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How Conversational AI Transforms The Contact Center

Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformational technologies shaping the contact center in this world. It provides customers with a pleasant, effective, self-service experience, while freeing up live agents to focus on higher value work.

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The technology is not new – AI has been around for decades – but Conversational AI has been gaining momentum because processing and storage have gotten dramatically less expensive along with useful data becoming more widely and deeply available.

Machine Learning (ML) is the part of AI that enables data-rich customer experiences. It’s algorithms uncover the patterns in massive amounts of data to learn and predict outcomes, and continuously improve over time. With science and computing power advancing dramatically, ML has greatly improved over the last several years.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another part of AI that allows computers to interact with human dialogue, whether spoken or written. NLP and speech recognition allow people to engage in a natural conversation to resolve the customer’s issue. Like ML, there has been an improvement in delivering exceptional accuracy over the last few years.

Conversational AI In The Contact Center

A very large percentage of customer contacts involve transmitting routine information that is little more than a listen-search-retrieve activity (e.g., where is my order, is this in stock, what is my account balance). Contextual information, such as verifying caller identity or finding open orders, also adds time to finding a resolution for each engagement.

This is precisely the kind of task that can now be readily automated, freeing up live agents to handle higher-value interactions, improving their effectiveness and resulting in more revenue.

Virtual agents improve outcomes by quickly moving customers through the process to identify and resolve the reason for their call. And it creates a real-time environment of rich data for analyzing trends and identifying emerging opportunities and problems, while better recording and understanding customer interactions.

A Five9 Virtual Agent is about 10% the cost of a live agent, available 24/7, speaks 120 different languages, provides 100% accurate information, and can effectively read customer sentiment so calls can be escalated to Tier 2 support when necessary.

From IVR to IVA

Conversational AI and IVAs are a significant step up from Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, where customers are limited by a press-key or voice-response matrix. Whether through voice or chatbot, this newer form of AI allows the customer to directly ask a question or present their problem immediately with the system. When the query cannot be resolved, the matter is seamlessly escalated to a live agent.

Using Conversational AI as Tier 1 support in the call and contact center provides many advantages. To cite just a few, this lets you:

  • Reduce labor costs by automating repetitive tasks
  • Scale on-demand to respond to more requests across more channels
  • Connect via voice, SMS, speech-to-text, and chatbot
  • Provide 100% call acceptance 24/7 with polite and correctly informed interactions
  • Enable in-call sentiment analysis, with automatic escalation where appropriate
  • Execute more informed escalations, with intelligent routing to the best Tier 2 person
  • Increase agent job satisfaction by eliminating many routine interactions
  • Accommodate callers in hundreds of different languages
  • Remain ADA and/or HIPAA compliant by collecting sensitive data without revealing that information to human agents
  • Access more robust metrics and reporting

Five9 has one of the best IVA platforms in the industry. Inference Studio 7 is the low code/no code development platform that makes it faster and easier to build and deploy your own IVAs in the contact center.

Ready to use Conversational AI to reimagine your contact center? Call (800) 553 8159

About The Author

Ellen DePodesta is a writer, editor, and content creator for Five9, working with the global marketing team to define and convey the Five9 voice and brand worldwide. Her goal is the creation of clear, consistent, impactful, and relatable communications, while empowering everyone in the Five9 ecosystem to become an expert content creator in their own right. Ellen has worked as a B2B marketer with public relations agencies and as a contractor in Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles.

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