AI for call centers: Advantages, uses, advice

ai integration in call centers

Automating your call center is necessary, especially if it suffers regular spikes in activity that can't be handled. According to a study by eCommerce Customer Experience in 2019, 89% of customers hang up if they have to wait at most five minutes on the phone. This statistic underscores the importance of efficient call center operations and the potential benefits of AI integration. 

Integrating advanced technology like artificial intelligence into a call center has become commonplace in 2024. Many companies have successfully implemented AI to improve their call center operations. In this article, we'll guide you through using artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of your call center while optimizing customer experience.

The advantages of AI in a call center

Artificial intelligence in a call center comes with several advantages. Let’s see a few of them.

Improve agent efficiency

Your agents' workload is limited by the number of hours they're contracted to. By integrating AI into your call center, you can increase their efficiency and improve productivity.

This allows you to:

  • Better absorb activity spikes and avoid call center overflow, avoiding the risk of reducing customer satisfaction.
  • Automate processes: Call transcription, incoming call distribution, and caller data collection. A study from Pegasystems revealed that automated call center processes improved customer query resolution times by 35%.
  • Prioritize complex tasks for human agents while delegating repetitive tasks to bots.

This way, your agents play a crucial role in the AI integration process, making them feel valued and integral to the transition.

Improve customer experience

The best way to automate customer service is to integrate AI into your call center. This not only allows you to handle customers' queries but also offers high-quality 24/7 customer support with or without human agents, ensuring a consistently positive customer experience.

23% of customers prefer to interact with a chatbot or voicebot or use direct messages when they have quick questions.

Make better decisions with intelligent data analysis

One of the often-forgotten advantages of AI is its ability to collect data (e.g., record and monitor calls) and analyze said data to improve customer service, among other things.

For example, intelligent data analysis can help you predict customer behavior, segment customers for better retention, or regularly update your CRM. This data-driven approach can significantly enhance your call center operations by providing valuable insights that can guide your decision-making process and improve your overall customer service.

This data is useful for marketing and helping agents offer a better customer experience over the phone.

Fraud prevention with intelligent systems

One of AI's often overlooked advantages is its ability to enhance data security. Intelligent systems can prevent 90% of scams and reduce 92% of the losses they cause, safeguarding your customers' data and your business's reputation.

Intelligent systems can prevent 90% of scams and reduce 92% of the losses they cause.

Integrating AI-driven tools into your can reduce detection time by 95% and help security to prevent future attacks.

How do you integrate AI into a call center?

Automating customer support with callbots

Firstly, you can integrate AI into a call center by automating initial customer support over the phone. You must set up a virtual agent like a callbot to do this. This involves:

  • Identifying recurring customer queries: What are your customers' most often asked questions?
  • Choosing the platform: Which callbot solution best meets your needs and budget?
  • Creating the script: Does the welcome script reflect your values? Is the language used sufficiently clear and inclusive?
  • Integrating the callbot into the current systems: Is the customer experience fluid once the callbot has been integrated?
  • Testing the callbot before using it: Does it function as expected?
  • Deploying and monitoring the system: Are the customers satisfied? How can you continue to improve the callbot while taking customer feedback into account?

Intelligent call routing with IVR

Intelligent call routing is another way to integrate AI into your call center. This strategy uses Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology to direct incoming calls to the most appropriate resources or agents. The goal is to guide callers through a menu to transfer them to the correct department or service, thereby reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction.  

  • Analyzing customer needs: What services will most likely respond to your callers' requests?
  • Devising the IVR hierarchy: Are the menus and options that guide the callers relevant?
  • Recording voice messages: Are the voice messages audible, and is the script clear?
  • Configuring the routing: What criteria must you consider when choosing DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) or voice recognition?
  • Integrating the IVR into the current systems: Is the level of customer experience maintained once the IVR has been integrated?
  • Testing the tool: Does the IVR work in real situations?
  • Deploying and monitoring the system: Are the customers satisfied?

Optimizing outgoing calls through Answering Machine Detection (AMD)

AMD (Answering Machine Detection) is a technology used in call centers to detect whether a person or an answering machine picks up a call. AMD detects when a human answers the phone by analyzing the specific characteristics of their voice. Let's see how you can integrate an AMD system into your center: 

  • Choosing a trusted answering machine detection system: Is the provider reliable, and do they meet your requirements regarding detection precision and operational efficiency?
  • Integrating the call system into the existing ecosystem.
  • Configuring detection settings: Do they meet your needs regarding detection sensitivity or your projected action plan when an answering machine is detected?
  • Recording messages for answering machines: Are they sufficiently clear and inclusive?
  • Testing the system in real-time: Do you need to change any settings to improve performance?
  • Analyzing data: Have you identified future trends? How can you improve your next outgoing call campaign?
  • Training agents: Has your staff mastered managing calls by considering the AMD results?

Automatic transcription and translation

There are intelligent solutions for automatic transcription: they convert audio content from incoming calls into text. Artificial intelligence can also translate and summarize long calls.

You can use automated translation and transcription to extract meaningful information from your calls. You can then analyze this data to find areas for improvement, such as:

  • your agents’ scripts
  • the automated messages used by bots
  • customer satisfaction
  • optimizing ACT (Average Call Time)
  • staff well-being

Automating recurring tasks

Smart callbots and voicebots can handle around 80% of routine tasks without human intervention. To automate routine tasks, follow this action plan:

  • Identify simple routine tasks to automate.
  • Choose the automation tools: Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, call handling systems, callbot implementation, and schedule management tools.
  • Set up automated scripts.
  • Integrate the tools into the current environment.
  • Train staff on the new AI-powered tools.

The risks of AI in a call center

Dehumanizing customer relationships

According to a study by Replicant, 80% of American customers would be willing to talk to a bot if it meant less waiting.

However, it's important to note that artificial intelligence, if overused, can dehumanize customer service, resulting in cold, unsympathetic interactions. This could potentially lead to a bad customer experience and even job insecurity for some agents. It's crucial to strike the right balance between AI and human interaction in a call center ecosystem.

Remember that AI's goal isn't to replace human agents in call centers completely but to streamline tasks, support staff, and promote self-care. By combining AI automation with human expertise, call centers can offer an optimal customer experience that combines efficiency and empathy.

IT Privacy and Security

Tools powered by artificial intelligence that manage customer data must take specific precautions to appropriately handle confidential and sensitive information.

Potential issues concerning the confidentiality of calls recorded and handled by AI exist. However, legal frameworks outlining data protection and handling are now in place. For example, businesses must inform their customers that their calls may be recorded and used for training purposes or to improve the quality of customer service.

Risk of biases within AI

If AI algorithms aren't adequately designed or updated, they may provide inaccurate data analysis or recommendations that don't reflect real-life situations.

Implementing a rigorous schedule for updating algorithms can mitigate the risks caused by these biases.