Contact centers have undergone a vast technological evolution over the past decades. From DSL to fiber, on-premise EPABX to the cloud, basic macros to RPA and machine learning, new technologies have permanently altered the way contact center agents interact with customers. Now, generative AI is here, and Pranav Rai, senior vice president of solutions at Hexaware Technologies, believes the technology is poised to be the most transformative we’ve experienced yet.Â
Generative AI, a new evolution of AI capable of producing conversational text in response to prompts, was a somewhat niche term until ChatGPT launched in late 2022. Since then, generative AI has dominated news headlines and conversations in industries from e-commerce and healthcare to education and travel. And for good reasonâ€” any business that provides regular support to clients and consumers stands to gain enormous benefits from generative AI.
Ever adaptable, contact centers are already experimenting with a range of possibilities for deploying generative AI in their daily operations. In the most promising use cases, AI will unlock new efficiencies for contact center agents and better outcomes for customers â€”Â and help businesses earn higher customer satisfaction ratings than ever.Â
What Makes Generative AI a Natural Fit for Contact Centers?
ChatGPT and similar generative AI tools, including Bing and Google’s Bard, use natural language processing to instantly communicate with users in human languages (rather than programming languages). To add another layer of sophistication, machine learning algorithms enable the AI to improve its performance over time as users interact with the technology and provide feedback.
As you can imagine, generative AI’s ability to hold real-time conversations with usersÂ â€”Â and to learn from them â€” has massive implications for the contact center industry. Chatbots are likely the first place we’ll see widespread use of generative AI technology in the contact center industry. Given the technology’s capacity to produce natural, context-aware responses tailored to individual users’ inputs, this is an easy fit.
Unlike most current chatbots, generative AI can learn from previous interactions and adapt to customer feedback. This enables quick, engaging responses that feel human rather than robotic and scripted. Prior to generative AI, chatbots could only respond to inquiries aligned with a set of pre-programmed topics and answers. But chatbots enhanced with generative AI can field nearly any question a user inputs, delivering more personalized service and a greater number of first-time resolutions.
From the customer’s point of view, contact centers powered by generative AI provide more personalized, effective and rapid support. But customers aren’t the only users who stand to benefit from generative AI. Your internal teams gain the advantage of streamlined analytics reporting with AI-supported robotic process automation (RPA). Going forward, the tedious manual processes required to extract insights from customer resolution data will become obsolete. Instead, generative AI assistants will synthesize conversation sentiments and patterns to deliver immediate insights so you can refine operations with increased efficiency.
In addition to making it easier to mine data for insights, generative AI can help you put key takeaways into practice. As an onboarding tool, generative AI can optimize training materials to accommodate individual learning styles and simulate customer interactions so agents can practice their skills before interfacing with real customers. Similarly, during live conversations, generative AI can provide agents with fresh scripts and content personalized for individual customers, resulting in improved satisfaction and resolution rates.
See More: The Risks & Rewards of Generative AI
Explore Process Enhancements To Stay Ahead of the AI Curve
Generative AI is quickly evolving, and implementing the technology into your contact center operations is only the first step. To keep pace with technological advances, you must prioritize continuous improvements to the AI and integrations with existing technology and processes. These enhancements can streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve customer experience by providing more personalized and proactive support.
Get ahead of the curve by exploring process improvements in these advanced areas:
- Improving AI outputs with citizen users: Citizen developers have enhanced internal application capabilities to enable fast updates to previous chatbots, which has proven essential. But with the rise of generative AI, we’ll see more and more contact centers leveraging citizen users to refine and perfect AI outputs.
Citizen users will become skilled in interpreting generative AI outputs and correcting errors to train the model. The process may take several iterations to achieve desired results, but the AI will become more accurate and efficient with each repetition.
- Fast-tracking case swarming: Generative AI enables you to accelerate case swarming by instantly analyzing similar cases and recommending the next steps based on previously successful outcomes. This can involve identifying team members with the most relevant skills and expertise for resolving a particular issue and then surfacing recommended resolution tactics. Ultimately, this enables agents to expedite the problem-solving process so they can implement resolution plans faster.
Along the way, generative AI can automatically update customers on progress to provide reassurance that a resolution is imminent â€” reducing customer frustration and uncertainty. Post swarm, you can also use generative AI to analyze customer feedback and sentiment to identify areas for improvement the next time you’re faced with a similar situation.
- Enhancing predictive analytics: Generative AI can bolster your existing predictive analytics models by enabling more advanced and accurate predictions. This is possible due to generative AI’s ability to comprehend larger, more diverse datasets. A continuous learning process will enable the AI to adapt to changing customer behaviors and preferences. In turn, this leads to more personalized support and faster conversions. And in analyzing trends, AI can predict and proactively address customers’ future needs, adding another layer of personalization.
Driving Continuous Adaptability To Leverage Generative AI
With AI assistance integrated into customer-facing tools and backend operations, you can execute faster, more effective customer resolutions. But to fully leverage the benefits of generative AI, you’ll need to drive continuous improvements to ensure the technology is meeting the needs of both customers and internal teams. This requires a strategic approach that includes ongoing training and development, regular assessments of the AI’s performance, and a commitment to identifying new opportunities for optimization and innovation.
The use cases described here are only the tip of the iceberg. We’re just beginning to imagine the possible applications of generative AI in the contact center. Will your team be an early adopter â€” or will you lag behind?
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