Chatbots and robots in call centers

Will chatbots and robots in call centers become an increasingly popular tool supporting customer service? Will there be a place for them in the new post-pandemic order that is now crystallizing? Everything indicates that it is. Spending on bots is growing cyclically: according to Gartner, this year 50% of companies will spend more on creating bots than on mobile applications. At the same time, customer service is one of the processes most frequently subjected to automation and robotization. The digital transformation and transfer of service processes to virtual space is of particular interest to the Business Process Outsourcing industry.

Chatbots in a call center are primarily voicebots, they felt the voiced versions of conversational artificial intelligence. In addition, in the back, or the so-called The back office contact center can still work with many virtual robots that enter data into systems or collect information for reports sent to the indicated e-mail addresses. Chatbots and robots in call centers play very important and responsible roles. Correctly answering customer questions on the hotline is just the tip of the iceberg of all the work they can do for the organization today.

Chatbot fully integrated: connection to internal systems

A well-prepared chatbot in a call center is most often integrated with internal systems such as CRM, ERP, billing etc. Thanks to this, when conducting a conversation with a customer calling the hotline, he can use the data available in them. And this enables measurable support of the service process, taking into account such activities as: user authorization, verification of the customer’s status and recent activities, purchase history, complaints, editing data in systems, but also the use of customer information is a solution to his problem. Chatbot integrated with internal systems is also a possibility to e.g. manage a calendar (arrange a meeting). Of course, customers value such solutions very much. According to Deloitte, as many as 70% of customers, when making a purchase decision, attach great importance to the level of integration of service processes.

Chatbots and robots in call centers operate in the omnichannel mode

What is very important for many customers when it comes to the consistency of service processes is the possibility of a smooth customer journey. The same voicebot that operates the hotline responding to customer inquiries may also be available in other channels, e.g. on the website and on social media as a typical chatbot or sex chatbot with a dialogue window. Solutions created on a single knowledge base help to prepare an omnichannel robot that can be contacted both via voice (hotlines) and text (chat) interfaces.

How will people’s work in customer service change after hiring robots?

Often, information about the implementation of intelligent customer service systems causes anxiety both on the part of call center employees and customers potentially using these solutions. The former are afraid of losing their jobs, the latter – that they will not be able to deal with urgent matters efficiently and quickly. As numerous examples from recent years show, these fears are unfounded. Call center consultants will not be completely replaced by robots, because the latter are unable to perform creative tasks and flexibly react to unusual situations. Improvisation and looking for non-standard solutions is a human domain. What then will I do chatbots in the call center? First of all, they will become performers of schematic tasks.

What is schematic work for chatbots and robots in call centers?

According to various sources, as much as 80% of call center activities are routine activities that should be automated. And this is the space for voicebots and robots to act. This task can include both outbound and inbound calls and backend activities.

Outgoing connections: an example of operation.

Robots in call centers can, for example, make outbound calls. Such an example is, for example, debt collection voicebots. They can select a number from the database, conduct an initial interview with the debtor, arrange a repayment date and then save all the arrangements in the system. At the end of the day, the work done is sent by the robot in the form of an activity report. What is very important – one voicebot at the same time can talk to hundreds of potential debtors!

Inbound connections: example of operation.

Voicebot receives a call from a customer reporting to the hotline to urgently solve its problem. A voice chatbot with an appropriately configured knowledge base accepts information from the client, asks additional questions according to a scenario specific for this situation. If it is possible – it solves the problem on its own, e.g. accepts the complaint and records it in the system, triggering further action. If the problem is complex – the collected information is forwarded to the consultant.

Back office: an example of operation.

After conducting a survey or customer satisfaction survey, the voicebot can not only save responses in the system, but also select and group them according to selected criteria. What’s more, it can also catch deviations from the norm and provide information about such events in the form of a notification / alert. Constant monitoring of the situation and quick data verification help to make timely decisions and prevent unfavorable situations from developing.

Can today’s contact center still function without bots?

Although there are still contact centers where only people are employed, such an approach will be rare in the near future. Maintaining a competitive advantage requires optimization of activities and division of labor into that intended for humans and that for robots. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025, employers will evenly distribute work between people and robots by 2025.

Of course, the division into jobs “for people” and “for robots” is not binary. Often times, voicebots and consultants will run processes together, as computer programs will serve as a support for better execution of tasks. Such collaboration is referred to as human-machine collaboration. Its importance is growing because it brings many benefits to companies.