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Why Partners Need Elastic Customer Service as a Contact Center Strategy

contact center

Contact centers can become the most strategic part of a channel partner’s customer service strategy.

However, you need the right technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) and elastic customer service are having a major impact on call centers.

So how can partners make the most of AI and elastic customer service to better meet customers’ demands? Gadi Shamia, Replicant’s CEO and co-founder, has a wealth of information to share on this.

During his Channel Partners Conference and Expo session, “What Elastic Customer Service Is and Why Call Centers Are Adopting It,” Nov. 3, Shamia will explain how to implement voice AI for partners’ contact center customers. He’ll also walk through live customer implementations and results.

In a Q&A, Shamia gives a sneak peek of the information he’ll share with attendees.

Channel Partners: What is elastic customer service in call centers?

Gadi Shamia: Elastic customer service (ECS) is the ability to scale customer service up and down based on customer demand, without ballooning costs, training new agents, offshoring, or planning for seasonal fluctuations. Contact centers achieve elasticity by using AI to create a one-to-one agent-to-customer ratio and maintain that ratio at all times. This means whether a contact center is experiencing double or 10 times the amount of their normal contact volume, AI is capable of responding to all customer requests immediately.

Replicant's Gadi Shamia

CP: How does elastic customer service make call centers more efficient, effective and customer-friendly?

GS: ECS gives contact centers agility in their agent deployment. When AI is able to scale while also resolving tier-1 customer service issues over the phone without agent intervention, agents are empowered to focus on tier-2-and-above service issues to best utilize their skill sets.

ECS leads to better customer satisfaction scores and greater trust in your issue resolution rate. Hold times are eliminated, average handle times go down, resolution rates go up, and the need for the customer to repeat themselves either to a clunky machine or a machine followed by an agent, is eliminated.

AI in an ECS setting works side by side alongside customer representatives, so that transferred calls include summarized notes, making agents more efficient.

CP: What steps are involved in implementing elastic customer service? Are there dos and don’ts?

GS: ECS can be implemented and deployed within weeks while returning 50-75% in cost savings. It begins with choosing a partner that has technical expertise, understands your customer experience and knows which use cases to automate. A big do is starting with call flows that are high in volume and low-to-moderate in complexity and scaling from there. The more calls AI takes, the smarter it gets, learning the needs of your customers to improve resolution rates.

ECS solutions should also integrate out of the box with your most common contact center, customer relationship management (CRM), and internal systems so you can integrate with workflows without skipping a beat. Finally, ensuring your data is up to date will allow AI to serve your customers more accurately.

CP: How can elastic customer service improve a channel partner’s customer service strategy?

GS: Customer demands are at all-time highs. Adding a zero-downtime, 24/7 solution benefits any modern customer service strategy. Training AI only has to be done once, rather than on a per-employee basis. Agents are empowered while working remote or abroad and are able to stay available during regularly scheduled hours while the call center itself resolves requests around the clock, all year round.

ECS can also add key benefits like call-flow analytics, automatic disposition tagging, and rich insights into the most common call types that can be further automated to lift call volume from your  agents. For the contact center as a whole, this leads to increased agent retention rates and lower overhead costs for outsourcing, office space, equipment and training.

CP: What do you hope attendees can learn and make use of from your session?

GS: Companies who adopt ECS have a few advantages over those that are solely scaling customer service with human resources. They’re able to easily and quickly adapt to changes, making them more flexible and resilient. They’re also more operationally and cost efficient, while still maintaining high customer satisfaction. Aside from only paying for the capacity they use, they also don’t pay for wait times anymore and calls themselves are 30% to 50% shorter. And most importantly, they meet demand 100% of the time, without compromising on quality.

Channel Partners Conference & Expo, contact center