On Sep, 9 2022
Many contact centers are in the process of evaluating or implementing AI to improve efficiency and morale. However, cutting through all the buzz and marketing isn’t easy. It has many professionals wanting to see actual uses of the technology instead of long-term promises. Below are a few of the most common AI trends appearing in contact centers today.
1) Customer speech analysis – Before AI entered the contact center, a difficult call between an agent and a customer was just something that happened. There was no direct way of monitoring or tracking the conversation in real-time. This has changed with AI. Now, contact centers are able to track customer conversations by tone through AI and provide assistance to agents if customers aren’t reacting in an acceptable way. For example, if a customer is raising their voice frequently during a call, a prompt can be configured so it shows up and the agent can quickly transfer the customer to their supervisor.
2) Metric based incentives – Contact center AI technology can also be implemented to help reward agents based on their performance. The key here is to not provide incentives to agents based on call volume alone. An area such as prompt attendance, trackable through your workforce management software solution, can be a good starting point to automatically provide agents with unique perks for frequently showing up on time.
3) Call flow management – When people think of AI within a contact center, they often point to leveraging the technology for managing call volume and traffic. It’s for a good reason. AI provides a strong structure for assigning calls to the right agents, automatically implementing prompts to deflect specific call types to self-service, and alerting a contact center if too many calls are coming in around similar topics. When the latter happens, a WFM analyst can quickly utilize a mobile WFM app to staff up their contact center with agents who have the desired skills or expertise.
4) Improve the agent experience – Being an agent on the phone all day in a contact center isn’t getting any easier. Requests from customers are becoming more complex and as a result effectively managing breaks and staffing is increasing in importance. AI can help agents by providing them with solutions such as real-time workload rerouting for when they just need 5 minutes outside after a difficult conversation. Knowing an agent doesn’t always need to keep taking calls at their desk when times get tough can provide a boost to contact center morale.
5) Operational optimization – The last AI trend focuses less on the individual agent and instead more on the overall operations within a contact center. AI can be a powerful solution for recommending and evaluating the impact of new strategies to gauge their effectiveness. If AI notices call volume peaks significantly in the early morning and late afternoon on Tuesday, it may suggest considering a split shift approach on this day. A change like this can help to reduce costs while also improving customer satisfaction by reducing wait times.
In short, these common AI trends are all about improving the overall contact center experience for both the agent and the customer while keeping costs top of mind. AI may not be the magic solution to everything, but when applied properly the technology can provide significant benefits to a contact center.