While the seeds of Contact Center AI were sown around a decade ago with ACDs, the roots only strengthened in the 2000s when several intelligence based use cases emerged.
Today, driven by the several use cases and industry’s acknowledgement through efforts like Google Contact Center AI, Artificial Intelligence has shaped a market for itself. A market which operates around statistics like -
- US businesses are losing $75 billion per year because of poor customer service - NewVoiceMedia
- Eight out of ten businesses have already implemented or are finding ways to adopt AI as a prominent customer service solution by 2020 – Oracle
- By 2020, AI bots will power over 85% of the customer service interactions - Gartner
- 67% of people hope to use messaging apps when talking to a business - Chatbots Magazine
- By 2020, insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion p.a from their less-informed peers - Forrester.
The AI in Contact Center statistics that you just read are driven by the holistic role that AI is playing in the customer service and experience sector:
As Virtual Agents - AI is soon replacing the regular IVRs with speech based IVRs and the KRAs of the Tier 1 agents.
For Agent Assistance – Several contact center service providers are making use of AI to direct and prompt the live agents with the next best action.
For Business Insight - AI is getting used for transforming the unused voice recording for important business insights.
Agent Routing – AI is used to route customers to the agents on the basis of an in-depth knowledge of agent and customer profiles.
Quality, Compliance, and Assurance – Several companies are relying on AI for automatically scoring and rating agent engagement efforts for continued improvements.
This sector wide inclusion has divided the role of AI in contact centers into five main sub-divisions: operating with omni-channel experience at the center of all the use cases.
Let us look at the sub-divisions or the categories in which the vast role of AI in contact center can be segregated.
The Role of AI in Contact Centers
Here are the five primary roles that are being used to define the true adoption of contact center AI -
Globally, vendors are making use of AI for streamlining contact center experience by enabling the agents in collecting information, providing context for customer interactions, and ensuring an expedited call time.
Contact centers are also making use of the context provided by the AI to route calls to agents carrying appropriate skills needed to resolve an issue.
Automation plays a two-fold vital role in customer experience and agents productivity. With the help of its most widely accepted tool Chatbots, automation has witnessed a surge in popularity. A surge driven by the presence of a demographics that prefers text based communication over voice based.
It is not just making businesses approachable round the clock but also is playing a pivotal role in lessening the workload that is placed on the agents, leaving them with time to focus on other business value oriented tasks.
More often than not, AI in contact centers is focused primarily on predictive behaviour like analyzing the data sets to gauge how many calls can be expected to come in a particular shift.
In fact, there are a number of predictive analytics based contact center solutions that are focused on helping agents predict the intent of the call, thus giving them time to prepare their interactions accordingly.
One of the most important roles of AI in Contact Centers are defined by its capability to drive discovery and analytics in business. Customer centers can find value in the technology that combs through gazillion call data to determine the efficiency of an interaction and how it can be replicated or dissolved.
It offers the ability to identify patterns, which in return can be used to implement newer tactics and policies across the whole organization.
The last but still one of the most crucial ways AI plays a role in Contact Centers is through recommendations. The technology can be used for managing the agents’ performance during a call and recommending the ways it can be bettered in the future.
When integrated in ongoing calls, AI can help recognize the indicators that informs the contact canter agent of the customers’ mood or the sentiments they are depicting while on the call. This indicators recognition is not just limited to the customers. Some AI can even go as far as recommending the agents to take a break when a dip in their performance is identified.
The scope of role of AI in contact centers, while mainly divided into these five categories are not restricted to them. The use cases of AI in contact centers are continuously evolving. The intent to offer the best customer experience in the industry are driving a number of companies to get in touch with AI powered contact center solution providers who would help them in attain brand resonance.
But the question that this global inclusion of AI in contact centers have given birth to, is -
Does the pivotal role of AI in contact center translates into a soon-to-arrive time where agents are going to be replaced by AI driven tools?
While the AI picture that Hollywood and future-driven tech giants have drawn hints at its role in replacing humans in contact centers, the ground level analysis presents a different picture altogether.
The reality of where we stand in terms of AI’s inclusion in contact center domain is limited to the technology acting as enhancers. Even though offerings like Google Contact Center AI have brought in considerable inventions and expansions in the Contact Center sector, the role that humans play have not shifted.
No matter how intelligent the system becomes, humans will be needed to close the deal, to truly satisfy a customer or simply to close the contract amicably. And the AI backed contact center solution providers understand this. They understand the pivotal role of humans when devising their business offerings which are intended to enhance the value set that humans offer.
Author Bio: Akanksha