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AI virtual agents: Your customer service cost-cutting companions

In today’s business landscape, every penny counts, and one of the most substantial expenses for companies is customer service costs. Collectively, organisations in the US spend over £270 billion on this essential part of their operations. To tackle these costs more effectively, many businesses are turning to AI-powered virtual agents, which are gaining popularity. These digital assistants offer a way to trim expenses while enhancing the customer experience without expanding your workforce. In this article, we’ll explore how AI virtual agents make a real difference in reducing customer service costs.

Based on your company’s needs and server capacity, the number of virtual agents you could implement is limitless. With this in mind, it is no surprise that implementing conversational AI and intelligent solutions are expected to deliver $1.2T in business value over the next three years.  From providing insights about a product, or answering simple requests, AI virtual agents can provide your customers with all the information they need so your service agents can dedicate time to working on complex issues.

Here’s how AI virtual agents can save you money:

It lets you deflect voice volume to other channels.

The volume of calls has been a challenge for call centres, and call deflection has become crucial. It’s a money-saving tool that improves the customer experience and empowers your agents. High call volumes lead to long wait times, which frustrate customers and burden brands. Beyond traditional call deflection, a new wave of deflection aims to steer customers away from phone, email, and live chat channels, encouraging them to engage with a virtual assistant. This approach is proving highly attractive for businesses as it offers more opportunities for automation.

Your average speed to answer increases.

Waiting is nobody’s favourite pastime. According to Harris Interactive, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. Addressing requests through chatbots, live chat, and intelligent virtual agents reduces the number of customers waiting on hold. Chatbots can help businesses save on customer service costs by speeding up response times.

Virtual agents are time-savers.

They’re designed to gather information that they can pass on to human agents. Digital assistants can resolve up to 80% of routine requests. When you provide people with immediate answers, you significantly enhance the customer experience.

And resolution rates too!

Equip your team with a transparent tool that enables quick resolutions your customers desire. For every second a company shortens handling times, over £1 million is saved annually in service costs. Implementing AI bots also supports your agents throughout customer engagement, regardless of communication channels. Whether responding to simple requests or understanding the customer’s intent, you can consistently provide accurate responses.

Using a virtual agent alongside a live chat agent often combines the best of both worlds. The virtual agent handles routine requests and automates workflows, while agents apply emotional intelligence to tackle more complex issues within the engagement. An integrated platform like Cirrus can identify relevant customer information and deliver it to the human agent, who can better support the customer’s unique needs.

Customer acceptance is fuelling the virtual agent growth curve.

The bottom line: AI-powered virtual agents and chatbots satisfy customer preferences AND agent needs while significantly reducing operational costs.

What’s more, a growing number of customers aren’t interested in spending time on the phone. Many prefer to access help on their own via your website or on messaging channels available on their mobile devices. When seeking support, today’s customers often prefer the convenience of self-service options readily available on smartphones, like messaging with chatbots, chatting with Siri and Alexa, or rescheduling a delivery via platforms like WhatsApp. Customers understand that these options offer more efficiency than their legacy voice counterparts, making a compelling case for adopting them, especially as the sophistication of AI virtual agents continues to rise.

Maximise savings and efficiency

Implementing an AI-enabled omni-channel platform for customer service is one of the smartest investments to make in the UK. With AI virtual agents and chatbots, you can reduce per-query costs from £5 to £12 with live agents to just £1 on average with virtual agents. In fact, tech giant IBM estimated that investing in AI helped them save £750 million in hiring-related and lost productivity costs.

If £750 million isn’t convincing enough, consider the benefits of freeing your live agents from routine tasks. Who wouldn’t want to allow their team to take their time and not rush important support interactions in the name of delivering better, more thorough customer service?

AI virtual agents aren’t just cost savers; they’re also a workforce blessing because they reduce the number of agents required in call centres and lower employee turnover rates. Did we mention that all of these factors lead to significant cost savings? But more importantly, they pave the way for exceptional customer outcomes that are sure to result in more satisfied customers.

Contact Cirrus today!

AI virtual agents are not flashy, but they are powerful tools for managing customer service costs effectively. They excel at handling inquiries, reducing wait times, boosting resolution rates, and adapting to changing customer preferences. This translates into significant savings for your UK-based business and a more content and efficient workforce.

So, if you’re looking to streamline your customer service operations and cut costs without compromising quality, it’s time to get in touch with Cirrus. They’re not here to transform or reinvent your business; they’re here to help you serve your UK customers efficiently and cost-effectively. Contact Cirrus today and take the first step towards a more cost-efficient and customer-focused future.