How AI Will Affect Contact Centers

By Harrison Clover   |   September 21, 2017
How AI Will Affect Contact Centers
Contact centers that embrace artificial intelligence (AI) will have capabilities to enhance the customer experience and improve their performance measurements. With AI supporting the interactions, contact centers will be able to anticipate customer needs, enhance conversations, and automate additional functions, which leaves the live agents for issues where they are the most needed.

Anticipating Consumer Needs

Artificial intelligence will be able to quickly identify a customer’s needs by integrating his or her profile associated with the account, purchase and interaction history, and other external data. If the call is determined to be urgent, such as an elderly woman calling for roadside assistance during a snowstorm, the system will route the call to the top of the queue. Machine learning tools can anticipate the appropriate response as it sees obvious and non-obvious patterns unfolding. Everything from what type of promotions the customer likes to the preferred channel of communication will be anticipated through AI.

Enhancing Conversations

Contact centers will also have the capabilities to support their live agents with virtual in-call assistants. Consider the woman stranded in the snowstorm. The live agent can access a map of her location as the virtual assistant listens to the call and pulls out the critical terms by using natural language. The system will help the agent pinpoint the location, confirm that location with the customer, contact a towing company, and reassure the stranded woman that help will be there within a certain time. All of this happens automatically through the use of AI in contact centers.

Automate Additional Functions

Customers are increasingly using self-service options offered by contact centers, and AI will further automate certain tasks in a friendly way. Customers will be able to change payment details, and the systems will be able to identify them automatically. If a customer asks the virtual assistant about a reduction in fees, the system will route her to the retention team. This is an example of how seamlessly AI will handle customer inquiries. It could handle the payment change smoothly but recognized that a human agent will be needed for other issues. In addition, the virtual assistant will listen to calls and learn from the interaction, which then improves anticipating customer needs. In addition, the system can analyze and identify the point at which a customer becomes frustrated, extract the language, and suggest solutions for future calls.

Contact centers that integrate AI will have more natural, effective voice interactions as AI automatically anticipates needs and offers solutions. It will rely on multiple data sources, identify customer needs, automate functions when possible, and provide support during live interactions. Humans will still be necessary. However, their performance and efficiency will be enhanced greatly by AI.