Future of Work News

AI Vital for Omnichannel Customer Engagement


Engagement is the name of the game in today’s customer service realm. Brands and businesses need to be able to engage with potential and existing customers to remain viable in the age of omnichannel communications. That means call centers must up their games to provide the most meaningful customer interactions possible, or risk losing out to those better prepared for omnichannel engagement strategies.

There is no better time for call centers to employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to meet the demands of an omnichannel world. Very simply, omnichannel engagement requires businesses to communicate with customers through their preferred communications method, when and where they demand it. Customers are leading this demand, and want service and engagement through an increasingly varied array of digital mechanisms. AI is equipped to handle those demands, automating some customer service tasks, aiding human agents with others, and helping call centers to operate more productively and efficiently with reliable scheduling based on proven algorithms and measurements.

According to Salesforce’s State of the Service report, AI is slated to grow by a whopping 143 percent in service organizations during the next year. Customers want the ability to engage in self service and automated solutions – when it suits them. They also want the option of escalating to a human agent for more complex questions and interactions. AI and chatbot technologies can provide those options, handling routine queries and automating tasks, while also escalating issues to human agents as the situation requires.

Perhaps most importantly, AI provides forecasting metrics based on reliable algorithms and benchmarks, enabling call centers to schedule the right amount of staff and AI resources, where needed and when required. That means having the proper number of agents on hand for busy periods, as well as not over scheduling during predictably slow times. That translates to massive cost savings and productivity benefits for any call center, as well as happy customers who are being routinely engaged through the omnichannel mechanism of their choice.

One of the best ways AI can benefit the call center while keeping customers engaged is by enabling seamless transitions among communication channels – the very definition of omnichannel customer service. AI can provide human agents with insights about a customer’s previous interactions, no matter what the channel, to better inform the current conversation. And AI technologies can help escalate an interaction to a different channel, perhaps from a chatbot to a live human agent, as the situation requires.

If omnichannel engagement defines the future path for customer service, then AI is set to become a pervasive part of the call center. Offering metrics, insights and automation into customer history and behavior, AI provides an invaluable tool for call center scheduling and omnichannel customer engagement.

For more information about how AI is being integrated in the omnichannel call center and beyond, TMC is hosting its Future of Work Expo in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The event, which is happening February 12-14, 2020, will explore how AI and machine learning technologies are being used to transform the customer experience and are rapidly shaping the future workplace.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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