How Artificial Intelligence Is Reinventing the Call Center

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Today’s most important AI call center trends – is your call center ready for them? 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Learn how to improve customer service operations using automation while still providing personalized service 
  • Discover the benefits of call center process automation
  • Find out how other businesses have benefitted from AI call center technology
  • Discover the benefits of using AWS Contact Lens AI features

Call centers have been at the forefront of using advanced technology for decades. It started with IVR (interactive voice response) systems to route calls to specific departments. Many IVR systems are still in use today. However, the customer problem remained – customers weren’t happier.

AI started to get more use in the early 2000s, but the improvements focused on cutting costs rather than improving the customer experience. The use of smartphones, social media, and mobile apps has heightened customer expectations for service. Companies have been forced to find answers to improving the customer experience along with cutting costs. Currently, CEOs cite customer experience as the number one reason for investing in AI technology to better serve customers. How are companies benefitting from using AI?

This guide describes the current AI features automating call center processes and how successful call centers are benefitting from AI.

Combining AI and personalized service

How can you keep costs down and provide personalized and exceptional customer service? Choose the AI technology that suits the business need – typically a combination of AI technologies works best. AI-enabled conversational agents are expected to handle 20% or more of all customer service requests in 2022. 

AI conversational agents do the background work based on information from customers and then transfer the customer to the live agent if necessary. When customers get to the live agent, they don’t need to repeat the facts because the AI agent has delivered all the information. AI agents take ID verification credentials, for example, and pass on your identity, what you need in general, and possible solutions. 

Live agents then focus on serving the customer in a positive manner rather than having to talk and research the issue at the same time. Customer experience improves with shorter wait times and timely, correct, and consistent answers. 

Benefits of AI process automation for call centers

The newer AI features include:

  • Chatbot for handling simpler questions, account updates, and inquiries on shipping status. 
  • Fraud screening by providing ID and security verification automatically. 
  • AI systems improve customer interactions by routing to the correct service agent or department. 
  • AI automation of routine agent tasks, like researching issues, allows live agents to focus on solving the problem faster. 

Predictive behavioral routing can even match caller and agent personalities to generate the best customer experience. Many IVR systems were difficult and frustrating to use. Customers often were transferred to the incorrect service provider if not lost in the system. However, with improvements in AI like predictive behavioral routing, customers are routed correctly and to someone with a personality matched to provide a specific service. 

Other AI automation benefits include: 

  • Automatic call summary creation and call history documentation.
  • Account lookup behind the scenes for an agent. Including full past call records. 
  • NLU (natural language understanding) software to accurately discern customer communicated needs.
  • Data analysis and mining for business use.
  • Sentiment analysis within NLU parses customer responses to identify solutions for live agents.

AI call center automation success stories:

Humana

  • Problem – Overloaded customer service agents. Call centers were flooded with 1 million calls per month. Most calls were simple questions that could have been answered online. 
  • Solution – Humana partnered with IBM’s Data and AI Expert Labs. IBM AI experts created a solution that identified the customer and accurately delivered the information requested using NLU technology. NLU distinguishes between languages and translates more than 90% of sentences accurately. Humana’s customer experience has improved, with callers getting the needed answer within two minutes without the need to wait for a live agent.

Priceline

  • Problem – At the start of the COVID pandemic, call centers were flooded with customers trying to cancel or change travel arrangements. Priceline’s call centers were attempting to operate at three times normal volume.
  • Solution – Priceline uses AWS Connect to manage its call center. AWS Connect provided new features that enabled AI-powered chatbots to reduce call backlogs. Another feature allowed calls to be sorted based on the travel date and urgency allowing for agents to handle high-priority changes first. 

Volvo

  • Problem – Unexpected breakdowns. Nothing ruins that new car experience as much as an unexpected breakdown. 
  • Solution – Volvo implemented an early warning AI system. This system analyzes each automobile part weekly. The data Volvo receives allows it to contact customers to recommend service before the part fails. 

American Express

  • Problem – Credit card fraud.
  • Solution – American Express implemented an AI system to identify customers at the risk of fraud. The data allows American Express to proactively contact customers when fraudulent activity is suspected and before a significant financial loss occurs. Protecting customers from fraud gives American Express one of the lowest fraud loss rates in the US.

Netflix

  • Problem – Customers are unable to save their favorite types of movies or shows. 
  • Solution – AI-based predictive analytics allows Netflix to leverage customer use data and predict what customers want to watch next. Using real data allows Netflix to create multiple types of customer-focused lists to make finding movies and shows easier. Nothing says personalized service like your own list. 

Utilizing AWS Contact Lens for call center automation

Improving the customer experience starts with providing exceptional customer service from start to finish. Offering flexible options with advanced AI technology like AWS Contact Lens allows companies to leverage AI capabilities for call center optimization. 

Contact Lens features include: 

  • Self-service virtual agents
  • Real-time call analytics
  • Agent assist
  • Post-call analytics

Integrated end-to-end solutions reduce call center costs and provide fast, personalized customer service. 

Making the most of your Amazon Web Services makes business sense. By taking advantage of features available that improve call center processing, you can improve your bottom line. 

CloudHesive provides assistance and deep expertise using Amazon Web Services cloud. As an Amazon Managed Services partner and Amazon Premier Partner, CloudHesive helps businesses take advantage of all the features AWS offers. See what other customers have to say in several case studies available from CloudHesive. 

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