“Facts are stubborn things.” John Adams, second president of the United States
John Adams’ famous statement of 1770 is still relevant today. Because 250 years later, facts still are quite stubborn – and can lead to costly consequences.
Consider the churn rate in contact centres.
According to a 2022 study conducted by NICE, contact centre attrition rates were 42 percent. And in organizations with more than 5,000 employees, churn was as high as 50 percent. Even more worrisome, 31 percent of agents were actively looking for another job, according to the NICE study.
Add up the numbers. Consider the impact on the bottom line. Year over year, the agent drop-out rate translates to a major cash burn.
Worse, consider the emotional condition of your agents. Those who stay could be coping with burnout. But can a burned-out agent really build brand loyalty? That’s a big ask.
According to a McKinsey study, it costs between $10,000 and $20,000 to train an agent.
So, if a contact centre has 100 agents, and 42 quit annually, that’s a loss of $420,000 to $840,000. Add to that the cost of losing customers because of negative experiences, and these facts are not just stubborn. They’re painful. As agents race to the exits, the cost of doing business gets higher.
Fortunately, there’s a way forward. It starts with increased management awareness of agent burnout and implementing policies to counter agent churn by improving agent well-being. It’s a two-prong approach: better training and providing agents with omnichannel solutions that include AI tools.
Engaged and satisfied call center employees are:
8.5x more likely to stay than leave within a year
4x more likely to stay than dissatisfied colleagues
16x more likely to refer friends to their company
3.3x more likely to feel extremely empowered to resolve customer issues”
AI: Now In Omnichannel Platforms Near You
To move the needle in improved CX and agent performance, CXaaS vendors like NICE offer AI-enhanced capabilities and are already providing help.
Other CXaaS vendors like Simplify360, with its AI-powered chatbots, have added AI capabilities to improve agent performance by providing a unified interface for managing multiple contact channels (voice, email, chat, social media, etc.). Key capabilities often include skills-based routing, automated workload balancing, customer journey analytics, and AI-driven agent assistance.
The Customer Meets AI With NICE
Enlighten Autopilot from NICE offers a specialized AI solution crafted for customers, offering personalized experiences to enhance customer loyalty. It ensures the delivery of seamless interactions through digital journeys or AI-designed virtual agents.
Customers are provided tailored self-service options, strategically positioned on their customer journey. It’s based on training models and LLMs comprised of company knowledge, aligning each response with the goal of serving the client and the brand.
When The Customer Calls, The Agent Is Ready
NICE also addresses the crucial need to provide agents support at every moment. Enlighten Co-pilot is one such tool of tremendous value: a conversational AI tool for agents.
It generates precise, knowledgeable conversational responses. It alleviates agents from repetitive tasks, granting them quicker access to knowledge and answers. Better still, the aim is to significantly reduce agent stress and improve their well-being with more meaningful customer conversations.
Supervisors can facilitate more intelligent guided interactions and implement AI-driven coaching, enhancing agent and consumer experiences.
Give Them The Tools
When in 1940, Winston Churchill said, “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job,” the future of Britain hung in balance with the threat of an imminent invasion by Nazi Germany. Consider a similar clarion call by contact agents today: “Give us the tools – backed by AI – and we’ll finish the job.”
We’re witnessing an exuberant AI hype cycle. History shows that it takes about a decade for a new technology like the first web browser from Netscape, released in 1994, to find a market with measurable, practical, and profitable benefits. It took a while for broadband speeds and easy-to-use payment systems to be developed. Then came audio and video streaming. technology became far better. Today we can’t live without the internet.
While the AI hype continues to burn bright, we have no idea where and when the practical tools will take root. It’s the start of a new technology era, and it will also take a while for things to take shape.
Start-ups are already developing AI applications to meet unmet needs across all industries, especially in health care.
But an innovation cycle is already happening in the CXaaS space. Companies like NICE have seen the enormous potential for AI to transform customer journeys while easing agent strain and improving employee satisfaction.
CXaaS AI tools are in their infancy. In five years, the contact centre might look a lot different, thanks to the practical benefits of CXaaS platforms enhanced by the power of AI.