It is critical for brands to maintain business growth and provide a good experience to consumers. Contact center automation can help you achieve both of these objectives. The rise of technology has fueled the development of the global call center industry.
The processes at centers have undergone a massive shift from the early years due to the innovations that have been launched in quick succession. Automation is one such innovation that has become the cornerstone for the success of any contact center.
Before you jump the gun and proceed towards the how and when of contact center automation, it is important to understand the process of achieving it.
You can follow the following steps to achieve contact center automation
Table of contents
1. Assess the workflow
Assessing the workflow is the most critical point in the entire automation journey. You need to evaluate the workflow in the organization to understand the current state of operations. You can only improve what you know. Focus your energy on assessing the workflow before attempting to achieve automation at the contact center.
There could be different parts to a workflow in an organization, like interacting with clients, managing internal interactions, recording data, moving between applications, and covering a variety of channels.
By analyzing the workflow better, you will be able to see how efforts are being made at the call center and how closely they are related to the revenue and profit of the business. You can also make improvements in the workflow before deploying contact center automation solutions.
2. Map the customer journey and identify critical touchpoints
Automation helps you improve CX. For it to work properly and achieve expected results, you should map the customer journey and identify critical touchpoints to create a balance between automation and human interaction.
Tools like chatbots, IVR, self-service tools, and artificial intelligence help you achieve call center automation. Once you can map the customer journey and identify critical touchpoints, you can create a solid foundation for your call center automation.
3. Outline automation opportunities
Once you have understood the workflow at the call center and have mapped customer journey and touchpoints, it is now time to outline automation opportunities. There could be several opportunities across processes like sales, support, record keeping, etc.
You may find solutions like automating data entry, invoicing, emails, lead follow-up, and tracking agents. It would help to outline automation opportunities by using the knowledge base created in the first two steps.
4. Identify possible solutions
Once you have clarity about the possible automation opportunities in the organization, it is time to look for the right call center automation software. Based on your requirements, there are various contact center automation solutions available in the market that can be considered.
It would be best to consider factors like pricing, reliability, industry reputation, CRM integration, and technological solutions offered by the platform. You can opt for a solution that provides you flexibility and is powerful and scalable for the growing needs of the business.
One of the critical requirements is integrating with cloud platforms so that you do not need additional hardware for deploying the automation solution.
Regarding pricing, always opt for solutions that come with monthly or annual billing rather than choosing a long-term contract.
Other factors like the reputation of the solution provider and integration across other tools are equally critical for automation to work as expected.
5. Create automation scenarios
Once you have the right solution for call center automation customer care, you should create automation scenarios. In the previous two steps, you have been able to find automation opportunities and identify automation software as per your requirements.
You can line up opportunities that help you in various business activities like forecasting, interaction, sales, and scheduling.
Forecasting helps you analyze information related to customers, products, and sales and forecast business scenarios and trends as per the business cycle. Interaction automation helps create self-service solutions, chatbots, and a comprehensive knowledge base system that enables you to automate interactions with consumers.
Under sales automation, regular sales announcements, offers, customer onboarding, and after-sales follow-up can be automated. The expectation is that you can shorten the sales cycle and achieve more closed leads than a manual sales scenario.
Scheduling automation helps you automate regular tasks like data organization and other routine tasks that help you increase efficiency in the processes.
You can look at your requirement based on these solutions and create automation scenarios as per your requirement.
6. Deploy automation solutions
Once you have created the automation scenarios, it is now time to deploy the automation solutions. Deployment across channels can be done in batches or together. It is better that you do it in batches to lay the ground for call center automation.
Deploying automation solutions also requires testing and quality audits to ensure that the process is working as expected. It is suggested that a few rounds of audits are done before the automation solution is deployed in the real-world scenario.
You can consider solutions like omnichannel routing, workforce optimization, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning in call center automation.
Omnichannel routing helps your workforce seamlessly interact with customers across channels like voice and digital. It also allows you in call distribution, outbound dialing, IVR, and channel support.
For instance, you can place decision tree software through a chatbot for self-service. This would help in providing better resolutions to customer queries. The same decision trees being used across multiple touchpoints would improve customer experience.
Considering you have assessed the requirements right and selected the right contact center automation software, you would be able to do justice to the automation opportunities identified in the organization.
7. Workforce training
Once all automation systems have been tested and deployed, you can move towards workforce training. The success of your automation system depends on the level of training provided to your team. Your team needs to be aware of the changes that have taken place across the workplace so that they can respond accordingly.
A learning management system like Knowmax would help you reduce training and onboarding costs. With a personalized training experience in an interactive ecosystem, Knowmax can help you cost-effectively achieve better CX.
As mentioned, the philosophy that you can only improve what you understand is equally applicable to the workforce. Before you roll out automation across the board in the organization, it is important to provide the required training to aim for results that are beneficial for revenue and profit growth.
Following these steps will help you achieve automation at your contact center. Each step is equally indispensable in the success of automation at the contact center.
One of the most critical steps in this journey is to take the first step towards automation. As they say, making a start is often the most difficult part of the journey. Once you take the leap, you are already a step closer to achieving higher efficiency and profitability.