As the COVID-19 crisis unfolds, businesses are struggling to stay afloat. While remote working has become the “new normal,” departments like Customer Service have taken quite a hit. Customer contact centers are operating at reduced staff as the volume of anxious customers frantically looking for information and updates continues to peak.
Such a situation has resulted in longer wait times, dropped connections, and overburdened employees. At a time like this, it would be a wise decision for companies to adopt intelligent automation and allow virtual or digital agents to handle a bulk of repetitive queries.
Regardless of the industry that you may be operating in, customer contact centers are hounded by consumers asking for cancellations, refunds, updates, bill payment extensions, and other disputes. As a result, the following issues have cropped up:
Virtual Agent, also known as Digital Agent, is an application that makes use of automation while offering service or guidance. A virtual agent is designed to follow a set of scripted rules (algorithms) to seek an appropriate course of action.
Initially, basic digital agents followed an individual workflow wherein it would identify specific keywords and respond in accordance with the script associated with it. However, with the advent of Artificial intelligence (AI), Virtual Agents can leverage technologies like Machine learning (ML), Automated Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language processing (NLP), Text-To-Speech (TTS) to enhance their services over voice or text.
Customer Contact centers can make use of digital agents to automate and optimize their processes. With the help of a virtual agent, your business can:
Companies can enforce virtual agents to aid customer service in multiple ways. For instance, organizations can introduce a digital agent-backed contact center for maintaining business agility, increasing service availability, reducing cost and business risk, and backfilling for absent employees.
Government bodies, non-profit organizations, schools, and businesses will have to attend to several calls demanding service. AI-powered virtual agents can be used in the following ways:
One can see that the adoption of technology like virtual agents, Automation, AI, Automated Speech Recognition (ASR), NLP, TTS, etc. will be beneficial for everyone, the customer, the workforce, and the organization. It not only accounts for the shortage of employees but also allows for the diversification of their roles.
As a result, it comes as no surprise that Gartner in its March 2020 report on” Impact of Covid-19 on IT spendings” – expect investments in AI/ML projects to digitalize client interactions (contact centers, virtual assistants, etc.) and data analytics projects to mitigate risk.
The future for virtual agents appears to be crucial in order to maintain service, support employees, and manage risks. Virtual agents and voice bots are slated to play a pivotal role in enhancing customer experience, increasing operational excellence, ensuring regulatory and corporate compliance, which will all accrue in the form of company profits.
Enterprises should select the right solution as per use case, support for multiple languages including regional languages and deployment models which can be on-premise or cloud based on regulatory and security requirements. Enterprises should partner with vendors like Mihup who have built Voice AI Platform with Automatic Speech Recognition, Text to Intent, Dialogue Manager and TTS pillars for providing end-to-end Virtual Agent solution for businesses, natural language support is provided by Mihup Engine for Indian scenarios and Indian languages including Regional languages.