Walking a tightrope without a net
Imagine trying to walk a tightrope while juggling flaming torches. Difficult, right? Now imagine attempting that feat without a safety net below. Borderline impossible.
Yet that’s essentially what we ask of contact centre agents every day. “Here’s a continuous flow of complex customer enquiries. Handle them flawlessly, with perfect accuracy and empathy, in the shortest time possible. Oh, and do it all while navigating multiple systems and distractions.” No wonder over 30% of UK agents leave within a year!
It’s time we stop sending our agents out on that tightrope without a net. Artificial intelligence assistance is the net that will empower them to achieve customer service stardom. AI is a must-have, not a nice-to-have. Keep reading to find out why.
The challenges pummelling our call agents
Like a boxer absorbing repeated body blows, agents must withstand a nonstop barrage of demands:
- Repetitive tasks. Password resets. Address changes. Tedious but required.
- Constant multitasking. Juggling systems, interpreting policies, documenting interactions.
- Complex inquiries. Each customer’s needs are unique. How can agents respond accurately and quickly?
- More channels. Phone, email, chat, social. Customers expect omnichannel service.
- Pressure to shorten calls. Long handle times result in lower CSAT scores and bonuses.
This daily grind wears agents down. In 2022, UK contact centres faced an average attrition rate of 36%, an increase from 33% in 2021 (ContactBabel). Agent burnout has become epidemic. Customers suffer too, with long hold times and inconsistent experiences.
Clearly, agents need help. But rather than provide assistance, many leaders sideline AI, viewing it as a threat or unnecessary expense. That perspective misses the forest for the trees. AI doesn’t replace human agents—it makes them better.
AI assistance to the rescue
AI augments human capabilities through machine learning. By analysing millions of calls and chats, AI tools identify patterns and best practices. This knowledge is then delivered to agents in real time, providing tailored recommendations and efficiency gains.
For example, real-time transcription eliminates notetaking, freeing agents to focus on the conversation. Analytics track customer sentiment, alerting staff to deescalate rising anger.
With AI managing the small stuff, agents can concentrate on high-value areas like relationship building and creative problem solving. That’s where Cirrus’ Agent Assist comes in, automating manual processes and guiding agents along the right path during every interaction:
- Auto-notes & actions – Automates repetitive tasks while agents focus on the customer.
- Real-time transcription – Ends notetaking, improves understanding.
- Auto-summaries – Machine learning creates detailed, accurate interaction recaps.
- Recommendations – Contextual guidance and resources boost first contact resolution.
Early adopters of AI tools like Cirrus’ Agent Assist can expect higher first call resolution rates, faster handling times and quicker onboarding for new agents. Customers get a fast, personalised service. Agents feel empowered, not overwhelmed.
It’s time to stop sidelining AI and start realising these benefits.
Why do companies sideline AI assistance?
With proven returns, why do some leaders still balk at AI investment? Concerns typically fall into three areas:
The idea of robots taking jobs strikes fear. But AI assistance augments human skills rather than replacing them. Technology handles repetitive tasks, freeing agents to focus on relationship building and complex problem solving—things AI can’t replicate.
Developing AI tools requires upfront investment. But the long-term efficiencies and customer gains deliver an impressive ROI. And with cloud-based solutions, there’s no need for costly hardware.
Adopting new technology causes disruption. But training and communication can smooth the transition. And most agents readily embrace AI assistance that makes their jobs easier.
Still not convinced? Look at the data. Contact centres using AI assisted interactions helped improve customer satisfaction and reduced employee attrition by 8.6%. Teams that employ AI for customer service, 82% reported increased first contact resolution (FCR) rates, while 79% reported increased CSAT or Net Promoter scores. With boosts like that, AI pays for itself in no time.
Take Your Agents Off the Sidelines
Allowing agents to struggle without support is neither effective nor ethical. Like world-class athletes, agents need tools, training, and technology to unleash their potential. AI assistance gives them that competitive edge.
Rather than sidelining your team, equip them to win. Stop viewing AI as optional or risky. Make it a core component of your contact centre strategy and agent experience. AI assistance solutions are the safety net that allows your team to walk the tightrope with confidence. And that benefits your customers, your agents and your business.
The time is now. Take the leap into AI assistance. Your agents are counting on you.