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Top 4 Reasons Contact Centers Need Real-Time AI

Top 4 Reasons Contact Centers Need Real-Time AI

When it comes to contact center performance, success is entirely dependent on one thing: its agents. The best agents can drive efficiency, boost sales, reduce risk, and contribute to the overall growth of the business. But how can contact centers ensure they’re giving their agents the right tools to learn, grow, and perform at peak potential?

Three words: Real-time AI

What exactly is real-time AI? It’s technology that uses machine learning to streamline operations, improve agent performance, increase compliance, reduce costs, and drive more revenue—while agents are still on calls. Real-Time AI by Observe.ai does this through customizable and easily editable scripts, instant prompts, automated call notes, and more.

Real-time AI has numerous applications for call centers, and 4 key benefits of the technology stand out. 

Benefit #1: Increased operational efficiency

The very business of call centers is handling calls. But handling calls comes with a variety of challenges that, when not managed well, can cause customers to be inconvenienced, frustrated or, at worst, lose confidence in the company and leave.

It’s therefore paramount that call centers run streamlined operations in which agents are confident and empowered to help customers as quickly as possible—and to handle as many calls as they can, as effectively as they can. 

Consider the example of financial services company. The company was experiencing an issue with repeat calls. To understand why, AFF turned to Observe.AI, which identified a main cause for the repeat calls: agents were not following through on auto-payment cancellations and escalation requests were not being carried out.

The company then used Observe.AI’s real-time Experience Designer tool to create and deliver personalized prompts that helped agents properly handle objections and issues while still on the calls. As a result, the company reduced their average handle time (AHT) by 23%, which, in turn, freed up agents to take on 24% more calls.

Further, Observe.AI’s Knowledge AI platform boosts operational efficiency by providing immediate access to relevant knowledge base articles while agents are still on the phone, allowing them to reduce both the amount of time it takes them to answer common customer queries and necessary callbacks. Gone are the days of repeat questions, calls, and transfers. Knowledge AI can surface key prompts and starter scripts when reps need them most—as conversations happen.This enhanced knowledge and context results in reduced average handle time (AHT)—a win-win for everyone involved.

Another way that real-time AI can enhance operational efficiency is through auto-summarization, Observe.AI’s Summarization AI, for example, automatically captures the conversation and creates detailed notes to reduce after-call work (ACW) and boost productivity. Observe.AI’s Summarization AI is fully customizable—you can let the AI know how you want the summaries formatted, you can define the fields you want included, you can choose how to receive the summaries, and more—and editable, meaning agents can add their own notes to the summaries. The platform increases consistency and quality by standardizing summaries based on Observe.AI’s proprietary contact center LLM.

The most mature organizations will also ensure their agents can identify opportunities for upselling or cross-selling, thereby transforming the call center into a revenue-generating arm of the organization. Observe.AI’s Agent Assist tool does this by automatically detecting upsell and cross-sell opportunities during calls and popping up alerts for agents to pitch these additional products or services in real time.

Benefit #2: Improved agent performance

When it comes to call center success, top-notch agent performance is a no-brainer. And yet, nearly one quarter of contact centers say their agents are mostly bottom performers, according to our State of Contact Center Conversation Intelligence 2022 report. 

So how do call centers boost agent performance? This is where real-time AI truly shines.

Real-time AI tools offer a series of critical benefits to improve performance. For example, Observe.AI’s Agent Assist checks script adherence, offers recommendations on how to handle customer objections, pops up suggested knowledge-base articles, and shows alerts for hold time, customer sentiment, call duration, and speech rate—all during the call itself. By helping agents course-correct in real time, these micro-improvements can notably boost agent execution. The end result is significantly improved contact center performance.

Additionally, this access to knowledge-base articles provides autonomous learning opportunities for agents, giving them more context for the user experience to better anticipate issues and questions. 

For example, financial services company was experiencing issues with agents keeping customers on hold—or, worse, calling them back—while trying to resolve issues. For a financial services company, every moment matters with customers; after all, their customers are individuals and businesses looking to resolve important financial matters. With Real-Time AI by Observe.AI, the company was able to reduce hold time violations by 60%, thereby providing a superior customer experience.

“Agents are now well-equipped with the tools they need in real time to handle objections and escalations appropriately,” said AFF’s Director of QA. “As a result, efficiency has increased, along with customer satisfaction.”

Observe.AI’s Agent Assist also improves agent performance by reducing ramp-up time with custom SmartScripts, alerts, and prompts. For example, supervisors can tailor scripts for a new rep versus a veteran rep. After all, a new agent may require more detailed scripts than a veteran would. This ability to customize scripts helps reduce onboarding time.

Benefit #3: Reduced compliance risk

If ensuring agents and reps stay in compliance is keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. According to our new report, 1 in 4 contact center leaders cite compliance violations and risks as the most pressing concern to their contact center operations.

Compliance violations can lead to costly regulatory fines or complicated legal issues. 

But if your only way of identifying compliance breaches is after the fact, by listening to the customer conversation once complete, you’re always going to be playing catch up.

Real-time AI can save the day. Agent Assist, for example, can automatically pop up prompts for agents to deliver the necessary compliance statements while they’re on the call—no hovering supervisor necessary. Agent Assist can also check off compliance statements if they were covered by the agent, creating a data trail for who follows the script and who goes off track. 

Keep in mind that as regulation and internal company policies change, you’ll want to ensure you can move quickly on your compliance prompts. Ideally, you’ll be able to update them on the fly to ensure all agents have the most accurate, up-to-date language and information to use. This means that scripts and prompts will need to be regularly reviewed and updated to meet the latest laws, regulations, and policies.

The trend of low-code and no-code technologies are allowing non-technical personnel to ensure their team can stay flexible and fast. Observe.AI’s Experience Designer tool makes this simple by putting the control into the hands of users, with no coding required: Users can easily create compliance-related prompts that will populate while agents are in conversations, so you don’t have to wait until after the call to correct a compliance issue.

Benefit #4: More sales

One primary goal of any contact center is to close sales. Another is to reduce customer friction. Real-time AI helps contact centers achieve both of these goals seamlessly.

First, machine learning can help supervisors and agents create scripts that not only convert, but also lower triage times by helping the agent quickly diagnose and resolve the issue (or route the customer to the best person to do so). A good script also has regular prompts to ensure agents are more productive in their handling of calls. A great script will also help agents identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

This is why Observe.AI’s real-time Agent Assist offers SmartScripts. SmartScripts give agents a visual checklist during each conversation to keep them on script, give positive feedback, and encourage self-coaching. Meanwhile, dynamic prompts automatically help agents handle objections, identify revenue-generating opportunities, and answer customer questions by providing knowledge base articles. Observe.AI also provides real-time behavioral feedback, so agents can be alerted to things like violations on hold times and negative customer sentiment so they can quickly course-correct.

Observe.AI’s technology also helps supervisors and reps identify top behaviors and easily facilitates replication across agents. Best practices can then be served up to individual agents or teams at the right moments on live calls. For example, if call evaluations suggest an agent forgets to upsell, a timely upsell reminder can serve the right talk tracks to the agent just as they prepare to collect credit card details. 

There’s no doubt that real-time AI is a powerful tool for contact centers to reduce risk, boost sales, and supercharge their businesses for the future. To learn how Observe.ai can uplevel your contact center’s performance through its proprietary real-time AI platform, schedule a demo.

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Arvind Rangarajan
Director, Product Marketing
LinkedIn profile
April 30, 2024

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