Why AI is Critical to the Future of Customer Engagement

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Traditionally, the role of the agent in the contact center has been vital yet costly. To address these cost concerns, many companies—often challenged with legacy systems—tried to automate customer service experiences with IVR (interactive voice response). Unfortunately, though IVR technologies cut costs up front, they ultimately frustrate users because IVRs cannot replace that human touch, leaving callers lost in menus and unable to find answers.

More recently, however, artificial intelligence (AI) has arrived, with the potential to redefine a new customer service experience that delivers seamless high-value interactions with an intelligent system that solves issues faster and more accurately than ever before.  

RingCentral’s announcement last week about the extension of our partnership with Google Cloud to integrate with their new Contact Center AI solution, marks yet another exciting step in our commitment to delivering the value of AI for our customers. Contact Center AI dramatically improves customer service productivity, as well as the overall customer experience.  

Together, RingCentral and Google Cloud will collaborate on applying AI in multiple areas of RingCentral Contact Center™, enabling deeper customer engagement and improving the productivity of agents. For example, rather than relying on just contact center agents to provide insights into a customer query, now companies can use AI to offer high-value customer service by leveraging knowledge workers or experts from within the enterprise. When a live agent is required for a personal one-to-one experience, AI can seamlessly hand off customer interactions to agents while simultaneously passing all interaction details—so the agent picks up right where the system left off. AI performance will also improve over time with every interaction as the system learns continuously, building upon the knowledge to offer better service levels.

More broadly, AI provides multiple opportunities to enhance customer service experiences, including:

  • Virtual agent learning engine improves performance over time based on customer interaction. Chatbots and natural language processing (NLP) leverage these continual improvements to solve customer issues faster and more efficiently than before.
  • Agent Assistants, powered by AI, NLP, and speech analytics, dynamically support agents by accessing a knowledge base to gain contextual information inflight.
  • AI-powered routing engines use behavioral analysis to detect intent and optimize skills-based routing, connecting customers to the best available agent to handle the interaction.
  • AI-powered workforce optimization solutions leverage machine learning and improve agent performance over time.
  • Intelligent cross-selling and upselling engines align agent scripts, customer insights, and propensity to buy to power improved performance.

Our commitment to customers is to deliver products that greatly improve the productivity of their teams while also enhancing the experience of their customers. The opportunity present with AI in the contact center delivers exactly that.

Originally published Jul 30, 2018, updated Aug 27, 2020

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