced interactive voice response (IVR) to help answer common queries automatically.

2. Call Scheduling Automation

Call scheduling automation can help automate the process of scheduling calls for customers without involving a human agent. You can specific criteria based on which the system can schedule calls. For instance, if a lead wants to buy a product or a customer wants to renew the contract, you can schedule calls automatically. This will help agents stop spending time scheduling calls and focus more on other important aspects.

3. Workforce Management Automation

Workforce management automation refers to automating scheduling shifts for optimal staffing levels based on predicted call volume. You can deploy predictive analytics to reduce overstaffing or understaffing. This will not only reduce labor costs but also enhance the efficiency of your call center.

4. Performance Monitoring Automation

You can deploy tools for automated performance monitoring. These tools can provide detailed reports on call times, customer satisfaction, resolution rates, agent performance, and other attributes. This will then help to find shortcomings and improve efficiencies.

5. FAQs and Knowledge Base Automation

Many times, call center agents address common queries from customers. One way to tackle that is to integrate advanced interactive voice response (IVR). The second way is to automate FAQs and knowledge base. You can make your website rich with knowledge-based content, like blogs, how-to articles, videos, and other content. In addition, you can integrate an AI chatbot like VOC AI that can offer virtual live chat support to customers and answer their questions in human-like conversations.

6. Marketing Automation

There is now a wide range of marketing CRM software that can integrate into your call center platform and automate marketing activities. This integration will empower you to segment leads, capture new leads, send promotional emails, and do much more. This way, you can enable seamless marketing campaigns and maximize the outcomes.

7. Virtual Queuing Automation

Customers don’t like waiting too long to hear from support agents. To tackle that, you can use virtual queuing automation. How it works is that the IVR picks up the call. If all the agents are busy, it puts the call in a virtual queue. If the customer hangs up, the agent will have the option to call back the customer.

Wrapping Up

Call centers are where businesses can get leads, turn leads to customers, and facilitate existing customers with timely support. Considering its importance for businesses, call center automation is the perfect way to optimize the performance of your call center department. It not only improves operational efficiency and employee satisfaction but also makes customers more satisfied and brings more sales. Therefore, we will wrap up by recommending you look for areas where you can automate call center and take the first steps from today.