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With AI and automation becoming increasingly popular, it’s natural to wonder if AI is coming for your contact center jobs. A quick Reddit search found that a lot of folks actually share this concern. Several wonder if they’ll lose their jobs to a robot.

Scary news headlines like these from The New York Times and The Washington Post contribute to the narrative that AI will replace us in the workforce. But contrary to popular belief, AI tools aren’t adversaries to your agents. They’re powerful allies.

With AI, you can empower your agents and boost their performance to streamline contact center operations. Let’s delve into how AI can improve agent productivity in contact centers.

What is Agent Productivity?

Agent productivity refers to how efficiently and effectively your agents handle and resolve customer issues. At its most basic, the more “productive” an agent is, the more customer interactions they can complete during their shift.

Customers expect high-quality service. Recent research from Salesforce notes that 80% of customers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as its products and services. For this reason, agent productivity is key.

But your agents are human — they can only do so much. To combat rising customer expectations and operational costs, contact centers need help from technology. This is where contact center AI comes in.

With AI, agents can optimize their workflow and deliver superior customer experiences.

Want to learn how AI can boost your contact center’s operational efficiency? Check out our blog post.

7 Ways AI Helps Improve Agent Productivity

1. Improve First-Call Resolution (FCR) and Response Times

FCR is a crucial call center performance metric, and it’s fundamental to tracking agent productivity. To improve FCR, AI can analyze customer inquiries in real time. And then, it can provide agents with relevant information and suggested responses. Over time, this leads to faster resolutions and higher FCR rates.

2. Organize Queries

It’s tricky (and time-consuming) to accurately triage and route queries manually. AI tools, however, can categorize and prioritize incoming queries based on urgency and complexity. You won’t even have to think about it. This process ensures agents can address high-priority issues while managing their workload. The result? Higher FCR and increased productivity across the board.

3. Strengthen Your Omnichannel Services

Companies with strong omnichannel strategies retain an average of about 89% of their customers. While those with weaker omnichannel strategies only keep 33% of their customers. To improve agent productivity, you need to lean into optimizing omnichannel services.

AI improves your omnichannel offerings by gathering analytics to add personalization and predict customer behavior. You can use AI to share personalized data across your channels. This lets agents engage with customers consistently across every channel and touchpoint.

4. Analyze Data

Data is crucial for improving operational efficiency and performance. But doing your own manual analysis takes ages. You don’t have time for that. Instead, use AI algorithms to analyze customer and performance data. Let AI identify trends, patterns, and insights for you. Then, see where you should boost training and resources to improve agent productivity. Or you can use the data to empower agents to personalize interactions and anticipate customer needs.

5. Automate Repetitive Tasks

Customer service reps are bogged down by repetitive tasks. Data entry, appointment scheduling, and order processing eat away at agents’ time. But you can improve agent productivity with AI-driven automation. Let AI and automation handle routine tasks. This then frees agents to focus on more complex inquiries and value-adding activities.

6. Analyze Customer Sentiment and Behavior

If you could predict your customer’s next move, how much more productive would you be? You could handle issues more effectively, which would boost FCR and CSAT. And you could empower agents to tackle more work. AI tools can help by assessing customer sentiment and behavior during interactions. And then, after tracking behaviors, AI helps your agents tailor their responses and actions to meet individual customer preferences. This leads to enhanced satisfaction and loyalty.

7. Train New Agents

As a manager, you have to consistently be a coach to your agents. But you’re also expected to manage and scale your contact center. The truth is, it’s just not sustainable to offer real-time training and coaching on top of your usual responsibilities. But with AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots, you can provide pre-programmed on-the-job training and guidance to agents. And bonus, you ensure consistent service quality from day one to improve agent productivity.

4 Tips to Drive Productivity in Your Contact Center

So now you know where AI can help you. Here are a few tips to get you started on improving agent productivity in your contact center.

1. Add AI to Your Self-Service Options

Self-service is a must-have for customers today. And AI-driven tools can enhance your self-service experience. It enables customers to resolve common issues using self-service portals and chatbots. This reduces the volume of inquiries handled by agents and improves efficiency for your customers.

2. Use AI for Real-Time Agent Help

The truth is, you can’t be in multiple places to coach every agent interaction. Instead, add AI tools to provide real-time suggestions and prompts during customer interactions. Doing so enhances their problem-solving capabilities, reduces average handling time (AHT), and boosts FCR.

3. Streamline Processes with Automation

Don’t let redundant tasks and processes eat away your team’s time and energy. Automation lets you cut repetitive back-office tasks such as data entry and document processing. This gives time back to your agents so they can focus on high-value customer interactions.

4. Use AI-Powered Insights to Manage Agent Performance

Tracking performance metrics and KPIs sets apart high-performing contact centers from sluggish ones. With AI-powered analytics and insights, you can go beyond the metrics for key insights into knowledge and skills gaps, future trends, and more.

With AI-powered insights, you can support agent performance, recognize good work, and tailor your training to address specific skills gaps. Use these insights to provide specific feedback to agents, enable them to make immediate adjustments, and continuously improve their performance. Not only does this make you more proactive with performance management, but it also contributes to a culture of continuous learning and development in your contact center.

Are you ready to add AI and automation to your contact center? Schedule a demo!

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