The increasing importance of artificial intelligence in contact centres


Distributed and remote contact centre workforces are becoming increasingly common as organisations continue to embrace cloud-based technologies. Investing in cloud-based solutions lets agents work from anywhere without impacting their ability to manage call volumes. They can also significantly enhance and improve caller interactions with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies, according to NICE.

Rod Lester, managing director ANZ, NICE, said, “Integrating and optimising automation, AI, and other cloud-based digital solutions will be critical in enhancing the customer experience, and are increasing in importance. Specifically, there is rising interest in augmented intelligence, especially when combined with automation and virtual assistants. By combining these technologies, agents can have more specific and useful information about caller behaviours and interactions at their fingertips, essentially creating ‘super’ agents.”

In addition to providing information and support, the latest technologies facilitate better access to training for contact centre agents. AI solutions can learn to analyse caller interactions using qualitative metrics, such as call sentiment or behaviours, to provide real-time guidance for agents.

Rod Lester said, “Combining AI and automation underpins the creation of a digital twin for agents. In essence, this is a more comprehensive and effective virtual assistant that can provide immediate assistance and guidance for agents using an ‘insight to impact’ approach. This lets agents learn faster and reduce errors by accessing instantaneous, more personalised assistance. Integrating these technologies and approaches will be critical in improving both the agent and customer experience, especially for dispersed workforces.”

Embracing cloud-based technologies and expanding their use across contact centres can help managers reduce time and costs involved in training staff and supervising calls. Leveraging AI and virtual assistants to monitor and analyse calls minimises the need for managers to listen in on calls for monitoring and reporting purposes. This lets more senior staff focus on more time-intensive, sensitive activities. In addition, it gives direct and immediate feedback to agents, letting them make real-time changes to caller interactions for an improved customer experience, while also providing immediate reports to managers with any issues that need to be addressed.

Rod Lester said, “AI, automation, and other digital technologies are here to stay, and they are going to become more important to how we manage contact centres in the future. Cloud-based technologies can be critical to the customer experience in terms of improving agent performance and overall call interactions with the support of real-time guidance and more detailed analytics.

“As contact centres continue to embrace the dispersed, work-from-anywhere model, leveraging these technologies ensures that contact centre agents and the customers they serve can be positively impacted by the changing nature of work.”