AI is Transforming Contact Centers

By Donna Fluss

Artificial intelligence (AI) is awe-inspiring. While these technologies are in their early days, they have already demonstrated their ability to function as a change agent in contact centers, customer service departments, customer experience (CX) functions and sales organizations.

Artificial intelligence, particularly when combined with automation and analytics, has the potential to fuel the generational leap necessary to transform today’s service and sales organizations. It can turn them into intelligent and engaging departments that anticipate customer needs and deliver a consistently outstanding experience customized to address each customer’s inquiry and personality.

AI Drives Contact Center Innovation

Artificial intelligence is underlying and driving most of the innovation in contact center systems and applications, which is necessary to help organizations provide a service experience that meets today’s exacting customer expectations. It is also vital to provide agents with the intelligent tools and automation to empower them to become customer advocates, enriching their jobs and helping to engage and retain them. It is playing a pivotal role in elevating the perception of the contact center to essential corporate contributor, as well.

AI Use Cases

While AI fuels one’s imagination with visions of computers taking over the world, when it comes to service, sales, and the CX, consumers are already happy to interact with intelligent self-service solutions that can handle most of their requests yet have the sensitivity to know when to transfer them to a live agent.

Contact center leaders appreciate AI’s ability to match customer personality and communication styles to the best-suited agent. Artificial intelligence is enabling companies to give agents the scheduling flexibility they demand, and, while enhancing employee engagement, it’s also improving companies’ ability to deliver the service experience their customers expect, one application at a time.

Final Thoughts

The addition of AI technology in contact center systems and applications gives companies an opportunity to re-invent their mission-critical service organizations. AI can alter the dynamics of contact centers by automating many of the low-value activities historically performed by agents. And even when AI cannot fully automate a task, it can provide guidance or perform a portion of the activity, which will improve agent satisfaction, decrease handling time, and enhance the CX.

Although AI technology is in its early days, it has already demonstrated its ability to improve productivity and reduce costs in contact centers while delivering benefits to customers and employees alike.

Donna Fluss is president of DMG Consulting LLC. For more than two decades she has helped emerging and established companies develop and deliver outstanding customer experiences. A recognized visionary, author, and speaker, Donna drives strategic transformation and innovation throughout the services industry. She provides strategic and practical counsel for enterprises, solution providers, and the investment community.

For a detailed analysis of the role of AI in contact centers, its maturity and specific uses by application, see DMG’s new report on the State of Artificial Intelligence in Contact Centers, released January 2022.