Contact Centers in Crisis: Why Conversational AI is Key

3 minute read

The benefits of a hybrid contact center include improved customer service, improved call times, reduced costs and better compliance.

“Conversational AI technology and the human workforce will have their own unique roles within a hybrid contact center,” said Sharang Sharma, Practice Director at independent analyst firm Everest Group. Sharma, speaking on the Amelia webcast “The Future is Calling: Contact Centers in Crisis,” dispelled the notion that Conversational AI systems would completely replace human agents as customer service providers within contact centers. Rather, he argued, the combination of Conversational AI and human contact center agents will form what is known as a hybrid contact center.

“When we look at Conversational AI technology we believe that it’ll be taking over tasks like solving some of the less complex transactional customer queries, doing some of the routine desktop jobs, and post-call work that is currently done by agents,” said Sharma.

In traditional contact centers, human agents are overburdened with easily automated queries that have until recently kept them from doing more valuable work. Sharma expects human call center employees to take on more complex tasks that can’t be handled by AI-powered agents, such as designing customer journeys and identifying customer friction points.

“Human brains have millions of years of evolution behind them and they simply excel at solving some very deep and very complex problems that Conversational AI technology simply cannot solve at this moment,” he said.

The benefits of a hybrid contact center for enterprises include improved customer service, improved call times, reduced costs, better compliance and higher agent satisfaction due to more fulfilling tasks, Sharma said.

“It's not a question of if, but when, and what we're seeing in the market is that a lot of enterprises have already started the journey and started taking those baby steps to move toward that end goal of a hybrid contact center,” he said. “What we expect is that others are showing clear interest in testing these technologies and in the next six to 12 months we expect that the adoption of Conversational AI technologies will be significantly increasing in contact centers.”

Capgemini and CHIP

Amelia partner Capgemini’s CHIP is a Conversational AI agent that provides businesses with a digital assistant that delivers IT services for employees, including troubleshooting problems with email, business apps, or connecting to a network, as well as cleaning up a hard drive or resetting a password. CHIP is a crucial solution because it connects all of an employee’s IT tools to a single end-to-end interface, said Eric Fradet, VP-Global Practice Head, Cloud and Infrastructure Services at Capgemini, during the webinar.

“What is the key of the user experience?” asked Fradet. “First of all, zero-touch is very important. You want all the basics done without any human intervention. You want it to meet you… There’s nothing worse than connecting in the morning and spending 30 minutes to try to connect because you have a network issue or because you don't have access to an application you want to access.”

CHIP contributes to employee satisfaction not only by providing always-on access to IT services, but it also understands an employee’s mood based on phrasing and context, it speaks most popular languages, and it provides personalized service to every employee.

“CHIP knows pretty well if I'm happy, if I'm upset, if I'm under stress and the tone of the conversation is very different [depending on a user’s mood],” said Fradet. “CHIP knows who I am. I don't need to identify all my credentials coming from Active Directory from single sign-on or whatever… CHIP knows me, recognizes me, knows my intent and knows what I want to do.”

Amelia for Customer Care

“The challenges faced by call center agents yield a negative impact on customers, with longer hold times, and queues slower response times, and often multiple attempts to get a problem addressed versus delivering remedies on the first call,” explained Jonathan Crane, Chief Commercial Officer at Amelia, during the webinar.

Amelia for Customer Care is designed specifically to meet this ever-growing contact center need. Amelia is a cloud-based Digital Employee that is trained to handle some of the most common and critical customer and employee service roles and skills. She is ideal for companies looking to use the industry’s most advanced Conversational AI solution for either accelerating first-touch customer interactions and resolutions, or for elevating end-to-end customer service journeys.

Amelia is easily scalable. She can handle thousands of concurrent conversations, which is ideal for high-volume contact centers struggling with demand, and companies with overburdened and ineffective phone-based IVR (interactive voice response) systems.

“A digital pivot has occurred and Conversational AI platforms have become the versatile, adaptable, rapidly trainable agent best able to address the changing business landscape,” Crane said.

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The Intelligent Contact Center

Companies have spent decades implementing Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems in their call and customer care centers, but they've proven unable to keep up with customers' expectations.

In this white paper, we examine the benefits of an Intelligent Contact Center, where companies utilize Conversational AI-powered virtual agents to provide first-line resolution and support for customers, and augment human employees through AI and automation.

Download our paper to learn the benefits of this approach and why current IVR systems simply will not cut it in today’s hyper-paced digital landscape.

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