How Real-Time Agent Guidance is Transforming Customer Service Outcomes

Author: Simon Black | Date: 08/11/2022

As the tools, solutions and services available to businesses continue to grow, so do customer demands, with many now expecting their issues to be resolved quickly and efficiently. A business that can do this is likely to build a loyal customer base. One that can’t will likely see them leave in favour of a competitor.

In other words, customer service has the power to make or break your business — a fact which is illustrated further by when you dig into the statistics:

  • 76% of customers would rather do business with a competitor after just one bad customer service experience
  • Increasing customer retention rates by just 5% boosts profits by 25-95%

As a result, businesses need to ask themselves one key question — how can they consistently provide the level of customer service outcomes required to obtain a competitive advantage and long-term loyalty? There are various ways of approaching this question, but the most effective is harnessing the power of new technology.

In today’s article, we’re going to examine how contact centre technology can help transform customer service by taking a deep dive into real-time agent guidance. Let’s get started.

Suggested reading: To learn more about how technology can empower agents and enhance the customer experience, check out our free eBook — Your Contact Centre Could Operate Better… A Lot Better.

What is real-time agent guidance?

Real-time agent guidance leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to guide agents through customer interactions, providing the information they need across both voice and digital conversations. 

This utilisation of technology is also helping to deliver a new contact centre trend known as Next Best Action (NBA), where software dynamically guides agents based on the specific context of customer interactions. As a result, business can:

  • Deliver more personalised experiences with the help of suggestions tailored to specific customer needs.
  • Improve contact centre performance against key performance indicators like first call resolution (FCR).
  • Increase productivity by ensuring agents resolve queries faster and deal with an increased number of calls each day.

Essentially, real-time agent guidance is providing agents with everything they need to satisfy customer expectations and solve issues in the quickest, most efficient way possible. 

How does real-time agent guidance work?

Real-time agent guidance isn’t about replacing customer service agents — it’s about empowering them to do things more efficiently. Think about it as a virtual assistant, there to augment your agents’ human skills by providing the information they need to do their jobs more effectively. 

Cutting-edge contact centre technology providers can help you deploy real-time agent guidance by bringing together a range of software and processes that allow agents to deliver better customer service. This includes:

  • Leveraging AI to pinpoint areas in the customer journey that could be improved
  • Using APIs to push and pull real-time customer data from/to multiple systems, ensuring data accuracy while saving time
  • Providing a single view of all relevant customer information, so agents don’t have to switch between multiple systems
  • Utilising intelligent scripting tools help agents deliver a service that is consistent and compliant

The benefits of real-time guidance

While technology has already significantly improved the level of customer service outcomes contact centres can provide, real-time agent guidance is helping to take things to the next level. That’s because it’s best placed to deliver a wide range of benefits and desirable outcomes within customer service.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these benefits and how you can access them using real-time agent guidance.

Reduce training time

The onboarding and training of new customer service agents requires a substantial outlay in terms of time, money and resources for contact centres. However, real-time agent guidance can help reduce this significantly. 

By utilising cutting-edge technology, you can ensure that agents are guided seamlessly through customer conversations. Instead of juggling multiple processes and tasks, they can focus on one thing at a time. This helps new starters build their knowledge whilst accessing the support they need to deliver exceptional outcomes.

As a result, agents need less training time to get them up to speed. This ultimately saves your business time and money, while still guaranteeing a high-quality service.

Guide agents with dynamic ‘next best action’ prompts during live customer interactions

On average, agents have to navigate 5 or more different systems throughout a customer interaction. Save time and eliminate confusion with a powerful platform that automatically delivers information to agents in a single unified desktop.

Uncover the power of real-time

Improve agent retention

Customer support can be a tough job. Agents are often thrown into the deep end without sufficient training or support. The result is often stressed agents and dissatisfied customers. No wonder agent turnover rates are notoriously high in contact centres, averaging between 30-45% worldwide, with an average tenure of around one year. 

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. With real-time agent guidance, agents are supported at every stage of customer interactions, giving them the guidance and breathing space they need to deliver an outstanding service. This ultimately makes agents’ jobs less stressful and more enjoyable, which makes them more likely to stick around. 

Agent retention has a huge positive impact on the bottom line. Instead of constantly recruiting and training agents only to lose them a few months later, you can focus on nurturing your agents and creating an environment that is conducive to employee loyalty and professional growth.

Adhere to compliance

Customer support can be a complicated job. In addition to the human aspect of keeping customers happy, agents must ensure that they work in accordance with complex and ever-changing rules. 

By working with leading providers of contact centre technology, you can benefit from real-time agent guidance that works to incorporate sector-specific compliance rules, thereby ensuring that agents and workflows always stay on the right side of the line. This reduces the risk of non-compliance — and the financial and reputational damage that comes with it.

Compliance is particularly important in regulated industries such as insurance, for example, where real-time guidance allows agents to navigate complicated claims processes and insurance policies while helping them to spot potentially fraudulent activity. 

Additional reading: To learn more about how technology can help agents in the insurance industry deliver exceptional customer service while maintaining compliance, take a look at our blog — Contact Centre Scripts in Insurance

Deliver an exceptional customer service

Above all, agent guidance technology is transforming the way contact centre agents do their job, allowing them to consistently provide an exceptional customer service experience. This leads to numerous benefits, including:

  • Reduced call handling times: Customers expect a speedy resolution to their issues. Agent guidance allows contact centre staff to handle customer interactions efficiently, guiding them towards the right outcome in the quickest way possible.
  • Better first-call resolution (FCR) rates: Customers also expect their issues to be resolved at the first time of asking. Agent guidance improves FCR rates by providing agents with the information they need to answer questions and troubleshoot problems in real-time.
  • Improved customer satisfaction and loyalty: A better, faster customer service experience means a happier customer. And we all know that happy customers tend to be loyal customers. 

To realise these benefits, however, it’s crucial that you partner with the best contact centre software provider. Ideally, you want to choose a partner that not only builds game-changing technology, but also has first-hand experience in customer service. 

Give your agents the support they deserve

At Awaken, we’re pioneers in the world of contact centre technology. With decades of contact centre experience among our leadership team, we know the challenges that customer support teams face — and what modern customers expect. 

That’s why we built our groundbreaking solutions to enable contact centres to listen, guide and understand, helping customer support agents deliver outstanding customer service in the process.

With our dynamic agent guidance, you can ensure that agents are supported every step of the way, facilitating better, faster, and more consistent outcomes while improving the customer and employee experience — all of which can give your business a competitive advantage.

If you’d like to find out more about how Awaken could transform the way you deliver customer service, get in touch today and book a demo.