Contact Center Modernization: AI, Knowledge Automation and Remote Agents

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how contact centers operate. Call and ticket volumes continue to rise — and the remote workforce will remain, at least partially distributed, as the new norm. As customer experience organizations continue to adapt, some are second-guessing critical technology decisions. That can cause additional friction for customers — and potential burnout for employees.

Technology decisions are increasingly critical for overcoming obstacles in this new remote world. But even proponents of a digital transformation can experience pitfalls like using an omnichannel approach that favors speed and sacrifices accuracy. As more customers connect with more agents across more channels, agents must rely on time-consuming methods for finding information across content silos. And being remote means they can’t simply tap on a co-worker’s shoulder for help.

Transforming Knowledge Management

At the start of the pandemic, Gartner attributed efficiency failures in remote contact centers to a lack of knowledge management. Now, according to a recent CCW market study, customer service organizations view knowledge management as a key ingredient for tomorrow’s contact center, with over 53% of companies rethinking knowledge management strategies.

While providing a way to store and centralize company information is critical, it’s only the first step. We’ve all faced the same annoying scenario: trying to remember the exact title of a presentation and endlessly searching a content management system to no avail. Storing docs on a shared drive and memorizing keywords just won’t cut it if you want to improve knowledge management.

In the end, it’s not just about centralizing information. It’s about the level of access to that information. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in. By analyzing search or message intent, AI automates knowledge retrieval by recommending the right answers. This means it circumvents the core issue and augments an agent’s ability to understand and help the customer quickly.

Knowledge Automation Will Power the Next Normal

With AI and knowledge automation, customer experience organizations can eliminate the friction between customers and agents, drastically improving the efficiency and quality of your workforce. Let’s review a few ways this can happen.

Embed knowledge automation in self-service portals to deflect more interactions automatically. Eighty-one percent of customers try to resolve an issue themselves before reaching out to customer support. However, most self-service portals have limited search functions and an overload of content. This leads to clients giving up and filling out a Contact us form. And while most customers expect businesses to respond to their emails within hours, keeping up with that level of service is very challenging.

However, AI and automation technology can seamlessly deflect inbound emails by connecting your Contact us for to a powerful recommendation engine. A Fortune 1000 company recently achieved 20% deflection of its inbound interactions just by surfacing the right information prior to form submission.

Integrate chatbots with knowledge automation to enable complex decision-making.

Although people prefer chatbots to any other digital methods of communication, only about 16% have a positive experience with them. That’s because, just like real agents, virtual assistants need a reliable knowledge backbone to support them. As our search habits become more complex, standard chatbots fail to keep up with them.

But with knowledge automation, chatbots can be connected to more robust FAQs and full documents. Сhatbots can use existing content and connect it to knowledge automation technology to learn how to answer more complex questions.

Agent Assist Technology Aids in Training and Quality Assurance

Agent Assist guides agents through real-time answers to improve performance. It quickly surfaces the right knowledge — at the right time and place. With AI-powered recommendations, agents can get real-time suggestions on all the channels your customers use. This cuts the time-to-agent proficiency by 50% and can compensate for the absence of on-premises coaching.

A leading automotive company had trouble finding answers to technical questions. After embedding Agent Assist directly into its homegrown CRM system, time-to-retrieval dropped to less than 30 seconds. And that drove down average handle times on complex questions by three minutes per call.

Connect Knowledge Automation to Your IVR

Automatically recommending answers to your agents based on how customers entered your IVR is an easy and effective way to improve contact center efficiency. Passing the caller’s intent to the knowledge automation platform gives agents immediate access to specific information or guided help.

Digital Transformation Starts with Knowledge Automation

Knowledge automation can power company answers across all customer contact support teams — quickly. And, as customer service orgs continue to grow to meet rising volumes, AI can speed up training and onboarding of remote agents.

Shorter interactions and accurate resolutions require consistent, reliable information. And when that information is predicted and automatically delivered, agents can skip the arduous search step completely.

Watch this on-demand webinar to see how knowledge automation seamlessly integrates with the Genesys Cloud CXTM platform to modernize your knowledge processes.

This blog post was co-authored by Jeff Stroum. Jeff has over 20 years of experience in the contact center space and has played roles as Solutions Architect, Sales Director and Alliances Partner Manager. Working with emerging technologies, he has enabled customers on how to optimize SaaS based software to meet their business goals.

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