XpertRule's Chief Revenue Officer, Alex Bentley discusses the fine balancing act of cost, service quality and compliance.
Employees build up experience and knowledge over time on how to handle and resolve customer queries effectively.
Knowledge, expertise and experience leaks out of the business every time an employee leaves. Attrition rates for contact centres are higher than the average of 15% with estimates ranging from 26% to as high as 85%.
On top of this, all businesses regularly refresh their products and services. There are seasonal offers, promotions, product launches and responses to competitors or market conditions. And in regulated industries, there are mandatory changes to the way in which customers must be handled e.g. treating customers fairly.
All of this requires regular and continuous training. The cost of ensuring that all employees remain up to date and follow the process effectively is already high but we now have hybrid and remote working in the contact centre. Gone are the days when the agent could put you on hold while they check out how best to proceed with a colleague.
Given it takes 3-6 months to onboard a new agent, the cost of continuous and high level of attrition is needlessly high and that’s without the added cost of additional training,
More products, more complexity, higher expectations
Furthermore, with personalisation and those regular updates I already mentioned, the complexity of products and services has been increasing over time. To do their job properly, a contact centre agent must have a broad understanding of all products, services and processes within their remit to make the right decision on how best to handle the customer request. It is expecting a lot to ask them to make the optimal decision in every interaction. One that balances the customers' best interests, with the best outcome for the company, and ensures full compliance with policy and regulation. Every time.
Even for an experienced agent with years of experience, this is big ask. For an agent who is still learning and building competency, mistakes are inevitable.
Tech can help but is also limited
Contact centre technology can help, and the tools are getting more sophisticated. Basic knowledge management has been replaced by the next best action software. But this technology still relies on domain experience and knowledge. The agent is provided with relevant information prompted on screen, but it remains the responsibility of the agent to work out how to apply that information, based on individual circumstances. Even with this technology in place, domain knowledge, experience and expertise is still a pre-requisite.
viabl.ai makes every agent an expert
This is where XpertRule's, viabl.ai platform can help. Unlike other contact centre software solutions, viabl.ai a sophisticated decision intelligence platform which can very quickly capture the business process logic and domain knowledge of an experienced agent i.e. the “how-to”, using a variety of low-code knowledge capture techniques. This knowledge is served to the agent in real time using what we refer to as ‘intelligent dialog’. This is not next best action. Rather it is next best interaction. It uses the captured knowledge to drive and steer the conversation. This means that the least experienced and knowledgeable agent is effectively “up skilled” with all the experience of the most experienced employees.
Within your operation, you might have one individual who is the expert in a given area, customer retention for example, whilst a different agent might be the resident expert in sales on one of the product lines. Each of those respective agents would become the knowledge owner for their specialist area. They would have access to, and responsibility for, updating their own specialist subject in viabl.ai. All that knowledge would be connected into a super-set of business domain knowledge and presented within the conversation's context to any agent within the operation.
So viabl.ai can be used to remove hand-offs between different agents across specialist skills and product groups. But it can also be used to remove referrals and escalations. More specialist interactions with a higher level of decision-making authority can also be captured and delegated to frontline agents, empowering agents, creating frictionless customer experience and maintaining full compliance.
Capturing knowledge and expertise solves the problem of inconsistent knowledge and experience within the team, but what about making better use of the huge amount of data that exists across the business? Surely, this could be used for better decision-making if interrogated and evaluated in the right way? Although there are a multitude of AI and data technologies now available that aim to solve this problem, in the main they fail to go the last mile; in that they provide insight without a decision. Without a decision, no action can be taken.
The beauty of viabl.ai is that it brings together predictive analytics with decision execution via a toolbox of problem-solving techniques. All of which use AI to make the optimal decision, and some use predictive analytics to interrogate available data to inform that decision-making process. In fact, multiple disparate datasets can be assessed and segmented using explainable AI, (or decision-mining) which in turn becomes an input to a model that overlays the “human” corporate best practice. The result is a composite and rounded decision-making approach that blends human expertise with predictive analytics.
No opportunity missed
viabl.ai can make a decision automatically, or it can do all the hard work, and present the results of its analysis, including a summarized set of recommendations, to a human to make the final decision. viabl.ai can consume third party data-science models, cognitive technologies, interpret unstructured documents using Large Language Models (LLMs) and import the outputs from other technologies such as Process & Task Mining and use these to inform the decision-making process. Highly personalized product and service recommendations can be made based on a deep understanding of a customer’s preferences and value to the organization. No stone goes unturned, and all perspectives can be considered: revenue, risk & compliance, and customer loyalty.
Self-service – the untapped opportunity
So far, we have focused on agent assistance and agent productivity. But there is one other significant opportunity for viabl.ai to play a critical role in improving contact centre performance.
The same knowledge that can be deployed to an agent desktop and provisioned using contact centre platforms such as Genesys or Amazon Connect, can also be deployed to chat channels, enabling customers to experience the same level of service quality across an identical breadth of interactions via self-service. In fact, viabl.ai is market agnostic and can power any conversational AI capability. It can even capture intent to enable the most efficient pathway through the conversation.
viabl.ai is a contact centre game changer
viabl.ai is not another software solution that can drive an incremental benefit, it can become the single repository and hive-mind that links all those existing technology investments together and operationalizes predictive analytics in harmony with the best human expertise in the business. The result is a consistent organization-wide decision-making capability that finds the optimal balance between service quality, compliance, and cost.
Alex Bentley is Chief Revenue Officer at XpertRule – the Decision Intelligence company.