Written by Dion Jay Tality
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in business. AI has the potential to optimize operations. Today, it can automate processes, reduce manual work, improve products or services, and more.
But how does AI influence the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry?
While some people fear AI could replace human agents in BPO, others think the technology can empower call center jobs.
Read on to learn how it can lend a helping hand in BPO, albeit artificially.
Five Ways AI Empowers Call Center Jobs
To begin, what is AI? AI entails simulating human intelligence in machines, allowing computer devices and digital tools to think and act like humans. The global AI market could grow from nearly $87 billion in 2022 to $407 billion by 2027 at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Now, what is BPO? BPO, or business process outsourcing, involves delegating processes to third-party providers. Companies outsource to prioritize core competencies, reduce operating costs, and optimize business operations. Outsourcing gives them access to expertise and modern technology, such as AI.
Along with BPO and digital transformation, AI is changing the BPO landscape. According to Customer Contact Week (CCW) Digital, the critical ingredients for future contact centers are the following:
- Customer-facing AI (62% of the respondents)
- Improved customer analytics and data initiatives (60%)
- Increased company-facing AI (57%)
- Additional and better connectivity for digital channels (57%)
AI has become a game-changer in the BPO industry. Here are a few examples of how this technology empowers call center jobs:
1. AI Improves Call Management
A BPO call center requires a proper flow of incoming and outgoing calls. AI in BPO helps with call distribution, case assignment, and call handling. The following AI features make BPO call center operations smoother and more seamless:
- Automatic dialing. AI automates dialing phone numbers, removing the need for manual dialing by call center agents.
- Intelligent call routing. AI algorithms route incoming calls to the most appropriate agents based on call intent and stored data. They also direct agents to potential or regular customers through generated leads.
- Automated screen pops. AI-powered systems retrieve customer data from databases, enabling agents to see customer details immediately and assist them properly.
- Easy caller authentication. AI technology helps authenticate callers’ identities, reducing the need for lengthy and complex verification processes with BPO agents.
- Advanced telephone control. Advanced phone features such as call recording, transfer, and conferencing allow agents to assist customers and collaborate with other departments.
2. AI Automates Routine and Repetitive Tasks
Non-core functions in a BPO company can consume significant time, effort, and resources. AI integration can efficiently and effectively automate call center jobs. This technology allows agents to focus on their core operations or income-generating activities.
Consider the following examples:
- Customer service. AI can extract relevant customer information and update databases automatically. Call center agents can prioritize providing e-commerce customer support by automating data entry and order fulfillment.
- Sales and telemarketing. AI allows call centers to automate lead generation processes by leveraging data analytics to identify potential customers. Agents can then contact prospective and existing customers to promote products or services.
- Technical support. AI automation streamlines ticket assignment and case management by automatically categorizing and assigning incoming messages based on predefined rules. The suitable agents receive the appropriate cases, resulting in prompt issue resolution and improved user satisfaction.
3. AI Provides Unified Platforms for Agent-Customer Interactions
What is a call center? A call center is a centralized hub where third-party agents handle inbound and outbound calls to provide customer service, sales, or other services on behalf of a business. It requires a unified platform for seamless agent-customer interactions.
AI integrates various communication channels and digital tools in one place. The resulting platforms optimize call center jobs, empowering agents to engage with customers effectively. Below are two examples of AI-integrated technologies used in contact centers:
- Computer telephony integration (CTI). CTI integrates computers and telephones. It employs voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP), allowing agents to communicate with customers via the web. CTI has advanced features, such as automatic dialing and intelligent call routing
- Contact center as a service (CCaaS). CCaaS is cloud-based, provider-hosted software for customer interaction. This software offers multiple communication channels for enhanced customer experience. AI-powered CCaaS software allows contact recording, monitoring, data analysis, forecasting, and reporting.
4. AI Offers Self-service Options
Call centers deal with a high volume of inbound and outbound calls daily. AI integration introduces self-service portals in contact centers. These portals empower customers to resolve their problems independently, reducing the workload of call centers. Consider the following self-service options:
- Interactive voice responses (IVR). IVR systems leverage AI to provide automated voice menus. They guide customers through various options, allowing them to interact using voice commands or keypad inputs. Customers can resolve basic inquiries, request orders, and address simple issues with the help of an IVR system.
- AI-powered chatbots. Chatbots offer automated customer service through text-based communication. They can understand customer inquiries and provide relevant responses. They can engage in an interactive dialogue with customers and escalate complex issues to live agents.
- Knowledge base centers. AI-powered knowledge base centers collect and organize vast information. They enable customers to access self-help resources, such as frequently asked questions (FAQs), troubleshooting guides, and tutorials.
5. AI Assists in Data Analysis and Business Forecasting
Call center jobs are not limited to answering incoming calls and placing outgoing calls. Contact centers perform call recording and monitoring to conduct data analysis and business forecasting.
AI technology is a game-changer in the BPO call center industry. The big data analytics (BDA) market could grow from $271.83 billion in 2022 to $745.15 billion by 2030. Below are two AI-powered tools used in call centers:
- Data analytics. AI optimizes data analysis by extracting valuable insights from customer interactions and agent performance metrics. This technology can identify patterns and trends, allowing data-driven process improvements and service enhancements in call centers.
- Predictive analytics. AI-powered analytics uses historical data and machine learning to forecast call volumes, staffing needs, and service levels. This technology enables call centers to optimize resource allocation, anticipate customer demand, and deliver efficient customer service.
AI-Powered Tools and Technologies in BPO for Your Call Center Jobs
Businesses can no longer ignore the power of AI. BPO call center companies invest in AI to maximize its potential benefits and minimize outsourcing risks, using it alongside their dedicated or shared agents. Work with a third-party provider to make the most of this technology.
If you plan to hire an outsourcing partner, consider the AI-powered tools and technologies below:
- Natural language processing (NLP): for understanding and interpreting natural language in customer interactions
- Speech recognition and voice analytics: for transcribing and analyzing agent-customer communication
- Data analytics and predictive analytics: for analyzing call recordings and customer data and for forecasting customer behavior and call volume
- Robotic process automation (RPA): for automating and accelerating repetitive and rule-based tasks
- Self-service portals: for empowering customers and reducing agent workload
- CTI: for enhanced agent-customer interaction
- CCaaS: for multiple communication channels
The Bottom Line
Artificial intelligence proves beneficial to the BPO industry. AI has the following uses in call center jobs:
- Improving call management
- Accelerating processes
- Providing a centralized platform
- Offering self-service portals
- Optimizing data analysis and forecasting
When outsourcing, hire a BPO call center with AI-powered tools and technologies to unleash their potential benefits and reduce possible drawbacks. Ultimately, AI can significantly help—and not necessarily harm—your business!
Ready to harness the power of AI? Let’s connect today! Unity Communications can help build your call center with its solid workforce and modern technology, including AI platforms.