AI in the contact centre

Ali Hastings, senior channel director, UK and Ireland, Avaya, examines how AI can transform outcomes in call and contact centres.

AI is the definitive trend of the year, but amidst the hype, it can be confusing for organisations that would like to benefit from AI’s capabilities but are put off by how complex the world of AI appears, even with the simplicity that Gen AI is promising to deliver.

A good place to start is with an AI-powered Avaya Experience Platform, built on open API architecture. This provides the predictive, cloud-based AI capabilities needed to gain deeper customer insights, personalise interactions, and reduce operating costs while reaping the benefits of continuous improvements over time.

The platform seamlessly integrates with existing infrastructure, preserving current investments, while empowering organisations to find valuable data immediately and start managing and leveraging that data more effectively.

The power of chatbots

Adding AI to voice and chatbots is another good step. Soon there will be conversational virtual agents that can handle more complex interactions with a sophisticated reasoning engine and integrated back-end systems.

Companies should start with small-scale, attainable applications, such as having a virtual agent successfully “talk” customers through the steps needed to initiate a password reset, file a support ticket, or make a reservation.

Looking after CSAT scores

Reverse handoffs, where customers go from agent to bot, can improve costs and productivity while maintaining, if not increasing, CSAT.

For example, a customer calls their car insurance company after being in a minor fender bender. The agent walks the customer through the steps that need to be taken (how to file a claim, where to upload pictures of the scene, how to handle all other needs) and answers any questions along the way.

At this point the agent offers the customer the option to be transferred to a digital experience facilitated by the company’s AI chatbot. The customer accepts, the call ends, and the bot steps in via text/SMS.

The bot can send links to knowledge-based articles, embed “how-to” videos directly into text messages, help the customer navigate the company’s mobile app, and answer any questions in natural, human-like, back-and-forth conversation.

The customer can opt out of this digital experience at any point and be elevated back to a live agent with all contextual information.

Actionable insights

AI-powered speech analytics can convert data hidden in customers’ conversations into actionable insights. This data can be used to create accurate profiles of individual customers, or a customer group, to help improve CX. It can also help bots and virtual assistants (VA) understand what customers are requesting (even if phrased in an odd or unexpected way).

An effortless way to get started with AI bots is by using a pre-built VA solution. These solutions are the epitome of “innovation without disruption.” They can be managed and customised from a simple dashboard without needing help from a developer team and can be used for simple to very sophisticated purposes. It’s time to embrace AI in the contact centre.