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Analysis: AI the way of the future for modern contact centres

By Mitchell Hageman
Tue 18 Jan 2022

According to a new analysis from NICE, AI technology is going to be the future of the modern contact centre.

With a digital revolution occurring amidst the pandemic and many businesses switching to hybrid and virtual workspaces, contact centres have also had to change the way they utilise new technology.

NICE says AI is increasingly becoming a fundamental part of doing business in general, and organisations that do not embrace new tools and technologies risk falling significantly behind their competitors.

They say AI and automation can help streamline a contact centres day-to-day operations, putting less pressure on staff who may already have a high workload.

NICE managing director ANZ Rod Lester says that many businesses with contact centres have thought carefully about implementing the new technology and believes a good balance is a key to success.

"Many of today's successful contact centres have been ahead of the crowd in terms of adopting automation into their business strategy. However, rather than automating the roles of people across contact centres, they've instead automated processes to help enhance and streamline the role human agents play in the organisation," he says.

"Many savvy contact centre managers have also realised the true benefit of leveraging AI in conjunction with automation capabilities, letting their human agents work in harmony with technology. By automating the simpler, time-consuming, repetitive tasks and leveraging AI to better support human agents, contact centre employees can focus on more time-sensitive tasks and better manage the customer experience."

Another fundamental aspect of AI integration is training, and Lester believes it is essential for companies to train AI correctly to achieve the best results.

"The biggest benefit of leveraging AI and automation capabilities in contact centres is the effect these tools have on human agents. They increase agent efficiency by helping to streamline repetitive tasks and let agents invest more time in other activities. And, they also help to increase the value of human agents' contributions to the business."

A variety of tools can be utilised with AI technology, and Lester says if they are used in conjunction with staff, they can lessen the strain on a business and play a more significant role.

"AI tools, such as virtual assistants or chatbots, can help empower customers to self-serve to solve smaller issues and questions before needing to speak with a human agent. This ensures contact centre employees are more available to undertake more complex and challenging cases."

Lester ends by saying that having more opportunities in the workplace as a result of AI will increase team morale and reduce turnover while also increasing productivity and effectiveness.

"Leveraging AI and automation can also create more job opportunities within the workplace. The need to manage and maintain a digital workforce alongside a human workforce means that higher-value roles will be created to ensure each side of the scale works as it should."

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