How to improve Contact Center work in the era of remote work and emerging crisis situations?

In times of crisis, direct contact with the customer is excluded and the operation of stationary service points is limited or completely impossible. The result of this situation is routing customers to on-line service: e-mail, website forms, hotline, etc. The increase in enquiries is visible from hour to hour and from day to day. The number of cases is constantly increasing, the workload of a single employee of the CSC department is very high. 

„(…) The Polish Bank Association has approached all the banks, taking into account epidemiological reasons, to take „credit holidays” for a period of 3 months, and in some cases up to 6 months (…) in the first 2-3 days, in some banks more than 50,000, 60,000 requests have been submitted electronically (…)”.  

Source: Onet Rano, Krzysztof Pietraszkiewicz, President of the Polish Bank Association

Customer service managers have to deal with a team that works remotely. This makes it difficult to communicate quickly and efficiently, weakens control over the department, which can result in more consultants’ mistakes, slower service and increasing frustration among customers and employees who have difficulty in contacting their superiors or more experienced colleagues, source of help and solutions to more complex problems at any time. 

The model of cooperation is changing, which may contribute to the quality of service, customer loyalty and image of the institution. It is more difficult to train and implement new employees, transfer knowledge and new data to current consultants. 

Despite the slowly returning normality, all estimates suggest that Poles have become accustomed to online service – ordering goods and services, contacting companies online was first a necessity, now it is becoming the preferred form of contact, not only because of fear of being infected.. Therefore, there is no reason to count on the decrease in the scale of online communication with the abolition of further restrictions. 

How can a Manager help the team?

Artificial intelligence comes in handy, which can help in standard, repetitive or unusual situations that can occur dynamically. It helps to process messages faster, solve most frequent customer problems. It makes searching easier, suggests a ready answer or sends it automatically. Reduces service time and increases the efficiency of the department, even when employees perform their functions out of office.

The consultant has more time for inquiries that require the greatest commitment and experience, and, relieved of the burden of tedious, repetitive work, can focus on a more empathic contact with customers. Thus, consultant can take on the role of a specialist advisor who understands clients’ emotions and problems.   

AI automates repetitive, labor-intensive activities that do not require further consideration and is shortening operation time in numerous processes. It works very well, among others, in the banking and insurance industry. 

Recognizing messages from customers, AI organizes and assigns appropriate categories, directing questions to the most appropriate consultant with the greatest competence in a given subject. He finds important information in the content of the message, e.g. customer number, identification data, addresses, facilitating the authorization of the customer in the systems. Armed with industry-specific dictionaries, it personalizes answers, recognizing the name and gender of the writer.   

A good manager in the time of a global crisis should act as in the case of any other crisis – reactively, taking care of good organization of work, communication within the team and comfort of employees in the face of new challenges. But should ask also proactively – looking for new solutions, including technological ones, which will help to adapt to a new situation and prepare for future challenges. The use of robotization, autonomous incoming messages analysis and the function of consultant’s assistant, AI Busters is a direction that should be looked at by every CSC manager looking into the future. 

„Remote working becomes a daily routine, does not limit the performance of duties in a particular place. The tools available allow to constantly increase the efficiency of work and help to achieve tasks faster. Thanks to artificial intelligence solutions, each of us can have virtual support. We are pleased that AI Busters can help consultants in times of crisis.”

Karol Kowalczyk Co-founder AI Busters