Is AI the Next Contact-Center Representative?


Every once in a while, a technology comes along that promises to “change everything.” Here’s what reality will look like instead.

When it comes to potentially reality-changing technologies, artificial intelligence (AI) is way up there. It promises to foment change in every aspect of human endeavor. Perhaps AI-enabled machines will, in many cases, supplant human beings altogether.

Take the customer service contact center, for example. Very soon, it would seem, your customer service request will not be answered somewhere on the other side of the world by a well-meaning but overloaded operator. The promise of AI suggests that a friendly AI agent, never rushed or impatient and always intelligible, will be on the line to take our hand and make the situation all better.

As history has so often proven, reality will be somewhat different

Many of us – and quite a few companies – really believe that AI will displace humans and their foibles and idiosyncrasies while maintaining a veneer of humanity and never needing a bathroom break. If we can admit to ourselves that this is probably not in the cards any time soon, then the question becomes this: How will AI change the contact-center experience in the near term?

Surprisingly, people still prefer to deal with people

An Accenture Strategy study of 25,000 consumers worldwide found this salient fact: “Eight-three percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer service issues and get advice (77%). Almost half (45%) of consumers say they are even willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service.”

So, if people prefer to deal with people, what can AI do to improve contact-center customer service? Well, plenty. Here a few capabilities AI and machine learning can bring to the process to solve some real-world annoyances and chokepoints common to the contact-center customer experience.

Introducing Amazon Connect, a cloud-based contact center that’s intelligent from the start

Amazon Connect is AI-enabled by default. So, agents can immediately use Amazon Web Services (AWS) AI innovations to automate processes and improve the customer experience. Text-to-speech is built-in. AI is used to transcribe calls and detect caller sentiment in real-time, adding one more variable to take into account when attempting to analyze customer service effectiveness. And that’s just for starters.

Let AI handle the simple things, so the humans have more time for the customers who need them

Yes, humans prefer to be helped by humans. But a natural-language chatbot powered by the AI of Amazon Lex and enabled by the text-to-speech service of Amazon Polly can handle frequent requests for information and even take orders. Human contact-center agents can then spend more time with customers who have more complicated and pressing issues. Well-applied AI can make human agents more effective by increasing the bandwidth available for the calls that demand it.

AI can intelligently route timely information to agents who need it

Amazon Connect can seamlessly connect with Salesforce Service Cloud, the top CRM sales platform, so contact-center agents have intuitive, single-window access to the customer data they need. Whether closing a sale or solving an issue, agents have timely access to the wealth of customer intel stored on your CRM system without toggling back and forth between open windows and interfaces to get the information they need to improve the customer’s experience.

AI: so a customer never has to call you more than once to address an issue

Amazon Connect’s AI-driven transcription and archiving can help alleviate one of the biggest customer pet peeves when it comes to dealing with contact-center agents: having to call multiple times to handle a single issue. An estimated 48% of consumers value getting their issues resolved quickly and see it as the hallmark of first-rate customer service. Having all of a customer’s history available, routed to agents intelligently on an as-needed basis, can increase the chances of solving the customer’s problem at the first opportunity.

How CloudHesive uses Amazon Connect to bring AI to your contact center

Don’t allow the revolution in AI and machine learning to forge ahead without you. Use the power of the latest AWS tools to enhance your customer service capabilities. Start today by getting in touch with CloudHesive at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form.

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