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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Call Centers

by Erina Suzuki | Published On June 13, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is emerging as the ultimate investment for call center optimization, promising access to a range of solutions that enhance customer satisfaction, reduce operational costs, and improve productivity.

As of 2023, over 51% of companies were building their call center strategy around AI. The question is, where do the biggest opportunities lie? 

Here, we’ll examine 5 of the biggest ways AI is revolutionizing the call center:

Conversational Analytics 

To optimize contact center performance, accurately map the customer journey, and personalize each individual experience, companies need access to data. Conversational analytics tools, powered by AI, give businesses the power to draw insights from every customer interaction. 

Leveraging natural language processing (NLP), machine learning, and data analysis, these tools allow organizations to instantly describe call center conversations, highlighting key topics and terms. Generative AI solutions can even enhance the transcription process, summarizing long conversations into discussion points and action items for the agent.  

With a comprehensive conversational analytics tool, companies can track more than just common topics of conversation or customer pain points. They can also analyze competitor mentions and use sentiment analysis for instant insights into how customers feel during a conversation. 

These solutions enable call center teams to proactively adapt to changing consumer sentiment, de-escalate problematic calls, or identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Additionally, these tools provide companies with a broader insight into their customers, their goals, and the pain points they face when interacting with a call center.  

Chatbots and Voicebots 

Chatbots are one of the most common forms of AI in the call center. They offer customers a way to conveniently access self-service assistance on-demand, while helping to optimize call deflection, reducing the strain on human agents.  

Initially, chatbots were relatively basic, relying on pre-defined rules to deliver specific responses to questions. Now, the evolution of advanced algorithms in the AI landscape has led to the development of more creative, intuitive, and human-like bots. These bots use natural language processing and understanding, and machine learning to understand user intent and queries.  

They can generate creative responses to conversations,  personalize each interaction by drawing on CRM and contact center data, and complete tasks like scheduling appointments without human input. Innovative bots can even respond to both voice and text input. 

Business leaders can use multimodal solutions to create intelligent interactive voice response solutions that personalize the experience for customers connecting with your company over the phone. It’s even possible to create dedicated voice assistants that guide customers through troubleshooting processes and tasks with a human-sounding voice. 

Agent Assist 

Agent assist solutions bring the benefits of cutting-edge AI bots to employees in the call center. These tools provide every agent with an always-on guide, coach, and source of support, as they complete everyday tasks and communicate with customers.  

Implemented into a contact center platform, agent assist tools can instantly surface information from a range of environments for employees, reducing the time they spend searching for data. They can answer routine questions about customers, by drawing on data, help staff members troubleshoot common technical problems, and even provide tips on improving work performance.  

AI agent assistance tools can even be configured to coach and train employees in real time. They can draw on information from your data ecosystem and previous conversations to deliver next-best-action guidance or offer feedback on the flow of the conversation. This reduces the strain on managers, by reducing the time they need to spend on onboarding and training.  

Some agent assist tools can even leverage sentiment analysis and machine learning to detect when risks are emerging in conversations. They can use these insights to alert managers and supervisors when they need to step in and help or take over a call.  

AI-enhanced call routing 

Effective call routing has always been essential to delivering excellent customer experiences and improving operational efficiency in the contact center. AI empowers companies to go beyond the basics of simply routing customers to agents based on availability. 

With artificial intelligence built into a contact center platform, as well as IVR, automated call distribution (ACD), and workflow management systems, companies can build highly tuned routing strategies. Intelligent software can use self-learning algorithms to analyze everything from a customer’s previous call history and behavioral data to their current sentiment and personality. 

Using this information, these systems can define the best routing path for each call. They may send more routine requests to chatbots and voicebots, reducing call queues and wait times. Alternatively, when a call requires human assistance, the AI systems can identify the best agent to address the issue based on their skills and experience.  

This intelligent approach to routing improves customer experience, ensures tickets are closed quickly, and reduces transfer and call abandonment rates. 

Quality Monitoring and Assurance 

Finally, historically, quality monitoring and assurance practices in the call center have been time-consuming and complex. Preserving an objective view of the quality of every call has been difficult, leading to problems with decision making and compliance.  

With AI technologies, companies can leverage automated call scoring and quality monitoring solutions. With AI-powered monitoring tools, supervisors and call center leaders gain access to an always-on assistant, capable of monitoring every call for specific problems. They can set alerts and thresholds, prompting AI bots to notify them when issues emerge, allowing them to respond faster. 

Additionally, AI-powered quality monitoring and assurance tools allow companies to simplify the process of evaluating call center team and agent performance. They allow users to design automatic score cards, based on the specific metrics that matter most to them. These cards can even highlight potential areas where employee training may lead to significant improvements.  

With a comprehensive solution, business leaders can combine real-time dashboards, monitoring a range of metrics and compliance issues, with customizable AI-powered reports and smart alerts. The result is a more holistic view of quality in the call center and an opportunity to take a more proactive approach to mitigating issues. 

The Rising Impact of AI in the Call Center 

As artificial intelligence solutions become increasingly sophisticated, thanks to the rise of new frameworks, modalities, and applications, their potential in the call center will continue to grow. Increasingly, AI is becoming a core component of an effective call center, boosting agent productivity and engagement, reducing operating costs, and improving decision making. 

With the right tools, call centers can augment and enhance their customer service team and maintain a competitive edge in an experience-focused economy. 

Contact ComputerTalk to learn more about how our AI tools can transform your call center.  

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