How AI is Revolutionizing the Contact Center

Consumers today have come to expect fast, accurate and frictionless customer support at any time of day — if not from a live agent, then at least via a self-service channel. However, many contact centers are unable to meet such expectations due to a reliance on outdated technologies. Legacy platforms usually have minimal digital technology capabilities, making it difficult to integrate with CRM systems and other essential business applications.

Streamlined Cloud Deployment Through AI

That’s why there’s been a rapid migration to cloud-based contact center solutions. Instead of spending months or even years updating the entire technology stack for an on-premises solution, companies need only a few weeks to deploy a cloud solution that can immediately support various advanced technologies.

The ability to drive artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into core contact center processes is a particularly compelling benefit. AI’s capacity for automating processes and workflows delivers important improvements in both the customer and employee experience while also delivering significant cost savings and efficiencies.

AI Has Become a Business Necessity

AI is revolutionizing contact center operations through the use of virtual agents, speech-to-text capabilities, self-service functions, advanced error detection, automated data entry, real-time data analysis and many other capabilities that aren’t possible with legacy technologies. This is why 82 percent of customer experience (CX) professionals say AI has become necessary for business success.

According to a new survey from Talkdesk Research, 84 percent of organizations expect to increase their investments in contact center AI capabilities through 2025. They expect AI to facilitate a smoother, simpler customer experience through reduced wait times, enhanced self-service features, better agent efficiency, more accurate interactions and faster problem resolution.

Automated virtual agents, or “chatbots,” enable intuitive self-service functions, predictive routing and 360-degree customer journey analytics. When a live agent is required, AI-powered intelligent call routing systems use data captured from any communication channel to route the inquiry to the right agent. This eliminates much of the frustration customers experience when being transferred among multiple agents.

In addition to improving the customer experience, organizations expect AI to benefit agents by eliminating many manual tasks. Routine tasks such as account verification, order tracking, return/repair status inquiries, and billing questions have traditionally consumed a good deal of agents’ time and focus. All of those tasks can be executed with AI, however, allowing agents to focus on more complex customer interactions.

Gaining Insights through AI

Enhanced data analysis is another important benefit. Contact centers collect, store and process massive amounts of customer information. AI-powered analytic tools can unify and analyze customer data from multiple sources, including CRM systems, email, voice mail, point-of-sale systems and social media channels, to create an end-to-end view of customer interactions.

Such analysis provides valuable insight into customer demographics, shopping habits, buying preferences, spending limits, churn rates and more — all of which can be used to create personalized experiences for customers. In addition, data analysis can drive changes to training, staffing and routing that can enhance the customer experience.

Understanding AI Investments

Although most organizations understand the potential benefits, many are still struggling to make the most of their AI investments. According to the Talkdesk study, nearly half of the organizations that have invested in AI automation and self-service features are not using them, in many cases due to integration issues with legacy platforms.

If your organization is contemplating a migration to a cloud-based contact center solution, contact IPC. Our customer experience consultants can streamline the transition and help you leverage AI and automation capabilities to better serve your customers.