As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you’re likely experiencing a high volume of customer calls. Your agents are now remote and overwhelmed by the changed work environment and new customer questions. 

Long wait times and lack of access to answers could negatively impact your customers’ experience in a time when they are likely to remember who helped and who frustrated them. 

If your agents are overwhelmed and have limited access to systems, your best bet is to focus on automation. The goal needs to be focusing agents on only the issues which absolutely require a human for a successful resolution. In this crisis, call deflection becomes an essential way to connect customers with the answers they need without overwhelming your agents.  

Call deflection is reducing the number of calls that come into your business by diverting calls to alternate means of answering customer questions, such as self-service or digital channels. Call deflection is increasingly important as a tool to save money, improve customer experience, and empower your agents. If you want to learn three ways to quickly automate call deflection, then you’re in the right place.  

In this blog, we will cover the following ways to automate call deflection:

  1. Learn what people are calling about

  2. Add bots to automate human conversation

  3. Optimize your knowledge base. 

For the full list of tips and advice on automating call deflection, check out our article “7
Ways to Automate Call Deflection in a Hurry
.” 

1. Learn what people are calling about

One insight into how to automate call deflection quickly comes from your customer calls. It’s likely you’re experiencing an increased call volume around topics you haven’t had to handle before. When you use speech analytics to analyse the calls you’re receiving, it provides valuable information on what sorts of calls are coming in.  

The goal is not to deflect every call, after all. The point of deflection is to make sure the calls your agents must handle over the phone can get through without delay by removing the ones which can be easily handled via another channel.  

By adjusting your speech analytics to identify the topics people are calling in about, you can then identify which calls can be deflected and which calls need a human to answer. Another valuable source of information comes from understanding the top intents behind certain call types. If you can learn the reason why a customer is calling about billing, you can know whether their inquiry can be executed via self-service options instead of over the phone.

2. Add bots to automate human conversation 

You can implement intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) and chatbots, which have been proven to deflect 40-80% of calls. Some IVAs, like Verint’s, have production-ready packages that are already trained on your industry, allowing you to get up and running quickly to meet customer demand.  

When customers can interact with an IVA using conversations instead of menus and forms, they can get to the answers they seek without having to place a call. Conversational AI can predict what a customer wants, personalize the interaction, and determine the best next action to deliver a successful outcome – significantly reducing the need for customer calls. 

For example, Amtrak uses an IVA on its website. Amtrak’s IVA “Julie” directs customers with Coronavirus-related questions to that page in a personalized manner, but sticks around on screen to field any additional questions.

3. Optimize your knowledge base

The data from speech analytics, combined with data mined from search terms on your website, will give you a picture of what information your customers are looking for. It’s important to note the information customers seek today may not be the same information they needed yesterday.  

If you stay current with the information customers need now, they will stay off the phone. As information changes, make sure you add it to the knowledge base.  

Ideally, your knowledge base should be centralized across all channels, both for self-service and agent-assisted channels. That way, you only need to update content once and it’ll update across all of your users and channels. This will let your agents know immediately what answers to give. Learn more about The Top 10 Benefits of Knowledge Management

By leveraging call deflection, you can ensure that your human agents get what they need in terms of support, while your customers get what they need out of your business. Want to learn how to pre-empt calls? How about learning more about using digital channels to deflect calls? Click here to read the article “7 Ways to Automate Call Deflection in a Hurry.”