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Artificial Intelligence is Slowly Transforming Contact Centers
March 14, 2017
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In May 2017 at ICMI Expo Shep will share some of the 52 “Amazement Tools” featured in his book of the same name. Learn best practices, tactics, and strategies to help them deliver the most amazing customer service on the planet.

Over the years, I have watched artificial intelligence swiftly move from a thing of the future to a practical element in the improvement of contact center operations. With the contact center remaining a vital component of customer acquisition and retention, it seems obvious that continual advancements are key in boosting the success of businesses worldwide. When it comes to improving the contact center experience for improved client acquisition and retention, intelligent network interfaces are beyond compare. Understanding just how artificial intelligence beneficially alters the contact center landscape has helped me see how this feature benefits business operations.

I had the opportunity to talk to Shep Hyken, author “Amaze Every Customer Every Time” recently. Shep believes we are “going to see artificial intelligence play a big support role in the world of customer service. AI will help companies with the most menial tasks like changing address. However, when it comes to something bigger, AI (Artificial Intelligence) becomes IA (Intelligent Assistant).“

Emotional Sensitivity for Improved Quality of Service (QoS)

To best serve clients, contact center agents must accurately detect and respond to emotional changes in the caller’s voice. Improperly reading the client’s emotional status can sour the end user experience and paint the company in a bad light. Since clients share negative business experiences far more often than positive interactions, unfavorable reviews could spread like wildfire due to a single agent’s inability to pick up on these details.

An intelligent network, however, has the power to pick up on the tonal differences and speech pattern changes that indicate a heightened emotional state. The system then notifies the contact center agent about the client’s emotional status to enable a positive result to an interaction that may have otherwise taken a negative path.

The system also has the power to provide feedback about the agent’s emotional response and act as a guide for the use of a beneficial tone. Not surprisingly, contact centers with this emotional feedback system in place report a 28 percent increase in the satisfaction of their customers.

Shep, who will be a keynote speaker at the ICMI Contact Center Expo and Conference in May, envisions a scenario where “the AI is listening to the call in realtime and communicating to the call center rep what he or she needs to tell the customer. Moreover, in addition to that, especially for contact centers and support centers that might have a sales role involved, the AI will tell the rep what to sell this customer next, what they are going to need next. They are going to listen to the call and the artificial intelligence will, through word recognition, intonation, the context of the call, it will be able to do amazing things in five years.”

But he quickly corrects himself: “We are almost there now. We are like sitting on the doorstep of this.”

Word Choice Dictionaries Assist Service Architecture

Clients who dial a contact center’s number likely have a complaint or question in need of a quick resolution. When calls are improperly routed through the system, clients end up feeling frustrated well before reaching the desired department, making it difficult for contact agents to fully resolve the issue.

Thankfully, continual improvements in the word choice dictionaries used by contact center software vendors actively help to improve the client experience by routing the calls to the right department every time. An intelligent network can detect short and long tail keywords to accurately direct the client through the menu system without delay.

Like the tone of voice and speech patterns, word choice acts as a smart indicator into the state of mind of each client. If any clients utilize hostile language, speech analytic software can send the callers to specialized agents to offer an additional layer of service and support. Thus, this smart system not only improves customer relations but also offers a boost to cyber security.

Intelligent Network Learning Boosts Speech Recognition

With each day of activity, an intelligent network becomes more adept at learning about the unique needs of its associated client base. The system actively improves the quality of service by learning just how to accurately implement traffic management and speech recognition techniques for each unique business model. As client resolution times decrease in response, QoS stats increase in tandem. Since the system learns day by day, a commitment to the utilization of cloud contact center software for the long term has the potential to offer returns in the form of steadily increasing QoS improvements.

Embracing the Power of Scalable Intelligent Networks

As the interactive voice response (IVR) system learns about the company’s operations, the telecommunication infrastructure must scale in response. With IVR and intelligent networks as a long-term growth strategy, cloud-managed services are needed to facilitate the expansion of a highly scalable infrastructure. Storing software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) drivers in the cloud allows IT managed services to increase exponentially in size through the years.

About author

Ibrahim Sajid Malick

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