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Fuel CX Agility This Holiday Season with AI-Driven Strategies

Bailey Backal Headshot
Bailey Backal Product Marketing Manager

December can be chaotic and unpredictable. Retailers are pressured to keep extreme deal-seekers happy; e-commerce companies are all hands on deck to hit their revenue goals, and airlines are overwhelmed with travel changes and cancellations. Almost every business experiences some form of it.

This causes a downstream effect that forces Customer Experience (CX) teams to bear an immense load of volume. This surge in demand can overwhelm traditional contact center operations, leading to longer wait times, frustrated customers, and a strained workforce. Successfully navigating peak seasons and uncertainty is greatly impacted by their underlying technology. 

Traditional contact centers are built on rigid infrastructure and processes that are not designed to adapt to rapid changes in customer needs and behavior. CX teams require a lot of time and technical resources to make changes to their IVA/IVR, agents are given generic and impersonal scripts that are difficult to edit, and managers lack the ability to gather and analyze real-time data on customer behavior and sentiment. 

One industry that experiences this year-round is travel and hospitality. Travelers, airlines, hotels, and rental car companies all face situations that are out of their control: weather alerts like tropical storms, city-wide events like Formula-1, and even pandemics throw wrenches into travel plans. Their customer experience is always changing, and agility is the top priority. However, businesses that have embraced the emergence of powerful AI and Automation CX platforms, like Five9, have proven to transform their contact center operations. It enables them to identify critical anomalies, make changes to their customer experience on the fly, and communicate updates to their agents and managers; all amidst the chaos and uncertainty of any business cycle. 

It’s no wonder that 51% of CX leaders say that investing in AI has become their top priority. These businesses can monitor and predict customer anomalies in real-time to change their IVA quickly and keep their agents informed. Here’s how:

Leveraging Easy-to-Use IVA Systems

Contact centers face the constant challenge of balancing high call volumes and delivering personalized, quality interactions. This is where Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs) step in, playing a crucial role in streamlining customer interactions and enhancing overall satisfaction. By handling a significant portion of incoming calls, IVAs significantly reduce the burden on live agents, allowing them to focus on more complex customer interactions. However, if suddenly your contact center is inundated with the same intents or frequently asked questions, for example, airfare refund requests about weather-related cancellations or delays requests for an airline, IVAs can be built quickly to address these common and simple intents and, if needed, can escalate to a live agent. By investing in user-friendly IVAs and implementing effective strategies, businesses can reap the benefits of reduced call volume, improved agent efficiency, and positive customer experiences.

Five9’s Intelligent Virtual Agent (IVA) helps businesses easily design journeys to move customers through efficient, personalized paths across channels with an intuitive graphical interface. Our customers have been able to quickly build, deploy, and manage IVAs across their businesses in response to their customer needs.

Responding Quickly to Agent Needs

During peak seasons, the ability to quickly adapt to changing customer needs relies on effectively communicating change and guidance to your agents. AI-powered tools, like Agent Assist, empower managers to make real-time adjustments to agent workflows and guidance. Adopting easy-to-use AI tools that allow contact center managers to quickly offer new guidance for agents is critical. 

For instance, managers can identify potential customer pain points or suggest upselling opportunities, then quickly create new scripts or surface tips for agents to anticipate customer needs and deliver a more personalized experience. For example, offering agents at a car rental agency guidance on how to upsell snow tires to customers in the winter. According to Metrigy Research, 67% of CX leaders believe that surfacing guidance and information is vital to agent success, keeping them up to date in real-time is just as important.

Five9 Agent Assist is an enterprise-ready, AI-powered set of capabilities that empowers contact center agents to be more informed, engaged, and focused on the customer’s needs with real-time intelligence and automation. Agent Assist offers contact center managers a “What you see is what you get” tool that allows them to create and deliver ‘guidance cards’ in minutes, without requiring HTML or additional coding. This helps managers be more agile when surfacing updated scripts, guidance, and promotional offerings.

Monitoring and Notifying Managers of Anomalies

In today's dynamic business environment, the ability to access and analyze real-time data is crucial for making informed decisions and adapting to changing customer needs. However, it is not easy to surface meaningful insights from raw data. In fact, 58% of customer contact leaders say that their agents cannot build relationships with customers because they do not have enough data to meaningfully personalize interactions. AI-powered CX Insights tools provide contact center managers with real-time insights into customer interactions, allowing them to identify emerging trends, anomalies, and changes in customer sentiment. Paired with other intuitive AI-solutions, like Agent Assist, help contact center managers update their customer experience on the fly. 

Five9 AI Insights makes it easy for businesses to understand why customers contact them, how effectively customer issues are being solved, and where they can proactively automate parts of the customer experience. In real-time, AI Insights enables leaders to make data-driven decisions, optimize operations, and enhance the customer experience.

Putting It All Together

Think back to our travel and hospitality companies. Imagine if managers were notified of a sudden increase in weather cancellation requests and within minutes, not days or weeks, were able to deploy self-service support that directly offered customers refund information and provided agents with guidance on how to help customers rebook their flights. 

In a dynamic world of customer expectations, Five9 is a leading strategic partner for CX teams and makes this experience possible. Five9’s intelligent CX platform seamlessly embeds AI into your customer experiences to be more efficient, productive, and agile. Putting it all together, contact center managers can use AI to proactively monitor changes in their customer experience, and respond quickly with updates to their IVA and agent guidance using intuitive no-code-low-code admin tools that make AI easy.

So, by the time everyone is counting down “3... 2... 1...” (in the freezing cold, at midnight, in Times Square) Five9 has helped put the December chaos behind you and you can focus on keeping your customers happy.

Learn more by visiting our website or get in touch with one of our Five9 experts. 

Bailey Backal Headshot
Bailey Backal Product Marketing Manager

Call 1-800-553-8159 to learn more about Five9