December 16, 2022
How XCaaS Platforms Enhance the Experience of Agents and Customers
Artificial intelligence and virtual agents help organizations improve customer interactions while reducing demands on staff.
Since the global pandemic began, many organizations have been challenged to provide an exceptional customer experience while still meeting their business or mission objectives. The challenges they experience are proving more difficult with on-premises solutions. Virtual agents, ease of deployment and maintenance are just a few hurdles these organizations face.
Many are turning to Experience Communications as a Service platforms to deal with these challenges. XCaaS brings voice, video, chat and contact center functionality together via the cloud.
How AI Can Improve XCaaS
Artificial intelligence has become a powerful tool for cloud-based contact center operations. AI can help organizations deliver a world-class customer experience.
One of the most common uses for AI in XCaaS is the deployment of virtual agents, nonhuman components that use information that already exists within the organization’s environment. A virtual agent is designed to interact with customers, providing them a humanlike experience though they are not speaking with an actual human. Simple, repetitive tasks — such as balance inquiries, FAQs, and questions about directions and hours of operation — are often best handled by virtual agents. These tasks, which otherwise take up the valuable time of human agents, can generally be handled by AI, allowing human customer service agents to address more complex calls.
AI can greatly enhance the user experience. The service is consistent and quick, and the customer can be off the call with the information they need in short order. A well-defined virtual agent can address many tasks in multiple channels (such as voice and chat) with a consistent experience. Organizations that deploy virtual agents may even see an increase in customer satisfaction scores.
The AI used by XCaaS can also impact agent satisfaction and training. Contact centers historically have high turnover, and it is expensive to onboard a new agent. Silent virtual agents can “listen” to a customer contact and provide information to the agent in real time. Having the ability to provide consistent information to an agent immediately can greatly reduce training time required.
Impressive Results with XCaaS
Many organizations that deploy XCaaS see a significant return on their investment. Being able to handle customer inquiries with virtual agents instead of human customer service agents creates a trickle-down effect.
For example, I worked with an organization that saw about 10 percent of its call volume coming from customers looking for their loan payoff amount. By handling those calls with a virtual agent, the organization had more time for human agents to handle complex transactions. This resulted in a reduction of the contact center’s average speed to answer and abandonment rates, as there were more agents available to handle high call volume.
Ultimately, by employing virtual agents through XCaaS, organizations may see improvements in customer satisfaction as well as in the experience of their agents.
Story by Cheri Westcott, a digital strategist with 20 years of specialization in the customer experience.