Traditionally, matching agents and customers can involve a bit of guesswork that may or may not lead to successful interactions. Jeff Melton, a partner with Bain's Performance Improvement practice, explains how AI can be a useful tool to match agents with customers, leading to better customer experiences.
Read the Bain Brief: AI Is Lifting Service-Center Performance
Read the transcript below.
JEFF MELTON: Last night, Alexander told his partner a story about a customer who called that day. A customer had a problem, was so frustrated. We solved the customer's problem, and the customer was so happy, and she said such nice things about me. And the glow that's in Alexander's face as he's telling that story is why he comes to work every day.
But unfortunately, Alexander has no idea what problems are going to land on his plate. When he can't solve the problem, it's immensely frustrating because there's a customer there who's emotional and clearly has need. And he feels uneasy about handing the call to someone who can help the problem, because over his shoulder there's a supervisor saying, don't transfer that call.
And Alexander's thinking, but I need to transfer that call because I have to help this customer. So you have a problem with matchmaking. Most companies do, of how do you get the right customers to Alexander, so Alexander can have a day filled with magic moments that feel really good? Fortunately, AI can help.
AI can understand what it is that Alexander is good at, the problems that he can solve and the problems that he isn't very good at solving. And AI can also understand what it is that customers need, and it can predict, based on what you know about the customer and what you know about the situation, whether Alexander is going to be just right for that customer or if someone else is.
But knowing when that's the right match isn't enough. We also need automation so that you can connect Alexander to the customer, and knowing the money value of time, what can you do to nudge that customer to wait a little bit longer so that you can match them up, and when Alexander solves that problem for that kind of customer, you avoid a whole lot of cost associated with rework. But you also create these stories where the customer is telling her friends about Alexander, and Alexander is telling his partner about the customer. It's almost like they love each other, but they don't. What they do really love, though, is your company.
Predictive routing matches customers and agents better, and at lower cost.