Comms Business Magazine (CBM): How is artificial intelligence changing the contact centre?
Koby Amedume (KA): “We’ve seen AI driven self-service explode. Organisations who were not prepared for unanticipated spikes were left challenged. Businesses that had implemented self-service, even a modest addition like voice-enabled IVR or chatbot – saw that AI helped them cope with surging call volumes and even drive business outcomes.
“Over the next year, expect to see more contact centres investing in AI applications and, for those who already have, further refinement. We’ve already seen, contact centres that implemented self-service in 2020 are now looking for ways to refine, improve and expand that capability.”
CBM: How can businesses compete over customer experience in 2020?
KA: “If anything, competing over CX is amplified in 2020. The lockdowns caused by the pandemic have created a unique scenario for consumers and a unique opportunity for businesses. Many have turned to digital channels, such as online shopping and Zoom happy hours, to fill [shopping, dining, and socialising] needs. No organisation can amplify CX without making customer engagement convenient. If your customers are living digitally (and they are) why force them out of those channels to engage with you?”
CBM: What will the future role of a contact centre agent look like?
KA: “Unquestionably, contact centre agents are taking on more significance in the customer journey. An agent in today’s most elite modern contact centres, is one that is digitally fluent, able to operate on all channels – synchronous and asynchronous.”
CBM: What can you tell us about your research and development (R&D) efforts?
KA: “NICE and NICE inContact have industry leading R&D – which directly contributes to tools such as AutoDiscovery (Interaction Analytics), advanced customer profile cards, etc. Speed to market is critical and most organisations don’t have the momentum to catch up without enormous resources.
“Customers can easily elevate channels (i.e. go from Chat to Voice) and retain the full context of the interaction through AI driven analytics. That is not an effort partners have undertaken or been willing to commit to.”