- What is call center automation?
- Benefits of call center automation
- What processes can you automate in a call center?
- Major challenges in implementing call center automation
- Choosing the best call center automation solution for you
- Elevate your customer service with Sprinklr's advanced call center automation
- Call center automation FAQs
What is call center automation?
Call center automation refers to the stack of tools and technology used to enable support teams in resolving customer service tickets efficiently. Automation tools help call centers effectively manage repetitive, high-volume queries without human involvement.
By deploying automated systems, call centers can reduce support costs and increase productivity by offloading recurring and mundane tasks from agents. Consequently, call center automation can help support teams improve their first contact resolution and average handling times.
For example, a chatbot trained to answer the most frequently asked questions can serve as the first stage of support for simple queries and issues. Businesses can also augment their interactive voice response (IVR) systems with automatic speech recognition (ASR) to enable users to naturally converse with the system and get their questions answered.
Benefits of call center automation
Automation is critical for modern call centers to simplify their customer service operations. Here is what makes call center automation essential:
1. Stay available 24/7.
Your users will reach out to you regardless of what time it is. Truth be told, it’s not reasonable to expect your agents to stay available throughout the day. Deploying call center automation ensures accessibility to your customer support systems as and when your users need help.
2. Optimize agent allocation.
Call center agents are often burdened with dispensable work that consumes most of their productive hours. With call center automation software to tackle redundant tasks, your agents can give time to complex projects that need their intervention — escalations, grievance redressals, process set-ups, etc. Optimized agent allocation empowers them to channel their effort to fulfilling work — reducing agent attrition and improving customer experiences.
3. Boost customer satisfaction.
Customers calling a contact center are usually put on hold before a customer service representative addresses their concerns. Call center automation can reduce waiting times and accelerate resolutions, drastically improving your customer service quality. With the help of natural language processing (NLP) and speech analytics, an AI-powered voice bot can understand a user’s query to provide an appropriate resolution.
And when the voice bot is unable to answer a query, the bot can route the call to the best-qualified live agent. Either way, your customers feel prioritized as their questions are promptly answered, boosting customer satisfaction and ensuring higher customer retention.
4. Reduce operational costs.
Running a call center takes a lot of investment. From real estate and infrastructure costs to agent training, operating one isn’t always economical. Call center automation helps you free your agents from simple tasks that bots can handle instead, reducing unnecessary overheads. This way, it can help you deliver on customer expectations without compromising your SLAs.
What processes can you automate in a call center?
Call centers typically operate with a well-defined workflow, the majority of which are periodic, repetitive tasks. You can automate the following processes in your call center:
1. Customer service interactions
A regular day at an inbound call center primarily consists of attending incoming calls from customers who want their queries answered quickly. A self-service chatbot or conversational IVR can engage users in real time and guide them to relevant solutions. Phone call automation gathers user intent and the context to narrow down its responses while ensuring the agent has the relevant information should the call get transferred to one.
2. Sales automation
Automation can help outbound call centers accelerate their sales cycles and close more deals. Call center automation can help you personalize your sales collaterals to match customers’ expectations and past purchasing behavior. By sending out timely reminders, follow-ups and important announcements you can push users further down the sales funnel. A predictive dialer can also streamline your sales outreach initiatives by automatically queuing up callers for agents, saving their precious time.
3. Workflow automation
Being a call center agent is definitely chaotic. As one, you’re also dealing with additional work to ensure seamless call center operations. Call center automation helps you handle secondary tasks like recording and fetching user data and collaborating with internal stakeholders. Moreover, automation can also help you avoid workflow impediments owing to human error.
For example, you can train your call center voice bot to accurately collect and store routine information to build a reliable CRM database to refer to during service interactions.
4. Forecasting and trends
Regular customer interactions consolidate into a rich customer and sales data repository over time. Call center automation helps you leverage this massive dataset to read into consumer behavior and buying trends to make business predictions. AI-led conversation analytics can help you read into vast and varying interactions to draw insights that can help you build better customer service strategies.
Major challenges in implementing call center automation
Automating your call center is a big shift towards embracing digital transformation. But with any big change comes its challenges. Here are some major speedbumps you might face while implementing call center automation solutions:
1. Poor conversational flows
Automation should not come at the expense of the quality of customer interactions. Poorly configured AI chatbots and voice bots may give irrelevant answers or keep customers stuck in a loop of unhelpful responses. It’s essential to keep your customer’s intent at the forefront while designing your chatbot’s conversation flows.
For example, if a bot is unable to understand user input, it should promptly give the customer a choice to route their call to a live agent. Bots that are not configured to handle complex interactions often leave customers stranded. Conversations should either quickly help customers with an answer or connect them to an agent — not doing so can make an already impatient customer angry.
2. Improper integration with existing systems
Support agents and automation must work in tandem to build top-notch customer interactions. Blending AI technology into traditional customer service is challenging. Training your agents, staying compliant with security protocols and ensuring existing tools integrate seamlessly are a few hurdles to overcome with using automation in call centers.
3. Loss of human connection
Nothing can replace the personalized attention a dedicated support professional provides during service interactions. Customer service requires a level of empathy, emotional depth, understanding and ingenuity that most call center AI can not mimic effectively. Automated interactions may lack the human touch and can feel impersonal to customers and so, it can be challenging to implement call center automation without diluting customer experiences.
Choosing the best call center automation solution for you
The right call center software can simplify your daily operations with its wide range of capabilities. When choosing a call center automation software, there are several factors to consider:
Features: look for call center automation software that includes necessary, highly useful features such as automatic call distribution, call routing, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), voice recognition, and predictive dialing.
Integration: ensure that the software can integrate with your existing systems, such as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, ticketing systems, and other customer-facing applications.
Scalability: consider whether the software can scale up or down based on your business needs. If you're a small business, you may need software that can grow with you. If you're a large enterprise, you may need software that can handle thousands of calls per day.
Customization: look for software that allows you to customize your call center workflows and automate your specific business processes.
Reporting: ensure that the software provides real-time reporting and analytics, so you can monitor your agents' performance and identify improvement areas.
Security: the software should boast robust security features, such as data encryption and multi-factor authentication, to ensure the protection of your customers' data.
User experience: finally, consider the usability and user experience of the software. Look for software that is easy to use, with a clean and intuitive interface and that provides clear documentation and support.
Elevate your customer service with Sprinklr's advanced call center automation
Sprinklr Service is your one-stop solution to automate your call center operations at scale. Enhance your call center experience on over 30+ digital and traditional channels with AI-powered voice and chatbots, self-service portals and a panoramic, unified view of the user. As one of the industry’s leading contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions, Sprinklr Service enhances your call center operations by letting you:
Handle customer interactions across social media, messaging, live chat, voice and video — from a unified console
Enable customers to navigate to answers with rich self-help portals
Empower agents with capabilities to resolve concerns with AI-powered assistance and Guided Workflows
Bring actionable insights to light to lead customer service proactively
Built on the only Unified Customer Experience Management (Unified-CXM) platform, Sprinklr Service marries billions of conversations across your social, messaging, live chat, email and voice channels to build hyper-personalized, highly integrated user experiences.
Call center automation FAQs
1. What is call center automation?
Call center automation involves using technology to automate repetitive tasks in a call center. It includes various software and tools that assist with tasks such as call routing, chatbots, and interactive voice response (IVR) systems.
By automating these tasks, call center agents can focus on more complex tasks, resulting in increased efficiency, reduced wait times, and improved customer experience.
2. What are the different types of call centers?
Call centers are used to handle conversations of various types. Inbound call centers receive incoming calls, outbound call centers make outgoing calls and blended call centers handle both. Virtual call centers operate remotely, and specialized call centers, such as technical support, customer service and sales centers, cater to specific functions.
3. How can I implement automation in my call center operations?
Here’s a quick step-by-step procedure for implementing call automation:
Define goals, e.g., reduce wait times, improve customer satisfaction.
Analyze processes and identify areas for automation.
Choose suitable technology, e.g., chatbots or IVR systems.
Ensure seamless integration with your current systems and train staff to use it.
Test, refine and monitor KPIs like first response times, average handling times, etc.
Make necessary adjustments for desired results.
4. What technology is used in call center automation?
A unified call center solution employs AI and natural language processing (NLP) to build robust chat and voice bots. They can help decipher user intent, tone and sentiment to deliver the most relevant responses, whereas self-evolving ML networks can reinforce learnings from customer conversations to help automated solutions improve efficiency.
5. What impact can call center automation have on your business?
Automation can reduce wait times, and shorten service cycles, leading to happier customers. It can handle routine tasks allowing agents to focus on more complex issues, making their jobs more rewarding. You can manage your workforce effectively, which helps lower costs, troubleshoot issues proactively, reduce agent turnover and ensure great customer experiences at every touchpoint.
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