Transforming Customer Service with AI: A New Era in BPO

Customer service. Customer loyalty. Customer trust. Customer experience (CX). Customer satisfaction. Every business wants to enhance each of these aspects and provide an experience defined by superlatives.

Achieving this today is becoming much easier, cost effective, and efficient in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). Such tech-driven solutions are paving the way for a whole new conceptualization of customer service. And the BPO industry is set to benefit in big ways.

In this article, we explore this subject in greater detail to help you gain an improved understanding of all the considerations you should ponder as you start implementing new and innovative solutions through your BPO partner.

What is AI in BPO and what industry transformations are taking place?

AI is a broad concept. And so is BPO. Let’s start with BPO — this is an industry where a business outsources certain tasks to a third-party provider to streamline their business operations.

In terms of customer service, BPOs are often defined by call centers, customer service representatives, customer success agents, and other professionals whose job it is to enhance the CX by offering them help.

This is where AI steps in, enabling these individuals to carry out their jobs in a much more efficient way. Here are just a few examples of how AI is used to enhance customer service in BPO:

  • Agent assist is a technology that helps agents by offering screen pop-ups, sales suggestions, recommendations for the next action, etc. 
  • Conversational AI such as chatbots can not only help improve the customer experience but also offer insights into trends and give agents access to valuable data to answer customer questions faster.
  • Sentiment analysis uses natural language processing (NLP) to determine customers’ emotions, enabling a better choice between letting an AI handle an upset customer or a real human.
  • Text analytics helps agents identify key phrases or terms in call transcripts, analyzing issues and determining ways to improve similar cases in the future.
  • Through self-service such as chatbots, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and interactive voice response systems, customers are routed to solve their issues independently.
  • Request routing and prioritization takes over from an AI when it identifies keywords from customer messages, assessing the urgency and emotion, and assigns it to an agent.
  • AI can also help improve personalization in support offered to customers. Through the use of machine learning (ML), AI can better understand customer inquiries. It’s also possible to analyze customer behavior and make more meaningful recommendations.
  • Another case where AI is highly useful is in offering multilingual support.
  • Through robotic process automation (RPA), AI machines introduce automation in repetitive tasks, including data entry, document processing, invoice processing, etc. 
  • Intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) take the form of an “augmented agent”, acting in real time alongside their human counterpart. It can help by offering feedback, giving access to knowledge bases, sourcing ideas for complex queries, etc.
  • Predictive analytics tools can offer insights before a customer has raised a concern or question. When all data is consolidated in a signal platform, the system can start forecasting and anticipating, allowing for a faster response time and greater problem resolution.

What are the potential benefits of AI in BPO?

Naturally, these BPO innovations that introduce AI customer service offer a world of opportunities to help improve the CX. Some of the benefits worth considering include:

  • Greater levels of efficiency
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Reductions in costs
  • Improved quality in customer service
  • Personalization
  • Better scalability
  • Competitive advantage
  • Accurate data analysis and insights
  • Better customer experience

Challenges of AI in BPO

On the flip side of the coin, we must also consider that introducing AI in BPO such as call centers also comes with several challenges. The following are important to consider:

  • Complexity and time involved in implementation
  • Training of staff
  • Investment in new technology
  • Data privacy and security compliance
  • Integration with new and existing technology
  • Costs of implementation and adoption
  • Ongoing costs to maintain and train the systems
  • Workforce management and training
  • The need to balance AI with the human touch
  • Ethical considerations
  • Public perceptions

Best practices for implementing AI in call centers

Having considered both the pros and the cons, there are certain best practices that can be followed for optimal results and to reduce the challenges that come with implementing AI in BPO.

Firstly, it is essential to define your organizational objectives that you would like to achieve with the help of AI implementation. Examples may include reducing call volumes, improving first-call resolution rates, boosting your customer satisfaction scores, etc.

Secondly, have a clear idea of all the tools and technologies you currently use and use the new AI as a support infrastructure for your existing systems. Integration should be fast, cost-effective, and convenient and not costly, sluggish, and complex to achieve. Ideally, you’ll want to use one AI software that beautifully complements your current workflows.

Thirdly, you will need to set aside time to train and support your agents and supervisors. Since they will be using the tools on a daily basis, you need to empower them to effectively leverage AI technology. Be sure to do this well in advance to get appropriate buy-in, deal with potential resistance, and allow for flawless implementation.

Finally, make sure that you are constantly monitoring progress and optimizing at every possible opportunity. Use metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) such as agent efficiency, customer feedback, and overall productivity. You won’t know how successful your implementation has been unless you actively measure it and seek ways to make data-informed decisions.

Conclusion

The customer experience is a fundamental aspect of any business. Do it well and you’ll have loyal customers that praise your services to others to the moon and back. Do it poorly and  your business reputation can suffer.

With advances in technology, you now have a better chance to boost your CX through AI tools that can truly take your operations to a whole new level. It’s about introducing efficiencies and providing offerings that your customers truly want and that will get the job done.

Isn’t it time you revolutionized your customer service with AI? Contact StorsenDigital now to integrate cutting-edge AI solutions into your BPO services and enhance your customer experience.

Published: April 24, 2024

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StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.
StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.