The Jetsons, Star Wars, and WALL-E all had it right.

People have dreamed about robot helpers for decades and predicted their imminent arrival. With today’s growing use of artificial intelligence (AI), it seems their time has finally come.

Statistics tell the story. According to a Gartner survey, 59 percent of organizations have already deployed some form of AI. The main driver of AI and virtual assistant adoption for enterprise companies are improving the customer experience, although their vision goes beyond chatbots answering basic customer questions. More than half (56 percent) of organizations use AI to help employees make better decisions and provide superior customer service. 

This is where AI within the contact center comes into play. It does more than simply provide faster customer service. Today’s virtual assistant technology has grown to the point where it fills numerous roles and wears several hats.

Let’s explore how businesses can benefit from AI’s advanced use in today’s high-performing contactcenters.

How Virtual Agents Help Your Business 

AI as the Trainer

If you run a typical contact or call center, chances are you have a high volume of calls each day, answered by a team comprised of veteran and rookie agents. Businesses are always working to improve the quality of customer interactions, of course, and typically they’ve done this by recording and analyzing conversations, then providing feedback to specific employees or the entire team. While this approach gets the job done, it takes time. That means it can be a while before your agents get the feedback they need to improve.

AI introduces real-time training through virtual agents. These are like chatbots, except they’re powered by AI technology. Whether a customer begins their journey with a virtual agent or goes straight to a human, virtual agents monitor interactions via speech or text, “listening” to the words exchanged and their sentiment. Virtual agents coach human reps in real-time, ensuring they deliver an efficient and effective customer experience but also on-brand and on-message.

The implications of real-time coaching are significant. Supervisors are freed to perform other work, and an agent who may only be a week into their job can handle calls just as well as a 10-year veteran. Customers enjoy consistent, positive interaction regardless of the agent’s experience level. And the benefits extend to the agents themselves since they can now avoid the frustration of a new job and the demanding customers who want fast answers.

AI as the Data Collector

Without data, you can’t improve your level of customer service. You need to know what your customers want and why they’re contacting you so you can prepare your agents with appropriate information and resources. However, all that data is useless if you don’t have the means to analyze it and put it to use.

AI technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) interpret data and provide analysis around areas such as:

  • Why do customers contact you
  • Ways you can improve your products and services
  • The availability of information to customers

This data lets you move beyond efficiency and improves customer experience and satisfaction. More importantly, real-time insights allow you to quickly adapt to customers’ preferences and stay ahead of the competition

AI as the Assistant

Contact centers need assistance in more ways than one, and AI helps with them all. In addition to real-time coaching, AI chatbots provide faster and more personalized customer service. AI virtual agents can interpret and access customer data to handle more inquiries independently, freeing up human agents to handle complex calls.

Machine learning enables AI bots to determine when a customer is frustrated and needs a human touch. When this happens, customers aren’t placed in a random queue. Rather, AI technology routes their call to the most qualified person and, at the same time, provides them with a full transcript of the conversation. That saves customers from the nuisance of having to repeat themselves.

Once a human is involved, AI technology assists in the background. Bots monitor the conversation and present the human agent with relevant information that helps them satisfy the customer. From product information to weather forecasts, the virtual agent can access internal and external data to ensure the customer has a smooth and pleasant experience.

It’s now possible for your contact center to have a “Rosie” of its own, just like the Jetsons. AI technology provides real-time coaching, advanced analytics, and real-time assistance to create a more personalized customer experience and a stronger, well-armed team of contact center agents.

See how Mitel provides the latest advantages that AI can bring to your contact center. >

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