AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans and is quickly becoming an alternative for many call centre functions.

And as AI becomes more powerful, it is going to continue to provide a viable option to replace many call centre functions that previously required humans.

But it’s not all doom and gloom and job losses with AI.

Used effectively, Artificial Intelligence can enhance both the customer and agents experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the applications of AI in a contact centre/CX environment.

How Artificial Intelligence can be used in contact centres

AI (or Machine Learning) offers an exciting array of opportunities when used in a contact centre or customer experience environment.

Chatbots & Virtual Assistants

Probably the fastest growing deployment of AI currently in call centres is a chatbot or Virtual Assistant.

Unlike your standard bot, an AI-powered uses machine learning to ‘learn’ from previous interactions.

The more intelligent the bots become, the more they can provide self-service capability without the need for human intervention.

While that all sounds very exciting, just like human students, a chatbot needs a teacher.

Someone to tell it what’s right from wrong.

As Gillian Armstrong from Chatbots Magazine summed up nicely:

To know how to answer a question correctly, it needs to know the correct answer.

I think there is a perception at the moment that if you can purchase an AI-powered chatbot that you can plug it in and problem solved.

Like any other channel, you need to invest in its implementation and importantly, its ongoing development.

Speech Analytics

Speech Analytics relies on voice recognition technology that has changed the way contact centres can analyse and manage agent and customer data.

Rather than traditionally being restricted to analysing a very small percentage of calls to gain customer insight, you can now literally analyse every single call to get a powerful insight on trends, performance and more.

Want to know how many customers said the word ‘cancel’? Easy.

What about terminate? Escalate?

You get the drift.

But the technology is now also detecting emotion, even in real-time.

So a Team Leader could be sitting at their desk when an alert pops up advising them that a call centre agent has a very angry customer on the line.

The Team Leader can then either ‘listen in’ or physically go over to the agent and make sure they receive the support they need.

It really is a game-changer for quality management and to gain a deep insight into the customer experience.

Natural Language IVRs

Like Speech Analytics, Natural Language IVRs are powered by Voice Recognition technology.

This enables a customer to ‘say’ what they need rather than pushing an endless array of buttons.

And rather than just direct a customer to the appropriate queue, by linking to back-end systems you can also provide self-service options from within the IVR by providing customers with the answers they need.

This could eliminate the call going to a live agent completely, or save time by providing some information up front to the call centre agent.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA can already eliminate some repeatable tasks in call centres and combined with OCR technology (Optical Character Reading) and Artificial Intelligence I think we are going to see some strong growth in this area.

An example of how the powerful combination can provide a range of benefits to call centres includes the processing of email enquiries which is still a largely manual process.

With the tech combo, you could analyse an email, determine the intent and then provide an automatic response to the customer.

Next Steps

  • To find suppliers of the latest AI technology search our Business Directory or use our free CX Connect service and we’ll recommend suppliers that can best service your needs saving you time, money and stress!
  • There is no doubt Artificial Intelligence is a fast-moving space so to stay across the latest news visit our technology category of articles.

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