Can Voice AI replace humans and their jobs?
The answer is no: Voice AI creates more meaningful opportunities for humans
Call and contact centres are extremely expensive to operate. These services require fairly sophisticated phone systems, calling fees, various leases for the workspace, equipment, and perhaps most crucially, labour costs, which can account for up to 80% of a contact centre’s overhead. Taking into account hiring new faces, training them to perform their tasks properly, and paying their salaries, this amounts up to US$300 billion each year.
Needless to say, cost reduction has been a major concern. But when the main expense driver is the very heart of the business, and when customer service relies on human connections, how can you keep profits and productivity in good shape without compromising people skills and sacrificing quality service?
The answer lies in innovative technologies — artificial intelligence (AI) to be exact — that are set to disrupt industries and the way we work. Voice AI is seen as the most recent innovation that can reduce costs while providing tools and abilities that are useful to your business. Early adopters predict AI to dominate call centres in the coming years.
But, you may be asking, can voice robots replace human workers? How effective is Voice AI in the long run? What will happen to the level of service we’re providing if I allowed robots to speak to clients? Understandably, various misconceptions about this relatively unfamiliar technology can make it seem less attractive as an option.
With that, we’re here to help you understand how Voice AI complements your workforce and its actual benefits to guide you in making a well-informed decision. Here are four proven ways Voice AI can enhance your contact centre business.
- Voice AI can handle repetitive tasks that humans don’t like anyways
Up to 35% of all calls made to a call or contact centre are repeat calls that only logjam the calling queue and balloon the number of calls that the agents have to deal with. The menial task of handling repeat or unnecessary calls can add a lot of undue stress to human agents.
Delegating such tasks to Voice AI can help decrease a lot of the workload on human agents, allowing them to engage in more complex tasks.
One such used case is US-based health insurance company Humana. After outsourcing their customer service elsewhere to alleviate overwhelmed agents answering one million calls per month, they found that 60% of calls were simple, repetitive calls. After delegating these interactions to AI, they were able to resolve issues more efficiently in terms of cost, time, and effort, as human agents focused their energy on more involved and productive tasks.
- Voice AI allows you to focus on more strategic hires
80%+ of operating costs are spent on labour, such as hiring, training, and salaries.
By delegating more of the repetitive tasks to AI, you remove a significant chunk of call volume from the equation, allowing you to downsize the whole operation. You now have the freedom to recruit less, take up less space, buy less equipment, and retrain human agents less often since AI can be “retrained” relatively easily as compared to a person.
Consequently, overhead expenditures can be reduced by up to half.
- Voice AI increases efficiency, allowing your human staff to be more productive
Furthermore, by delegating more tedious tasks to AI, the entire workforce’s overall efficiency increases as less human time spent on repetitive tasks means more time spent working through complex issues.
That also means wait times for callers get slashed down a significant amount, as Voice AI helps to attend and filter out the basic calls in the queue. Since AI cannot express emotion, cannot get tired, and does not have mental limits, it can work practically 24/7, even on off-hours and throughout the night, which means fewer human workers need to show up for those times.
This also allows AI to play a significant role during more crucial hours and gather data for best call times. The whole concept of AI is based on data, allowing you to see more comprehensible results faster. Consider also that your human workforce and Voice AI work simultaneously, allowing for better flexibility, as seen in the last point below.
- Voice AI give your business an added dimension of flexibility and scalability for peak seasons
Voice AI is extremely flexible, can be tailored to varying demands, and is customised for so many situations.
If you need to service more or fewer customers depending on seasonal highs and lows, it’s much easier to do so with Voice AI. Rather than spending weeks trying to procure agents on a moment’s notice during peak weeks, you can simply turn to your Voice AI—and scale down once the period is over. You no longer have to worry about investing in too much or too little, or getting the return on investment you need for the exact amount the situation calls for.
When it comes to decisions that will help you provide a better customer experience, the best tool to measure this is not just the cost implications–it’s the level of customer satisfaction. Ultimately, this will lead to your growth. Voice AI lets you do both. It provides excellent customer experience and reduces costs, among many other benefits. It’s not about replacing your people but helping them do their work better, adding efficiencies in the system that let them do more without breaking the bank.