Summer Series: AI and the Contact Center of the Future [Part 4]
“Good morning, Mr. Kolman! I see your upcoming hotel reservation in Miami, Florida. Given you’re a valued member of our hotels, I took the liberty of upgrading you to a two-bedroom suite for your upcoming stay. What else can I assist you with today?”
Ever had this experience when calling on your hotel reservation? It’s possible if you travel a lot. If you’re like most, this experience is rare. The personalized touch in a customer service experience matters to the consumer and can be the key to creating customer loyalty. To achieve this, artificial intelligence (AI) can be a game changer by taking the burden off the customer, enabling an amazing experience. AI is here – and soon will transform every part of the contact center.
You might be wondering, what can we expect from the contact center of the (near) future? Interactive Voice Response is already being replaced by virtual agents with the ability to access and act on endless amounts of data. These agents can access both structured and unstructured data in real time to quickly and accurately give customers the answers they need. But it doesn’t stop there. Not only will virtual agents help customers, they also will aid live agents in determining the next best action throughout the interaction. Using AI to route customers based on a deep knowledge of customer and agent profiles will ensure a fast resolution and happy, even delighted, customers.
With all the talk of AI in the industry, some worry about the place of humans in the contact center. I believe the predictions of a world without agents is overblown. Humans are here to stay. While some live agents may be replaced in specific instances, more will be augmented with AI. Virtual agents delivering a human-like, voice-enabled interface can work alone or in the background to support interactions with a live agent. Incorporating AI into interactions with human agents can turn an average agent into a super agent. Agent augmentation is a must for companies wanting to keep up with the rapid changes in customer expectations.
AI is poised to drastically change the contact center – and the customer experience. And we’re only at the beginning.