This article was featured on HR News.
Reskilling Contact Centre Agents Ready For Generative AI
Generative artificial intelligence, or generative AI as it’s otherwise known, has been one of the focal topics in workplaces in recent years. Many staff members are intrigued to see how AI can support and enhance organisation efficiencies, but many fear, often thanks to scaremongering in the media, that AI robots are set to take over their roles, not to mention the world.
While it may generate its share of controversy, generative AI is here to stay. Rather than resisting it, contact centres are encouraged to take advantage of its numerous benefits and work in synergy with it. But for contact centre agents yet to recognise and harness the power of generative AI, training and development opportunities are crucial.
In this blog, we explore why reskilling contact centre agents and getting them ready for generative AI is essential. We also offer insights into how contact centres can begin implementation to ensure a seamless transition.
What Are The Benefits Of Generative AI?
As a standalone technological advancement, generative AI can’t replace quality customer service. After all, AI is not human, and it does not have, nor can it learn, skills including emotional intelligence and empathy, which are critical in customer-facing roles.
However, that’s not to say that generative AI is lacking in benefits. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Approximately one million people in the UK have used generative AI to get work done, so many organisations are already reaping the rewards. But what do these include?
Firstly, generative AI reduces the manual labour needed to monitor chat boxes, for example. It can mimic human-like responses and engage in conversations to ensure customer questions are answered swiftly and accurately.
With 90% of customers stating that receiving a response within 10 minutes is essential, AI guarantees that contact centres lean towards a customer-centric future. It additionally supports contact centre agents in increasing their abilities and offering customers a unique experience.
Areas That Contact Centre Agents Require Reskilling
Undoubtedly, AI is set to become a game changer. In fact, 97 million new positions could evolve by 2025 that combine contact centre agents’ expertise, technology efficiencies, and the benefits of generative AI.
However, when it comes to introducing new technology or operations to contact centre staff, it’s simply not enough to deliver a presentation or host a meeting hours before integration.
To truly get the most out of generative AI, reskilling contact centre agents is a must. Not only does this increase the agents’ proficiencies, but it enables them to understand how to use AI to their advantage.
Contact centres risk falling behind in an increasingly fast-paced and competitive business environment without reskilling agents. But in which areas should contact centres be focusing on reskilling contact centre agents ready for generative AI? Find out below.
There’s a lot that generative AI can do. It can answer basic questions and queries and generate many forms of content. But what it can’t do quite yet is understand or acknowledge the feelings and emotions of others.
As AI begins to accomplish the basic tasks that call centre agents were often required to do, agents will have more time to build solid foundations and rapport with customers who need in-depth support. Agents can give more attention to delivering empathetic and personalised customer experiences, addressing intricate concerns that require a human touch.
Digital literacy is a crucial component of any workplace. In 2021 it was estimated that 8% of the UK population lacks this skill, while 6.4 million adults are thought to have limited knowledge.
As contact centres begin to take advantage of generative AI, agents, and even those with high digital literacy, will require training that ensures they’re proficient in using AI to enhance customer service.
Managing Multi Channel Communication
Customers interact with companies through various channels, such as phone calls, emails, and social media platforms. With customers now able to contact centre agents in their preferred way at the click of a button, agents must be proficient on every platform to provide outstanding customer service. With generative AI implemented and covering basic tasks, agents have more time to master interactions on every type of channel.
Problem-Solving and Creativity
There’s only so much generative AI can do. Though it can answer basic queries and offer customers some guidance, it’s unable to understand the complex requirements that customers will often seek.
Reskilling contact centre agents in innovative problem-solving will ensure that they’re able to understand challenging customer pain points, analyse issues presented to them, and offer robust and accurate solutions instantly.
Ongoing Reskilling For Contact Centre Agents
Contact centre agents proficient in the above skills are set to experience better synergy with generative AI technologies. But reskilling agents isn’t done and dusted once initial training has been provided. It may just be the start.
As Jason Roos, CEO of Cirrus Response, states: “AI technologies are continuously improving, adapting, and changing. Contact centre agents require continuous reskilling and development opportunities to keep up with advancements. Failure to provide these could result in conflict between AI and agents, which will undoubtedly impact the level of customer service and return on investment.”
Jason adds: “When it comes to reskilling contact centre agents ready for generative AI, contact centres must consider what their agents require. But they must also review how generative AI is transforming. At the very least, continued reskilling should ensure that agents remain up-to-date on factors including the latest technological advancements, best practices, and communication and customer trends.”
From enhancing the customer service experience to improving operational efficiency and optimising cash flow and return on investment, there are many benefits in reskilling contact centre agents and preparing them for working with generative AI.
If you’re ready to reskill your agents and integrate AI into your day-to-day operations and customer service experience, we’re on hand to support you. As industry leaders, we provide solutions including conversational AI, natural language processing, and conversation analytics to businesses in a range of industries.
To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today.