- Today’s contact centers rely on AI in addition to live agents to offer better customer experiences.
- AI subsets like machine learning and natural language processing enable a more agile agent response to customers.
- AI speeds analysis and gives contact center supervisors and managers valuable insights they might otherwise miss.
Ensuring excellent customer experience, optimizing agent activity, and saving money are top of mind for contact center managers, and artificial intelligence (AI) can help you achieve them all.
The modern contact center no longer relies solely on live agents to answer questions or handle concerns. Instead, it has evolved to incorporate the latest technology to enhance customer satisfaction and scale back on costs. AI is emerging as a key tool in this.
What Is AI?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that involves the use of machines and computers capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. Machine learning (ML), in particular, is a subset of AI in which algorithms can actually “learn” over time with exposure to deep datasets in much the same way the human brain does.
AI and ML can be incorporated into contact center operations to improve workflows. By collecting and analyzing large amounts of data, AI can help you automate processes, improve customer experience, and streamline the job of agents.
Here are some ways AI makes an impact in today’s contact centers.
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1. Support agents
Using AI in parallel with contact center agents increases efficiency and productivity. For example, AI can quickly search through a knowledge base while an agent is talking with a customer and present answers to the agent. Once the agent reviews those suggestions, the agent can quickly relay the pertinent information to the customer.
AI can also smooth communication between agents and customers on other channels such as emails or chat sessions. Using natural language processing, AI can quickly decipher the meaning in context, giving the agent a leg up for handling the situation quickly and effectively.
2. Optimize routing of interactions
AI can improve how contact centers route interactions to agents. For starters, the technology can assist in accessing a large database of customer data. That way, inbound caller profiles are built and appropriately paired with agents who have some level of experience and success dealing with customers with that specific profile.
By routing interactions based on customer profiles, contact centers can level up the personalization of customer interactions.
3. Implement virtual assistants
Agent compensation is the largest expense of running the typical contact center. The use of chatbots and virtual assistants can help mitigate these costs, freeing agents to work on value-added tasks.
The use of chat boxes and bots can serve as the first line of interaction between a customer and a contact center. Customers are offered a few menu options and input their needs, and an AI bot will provide an instant automated response based on specific algorithms. Through the use of keyword recognition, the bot can understand the customer’s query and respond appropriately.
In many cases, a customer’s interaction with a contact center can begin and end with a chat box and bot that may help answer all questions and even facilitate an end result, such as processing payments, handling claim statuses, rescheduling appointments, or resetting passwords.
Highly advanced bots can support both voice and text and even engage in a conversation through the use of speech and text recognition.
4. Measure quality of interaction
AI can automatically rate contact center agents’ performance following each customer interaction, eliminating the need to spend time and effort reviewing calls or manually rating employees. This intelligent technology can quickly analyze massive datasets to pinpoint patterns and analyze every interaction in near real time..
With AI, contact center management will have access to quick and accurate reviews that can help them see how to continuously improve agent performance, make better data-based decisions, manage issues quickly, and reward agents as appropriate.
5. Provide 24/7 customer service
Rather than hiring agents to staff around the clock, your contact center can instead implement AI to handle the slower times of the day.
This way, the contact center can offer 24/7 customer service without having to spend excess capital to staff the center with live agents. Simple interactions can be automated with AI using intelligent language understanding to ensure excellent customer service, no matter the time of day or night.
6. Finding patterns in large data sets
AI is much faster than humans at analyzing large data sets. This ability can be leveraged in your contact center to unearth insights you may have been missing. AI can pinpoint the frequency of certain keywords or phrases in your customer interactions and flag patterns it sees. For example, it can detect if most of your customer complaints are specific to a certain product or product feature.
Armed with that knowledge, your organization might be able to address a broader product issue, thereby improving the customer experience for everyone and decreasing the level of customer complaints your agents must handle.
Open the door to AI with RingCentral
RingCentral’s AI-enabled contact center solution is an all-in-one solution integrating cloud contact center, telephony, video conferencing, and team messaging to ensure your contact center has all the tools needed to create great customer experiences.
Talk to an expert from RingCentral today and request your free demo.
Originally published Jan 18, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022