Fact: any contact center can benefit from automation. Generally, contact centers are the part of the business that most benefit from automation.
Bringing down costs is often the main motivation, and that’s especially important for SMEs.
But the impact of automated inbound call center services actually runs a lot deeper than that. The other benefits may be less obvious… but that can have as big an impact on a company’s success.
1. Automation can improve the customer experience
If you say ‘automation’ in the call center context, many people think about systems which save money, but which also create horrible experiences for customers.
It doesn’t need to be that way!
Automation can have a major positive impact on how your customer interacts with your brand.
Take Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) for example. CTI can automatically identify customers when they call in.
That’s helpful because:
- It cuts down on the time they spend in IVR
- It means they don’t start the call explaining who they are to an agent
- They don’t need to dig out some long-forgotten customer reference number
CTI is a small example. Automation also enables more ambitious call center services like virtual queueing. Virtual queuing is one of the best ways to reduce waiting time and means your customers don’t get stuck listening to hold music.
One more example – automated outbound SMS. Sending customers an SMS with whatever information they need might mean they don’t even need to wait for an agent. That’s a simple bit of automation that’s guaranteed to reduce call volume and make life a whole lot easier for customers!
2. Automation can improve the *agent* experience
Call centers are bad at retaining staff. Why is that?
One problem that’s common to practically every customer service team is this: they hire people who are bubbly, fun and chatty. After all, that’s the kind of person you want helping customers.
But – most of the work those people end up doing is data entry. And how many people are a good fit for both data entry work and customer service?
Here’s how automation can help.
It’s actually pretty simple to automate data entry. In the last point we talked about CTI. Well, CTI means your systems know who your callers are, and can find them in your call center CRM.
And if your system knows who’s calling, it can record information about their call.
There are a ton of examples like this. Automating tickets, automating follow-ups, automating scheduling… the goal is to automate all the boring stuff that no agent wants to do.
That leaves them free to focus on having great interactions.
3. Automation means clean and shiny data
While we’re thinking about data entry, let’s think about where it goes wrong.
The main issue is human error. Take this blog post – it’s written by a startlingly talented professional, but I’m sure there are a few typos in the mix…
Meanwhile, it’s almost unthinkable for an automated system to make a data entry mistake.
Therefore, if you can automate large swathes of data entry, you’ll get cleaner customer data. What’s more, you can automatically update data across *any* number of systems.
Here’s an everyday example. An important customer gets in touch to discuss an ongoing issue which the agent is fully able to resolve for them.
No automation? Then the agent will need to update the call log, lose the ticket in your Helpdesk software and make a note in the CRM.
Yes automation? The agent only needs to close the Helpdesk tickets – that information is automatically replicated everywhere else.
4. Automation makes you far more flexible
Is there anything more important to the long-term health of a contact center than flexibility? Probably not.
Flexibility means reviewing and improving the way you work… but there’s a catch!
If you change the way you work, you have to retrain staff. That costs money and it costs time. It can also be quite frustrating for agents if they;re forever playing catch-up.
But how would it be if your processes are mostly automated? Surely then they’re easy to update?
Yes! In theory… butin practice it 100% depends on how involved the contact center is in designing its own processes.
Here’s a crazy fact: under a quarter of contact centers enjoy full collaboration in the design of their own processes.
It’s for this reason that planners are turning to No-Code automation to bring their ideal call center services to life.
Because there’s no coding required, a non-tech person in the contact center can design and implement the processes they’ve always wanted – and that’s the ticket for an incredible amount of flexibility!
5. Automation can create super personalized services
This is counter-intuitive, right? The more you automate, the more you can personalize services.
With automation in the mix, you can design services for every eventuality. You can draw from every piece of data you have about customers and feed that into the service you provide.
Take call routing. The first step in a really personalized service because your ACD system will receive information from surrounding systems. That influences the routing decisions it makes.
What about automatic follow-up actions like SMS or email? You could even be totally proactive by automatically contacting customers with known issues.
And let’s not neglect those cost savings!
Back to where we started. All of the benefits we’ve covered here will, in their own ways, contribute to a healthier bottom line. Some, like clean data, reduce costs. Others, like greater staff and customer retention have a massive cumulative impact on costs.
OIt’s benefits like that which make automation such a must-have for modern call center services!