Reimagining the contact center with bots, AI, and the gig economy (VB Live)

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AI, bots, and messaging are here now, and over the next 13 years, this rising tide of automation across every industry will mean that about 70 million U.S. workers will be launched into the gig economy. And the opportunity is huge for both brands and the skilled workers who form the backbone of this low-commitment, low-barrier-to-entry labor pool.

It’s time for companies to start thinking about how automation, offshoring, and onshoring will impact their bottom line, especially in their customer service centers, which tend to be cost sinks. Any time a customer calls your customer service line, getting that issue solved costs between $6 to $15. Implementing automation, via the messaging interactions that customers increasingly crave, immediately impacts your bottom line. Every problem you solve via messaging costs just about a dollar. That’s a pretty huge savings.

Plus a recent report found that companies that have embraced the wave of automation are seeing 2.9 times greater annual increase in NPS, a 25 percent greater annual growth in revenue, and an 8.6 percent increase in average profit margin per customer.

Why is automation so huge now? Because the technology is growing in sophistication and the cost-benefit equation of implementing AI solutions is finally adding up in the company’s favor.

Customer service bots are inexpensive, don’t need a data science degree to install and implement, and can triage incoming requests and handle routine requests more quickly and more accurately. An automated message bot leverages a decision-tree structure and auto-classification ability, so that it can surface the most pertinent information in customer conversations and offer relevant follow-up questions to identify the problem fast, and offer the most accurate and reliable answers.

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Your customers are happy, your bottom line is happy, and your customer service agents are happy, too, because only more complex issues get bumped to them. And then they’ve got a leg up from the start, since the bot has gathered up the customer’s information and context for their issue right out of the gate, and they can get right to resolving the issue to everyone’s satisfaction.

With agents spending less time on routine interactions, and more time on higher-level work, you’re offering an extremely appealing position when you start to tap into the growing workforce: a job that’s rewarding and more challenging. That means long-term contracts, and significantly lower turnover rate than you’d expect for contract employees.

To win out in the automation revolution, companies need to move fast. Automation is changing the competitive landscape, and is about to disrupt how you handle customer support. It’s time to start thinking about how AI is impacting the workforce now, what the onrushing future will look like, and how to lay the groundwork to stay ahead.

For an in-depth look at the long-term implications of bots and AI, how to position your company for the changes ahead, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Source: VentureBeat

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