The Pros & Cons of Real-Time Agent Assist in Contact Centers

Megan Black
Megan Black
The Pros & Cons of Real-Time Agent Assist in Contact Centers

Real-Time Agent Assist For Your Contact Center

The world of customer service is changing fast. To keep up, contact centers need to mix the right people skills with the latest smart technology. One of the hottest tech tools right now is Real-Time Agent Assist.

For many companies, Real-Time Agent Assist is elevating customer service to new heights. Yet other companies who are using Real-Time Agent Assist in their contact center are finding their productivity and customer experience dropping dramatically.

Why is Real-Time Agent Assist working for some contact centers but not all? The short answer: Coaching effectiveness.

Effective coaching 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, it shouldn't replace it.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons to consider when implementing Real-Time Agent Assist in your contact center, and discuss how AI-Driven Coaching makes a perfect compliment alongside or instead of Real-Time Agent Assist, depending on your unique contact center requirements.

Before diving in, it's important for us to cover the broader definition of Real-Time Agent Assist, and Real-Time Assist tools in general.

What is Real-Time Agent Assist?

Real-Time Agent Assist is a specialized form of Real-Time Assist technology focused on supporting customer service agents in contact centers. It offers live, AI-powered guidance to agents during customer interactions, such as on-screen prompts, suggested responses, and relevant information, aiming to improve response quality, decrease handle times, and enhance overall customer satisfaction.

What is Real-Time Assist?

Real-Time Assist leverages AI-powered technologies to provide instant, automated support across a spectrum of digital platforms. From AI-driven tools that aid online gaming experiences, like poker sites, to intelligent systems that offer split-second data analytics for financial traders, Real-Time Assist is pivotal in environments where immediate, intelligent support can be the difference between success and failure.

Below is a brief comparison of common use cases and how Real-Time Assist, and Real-Time Agent Assist each handle those.

It's clear that Real-Time Agent Assist is a more advanced contact center focused option.

Use Case Real-Time Assist (RTA) Real-Time Agent Assist (RTAA)
Customer Query Resolution Provides automated responses and information retrieval for quick answers. Gives agents contextually relevant information and action suggestions to resolve queries efficiently.
Compliance and Scripting Offers automated reminders for compliance and standard scripts. Delivers real-time prompts and scripted responses tailored to the current interaction for compliance and personalization.
Sales and Cross-Selling Identifies opportunities for automated recommendations. Suggests products or services to agents based on customer's profile and current interaction, enhancing personalized selling.
Handling Complex Issues May offer basic guidance but struggles with nuanced or complex problems. Guides agents through complex issues with detailed, step-by-step solutions or escalation paths.
Agent Training and Onboarding Provides a repository of information for self-learning. Actively aids in agent training by offering real-time feedback and guidance during live customer interactions.

The Pros of Real-Time Agent Assist in Your Contact Center

Real-time agent assist bring several key benefits to the table for contact centers. When leveraged effectively, it can significantly enable agents to deliver on-brand customer experiences:

Immediate Support

Offering real-time support during customer interactions, supply agents with the information or actions needed. This not only boosts customer service quality but also builds agent confidence, leading to greater job satisfaction.

Onboarding Assistance

For newcomers, these tools are invaluable, speeding up the learning process with instant feedback and directions. This hands-on learning helps new agents quickly become proficient, allowing trainers to allocate more time to those who need it most.

Better Compliance

In industries with strict regulations, real-time assist tools act as a safety net, providing agents with reminders to ensure adherence to rules, thus minimizing the risk of penalties and protecting your company's integrity.

Enhanced Efficiency

With immediate assistance at their fingertips, agents can handle calls faster and more effectively, increasing the volume of calls managed and boosting overall productivity. This results in happier customers and potential savings for the call center.

The Cons of Using Real-Time Agent Assist in Your Contact Center

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 Agent Assist in your contact center.

Here are a few things to consider to get the most out of Real-Time Agent Assist:

Limited Scope

While real-time agent 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.

Lacking Human Touch

Real-time agent 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.

Over-Reliant Agents

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.

Data Privacy Concerns

As real-time agent 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.

Integration Challenges

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.

Technical Issues

Since real-time agent 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 Agent Assist Enhances Strong Coaching Programs

Real-Time Agent Assist is invaluable at offering instant support and ensuring compliance, boosting both efficiency and agent confidence.

Yet, it comes with its own set of challenges, including a limited ability to handle complex queries and a lack of personalized empathy, which could lead to agent over-reliance and potential data privacy issues.

Understanding the limitations of Real Time Agent Assist underscores the necessity of a solution that is capable of building up the most valuable asset to your contact center-your team leaders and agents. This is where the integration of AI Coaching becomes pivotal.

While Real-Time Agent Assist lays the groundwork for immediate support, AI coaching, like AmplifAI, takes this foundation further by offering personalized, data-driven feedback and development opportunities through training coaches, and team leaders, to be better coaches, replicating the actions of top performers within your organization, and providing every level of your contact center a dashboard view of the metrics that matter to them most.

If you're considering the next step in optimizing your contact center's performance, integrating AI coaching could be the game-changer you need.

Let's explore how AI Coaching fills the coaching effectiveness gaps of Real Time Agent Assist.

Address Real-Time Agent Assist Limitations with AI Coaching

Limited Scope

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: Struggles with non-routine, complex customer issues.
  • AI Coaching: Utilizes data from top performers to offer broad, adaptable strategies for a wide range of scenarios, enhancing agents' ability to tackle complex issues.

Lacking Human Touch

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: Cannot replicate empathy or fully grasp customer emotions.
  • AI Coaching: Leverages behavior-linked actions and speech analytics to foster genuine empathy and understanding in customer interactions.

Over-Reliant Agents

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: May inhibit the development of independent problem-solving skills.
  • AI Coaching: Promotes continuous learning and development through personalized feedback, reducing over-reliance on automated prompts.

Data Privacy Concerns

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: Raises concerns over customer data privacy.
  • AI Coaching: Ensures a privacy-first approach while still offering personalized, effective coaching insights.

Integration Challenges

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: Can be difficult to integrate without disrupting existing workflows.
  • AI Coaching: Designed for seamless integration, enhancing rather than complicating the call center tech ecosystem.

Technical Issues

  • Real-Time Agent Assist: Vulnerable to glitches that can directly affect service quality.
  • AI Coaching: Provides a reliable, stable platform that minimizes downtime and technical disruptions.

Unique Advantages of AI Coaching

AI Coaching not only addresses the limitations found in Real-Time Agent Assist but also introduces several unique advantages:

  • Next Best Action Recommendations: Tailors coaching by identifying the most impactful metrics for improvement based on individual performance.
  • Behavior-Linked Coaching: Enhances coaching effectiveness by suggesting specific behaviors to focus on, derived from top performer analysis and speech analytics.
  • Integrated Best Practices: Offers easy access to a library of best practices, enabling supervisors to enrich coaching sessions with proven strategies.
  • LMS Integration: Facilitates ongoing learning by integrating with your Learning Management System, making it easier to access and apply educational resources directly within the coaching framework.

Integrating Real-Time Agent Assist with AI Coaching creates a comprehensive support system for your contact center.

While Real-Time Agent Assist provides immediate assistance for routine inquiries, enhancing efficiency and agent confidence, AI Coaching from AmplifAI builds up the foundation of what truly drives exceptional performance-call center coaching effectiveness.

AI coaching offers personalized development plans that target key metrics such as CSAT, AHT, FCR, along with driving revenue growth and sales.

Together, Real-Time Agent Assist and AI Coaching ensure not only the immediate resolution of customer queries but also long-term improvement in agent performance and satisfaction, delivering tangible ROI.

Exploring the right tools for your contact center's needs is crucial. Whether it's the immediate support of Real-Time Agent Assist or the comprehensive development approach offered by AI Coaching, evaluating both can illuminate the best path to your customer service and operational success.

Schedule a comparison at your convenience and we'd be happy to walk through the pros and cons of each solution with you!

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Benefit
Result
💯
Improved Performance & Customer Experience
Month over month gains in Issue Resolution,
FCR and NPS;
Month over month reductions in Handle times,
ACW and Hold
👥
Winning additional client headcount
30% improvement in sales conversion
💪
Retaining talented people
8-point reduction in turnover
💰
Improving financial performance
10% increase in utilization

Summary

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.

call center coaching cta@0.5x

Connect with the authors:

Melissa Pollock Customer Success at AmplifAI

Jim Rembach President at CX Media

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