In this day and age, customer interactions can either make or break your brand image. 

Positive customer interactions drive better results and result in more satisfied employees and customers. 

On the contrary, negative and inconsistent interactions can significantly damage your company’s reputation, increase agent turnover rate, and make customers more likely to churn.

Real-time agent assist software has provided contact center teams with an innovative, data-driven AI-powered solution that instantly guides agents during live calls, ensuring the best outcomes for your customers.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the tech behind real-time agent assist solutions and how they can help maximize the efficiency of your contact center.  

What is Real-Time Agent Assist?

Real-time agent assist is a software solution that supports contact center agents during live calls. It enhances your agents’ performance, resulting in higher revenues, a higher first-time resolution rate, minimal human error, and a better overall customer experience.

Real-time agent assistance also accelerates the onboarding process and helps managers coach new agents with on-the-job guidance and support.

The Evolution of Customer Service Tools

Before the introduction of more advanced customer service solutions, contact centers primarily supported customers with in-person interactions. Later, as businesses grew and scaled, a gradual shift to phone support took place.

With the widespread adoption of internet-enabled computers and smartphones, many contact centers around the globe implemented email and live chat support. 

The introduction of more support channels paved the way for the rise of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions, which enable businesses to manage live customer interactions more effectively.

In recent years, with the advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in contact center technology, real-time agent assist emerged as a game changer. It provides reps with near-instant, real-time assistance based on advanced customer sentiment machine-learning algorithms. 

By analyzing data from the customer’s current and past interactions, agent-assist solutions can understand what customers need and expect. 

The Importance of Immediate Assistance in Today’s Fast-Paced World

Providing fast customer support is no longer a secondary matter – it’s something that customers expect when they seek help. 

According to recent research by PWC, at least 70% of customers believe that fast, friendly, and helpful customer support is key for them to stay loyal to a brand.

When a customer picks up their phone to call your company, they expect a fast and consistent service level. However, in reality, many customers end up waiting in a virtual queue, only to find themselves having to deal with multiple call transfers and agents who are unable to assist them with their problem, resulting in poor customer satisfaction and higher churn rates.

Providing your agents with real-time assistance during live calls enables them to deliver more accurate responses consistently, resulting in improved customer satisfaction. 

Pioneering the Real-Time Agent Assist Movement

Real-time agent assistance relies on new technologies like AI and ML predictive models, which were only recently adopted on a wide scale in recent years. 

Balto has quickly captured the opportunity and developed solutions to help contact centers provide better support for their customers and enhance agent performance and efficiency. 

Balto’s Vision for Customer Support

Balto leverages AI to help agents handle complex queries more efficiently and boost agent productivity. It also enables managers and supervisors to monitor performance and compliance and coach their agents with data-driven performance insights. 

With Balto, call centers can make customers more satisfied, boost customer retention and loyalty, and avoid missed sales opportunities and severe compliance mistakes. 

AI: The Differentiating Factor

AI has significantly contributed to the evolution of the modern contact center and higher customer satisfaction rates.

It makes agents more productive, supports faster and more accurate decision-making, and handles redundant tasks, freeing up agents to focus on more important tasks that require their full attention. 

Combined with advanced machine learning models and Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI solutions can understand customer intent, enabling contact centers to personalize the customer experience, reduce customer churn rates, and proactively meet their changing needs. 

On top of that, artificial intelligence provides agents with real-time assistance during calls for faster resolutions, automates note-taking, eliminates routine post-call work, and spots compliance and script deviations.

AI solutions like advanced IVR (Interactive Voice Response) systems and AI chatbots are also capable of encouraging customers to use self-service solutions for recurring queries while routing customers to live agents for complex queries that require the intervention of human agents. 

 Advanced AI Algorithms and Predictions

Advanced AI algorithms analyze past customer conversations to predict churn, providing your contact center with valuable insights that influence your decision-making and help you improve the customer experience. 

On top of that, they seamlessly integrate into your agents’ workflows by continuously working in the background to transcribe calls, take notes, and create call summaries and key highlights. 

Since it can be challenging to use the same script for all customer interactions, AI solutions enable real-time scripting and guided conversations by providing agents with data-driven response prompts. This creates a more personalized and consistent customer service experience. 

How Real-Time Agent Assist Works

Real-time agent assist analyzes agent conversations with customers and recommends the most appropriate responses in different situations. 

By utilizing machine learning and natural language processing capabilities, the solution identifies customer sentiment, scans through the customer’s history with your organization, and predicts customer needs. 

Then, the tool provides agents with guidance that helps them personalize the customer experience, focus on the conversation’s flow, and resolve their problems promptly. 

What’s more, real-time agent assist alerts agents in case they deviate from the script or ask the customer for sensitive information that makes them go out of compliance.

Trigger-based Actions

Real-time agent assist solutions can quickly identify triggers, which can be in the form of linguistic, acoustic, or application triggers. 

Linguistic triggers are typically keywords that signal a negative or positive sentiment, while acoustic triggers are often a result of poor conversation flow due to redundant words or long pauses. Application-based triggers pull information from the agent’s desktop to guide them throughout the call and ensure adherence to policies and guidelines.

Once a trigger is activated, the agent is alerted with a list of recommended responses or actions that provide guidance during the entire call to ensure a positive outcome.

Integration with Existing Customer Service Systems

Established agent assist software solutions offer a wide range of native integrations with popular customer support tools and platforms. These include CRMs, customer databases, communication platforms, and ticketing and email systems.

For custom integrations, you can access the API (Application Programming Interface) to establish a connection between your AI platform and other services.

Key Benefits of Using Real-Time Agent Assist

The greatest benefits of implementing AI agent assistance in your call center include:  

Enhanced Customer Experience

Real-time agent assistance can enhance customer experience by improving agent performance. Guiding agents during calls helps them resolve customer issues quickly and more accurately. 

On top of that, conversation intelligence solutions use customer sentiment analysis to capture intent, which helps agents understand the root causes of the problems and assist customers more effectively.

Reduction in Resolution Time

Real-time agent assist helps agents support customers faster and more accurately, resulting in a significant reduction in the average resolution time. This efficiency not only boosts customer satisfaction rates but also optimizes operational efficiency within your contact center environment. It can help you and your agents allocate resources more effectively, resulting in enhanced productivity.

Boost in Agent Confidence and Efficiency

Real-time agent guidance solutions empower agents by making them more confident in their ability to help customers. They know that the AI will kick in when they need guidance, which can be particularly useful for newer agents.

Further, a real-time agent assist tool helps agents make the most out of their customer conversations, while the tool handles time-consuming tasks like creating support tickets, note-taking, triggering sales opportunities alerts, and summarizing calls for them. 

They also make agents more available to receive calls since they’ll barely need to do any post-call work – The software will take care of that for them.

Create Personalized Agent Experiences

Every agent has unique strengths and challenges. With real-time agent assist, you’ll be able to provide assistance for agents based on their behavioral cues and skill profiles. 

For instance, if a particular agent is struggling to show empathy to customers, you can include proactive play cards in that agent’s real-time agent assist interface that focuses on that key aspect of the conversation. 

Make the Most Out of Your Internal Knowledge Base

Creating and maintaining a knowledge base is a huge investment, yet, most agents will barely have any time searching through a gigantic database on a day-to-day basis. 

Real-time agent assist enables faster and more efficient knowledge search. Within a few seconds, your agents can pull the information they need from the knowledge base during live calls with AI-enabled proactive knowledge cards and answers. 

This can help your agents handle more calls in less time, as well as boost the First Call Resolution (FCR) rate and enhance customer experience.

Improve Decision Making

It can be difficult to capture meaningful insights in a busy call center environment. Real-time agent assist facilitates data-driven decision-making by providing you with deep visibility into agent performance trends and patterns, which can also help you create customized coaching plans for your agents to help them reach their potential.

Streamline the Onboarding Process

Onboarding new agents can be much more efficient with agent assistance solutions. 

As new hires take a while to acquaint themselves with your company’s guidelines, products, and customer service level expectations, real-time agent assist accelerates the process by guiding new agents with on-the-job coaching and support.

AI response cards instantly display relevant information once a trigger keyword or phrase is detected. In outbound contact centers, you can also integrate personalized sales play cards that cover key differentiators and product information. 

Manage Remote Agents More Effectively

Many contact centers have adopted remote and hybrid work environments, which introduced new challenges for leaders and managers in efficiently guiding and coaching their team members.

AI agent assistance solutions have enabled real-time coaching, enabling leaders to monitor agent performance and provide them with a high level of autonomy while also being able to intervene when needed. This can drastically enhance customer satisfaction, limit escalations, and reduce customer churn.

Capture Upselling/Cross-Selling Opportunities

Real-time agent assist solutions can quickly identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities using pre-specified keywords and phrases. When the agent is notified, they can make special offers to the customer based on their needs and priorities, improving your organization’s profitability.

Real-Time Agent Assist in Action

Some practical applications of real-time agent assist are:

Resolving Technical Difficulties

Depending on the complexity of the products or services you offer, your agents may often face technical difficulties when talking with customers. 

Real-time agent assistance provides agents with the information they need to tackle and understand technical jargon and common technical issues customers face.

Addressing Billing Concerns in Finance

Billing problems can be a major headache for your support agents. They literally happen every minute, especially in growing financial services organizations.

Real-time agent assist guides agents through complicated billing problems and automates redundant queries with AI chatbots and other self-service portals. 

Healthcare Queries and Assistance

AI real-time agent assist enables agents to solve complex healthcare queries with accurate data-driven insights and treatment options, in addition to providing access to key patient information and relevant data from past interactions – all while ensuring that the patient’s sensitive health records are protected and properly handled. 

This results in a higher quality of care for patients.

Safety, Security, and Compliance 

With real-time agent assistance, reps are much less likely to make a compliance violation. 

Protecting Customer Data

Real-time agent assistance can protect customer data by alerting agents when sensitive information is mentioned, either from the agent’s side or the customer’s side, ensuring that critical data remains confidential. This information may include credit card data, social security numbers, or health records. 

Additionally, contact centers can feed the tool’s model with their organizations’ data protection guidelines to ensure data security across different communication platforms. 

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

Real-time agent assist solutions can be programmed to redact sensitive data from chat histories and recorded calls, enabling organizations to meet regulatory compliance requirements related to storing and handling customer data. 

They also monitor conversations for different compliance standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR. Moreover, agent assist platforms enable agents to authenticate customers without compromising data privacy and security. 

Feedback Loop: How Balto Promotes Continuous Improvement 

Balto provides agents with instant feedback, prevents mistakes from becoming habits, and encourages positive behaviors in different scenarios. 

Balto uses customer feedback to tailor timely and targeted feedback for your agents so they can work on improving their skills. The platform is trained on decades of habit-forming psychology, ensuring that agents form good habits that allow them to enhance your company’s brand image in the eyes of your customers.

With continuous feedback, agents can gradually improve their performance and behavior, as well as develop their skills.

Further, with the BaltoGPT generative AI model, you can instantly analyze agent-customer interactions and discover more ways to improve agent performance by using prompts like: “What could the agent do to assist the customer more quickly?” “How successful was this call compared to other calls in my call center?” 

What Sets Balto’s Real-Time Guidance Platform Apart?

Balto assists your agents in real-time and gives them the confidence they need to provide accurate resolutions. 

With real-time agent coaching, managers can support agents instantly with quick alerts for coachable moments, resulting in higher employee engagement and customer satisfaction.  

Boost conversions and drive better business outcomes with Balto. Test responses to common objections and easily scale best practices to your entire team. Make your customers happier by reducing wait times and proactively providing agents with the information they need.

Accelerate the onboarding process for new hires with on-the-job training and support. Mitigate compliance risks with real-time alerts and reminders.

Explore how Balto can revolutionize your customer interactions in action with this free demo. Give your reps the edge they need to nail every single customer interaction!