Five key questions to help define the contact center AI strategy

Telecoms.com periodically invites third party experts to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this article, Martin Taylor, Deputy Managing Director of Content Guru, explores best practices for using artificial intelligence in the contact center environment.

Contact center technology has been transformed by a growing focus on innovation, with AI (artificial intelligence) now providing a path into the most ambitious period of improvement the industry has ever seen. From providing predictive routing and chatbots to supporting robotic agents, intelligent automation is helping deliver more efficient and personalized services at scale than ever before.

With many organizations still only at the start of their AI journey, there remains enormous potential for using technology to achieve better outcomes for consumers who are increasingly focusing on quality of service. With so many tech options on offer, however, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Part of the problem is that implementing AI in isolation, rather than as part of a carefully considered plan, can be perilous. Therefore, when defining an effective long-term strategy, organizations should take into account five key considerations to bridge the gap between the potential of AI and the needs of customers. These include:

Focus on customer demographics

In almost every contact center use case, customers focus on one fundamental part of the engagement experience: convenience. The application of AI-based technologies and processes has the potential to provide a more efficient experience that minimizes frustration. However, it is essential to make sure that intelligent automation is compatible with what customers want and really need. The question is: how?

The service development process should always begin with an assessment of customer demographics. For example, what age groups use the contact center services? What channels does each demographic prefer? When do customers use contact center processes the most? Are some customers more important than others? Are some more vulnerable?

It is only by developing a detailed understanding of the issues with the clearest impact on customer priorities that it becomes possible to identify places where AI can improve their experience.

Evaluate how AI is used today

Make no mistake, AI is emerging as a major feature of the customer experience, which in turn is guiding the contact center’s investment strategy. According to The data From Ventana Research, for example, three-quarters of organizations will have introduced more than one AI or machine learning application into their contact center service processes by next year. But to build a long-term strategy, it’s important to review how AI is used today.

Specifically, what is the current role of AI and its impact on customers, your contact center team and, in a broader sense, your business goals? The point is, if existing AI technologies aren’t delivering the results you want, it’s probably time for a reassessment. By focusing on where and how your existing services and processes can be improved, rather than destroyed and replaced, contact center operators can avoid wasting existing investments and thus help keep expenses within budget. .

Focus on the employee experience

In addition to improving customer journeys with AI-enhanced processes and experiences, the same technology is also ideally suited to improving the workforce experience. This shouldn’t be overlooked as an engaged and productive workforce with manageable workloads will always deliver better contact center efficiency – and a better customer experience.

Concretely, how could AI reduce the burden on human agents? Are there specific interactions that are essentially algorithmic and therefore better suited to processing AI? And finally, will the application of AI allow your agents to use their skills and resolve customer queries in a more efficient and even enjoyable way? Balancing human and AI resources is essential to providing a convenient service that retains that vital human touch and reduces the disruptive and costly churn rate of the workforce.

Choose a solution

With a wide range of AI solutions now available for contact center operators, choosing a solution that will integrate seamlessly with existing technologies and processes can be difficult. However, providers of cloud-centric contact center technologies offer a range of options that can bridge the gap between the features you have and the AI ​​capabilities you need. For example, vendors with strong integration capabilities, or who integrate cutting edge robotic process automation technologies into their solutions, will help avoid data silos in your contact center experience, which in turn will improve customer satisfaction, retention and revenue.

Long term research

In almost all situations, the goals of each contact center operator and the requirements of their customers will change over time. This is why it is important to plan for the long term, so that investment in AI technologies provides a solid foundation for customer service to continue to improve in the future.

As the contact center of the past evolves into the engagement center of the future, AI will support how organizations personalize every customer interaction. It will also become increasingly essential to enable organizations not only to anticipate a customer’s needs, but also to identify if they are becoming dissatisfied and what actions to proactively take in order to regain their loyalty.

By following a process based on a thorough assessment of business and customer needs, organizations will place themselves in the strongest position to combine the benefits of increasingly powerful AI with experience and knowledge. make humans.

Martin is the co-founder and Deputy CEO of Content Guru, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud communications and customer experience technologies. Martin’s responsibilities include product innovation, strategic market development, and the company’s growing healthcare and public sector practice. A pioneer in cloud communications and real-time billing, Martin has been active in growing his business group around the world, since establishing his first business in the UK at the age of 22. An elected member of the Confederation of British Industry Council, Martin is a regular guest lecturer on strategy and entrepreneurship at King’s College London Business School, his alma mater.