Can AI Automation Help Cut Manual Errors?
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
Mistakes are costly and somebody must pay. The time to correct a mistake is before it is made. The causes of mistakes are, first, I didn’t know; second, I didn’t think; third, I didn’t care. - Henry H Buckley
There was a time when an organizations ability to grow by reaching customers was limited only by the number of people they could throw at a problem. Whether it was pre-sales or post, it was either people in the call centers or local agents and partners, who had to talk to customers and move things forward. Printed letters gave way to emails and messages, but voice conversations remained limited to people doing the talking.
And there in lies the nub of the problem - quality and quantity work in opposition. If you want to handle greater volume, you end of sacrificing quality, and that is unacceptable. So the number of people doing the voice conversations is optimized to keep both quality and quantity in mind. Despite this, there are manual errors galore.
But let's now expand the scope a little bit. By definition, errors are inadvertent. However, willfully ignoring certain aspects of their work is equally a problem. It can later get whitewashed as an honest error!
What are some common manual errors?
Here are a few that we have noted from our customer interviews:
Agents do not always callback at a time they might have promised the customer that they will callback. This may be for many reasons. Sometimes the agent is on leave or away from the desk, other times she has many more customers to attend, and does not organize her time correctly. The net effect is a customer who is a dissatisfied with the service
Absenteeism continuous to be a problem in call centers. Absenteeism is defined as the number of days employees take off work without permission. Employees who do not feel valued and appreciated at workplace tend to show low levels of motivation and engagement. Unplanned leave impacts customer commitments significantly. For a call center manager, rostering and schedule management becomes very difficult.
An adjacent situation is a tired agent. Tired agents make mistakes. That's just how it goes. You may have heard of tired agents before, but what exactly do they mean? Well, tired agents are people who work at a job they don't enjoy. They're not necessarily bad people, but they often find themselves working long hours and end up making poor decisions.
Agent may get confused between features of multiple products
Each agent has to pitch or handle multiple products. An agent at times gets confused between different products and ends up mis-communicating.
New Agents Training Issues
If a company does not have proper training for its employees, then the employees will lack knowledge about the products and services offered by the company. If a company does not train its employees properly, then the customers will not receive quality service. This is specifically a problem for new joinees. Rapidly inducting new agents without sufficient warm up with trainings, coaching and gradual ramp up of calls with strong monitoring can result is quality as low as 60-65%.
Continuous training of existing agents help then achieve quality levels of around 85%. Assuming 2 out of 10 agents in a team are new, the overall team quality remains low and stagnant despite continuing efforts
Launching a new product similarly comes with its baggage of problems. High adaptability expected from agents may not always materialize in time
Not every customer gets an equal treatment. Higher ticket sizes get addressed first, and lower ticket sizes either do not get handled, or worse, not provide the same attention to quality that one expects by an organization's standards. Listening to customer, avoiding rudeness, and generally taking good care of the customer is very important in this age of social media, whatever the ticket size
Can Voice AI Automation Help?
Automation done right can interoperate with call center agents and complement their efforts. Voice conversation can be a laborious process. AI Voice conversation can help cut done most of the mundane conversations, and let call center agents handle more difficult issues, which can be fulfilling, and result in reduced attrition.
AI Voice also does not require constant retraining, and will maintain an even keel, irrespective of who it is talking to.
According to a recent report by Gartner, one in 10 agent interactions will be automated by 2026, an increase from an estimated 1.6% of interactions today that are automated using AI. Conversational AI can automate all or part of a contact center customer interaction through both voice and digital channels, through voicebots or chatbots, and it is expected to have transformational benefits to customer service and support organizations within two years. This certainly needs to the focus and attention for COOs and CDOs. Technology injection such as this can shake up the organization, and this needs to be driven by the top leadership