Expanding The Role of AI in the Contact Center

Posted by Natalie DeCario on October 8, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Natalie DeCario

The role of AI in the contact center will soon expand to more complex conversations.Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the contact center hasn’t always been known for its user-friendliness. From a computer that always thinks you’re saying “refill prescription” when you’re really saying, “cancel prescription” to one that leads you through multiple questions before it recognizes that you are, indeed, the cardholder on your Nordstrom account, the benefits from AI have often been unappreciated by consumers and end users.

These technologies are becoming much more advanced. Even in the average, middle-class household, kids can tell Google Home they want to play sports trivia and enter into an entertaining game that never misunderstands whether they’ve gotten the answer correct. These capabilities are simply evidence of the advance of AI.

While necessary for maintaining excellent customer service, call centers are difficult to staff and can be costly to run. All of that is changing with the same technology that runs Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. Conversational AI in the contact center allows computers to have a back-and-forth dialogue with callers that achieves completion of simple tasks, such as making an appointment or canceling a prescription.

Identifying true intent: One of the changes that makes conversational AI in the contact center possible is the advent of virtual assistants, a more advanced version of the Q&A bots that handle the basics. Virtual assistants do more than field simple inquiries; they can work with a set of questions, clarifying and authenticating information as well as working with backend information to generate meaningful responses.

Drawing on memory: Today’s virtual assistants are also advancing in the area of “memory,” which takes into account things that have been said in the past. They can use memory to integrate what a particular user has said in the past, or give a user a status, such as labeling them a brand-new customer.

For instance, if a caller tells the virtual assistant that their household appliance isn’t working, the AI technology allows them to remember that the caller contacted them two days before and is able to ask, “Are you calling because your washer is still getting stuck on the spin cycle?” and connect them with a repairman. A caller that hasn’t called before but for whom the contact center has information on file about a washer purchased only three months before will be greeted with warranty information.

AI in the contact center will be goal-oriented: Each call placed to a contact center will be directed with an end goal in mind. The virtual assistant will begin by determining what the purpose of the call is, and then help the caller reach a satisfying resolution by the end of the call. As memory and context come into play, the virtual assistant will get faster at resolving customer concerns and increase the cost savings to the enterprise.

At VoIP Innovations, we bring the latest in telecommunications to the enterprise call center to help them serve their customers. Contact us to learn more about AI in the contact center.

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Tags: Communications, Digital Transformation, Auto Attendants

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