Automation of work in contact centers is not a new topic. IVRs have supported and simplified the work of telephone agents during the last decade. These automatic response systems, once cataloged as too "robotic", have already learned to communicate in a more informal and natural way with people with the advent of Vocal Technologies.
But, the new era of omnichannel has demanded that call centers also move to other channels beyond voice and towards text, which has in turn encouraged the development of chatbots.
As predicted, the incorporation of chatbots to contact center operations implies many changes that generate uncertainty for all those involved. Next, we present an overview of what an operation will be like with smart chatbots.
Friends or enemies?
Just as employees of the Ford automobile factories were threatened several years ago (and once displaced by machines), now telephone agents are also wondering if they will disappear because of the introduction of this new conversational technology.
For many organizations it no longer makes sense, operationally and financially, to employ people twenty-four hours a day when software, which does not require rest, can carry out more tasks and faster than a human being. But this does not have to mean a total threat to people, there is a way to get along with chatbots and thus contemplate the demands of current customers.
Clients expect fairly objective things from chatbots: Quick answers to simple questions, support at any time and from any type of device. With the cognitive advance of these chatbots to conversational bots, the scope of resolutions has broadened to more complex situations, but even so, there will continue to be situations where agents, increasingly professionalized, will add value to the experience.
Chatbots do not substitute but complement the work of increasingly trained agents, who will be the key to add value in critical situations and provide experiences of excellence in customer care.
So far everything seems out of a science fiction movie, but what would actually be the operation of a Contact Center supported by chatbots driven by artificial intelligence?
As with an IVR, the first contact would be made with the machine. The bot can solve an apparently simple question or problem. Client files, past interactions, frequently asked questions, information about products and services, even pseudo-social interactions can be executed.
Later, if the contact required to be transferred to a human being, the bot would use the information gathered from the client to profile it and link it with a specialized agent according to their needs. In addition, it would provide that agent with a context of all previous interaction so that the conversation would not start from blank.
The premise does not change, the automation of repetitive processes simplifies tasks, allowing agents to concentrate on more complex tasks that machines can not carry out.
It is clear. The goal is to be more efficient, not to be replaced.