How Voice AI can change the course of the Great Resignation in call centres
Navigate the Great Resignation and emerge stronger with the help of Voice AI
It’s the topic on every employer’s mind: What can companies do to keep employees happy and satisfied with the quality of work when the job market is flush with choices?
The global phenomenon of mass resignations first picked up speed in the United States, when the US Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a record-high 4.4 million resignations since the onset of the pandemic. Experts called it “The Great Resignation”, putting an indelible name to the phenomenon where countless burnt out and dissatisfied employees leave their jobs in search of more fulfilling opportunities.
In Asia, companies might not have caught on to the Great Resignation as badly, but its underlying causes — employee burnout, exhaustion, and dissatisfaction with their careers — are felt across the board. For instance, a recent survey by Microsoft found that one out of every two employees in Singapore are exhausted. Employees all across Asia are also exhibiting high rates of depression, anxiety, and burnout.
Dealing with this phenomenon requires an orchestrated effort that involves well-being programmes, fairer pay, and better hiring. On the other hand, companies are also increasingly shifting towards adopting new innovative technology such as AI voice assistants to embrace and accelerate the future of work.
Some industries have been familiar with high attrition and turnover since long before The Great Resignation had a name. Burnout has always been high among employees locked in customer-facing jobs, where they must conduct routine order-taking or outbound telemarketing.
Now that employees have greater freedom to turn away work that is less meaningful to them, they may choose to trade off monotonous jobs for more value-added opportunities. While the Great Resignation can be an empowering movement for employees, this can negatively impact companies that rely heavily on call centres and customer service representatives to conduct high-volume repetitive tasks, such as routine telephone calls, customer inquiries, sales and telemarketing calls, as well as conflict resolution.
On the other hand, savvier companies have pivoted to AI technologies in order to ease the burden on their valuable employees. At these call centres and other customer-facing departments, AI voice assistants help to automate high volume repetitive tasks. This, in turn, frees up the human agents time to focus on higher-level and more value-added work. Further, Voice AI has untapped potential to be a gamechanger that could shape the future of work, and here’s why the technology can help change the course of the Great Resignation in call centres and bring positive changes for the human workforce.
AI voice assistants can be scaled up or down as needed, without the tedious hiring processes, training and variable costs associated with human hires. They also cost less to deploy. Rather than going into a hiring frenzy during the busiest seasons, it’s a lot easier to push a few buttons and instantly deploy a right-sized customer service team that is capable of handling a high volume of calls and inquiries efficiently and consistently.
A scalable voice AI team can help companies avoid overworking or burning out human employees during periods of increased demand. Companies will also experience significant performance improvements when humans and machines work together. Through such collaborative intelligence, humans and AI can actively enhance each other’s complementary strengths while reducing overhead costs low and improving ROI.
Voice AI robots are not designed to replace human staff or to displace jobs. Their automated features simply help to save time and create more meaningful opportunities for human employees.
In fact, Voice AI can capture and transcribe customer conversations in real-time to create an additional layer of control over customer service. The same speech recognition and natural language processing used by the assistant to speak to customers can be used to analyse patterns to improve the overall customer experience.
Further, by providing your customer-facing staff with these insights and data, they are able to provide more personalised interactions thus creating more value for both the customer and their work.
Call centre work can feel draining and lonely — one of the reasons that turnover is so high is because employees are forced to deal with abusive and demanding customers around the clock. Call centre workers around the world are subject to harassment, abuse and threats; in Asia, the agent attrition rate is as high as 22% per annum.
AI assistants can alleviate some of that workload by taking on a portion of the tedious, high-stress conversations and responsibilities. This will create an opportunity for your customer service representatives to act as relationship managers rather than glorified complaint handlers.
Voice assistants can also reach and activate more customers in certain industries. For example, in instances of commission-based work such as property sales, voice assistants can be deployed to field the most routine inquiries and requests while human agents can spend more of their time selling homes and nurturing leads — allowing them to earn more in commissions
As a business, you may find that you spend too much time trying to solve small but persistent problems. When you hire in a hurry to fill leaks in your figurative “ship”, you may miss out on more suitable hires that emerge down the line.
AI voice assistants give you much more freedom and flexibility to shape your business in the way you think is best. Rather than hiring employees to fill unmet demand, you can make more strategic hiring decisions, and structure your company in a sustainable way that allows for upwards growth.
The Great Resignation is happening before our eyes, but it may not be a bad thing. In fact, it’s a great time to explore new technologies and chart a course to emerge stronger and future-proof your business. When implemented well, emerging tech can bring countless benefits and help employees achieve satisfaction in their jobs. This ultimately leads to lower attrition rates and helps to reduce costs on hiring.
And while AI brings a lot of benefits, navigating the Great Resignation still requires serious effort and commitment from your managers and HR team. No single solution is sufficient when the problem is systemic — you’ll need to implement AI in addition to other well-being and technological initiatives.
If you’re ready to begin automating the planning, execution, and completion of your most repetitive tasks and empowering your employees to do more meaningful work, why not speak to AI Rudder today?