The world of customer service is changing fast. To keep up, call centers need to mix the right people skills with the latest smart technology. One of the hottest tech tools right now is real-time assist. But – just like any other tool – it's not perfect.
For many companies, real-time assist is elevating customer service to new heights. Yet many others are using real-time agent assist tools and finding their productivity and customer experience dropping dramatically.
Why is real-time assist working for some but not all? Coaching.
A good coaching program is key to training and growing your reps. Even with the latest AI-technology, a contact center’s most valuable asset is its people. While new technology can elevate a good coaching program, they shouldn't replace it.
Wondering if real-time assist is right for your contact center? In this blog, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons you should consider when deciding if real-time agent assist is the answer to your organization’s challenges.
Before getting into the pros and cons, it’s important to understand what real-time agent assist tools are and how they operate within a call center environment.
Most real-time assist products employ artificial intelligence (AI) to assist customer service agents during live customer interactions. They offer real-time guidance, providing agents with on-screen prompts, scripts, and suggestions to handle customer inquiries.
This immediate support aims to improve the customer experience, reduce response times, and boost the overall efficiency of customer interactions.
Real-time assist tools offer many great benefits to contact centers. When used in the right way, real-time agent assist delivers:
These tools provide invaluable real-time support during live customer interactions. They analyze the ongoing conversation and immediately provide relevant responses or action suggestions to the agent.
This assistance not only helps in improving customer service but also enhances each agent’s confidence in handling customer inquiries – leading to improved job satisfaction.
For new hires, immediate agent assistance tools serve as an essential training aid. They expedite the learning curve by providing immediate feedback and guidance that can shorten their time to proficiency.
This real-time learning experience fosters a practical understanding of the job, enabling new agents to hit the ground running. Plus, enabling an efficient real-time assistant tool allows your trainers to focus on the employees who need the most help.
Many industries have specific regulations customer service agents must adhere to during customer interactions. If compliance mistakes are made, they can often lead to major penalties for the company.
Real-time agent assistance tools can offer prompts and reminders to help agents maintain compliance. This can prevent potential legal issues and safeguard your organization's reputation.
By providing instant, on-the-spot assistance, these tools help to reduce response times and increase the number of calls per agent. This boost in contact center efficiency can contribute to improved productivity, better customer satisfaction, and increased cost savings.
Obviously, real-time agent assist tools have some incredible benefits! However, it can be easy to focus on its strengths without also considering the limitations of real-time assist in your contact center.
Here are a few things to consider when deciding if real-time assist is the answer for your call center:
While real-time assist tools are great for handling routine tasks, they often struggle with more complex customer issues. Most real-time assist tools are designed for a specific set of tasks. If they’re presented with something outside of those tasks, they may not be able to handle those appropriately.
Real-time assist tools cannot fully replicate the human touch, which is crucial in customer service. While the world of AI is improving rapidly, these tools still struggle to reply with empathy or fully understand a customer’s emotions.
These tools may unintentionally limit an agent's learning and development. If agents become overly reliant on these tools for immediate answers, they might not develop the necessary problem-solving skills to handle complex situations independently, leading to a potential stagnation in their skills growth.
As real-time assist tools process customer interactions, there can be data privacy concerns if not handled correctly. While it might not be against any data regulations, some customers may feel uncomfortable knowing their conversation is being analyzed by an AI tool.
Though designed to be user-friendly, real-time agent assist tools often require extensive customization to fit your contact center’s specific workflows and software. Not only does this require a significant amount of time and resources, but if they’re not correctly configured, these tools might not be optimized and can disrupt established processes.
Since real-time assist tools operate in live customer interactions, any unexpected technical issues can have immediate and detrimental effects. Whether the tool fails to provide the right prompts to agents, lags in real-time during crucial customer interactions, or completely stops working in the middle of a service call, technical glitches can significantly affect service quality and decrease customer satisfaction.
Real-time assist tools provide valuable benefits like immediate support, training assistance, better compliance, and enhanced efficiency. However, potential challenges such as limited scope, lack of empathy, agent over-reliance, data privacy concerns, integration complexities, and possible technical glitches need consideration.
It's important to understand that these tools are designed to augment, not replace, the human element in customer service. A comprehensive and effective coaching program remains essential. When integrated with such a program, real-time assist tools can significantly enhance your customer service experience.
Remember, adopting new technology should be an informed and thoughtful process. It's not merely about following trends, but choosing tools that genuinely improve your operations, empower your agents, and most importantly, elevate your customers' experience.
Wondering if real-time assist is the tool your call center needs? Let's chat! We'd love to help you decide if this is the solution to your challenges.
The future of success in your contact center is contingent on how you impact performance in ways that are both immediate and sustainable. And it doesn’t matter whether your agents are on-site, at-home, full-time, part-time, or temporary – you must deliver on performance.
Coaching is one of the most significant tools we can use to deliver on the engagement and performance of our people – but we must develop our processes, our people and leadership skills, and our technology tools, in order to overthrow the pervasive challenges to achieving greater coaching effectiveness and supercharging contact center performance!
Unlock the potential of your employees and skyrocket your ROI with cutting-edge coaching.
Melissa Pollock Customer Success at AmplifAI