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Collaborative Intelligence in Contact Centers: The "And" not "Or" Approach

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Genefa Murphy Chief Marketing Officer

When it comes to customer experience (CX), the game has fundamentally changed. Modern customers expect, not just desire, a new type of service. They’re looking for the courtesy of personalization, the efficiency of self-service, the sensibility of conversation, and the flexibility of omni-channel. They simply will not settle for anything less. And not should they have to in today’s competitive digital marketplace.

You lose money when you fail to create good experiences for customers. Likewise, you lose money when you fail to create good experiences for employees. In fact, businesses lose approximately $1 trillion every year due to voluntary workforce turnover with call centers experiencing nearly double the churn rate of most other job types.   

So how do you improve CX and EX simultaneously?

There is an incredibly effective strategy that helps address this in contact centers: collaborative intelligence. In combining the human element of agent service with AI and automation tools, your business can unleash its contact-center workforce potential. Your agents can be more productive, your customers are given more choice your business becomes enabled to optimize costs.

But before we get excited about offloading all our business problems onto technology that is still evolving, it’s important to acknowledge that technology is not a cure all. In order to use AI and automation practically, you need to know where to apply it. Committing to any of the five actions below will help sustain and uplift your business in a strategic move toward collaborative intelligence. 

1. Identify what you want to measure success. 

Find an approach that best serves your business depending on your available level of investment, your current data infrastructure, and — most importantly — what you want to find. Smart data equips you to steer toward a favorable business outcome, which is where Five9 Interaction Analytics, Agent Analytics, and Quality Management come in. These tools don’t simply capture data but fill the gap between analytics and action. They use data to drive results. 

 2. Create an open ecosystem. 

Harness the power of symbiosis across departments, channels, and internal business systems. Any vendor that touts itself as the ultimate data solution isn’t quite telling you the whole truth, there are very few data platforms that are agnostic. In contrast, Five9 supports a true open platform strategy. From Five9 CRM and UC integration to integrations for agent assistance and more Five9 helps you coalesce your business’s data onto a single interface without requiring you to move all of your data to a single repository. We believe that collaboration must exist on all fronts with humans, automation, data and departments working in tandem to optimize workflows and, consequently, customer satisfaction. Friction results in the absence of this integration as customers become frustrated with continuously getting passed from person to person, or system to system to resolve an issue.  

3. Automate transactional processes. 

In today’s digital, global marketplace, you simply must automate your business to operate on a sustainable scale. Automated call center interactions and workflows will enable customer intake to reach new bounds. Again, automation is not a cure all — it won’t solve everything, and it also takes significant time, and thought to get it right. That said, most tend to agree that automating improves customer relationships and loyalty at unparalleled rates. The long-term success automation unlocks undoubtably outweighs its upfront cost in either time or money.  

4. Use AI where it’s practical. 

AI can empower agents to be smarter, happier, more helpful employees who, consequently, engage more with their work when provided the tools to do so. Five9 AI solutions create coaching cards to guide agents and enable self-service to streamline tasks. Human agents resolve requests that require attention and empathy while AI handles redundancies and analysis.  

5. Move to the cloud. 

Perhaps the most obvious, but still the most crucial. The cloud acts as a jumping point for your AI and automation journey. Sure, you can still make change happen while operating on-premises, but the general push towards the cloud represents an inevitable fate for businesses that intend to survive in the digital age. The cloud operates as a virtual accelerator. After moving to the cloud, you no longer need to worry about infrastructure and management costs in the same way — pay-as-you-go pricing and automatic updating create simplicities in going digital, even allowing for savings to be redeployed.   
Bottom line: Take an AND not an OR approach. If you want to improve your CX, you must focus on EX too. And since data exchange and integration power digital interactions, you need to harness both people and AI to successfully adapt your business to the prevailing market environment. In other words, you need to use collaborative intelligence. Remember, though, that collaborative intelligence is not about offloading business problems onto technology — it empowers people to solve them. Humans harness machines, and machines give humans superpowers. 

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Genefa Murphy Chief Marketing Officer

Call 1-800-553-8159 to learn more about Five9