Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX

Infusing artificial intelligence (AI) into processes is top of mind for business leaders and managers in all industries and across all job functions. Generative AI technologies truly have the power to change how we work and our ability to deliver a stellar customer experience (CX).

Some of the most common uses of AI have been game changers:

  • Virtual assistants like Siri guiding us on our way and finding information in an instant
  • Fraud detection from our financial institutions
  • Medical diagnoses and healthcare

Contact centers are no exception and stand to gain significant business and operational benefits from AI. From eliminating manual, repetitive tasks for agents to leveraging natural language processing (NLP) and AI with chatbots and phone support, contact center AI provides numerous opportunities to transform CX — and the bottom line.

Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

What Is Contact Center AI?

Artificial intelligence is integrated into our personal and work lives in some obvious and not-to-obvious ways. As we write an email, AI is helping complete our thoughts and fixing typos. It is influencing what we see on social media and when researching “how to” at work.

AI is also finding its way into contact centers, as technology allows machines or computers to process information in a similar fashion, but much faster than humans. Contact center AI is a collection of tools or contact center software designed to enable smarter, data-driven, and more efficient customer interactions, with the ultimate goal of delivering better CX.

AI enables customer service organizations to:

  • Perform routine, simple tasks that are usually done by a human, improving productivity
  • Automate basic requests that improve customer experiences
  • Enable the workforce to efficiently handle more complex requests

Contact center leaders tend to leverage AI for task automation as the low-hanging fruit. From there, use cases have evolved and rapidly expanded.

The Evolution of Contact Center AI

Early uses of AI and machine learning (ML) showed up in call centers years ago in intelligent routing solutions and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. These “cutting-edge” technologies at the time helped managers better distribute and manage voice calls more efficiently.

But as customers’ communication needs and preferences shifted, contact centers today provide omnichannel support. As NLP, ML, and conversational AI evolved, modern contact centers embrace AI-powered chatbots, virtual agents or assistants, voice recognition, and other tools to deliver self-service options to customers.

According to a recent Gartner survey, 62% of millennials and 75% of Gen-Z customers prefer self-service almost all the time, even when they have an option of contacting customer support. This compares to 19% of baby boomers and 43% of Gen X customers who report they would do the same.

But the hidden gems of contact center AI lie in transforming quality management (QM) processes, improving agent engagement, and utilizing intelligent AI tools to assess customer sentiment and intent in various communication channels to anticipate and improve CX.

Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

Top Use Cases for Contact Center AI

Improving Workforce Management and Engagement

AI tools allow employees to reduce repetitive, routine tasks and focus on more strategic, value-added work, boosting productivity and job satisfaction. But it goes beyond enabling automation. AI-powered solutions and tools are shaping the way organizations engage with and manage their workforce. From recognizing customer service agents to making coaching easier, AI can help improve employee happiness, agent experiences, job satisfaction, and overall well-being, among many other benefits to significantly impact company culture and organizational success.

Decoding Customer Sentiment

Manual analysis has given way to automated sentiment analysis solutions powered by AI. AI analytics tools can quickly transform customer sentiment into valuable customer insights and help them map the customer journey and even predict market trends.

AI can automate the process of detecting tone, intent, and feelings in human language. Using (NLP) and machine learning algorithms, AI-powered sentiment analysis tools go beyond words to interpret attitudes and emotions from text, in addition to context.

Boosting CX

With robust customer data and information ready at the quick, AI-based contact center tools allow agents to help answer questions more precisely and resolve customer issues for first contact resolution – a key metric. Likewise AI can help cut the time contact center agents spend helping and responding to customer concerns and inquiries, getting to resolution faster.

Streamlining Quality Management Processes and Coaching

Making the shift from quality assurance to quality management in the contact center means focusing on the success of the quality program for customers, agents, and the company as a whole. It’s looking at the people, processes, and systems in a holistic way.

AI-infused quality management is enabling leaders to stop problems before they start. 

  • Proactively analyze agent interactions to spot coaching opportunities to prevent costly mistakes and enhance employee engagement. 
  • Automatically surface insight into customer sentiment across all digital interactions.
  • Analyze more interactions and automate workloads for analysts. And the list goes on.

Let’s explore the opportunities for AI in quality management a bit deeper.

Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

AI in Quality Management

AI is a game changer for contact centers, as illustrated in the use cases above. Leveraging AI to automate and improve quality management processes is perhaps one of the most powerful places to start. There’s an opportunity to increase efficiency by automating the entire quality management process of a contact center — from assisted scoring to agent coaching.

For example, due to the sheer volume of data they ingest, most contact centers only analyze a small percentage (<2%) of their interactions. Because proper evaluation takes several minutes — or even up to an hour — to complete, there’s simply not enough time in the day to analyze every single interaction.

What if an AI-infused quality management system could analyze the sentiment in every single interaction and understand the topics discussed during every single encounter? AI can help surface the most pressing issues across a large sample and direct them to your quality analysts for a deeper look. AI can then assist the analyst to score and provide feedback.

But there’s more. If you automate coaching based on a larger sample of quality issues you will move the customer satisfaction needle further and faster. Powerful, right?

Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

Benefits of Contact Center AI

The use of AI has enormous potential in the contact center. McKinsey reports that using generative AI in customer care functions could improve productivity by 30-45%.

  1. Cost savings – Investing in AI allows companies to do a better job of supporting omnichannel requirements with fewer staff. It also allows you to intelligently forecast, schedule, and monitor your workforce in real time, saving hours on manual tasks.
  2. Operational efficiencies – AI allows contact centers to minimize repetitive tasks for agents, provide better customer insight, and reduce errors. This frees up agents to focus on more complex issues and customer communications, reducing metrics like average handling time. Likewise AI helps managers with capacity planning, forecasting, employee scheduling, and makes intraday planning easy, accurate, and far less time-consuming.
  3. Boost agent engagement, retention, and employee experience – Empower your employees with flexible change management and real-time visibility.
  4. Faster feedback and informed decision making – AI can also help analysts in the scoring and feedback process to cut effort and time. The right solution can automatically assign coaching to help agents improve faster and arm them with preventive action. Agents can self-review the coaching and immediately put into practice tactics for continuous improvement to create better customer outcomes.
  5. Enhanced customer relationships – AI improves self-service customer experiences and empowers contact center agents to create more helpful, personalized experiences and interactions. This improves customer satisfaction and net promoter scores, and other key customer service metrics.
Contact Center AI: How It Can Transform Your CX contact center ai

The Future of Contact Center AI is Now

AI technology is evolving at a dizzying pace, but it’s also a technology that can “meet you where you’re at.” Contact center leaders stand to realize many operational efficiencies, improve agent efficiency, engagement, and retention, provide faster feedback and coaching, and most importantly, move the needle faster to provide exceptional customer experiences.To learn why, where, and how to get started on your journey to evolving contact center AI, tune into our on-demand webinar “How to Infuse AI Into QM: What You Need to Know.

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