How AI Delivers a Brilliant Omnichannel Experience:
Customer service automation has evolved many contact center processes, affording businesses new opportunities and efficiencies. However, many enterprise organizations find that deploying IVR and chatbot solutions isn’t enough to create a cohesive and optimized customer experience (CX).
Too often, these technologies remain siloed, functioning independently of each other. When customers are bounced between automated voice recordings and web-based chatbots, the downside of relying on automated solutions becomes clear. It is not uncommon for the automated voice to tell the caller to visit the website where all their questions and support needs will be easily addressed. In these circumstances, the inability to reach a human agent for more complex CX issues can leave your customers frustrated and dissatisfied with your business, its products, and services. Consequently, when a customer reaches a human agent, the agent is left to salvage an interaction that has begun on the wrong foot.
This patchwork and siloed approach highlights the inefficiencies of relying on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions exclusively rather than allowing them to function as enhancements for a versatile cross-channel operating infrastructure. Instead, there’s a better way to harness the power of these technologies to provide a more efficient time to resolution for your customer-facing interactions.
Integrating your various applications into one thoroughly-planned omnichannel strategy can combine your previously independent resources into a robust, streamlined contact center solution. Furthermore, it will secure a consistent customer experience across all channels.
Omnichannel implementation requires data and mission-critical processes to be connected across all channels. Once implemented, customers can effortlessly switch back and forth between communication interfaces. This multi-faceted approach will empower your live agents and lead to faster resolution rates and increased customer satisfaction scores.
Cognigy's Conversational AI platform powers contact centers to enable your business to harness the power of intelligent virtual agents that align with your existing multi-channel resources to produce a technology-backed omnichannel solution.
Over the course of this article, we’ll showcase how a streamlined approach across your platforms and resources can improve customer satisfaction and agent retention rates. In addition, we’ll illustrate how the integration of a hybrid bot-human strategy can enhance the efficiency of your contact center operations while simultaneously driving CX transformation.
Ready to get started? Read on to learn how your business can adopt an omnichannel business solution.
Self-service avenues allow your customers to complete common tasks and resolve repetitive issues. This is done with the help of chatbots and human-like virtual agents (VAs). Customers call, chat or message, explore their various options and connect with a virtual assistant to self-solve their request with little-to-no human interaction. Here are the ways that self-service as part of an omnichannel contact center solution can enhance your operations:
While live agents are still the lifeblood of contact centers, Microsoft estimates that over 60% of customers are looking for self-service options before speaking to a human representative.
By supplying a ‘first line’ of contact for your inbound calls and messages, self-service options can tackle inbound inquiries faster than live agents alone, especially during periods of high call volume. Additionally, it immediately clarifies what self-service options are available, which is a common challenge for customers navigating company websites.
Put Your Customers in Charge
Today’s human-like virtual agents can display empathy and accurately assist with customer queries. While early technology could not understand the context and nuance of a conversation, today’s Conversational AI powered interactive voice response (IVR) and voice language detection capabilities can understand what customers want and provide them with the shortest path to resolution with intelligent routing.
Simply put, with automatic machine translation working at lightning speed today’s automated solutions literally speak the language of your customers, no matter where in the world they are or what language they speak. As part of an omnichannel solution, these services translate the context and conversation to any alternate dialect needed by live agents across your customer relationship management (CRM) platform in real-time.
Self-service effectively puts your audience in charge of their experience. This customer interaction paradigm shift allows them to self-solve minor and repetitive issues such as cancellations, amendments, rebookings, password requests etc, with the assurance that live agents are ready and available to tackle more complex inquiries.
Forrester notes that customers are 2.4x more likely to stay with companies that resolve their customer problems quickly. Curating an omnichannel experience that leads with self-service solutions allows your business to give customers faster resolution times.
You can reach your audience on their desired app by incorporating text and voice-based automated conversational platforms. From WhatsApp and Alexa to Slack and Microsoft Teams, having a self-service virtual assistant presence across all channels provides the convenience of communication to which your consumers have become accustomed.
Wunderman Thompson reports that 42% of consumers say a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a primary expectation.
Putting it all Together
An omnichannel contact center saves customers from daunting query repetition when switching between touchpoints. A contact center architecture that seamlessly integrates cross-channel communication can auto-update with every interaction. This ensures you can resume the conversation thread on another channel without losing the conversation context that may prove vital for its resolution or forcing customers to repeat themselves constantly. By providing a knowledge base for your contact center agents, omnichannel communication is possible without the fear of missing customer data left on another digital channel.
Cognigy’s Smart Self-Service provides AI-infused virtual agents s that know exactly where and when to bring in human assistance, recognizing when a human agent’s decision-making and emotional intelligence are needed to resolve a complex issue.
We’ve mentioned how important human agents are to the health of your contact center operations. An omnichannel contact center understands and values the critical role agents play in resolving customer issues, alongside the advancement of technologies that support them. So instead of supplanting agents, automated solutions are designed to offer them help in valuable ways that have a net-positive impact on agent retention efforts.
A seamless desktop experience can empower your agents to manage all digital and voice calls on a single interface. In addition, if your agents are armed with all the tools necessary to provide customer solutions, your retention rates will climb.
Today’s agents are under ever-growing pressure to provide excellent CX. Juggling multiple internal systems can negatively impact their ability to source the correct information at the right time. If your agent is entering a conversation with a customer who is already frustrated (having been bounced between inefficient chatbots and other agents, an example we’ve previously highlighted as being all too familiar), these pressures are only compounded.
According to data collected by Radial, 71% of customers expect human agents to have information about previous interactions already when they take over.
If an agent isn’t fully aware of the situation when they step in to help, how can they be expected to deliver a resolution?
How many negative interactions can an agent endure before questioning their ability to handle complex customer issues?
An effective omnichannel contact centre resolves these concerns by placing all relevant details at your agent’s fingertips. Cognigy Agent + Assist ensures the handoff from your automated systems is seamless. As live engagement begins, all relevant CRM data, past user sessions and the current conversation context are provided to agents, allowing them to deliver an effective solution.
Thanks to transcript summaries, your agents can quickly assess open queries and effectively navigate communication histories.
Post-call live transcription and call summary will effectively reduce the busy work that reduces agent efficiency. By automating these formerly manual processes, your agents will be able to handle more engagements in less time while easing the burdens and stress associated with after-call paperwork.
The quality management outcomes of multichannel contact centers are limited if the data from one platform isn't transferable to another. The omnichannel approach brings everything from a phone call transcript to a social media conversation into one centralized platform.
It’s not just agents who benefit from multi-channel clarity. Data from multiple channels can be used to develop workforce management key performance indicators (KPIs) to aid agents and provide complete, accurate data for management.
AI-powered coaching can showcase best practices and highlight areas of agent effectiveness that will leave your staff feeling they can resolve issues effectively. Providing a clear and data-driven roadmap of performance outcomes using call history analytics, resolution statistics, and other personalized information will ensure your team understands the metrics that back performance expectations.
Agent retention can be positively impacted by harnessing the power of data that drives your business. Your new hires will enjoy a faster onboarding process thanks to day-one access to best practices. Likewise, your seasoned agents will stay longer if given the tools necessary to reduce the stress caused by negative customer communication and prevent low-performance metrics.
Now that you’ve identified how an omnichannel strategy can help you exceed customer expectations and improve agent productivity, it’s time to showcase how this solution works when put to the test.
How Lufthansa Group Overcame Unforeseen Operational Disruption
Lufthansa Group — the largest airline in Germany — is a worldwide operator with a multi-national business infrastructure. A founding member of the world’s largest airline alliance, Star Alliance, Lufthansa has an impeccable reputation for delivering exceptional customer service. When a cataclysmic event threatened their CX in unprecedented ways, Lufthansa Group sourced a dependable solution.
When the disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic threw the aviation industry into disarray, passengers were left clamoring for answers about their flight status. The ever-evolving nature of the pandemic resulted in changed or canceled flights that offered little to no time for status updates.
In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lufthansa Group had to act quickly to serve customers and scale its ability to respond to increased and overwhelming call volumes without adding cost or increasing headcount to manage the vast number of inquiries.
In such drastic circumstances, the existing in-house developed chatbot was not flexible enough and so Lufthansa decided to consolidate its customer service provisions under the umbrella of one platform. The fastest and most effective way to do this was with an AI-powered customer automation platform, which offered Lufthansa Group business units the ability to take control with minimal IT support.
Lufthansa identified Cognigy.AI as its platform for customer service automation, allowing it to create and operate virtual agents fast and with ease.
The introduction of Cognigy immediately gave Lufthansa the resilience it needed to handle extreme traffic spikes and deliver consistent customer support.
In addition, this single cost-effective automation platform provided the scalability and flexibility that Lufthansa needs to consolidate all customer interactions with an omnichannel approach, which alleviated the pressure placed upon agents.
Ten thousand customers a day and over one million conversations per annum rely upon Lufthansa’s virtual agents to get it right. Maintaining service levels during the pandemic was pivotal to Lufthansa and its customers. Using Cognigy.AI improved the customer experience delivering Lufthansa with increased satisfaction levels and making Cognigy an integral and critical part of its customer interaction strategy.
Cognigy Enables Omnichannel Contact Center Solutions
A native omnichannel strategy improves contact center operations from customer service, workforce management, and quality assurance to training and performance oversight.
Cognigy partners with today’s contact center operators to deliver scalable, secure, and ultra-performance solutions. Combining virtual assistants and bot-assisted infrastructures with your people resources across all channels can allow your organization to provide an unparalleled omnichannel support experience for your valued customers.
To get started on your journey to implementing a high-quality self-service omnichannel contact center, we encourage you to check out our on-demand MasterClass series, which explores how to achieve, perfect and scale the 'Next Generation of Customer Self-Service'
For a more personalized, guided experience, we suggest scheduling a demo explicitly tailored to your customer retention and agent needs. Together, we’ll deliver a fast, frictionless CX that combines the power of both human and automated business models in one resource.
As part of your multi-faceted approach to customer service, our platform will help improve efficiency. Your business is guaranteed to benefit from this competitive, technology-rich resource designed to keep pace with today’s digital age.
Want to discover how to achieve, perfect and scale next-generation self-service at scale. With only 15% of customers having confidence in automated services the big question is ‘What went wrong with self-service?’ Download our free guide to “Building Next Generation Self-Service at Scale” to look at the failure points to avoid and what it takes to achieve the next generation of self-service at a scale.