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AI in Contact Centers: Front Line of all Major Organizations

By CIOReview | Tuesday, April 2, 2019

In the coming decades, Artificial intelligence (AI) might eliminate many white-collar jobs. In the contact center industry, its effects are already felt, but there is still no substitute for human touch. The development of bots and automated messaging is already changing the call center world, which is often thought to be one of the company departments with the greatest risk of becoming obsolete in an AI world.

Contact centers are the front line of all major organizations, providing a vital connection between companies and customers. They are also the place where the brand experience can be made or broken. In call centers, the potential for AI is double. First, by offering self-service options, it can seamlessly provide customers with the right information they need to be eliminated in the right time for a customer service call. Second, AI has the potential to provide more information to customer service representatives to help them deal with the complicated issues that self-service is unable to resolve.

AI has enormous potential to enhance customer experience and contact center efficiency starting with day-to-day activities. Handling user requests from routine and trivial problem solving is a cornerstone of AI. However, AI needs an effective backbone and natural language processing of knowledge management to enable it to handle inquiries like an agent of a human call center. To achieve this, the AI system must be fully integrated and supplied with sufficient data to enable it to be well-trained to respond to inquiries appropriately.

AI is often concentrated on predictive behavior in contact centers, such as evaluating data sets to approximate how many calls are expected in an upcoming shift to dictate how to schedule agents. By designing predictive analytics that can tell agents what the calls are about, vendors are taking the technology a step further.

It is true that AI is unburdening call centers through bots that can answer simple and frequently asked questions online without having to pick up the phone from the customer. This means that a customer service rep's job has become more varied–the bots answer the routine questions through an online chat or other channels; the problem solvers are the people on the phone.  AI has massive potential for bridging the communication gap between customers and the company and not necessarily managing the entire department of customer service.

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