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Addressing call abandonment: The role of voice AI in enhancing customer service

May 28, 2024


Customers are more discerning than ever before.

As consumers, we’ve grown used to the instant gratification provided by digital experiences. With a few clicks online, we can buy whatever products or services we want, when we want.

But when customers pick up the phone because they need a company’s help, they often face long wait times and pre-recorded messages telling them to go online instead. It’s difficult for customers not to take it personally, especially in a world where they can just as easily take their business elsewhere.

A CX problem or an abandonment problem?

Most organizations recognize the importance of customer service in building customer loyalty. As such, many contact center and CX leaders are asking themselves, how can we improve the experience of our customer service?

The answer lies a step earlier than many organizations are thinking. Improving customer experience only makes sense if the customer can have the experience. Creating a great experience for the 30% of callers who get to speak to an agent after only a short wait on hold is likely to be less impactful than offering 100% of callers immediate access to genuinely helpful support.

As a contact center or CX leader, none of this will be news to you. Call wait times are high because there are simply not enough people to answer every single call instantly.

Is abandonment really a staffing problem?

With enough people answering the phone, abandonment is no longer a problem, but looking at abandonment as purely a staffing problem may be preventing organizations from thinking bigger.

Viewing abandonment as a staffing problem leaves organizations with three options:

1. Hire more

Great in theory, but this requires excessive budgets and a high degree of management and operational support, all exacerbated by notoriously high attrition rates for customer service representatives.

2. Make your existing staff more productive

Using AI technology to streamline calls and automate after-call work means agents can answer more calls. But call center workers are already under extreme pressure to reduce call handle time, and customers know they’re being rushed. It’s not a great experience for your customers or staff who, by the very nature of their work, are flight risks.

3. Outsource to BPOs

Having outsourced vendors handle calls is often a more cost-effective way to provide phone support than in-house staffing, but BPOs come with a whole other set of compromises. Offshoring can be cheap, but rapidly evolving economies leave many companies chasing affordable talent across the globe. And with customer calls happening in a silo, companies lose all-important customer insights and brand control.

The role of voice AI in reducing call abandonment

With the rapid evolution of generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, it has become clear that the future of customer service involves at least some degree of automation.

By automating simple tasks like call routing, authentication, and FAQs through to more complex transactions like payments, account management, reservations, and troubleshooting, voice AI will empower companies to optimize staffing and focus on delivering personalized experiences at scale, improving customer loyalty and leaving a lasting, positive impression of your brand.

This is a snippet from our latest guide. If you’re looking for a framework for assessing the severity of your abandonment problem and a proposed step-by-step approach to solving call abandonment with voice AI download your copy.

How to reduce call abandonment in your contact center with voice AI

Your step-by-step guide

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