Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Written by: Laura Fitzgerald

Head of Brand and Digital Experience

Artificial intelligence, a key player in call centers, accelerates repetitive tasks and can create a seamless experience for agents and customers. In a recent survey of contact center and IT leaders, a staggering 87% of respondents affirm that conversational AI has reduced agents’ effort and costs in the contact center, boosting agent efficiency by 65%.

In a Forbes article, Jennifer Lee, COO of Intradiem, writes: “As AI continues to mature, contact centers should keep routing transactional and computational tasks to chatbots while reserving more complex requests for human agents.” The key is using AI at the right moments to support the agent’s ability to handle complex issues more efficiently. Here’s how it works.

What is call center automation, and how does it work?

Call center automation, a technology-driven approach, streamlines routine tasks within the call center, minimizing the need for human intervention. Automating repetitive tasks, including screening and call routing, can enhance efficiency, cut costs, and elevate customer experience by expediting response time and ensuring consistent service. 

But there are vital components needed to make this happen. One component is an interactive voice response (IVR) system, which uses pre-recorded messages and menu options to interact with callers through keypad or voice commands. Another is automatic call distribution (ACD), which routes incoming calls to the most appropriate department agent based on predefined criteria such as a caller’s phone number, selected menu options, or agent availability. 

When choosing a contact center automation solution, look for features such as interactive voice response (IVR), AI-powered chatbots for instant customer response, advanced call routing, real-time analytics, and integrations with CRM systems. Additionally, it should offer multi-channel support (email, phone, social media) for comprehensive customer communication. The option for personalized customer interactions is also essential.

How is artificial intelligence used in contact center automation?

AI and machine learning can be vital in enhancing customer service efficiency. They facilitate better customer interactions by automating responses, analyzing customer sentiment, and predicting trends. Additionally, they help reduce turnaround times, avoid human errors, and personalize customer interactions. Most contact center automation platforms are designed to seamlessly integrate with various existing CRM systems. This approach makes it possible to manage customer interactions better and synchronize data.

AI significantly enhances contact center automation by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and delivering a superior customer experience. Contact centers can better meet customer needs and stay competitive in a fast-evolving market by leveraging AI technologies such as chatbots, predictive analytics, sentiment analysis, and robotic process automation. Designing efficient call center operations can make a huge difference, especially in customer-centric spaces like travel and hospitality.

5 AI Trends Shaping Contact Center Automation in 2024

1. Robotic process automation (RPA)

RPA is a technology that uses software robots or “bots” to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks typically performed by human workers. Automating various routine tasks in contact centers helps streamline operations, reduce costs, and enhance service quality.

2. Interactive voice response (IVR)

IVR is a telephony technology that allows customers to interact with a company’s host system via voice or touch-tone dialing. Contact centers widely use it to handle incoming calls, route them to the appropriate department or agent, and provide automated responses to customer inquiries.

3. Natural language processing (NLP)

NLP is a machine learning technology that allows computers to interpret, manipulate, and comprehend human language. Through applications like chatbots, voice assistants, sentiment analysis, and automated transcription, NLP helps improve efficiency, customer satisfaction, and operational insights. Despite challenges in accuracy and contextual understanding, the advancements in NLP continue to be a significant driver for innovation and better service in contact centers.

4. Automatic speech recognition (ASR)

ASR uses machine learning or AI technology to process human speech into readable text, making it possible for machines to understand and respond to voice commands. In contact centers, ASR significantly enhances the functionality and efficiency of contact centers by enabling voice-driven interactions and automating routine tasks.

5. Predictive call routing 

Also known as intelligent call routing, predictive call routing is a contact center technology that uses machine learning to identify the best agent to serve a customer based on their interactions. It evaluates factors like past behavior, product preferences, and persona type to predict the skills and personality traits an agent needs. The system then matches the interaction to an available agent and updates itself as new data enters.

A closer look at the benefits of contact center automation

AI can significantly improve the experience of both agents and customers when engaging with a brand’s call center in various ways. The primary outcomes of technology within call centers can allow for the following: 

  1. Increased efficiency and productivity
    Gone are the days of routine tasks like data entry, call routing, and FAQs for good service, which can now all be automated to free up time for agents. For instance, chatbots can answer top customer questions about store hours or return policies, eliminating the need for human intervention. This increases efficiency and shows agents that their time is valued, as they can now focus on more complex and rewarding tasks.
  2. Improved customer experience
    By eliminating the need for human interaction, you also allow for around-the-clock service for your customers without restricting them to handling personal needs during business hours. Predictive call routing ensures they make it to the right place for automated FAQs, scripts, and more so that customers receive the same information regardless of which agent or system they interact with. This consistency in service enhances customer trust and confidence in the brand.
  3. Cost savings
    Good software comes with scalability, and automation reduces the need for a large workforce to handle customer needs. Unlike human agents who can only manage one call, a virtual assistant can handle thousands of inquiries simultaneously. Allowing a virtual assistant to handle some inquiries can maximize human resource efficiency.
  4. Higher security
    AI significantly bolsters security in call centers by enhancing fraud detection, improving authentication processes, protecting data privacy, proactively managing risks, and providing enhanced monitoring and response capabilities. These improvements ensure that customer data is safeguarded, fraudulent activities are minimized, and regulatory compliance is maintained. 

Pindrop: A deep dive into contact center automation software for security

With the right technology, call centers can be more support-oriented, serving your and your customers’ needs. They play a pivotal role in how your customers interact with the business. Self-service technologies are one of the best ways to alleviate pressure on reps while keeping customers engaged and happy.

Security events can also cost call centers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a secure contact center is synonymous with trust and reliability in your brand. By implementing advanced security solutions, businesses can prevent the significant financial and reputational damages associated with data breaches and fraud.

Pindrop’s solutions utilize sophisticated voice biometrics and phone-printing technology to ensure secure calls. It analyzes all aspects of the call, from quality to device type, to authenticate the caller’s identity without being obtrusive to your customers.

To learn more about the benefits of our passive authentication solution, read about our 7 proven ways to reduce costs with Pindrop’s technology in your call center.