Artificial intelligence – or AI – has been one of the most life-changing developments of the 21st century. For the call center, it’s no different; while some believe AI will improve call center operations, others believe it will do so at the cost of human jobs. What’s going on here, however, is much more complicated.
Values and Benefits
AI systems offer a lot of value for those who use them. In the contact center, that’s no different, as AI allows for a variety of functions that previously weren’t possible.
AI delivers a big punch in the analytics field. Able to take large amounts of data and search that data for patterns, which form the basis of actionable insights, AI can serve as essentially the processing system for analytics, able to handle the heavy lifting.
Natural language processing
Natural language processing technology allows a person to talk to a computer in a normal voice, using normal speech, and be understood. Where before, computers could only be spoken to in commands, an AI can now listen to a customer’s call and respond to that customer in a similar speech pattern.
With an AI in place, a computer can effectively program itself, at least to some degree, by taking observable circumstances and adjusting its operations accordingly. That’s machine learning, and with it, a system that can adapt to needs on the ground.
One of the greatest concerns about using AI in a call center is that an AI is effectively a tireless machine that will work around the clock for no pay. That makes it attractive compared to many human workers, and has many concerned.
Already we’ve seen how call centers can improve by using AI, starting with a greater push toward first-call resolution. Interactive voice response (IVR) is handling many of the simplest call center issues. As AI improves, it can handle more complex tasks, and many see the writing on the wall for paid human workers.
An SQM Group study found that a business that improves its first-call response numbers can effectively save $276,000 a year, even with as little as a one percent improvement.
Hand in Hand
Despite this, however, there’s one clear value that the AI cannot produce: empathy. Human empathy is perhaps the one thing that will keep humans in the call center. A Convoso study found that AI makes an excellent supplement, offering faster answers to human questions, but the more sophisticated, complex questions require humans to handle.
Helping the Humans
While call center operations will require humans for some time to come, technological assistance in the call center, like that offered by thinQ, will deliver plenty of value for those human users.