When you hear the term artificial intelligence (AI) you are probably thinking along the lines of self-driving cars, C-3PO, the lovable golden droid from Star Wars, or the Terminator. Everybody has their own interpretation of what artificial intelligence means. However, when referring to AI in the contact center there are many roles that it can play.
Artificial Intelligence in the contact center is not going to be a self-thinking solution which replaces all of your agents, at least not anytime in the next few years. Instead, we’ll see more of a Soft AI or a Blended AI where technology will provide some automation, but will empower the agents to provide that personalized and high touch experience. Let’s look at what AI can do for your contact center right now.
Artificial Intelligence is really combining a few different technologies together to provide analytics and automation in the contact center. AI combines big data, natural language understanding (NLU), machine learning, and omnichannel routing. Using these technologies, AI allows your contact center to anticipate the needs of the customer, to provide virtual assistance and instant help, and to automate routine inquiries, such as paying a bill or a balance check, wherever possible. A common mistake when discussing AI is to think about just digital, or just inbound communications. AI can, and should, be applied to all things contact center including outbound campaigns and self-service calls.
As a result of implementing these technologies and concepts in your contact center you will see better CSAT (customer satisfaction) scores, contact deflection, reduced agent attrition, lower AHT (average handle time), and increased FCR (first call resolution). To add to this, when AI is implemented organizations are seeing an overall reduction in cost and, depending upon how your call center is setup, AI will have a direct impact to increased revenue.
Certainly artificial intelligence can automate certain interaction types in the contact center, however, these are things that were likely already susceptible to automation before the big AI buzzword ever came around. Full contact center automation is many years out but AI in conjunction with that human touch is available now, and will help you reduce cost, increase revenue, and provide a better user experience.