Designing for engagement: How agents and call center voice AI work together to deliver competitive CX

December 19, 2023

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People are always going to have a role in customer service. Even with a very capable voice assistant, some people are just going to need to speak to a person.

Those personal connections are what your agents do best. Taking the time to really listen and work through customer problems is key to developing and maintaining brand loyalty.

Unfortunately, many contact center leads are finding it more difficult than ever before to hire and retain agents. Even in the rare instances where budget is available, staff are not. While many call center leaders have been investigating voice AI for some time, a large proportion have accelerated these plans to help deliver a consistent customer experience in spite of staffing shortages.

But many callers are wary of automated systems. They’ve had 20 years of bad experiences with them, and quickly become frustrated when the system doesn’t behave in the way they expect.

It is so frustrating when you speak to an automated system, and it doesn’t understand you or makes mistakes, and you can’t get through to a person. It just makes you feel that the company really doesn’t care about you.

Delivering great experiences with call center voice AI means designing with your customer in mind. One way to do this is to create a customer-led handoff protocol for the voice assistant to pass calls over to a live agent – complete with all the details of the call so far.

Of course, you need to think about what’s important to your company and to your bottom line, but put yourself in the caller’s shoes as well.

If someone is calling about a bereavement or something particularly sensitive, maybe you want a more sensitive handoff. Like maybe the voice assistant has one strike, and if it fails to understand something, it hands the call over immediately.

Maybe if it’s a password reset or an order tracking query, something that has little value to the business, you give the voice assistant three strikes before you hand it over.

However you think about it, it’s important to have your agents and voice assistants working together to deliver exceptional service.

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