AI-enabled chatbots improve call centre deflection rate

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Vishal Chopra, head of field marketing MEA at Freshworks.
Vishal Chopra, head of field marketing MEA at Freshworks.

Smart automation can improve contact centre deflection rates – the volume of calls that can be handled without a human agent – to up to 60% of calls, so improving customer experience and reducing operational costs.

This is according to Vishal Chopra, head of marketing, India, ASEAN, Middle East and Africa at Freshworks, who was speaking at a Freshworks webinar on 'Superhuman Customer Service' last week.

Chopra said AI did not replace human agents, but could support human staff and make them ‘superhuman customer service agents’. “It will never be bot vs human – bots enable human agents to do much more,” he said.

“What end customers really want is effortless, proactive and empathetic customer service. Bots can support these three key pillars,” he said.

Chopra said traditional bots might be capable of handling 25% of the chat without human interaction. “These are typically simple Q&A-type queries. The big challenge comes with the remaining 75% of queries. If a customer is stuck with a bot that cannot address more complex queries, you get three times more dissatisfied customers. However, if a bot is able to respond intelligently, they can handle 50 – 60% of the queries, and only escalate the most complex ones to human agents. To be proactive, your bot needs to understand the intent of your customer’s query and follow up with the next best action. This doesn’t replace humans – it’s bots working seamlessly with human counterparts.”

He cited India’s PhonePe digital payments app, which uses Freshworks’ customer experience suite and Freddy omnibot to serve 150m customers, achieving a 60% deflection rate and 1500 automated decisions, delivering the right customer experience at scale.

Another example of a successful bot deployment was the fast-growing Dunzo all-in-one delivery platform, which now resolves 48% of customer queries using chatbots. Freshworks’ platform and Freddy chatbot help the company predict customer intent and notify them of order delivery and refund status. By properly communicating about returns, deliveries and refunds, the company is able to deliver a better customer experience, enables its agents to serve customers better, and also achieves cost savings.

“The benefits of automation-first customer service include 24/7 service, quick responses, accuracy and faster resolutions,” he said. “For the agent, it saves time and effort and helps with training and onboarding. For the business, it is a cost-effective strategy and enables scalable support without adding to the headcount.”

Freshworks’ flagship event, Refresh 2020, will be a virtual international event launching on 28 October, featuring talks, master classes and regional stories from around the world. For information and to register for this event, go to:

Freshworks is also set to host a chatbot demo day. To register for this, go to:

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