What is Agent Assist?

By Sami Ghoche
Customer support agents assist each other while wearing headsets.

The world of customer support is centered around two very important people: your customers and your customer support agents. We talk over and over again about ways to improve support for your customers, but what are we doing to enhance the agent experience for your support representatives? 

That’s where tools like Agent Assist come in. Agent Assist is a part of conversation intelligence and customer support that uses a combination of conversational AI, machine learning, and natural language technologies to resolve incoming customer support tickets. Agent Assist technology is used to surface ticket response suggestions for support reps during live conversations with customers. Agent Assist tools are designed to help agents have a better experience when delivering customer support. 

What is Agent Assist in Customer Support?

Agent Assist in customer support enables agents to do more for their customers. Agent Assist technology enables support teams to do two important things: close out support tickets faster and implement automated workflows that enable enhanced self-service. In customer support, agent assist helps support teams in reducing time to resolution by allowing them to search any knowledge base or website within their help desk to surface information from past tickets in order to close current ones.

How does Agent Assist Work?

Agent Assist technology is possible through the power of artificial intelligence. With a combination of conversational AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and natural language understanding, customers seeking support can quickly receive it and agents can accurately deliver the most up-to-date information. 

Agent Assist tools sit directly on top of a support agent’s help desk. When a support ticket comes in, it gets labeled and routed to the correct agent who then has their assist tool surface relevant past answers based on how the ticket had previously been answered. This makes it easier for agents to respond to support tickets and allows them to respond faster and close tickets quicker. 

5 Ways Agent Assist Benefits Customer Support Agents

1. Increase Agent Productivity

Agent assist makes it possible for support agents to close out cases faster and lower First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Time to Close (TTC). Assist tools powered by AI are already proving to be valuable for support teams, some have even seen up to a 77% reduction in response time. 

2. Boost Agent Efficiency

Most support teams measure efficiency based on how many cases agents are able to close per hour, their time spent on tickets, or another metric designed to show them how quickly or fast they’re able to meet customer expectations. With agent assist, support reps have a tool that enables them to increase efficiency all while maintaining customer satisfaction and boosting their KPIs. Support teams using AI-powered solutions in their support have been able to reach a 40% deflection rate

3. Remove Customer Support Redundancies

Imagine answering the same questions hundreds of times a day — it can’t be easy, but that’s common for support teams. The great news is that with the right tools you can remove those customer support redundancies. With Agent Assist agents no longer have to respond to the same ticket with the same information over and over, they can now surface a past answer automatically and help customers even faster. 

4. Ramp Agents Faster

Being able to perform the role of a customer support rep is one thing, but ramping and onboarding to get there is another. With tools like Agent Assist from Forethought, support teams can actually decrease ramp time. By allowing new agents to fully leverage company knowledge they can be better prepared for their roles in customer support. 

5. Create Consistent Communication

According to Shep Hyken, customer service expert, the way to amaze your customers seeking support is with consistent communication. He says, “It’s not about going over the top or blowing away your customers, it’s about providing predictable and consistent above average experiences.” Agent Assist can help agents be more consistent in their communication and can help create consistency across responses as well. 

Why is Agent Assist Technology Important?

Agent Assist technology is important to the world of customer support as it stands today. We have access to more knowledge and data than ever before but we’re struggling to leverage it to its fullest potential and utilize every aspect of that knowledge. Assist tools powered by AI play a powerful role in increasing agent capabilities and ultimately positively impact the customer. 

Jumping into the world of AI isn’t as difficult as one would think, with platforms like Forethought support organizations can provide their agents with the AI assistant they need to help them close tickets faster and improve CX in a way that benefits everyone involved. If you’re interested in learning more, view a demo today

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Interested in generative AI for customer support? Check out this guide to learn about the 3 key pillars you need to get started.

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