The advent of “customer experience is king” is changing the landscape for organizations across industries, presenting new challenges and highlighting pain points many contact centers have been trying to address for years. This includes first contact resolution, being easy to do business with, reducing agent attrition and eliminating mundane and repetitive tasks.

Ultimately, the goal is to allow agents more time to focus on the complex tasks that add value to customers and businesses, while simultaneously increasing revenue. But, it isn’t easy. There are no quick wins, and these challenges will continue to take new shapes.

The evolving contact center

Messaging about artificial intelligence and how it’s going to revolutionize our personal and professional lives is everywhere. Some of us actively embrace it, and a good majority are fearful or anxious about what this technology means and how it could impact our day-to-day working environments.

While most businesses are focused on digital transformation, voice is still prevalent and shows no signs of disappearing. Most embrace self-serve options when possible, but when we have a problem too complex or sensitive to transact digitally, we revert to voice. Clearly, human agents still need to be front and center in these conversations, and the right contact center technology will ensure that.

For example, our Consumer Customer Experience Study in 2018 found that consumers are increasingly comfortable with machine-to-people interactions when shopping online, with 83% saying they are satisfied when dealing with automated processes. Most do not want to interact with a person while shopping online unless the service is very complicated, or they’re having difficulties finding what they’re looking for.

At the Future of the Contact Centre event held in London this year, Steve Morrell from Contact Babel demonstrated that AI will augment agents, not replace them. Lynn Gayowski’s article on No Jitter also backs up that viewpoint.

The evolving agent

Leveraging artificial intelligence to quickly and accurately perform basic contact center functions enables agents to focus on providing high quality, specialized services and answering complex queries. They can get more done in less time and cross all dull, repetitive tasks off their to do lists permanently. 

In this new world of disrupted or disruptor, contact center agents will be the life source of businesses. Their value and skills will continue to grow rapidly, along with the technology designed to support them and their prestige in the workplace. Today and tomorrow’s specialized agents dispel the ridiculous myth that agents are “the factory workers of our day.”

To remain competitive, organizations will need to overhaul their contact center processes, systems and business practices to provide an exceptional customer service. Combining artificial intelligence technology with skilled agents who focus on customer experience means organisations will be stronger, more successful and more profitable.

A streamlined, omnichannel contact center helps agents focus on productivity and improves the customer experience. Learn how with our infographic. >

Shameem Smillie

Contact Centre Sales Leader

Shameem Smillie focuses on helping organisations digitally transform and evolve their customer experience. With over 15 years in the industry, Shameem has a wealth of experience and is incredibly passionate about contact centres as a solution, including the adoption of all our partner and ecosystem applications to provide an exceptional customer experience, powered by Mitel. 

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