By Donna Fluss
2024 is fast approaching, and contact center executives and leaders are trying to figure out how to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) into their operations. Decision-makers are considering many factors, including:
- Is it safe to use AI?
- What goals can AI help them achieve? Enhancing self-service? Boosting agent engagement? Increasing agent productivity? Reducing operating expenses? Improving the overall CX?
- Which AI technologies should be used?
- What AI-enabled applications are already delivering quantifiable benefits in the market?
- Which large language models (LLMs) should be used for generative AI initiatives?
- What resources are needed to deploy AI-based solutions?
Ultimately, contact center leaders are trying to figure out which technology partners and applications will make practical and meaningful contributions to help them achieve their goals.
The Good News
There are several AI-based or AI-enabled applications delivering significant quantifiable benefits to contact centers. DMG’s current recommendations due to their features, ease of deployment, and proven value are:
- Analytics-enabled (or automated) quality management (AQM)—these applications use interaction analytics (IA) technology, specifically natural language processing and understanding (NLP and NLU), and frequently other AI-based technologies, including generative AI, to automate the process of evaluating how well agents perform their job and whether they are in compliance with company policies and procedures. Interaction analytics technology has been in the commercial market for more than twenty years and AQM for more than twelve of them.
- Intelligent virtual agents (IVAs)—these conversational AI-based self-service solutions use NLP, NLU, natural language generation (NLG), generative AI, and other AI technologies to automate the handling of customer inquiries that do not require complex human reasoning or logic. IVAs have been discussed (and slowly adopted) during the past several years, but recent advancements in the use of generative AI technologies and LLMs are paving the way for faster and broader adoption.
- Post-interaction summarization—these applications use the call or digital transcript to automatically generate a short summary of the interaction. Typically, the summary is shared with the agent for review and corrections prior to posting to the system of record or customer relationship management (CRM) application. This is the newest of the three capabilities and has the potential to reduce post-interaction wrap-up time by at least 50 percent, which is massive for most contact centers.
There are many other AI-based/enabled applications making large contributions to contact centers today. If you’d like to discuss them with us, including their potential ROI/payback for your operation, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At present, there are limited third-party resources (outside of the technology providers) with experience in building AI-based solutions. This means companies are either going to have to rely on their technology vendor, pay for expensive professional services firms, or take a calculated risk and learn on the job. Because AI is here to stay and contact centers are going to migrate to new AI-based or enabled applications during the next five years, DMG recommends companies that can allocate resources should invest in the training they need, even if it slows them down by a couple of months.
AI is reinvigorating all aspects of contact centers through the delivery of technology that truly makes things easier for agents and customers. It’s not a question of will a contact center invest in and use AI, but a question of when. DMG is benchmarking the adoption of AI-based/enabled solutions in our annual contact center survey of goals and technology.
Donna Fluss, founder and president of DMG Consulting LLC, provides a unique and unparalleled understanding of the people, processes and technology that drive the strategic direction of the dynamic and rapidly transforming contact center and back-office markets. Donna can be reached at email@example.com.
Donna invites you to take this quick two-minute survey so we can share the results with you. And as an added incentive, survey participants can elect to be included in a random drawing in which DMG will contribute to a charity of your choice, in your name.