Execs In The Know- A Global Network of Customer Experience Professionals

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How AI Automation Has Changed Customer Service Operations

The following is a guest blog by Charles Schrier, Director of Marketing  at SmartAction.

As a lifelong customer service professional, you’ve watched the customer service function change from necessary evil to cornerstone of business success. For so long, businesses found ways to cut costs and increase efficiency in the call center because it was always viewed as a “cost” center. But with today’s customer demands for experiences that are easy and effective, and with more contact channels than ever before, it is getting near impossible to forecast and staff the call center, train agents in the proper skills, and offer consistency across channels and touchpoints.

Companies have an amazing opportunity to meet customer demands and create a strategic advantage over the competition by incorporating AI automation into their customer service operation. Forrester research tells us that 2/3 of consumers said that valuing their time is the most important thing to them, which helps to explain the rise in self-service adoption. With conversational AI automation, businesses are offering self-service for many of the simple and complex repetitive tasks that their call center agents had always been doing. Thanks to consumer tech products like Siri and Cortana, customers are actually very adept and comfortable interacting with conversational AI, whether through voice or digital media. Therefore, companies with AI automation are outpacing competitors by offering the effortless experience their customers want while migrating their operations towards sustainable growth.

AI automation’s most impactful ROI promise is in helping call centers conquer headcount challenges. As contact volumes explode through more and more channels, it has become increasingly difficult to forecast and accurately staff the call center. Even when volume spikes are predictable, they are still expensive to manage using live agents alone. The answer to higher volumes is no longer to hire more people, but rather to use AI agents mixed with live agents in order to automate more and make the live agents more effective for the inquiries that require the human touch. Many companies have found success using an AI virtual assistant service to:

    1. 1. Automate repetitive calls, chats, and texts with live agent failover. This helps agents focus on the top priority customer conversations because the routine tasks, like checking order status or making payments, are taken care of by AI.
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    3. 2. Gather customer data upfront before passing to live agent for assistance. An example is customer account authentication with screen pops for agents so that customers do not need to repeat information.
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    5. 3. Automate outbound calls and SMS texts for appointment confirmations, delivery reminders, reorders, or other alerts. This is normally a huge cost and time-suck for live agents.
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    7. 4. Offer a conversational AI Front Door, which uses a natural language greeting like, “How can I help you?” to capture intent. Conversations then get routed either to the IVR, a live agent, or additional AI self-service.

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  • Execs In The Know CX Leadership Event – Customer Response Summit – Coming to Marina del Rey

    Leading CX Leaders From Microsoft, Upwork, LinkedIn, and Chick-fil-A to Keynote Execs In The Know – Customer Response Summit Marina del Rey

    PHOENIXJuly 12, 2018 — Execs In The Know, a community of Customer Experience Professionals, has announced the details of their national event – Customer Response Summit (CRS) Marina del Rey. CRS Marina del Rey will be held September 10th-12th, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey, in Marina del Rey, CA. Culture, customer engagement, AI, the millennial workforce, mindfulness, digital transformation, and more will be featured topics of discussion. The customer experience conference will include keynotes from Chick-fil-A, LinkedIn, Upwork, and Microsoft.

    CRS is a gathering of customer service leaders, across many verticals, focused on creating innovative experiences for their brands. Highlights of the CX leadership event include an exclusive tour of the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles, evening networking opportunities, and numerous case studies. The newest version of the CXMB Series – 2018 Consumer Edition, will also be released (a joint effort between Execs In The Know and COPC Inc.).

    “Our EITK community is a dynamic, collaborative group of customer experience executives who are constantly inspiring us and leading the charge in their own organizations,” said Chad McDaniel, President and CEO of Execs In The Know. “There’s nothing quite like the sharing, networking, and learning at our live events and I would urge anyone who hasn’t been part of one to join us in Marina del Rey to experience it for themselves.”

    Other leading corporate brands that will speak at the customer care event include Humana, Uber, GoDaddy, Southwest Airlines, Slack, Electrolux, and more.

    To learn more or to register, visit the event website https://www.execsintheknow.com/events/marina-del-rey/.

    About Execs In The Know

    Execs In The Know is a global community of customer experience professionals focused on excellence in customer experience. Execs In The Know gives brands a platform to share and gain insights, benchmark their brand, stay on top of the latest trends in CX, and create lasting relationships with their peers – “Leaders Learning From Leaders.”

    Execs In The Know holds numerous live events each year including Customer Response Summit, Subject Matter Briefings, Lunch & Learns, and Dinners. They also offer industry content and thought leadership, webinars, reports, and various social communities.

    Learn more at www.execsintheknow.com.

    Media Contact:
    Alyssa Pitura
    info@execsintheknow.com