The role of AI in the contact center has been a topic that has been brewing in the industry over the past year. The trend I have been seeing is senior executives, senior management, or even the people in charge of budgeting saying, “Let’s just hand this over to AI” or “I want a bot to do this”. They try to take the human aspect out of the call center completely. Sure, saving money is important, but when it comes down to that bottom dollar, you need to be able to guarantee good service, and that only comes from humans. The call center is evolving rapidly and with the introduction of new technology, and the landscape is going to look extremely different in five years from now.
The Self-Service Bot
The self-service bot is the type of AI technology that we are dealing with now. It is more on par with an IVR in terms of being able to get simple tasks done without the need for a human agent. This can save time and money in terms of the simple interactions that do not necessarily need to be handled be a human. Those senior execs that watched a YouTube clip of a bot handling an entire conversation (i.e. setting up an appointment) and expecting that technology to replace all humans, is just not realistic.
Confusion About AI
Disclaimer first off: I am not an anti-bot guy, nor am I an anti-AI guy. That being said, AI is a really useful self-service tool that will absolutely revolutionize and replace the IVR, but for now, it is a tool FOR the agents to use and to help them carry their conversations more efficiently. From a chatbot standpoint, it is basically a visual IVR. You all have seen the larger companies that have advanced chatbots that take the questions that you are asking, or the keywords you are using, and process them to answer your questions. Still, that can be frustrating, they either give you the wrong answer, or three options to choose from that are all still incorrect. That is where AI is NOW, paired with voice sentiment recognition. It is nothing that can or will replace a live human.
This is where I see AI making the largest difference. Realtime transcription is a technology that is coming fast. Basically, how it works, you are on a call with a customer, and AI will transcribe both sides of the conversation and look at all of the keywords to make judgments based on what the customer is saying. This technology will be paired with sentiment scoring and can be an effective buddy tool for the agent to use to help them solve their problems faster.
Front end Conversational IVRs
If you are a senior exec and saying…