Contact Center Trends

AI in the Contact Center is a Good Thing

By Steve Bell

0 min read

All Abuzz About Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In the relatively mundane contact center industry, nothing captures the imagination more than artificial intelligence. Everyone is talking about it. Analysts are inundated with inquiries from service and CX leaders who’ve been commanded by their executives to “go get some AI”, without fully grasping what it is and how it will help their organizations.

AI Business Drivers

AI is becoming an integral part of the contact center because it positively impacts two primary metrics: operational efficiency (reducing cost) and the customer experience.

75-80% of the cost of running a contact center is labor. Since its inception, driving cost out of the contact center has been a major goal, even at the expense of CX. As organizations increasingly recognize the contact center as the epicenter for customer engagement, balancing CX and efficiency is becoming more common

Are Chatbots Stealing Jobs?

One of the most common questions – and concerns to some –  is whether AI-based chatbots will replace agent jobs. The answer is “yes, but”. Many inquiries that come into the contact center are of the simple, repetitive type that can and should be automated. This is not a new concept – self-service deflection has been around for decades. Chatbots are the latest technology taking over the handling of these most basic inquiries.

As companies handle more inquiries without live intervention, it’s reasonable to believe they require fewer agents at the front-line. Here’s where the “but” comes in: with simple inquiries being handled through automation, what remains are the complex ones. This requires an agent with a greater skill set. No longer a “bottom rung” role, these knowledge workers will be more valuable, harder to find, more highly paid and have an increased opportunity for organizational growth.

Decision Support and Process Automation

AI’s impact on the contact center extends far beyond customer-facing chatbots. AI is being used to guide conversations with customers and automate simple processes. In a nutshell, AI is making contact center operations smarter. According to Gartner, by 2022, 40% of customer-facing employees will consult an AI virtual support agent daily for decision and process support. This will eliminate rote tasks and free employees to do their best work in delivering great customer experiences.

Talkdesk’s Approach: AI So Simple, All You See is Results

With Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence, we’ve infused the power of artificial intelligence throughout the Talkdesk Enterprise Contact Center Platform. Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence mines billions of interactions to reveal customer insights and trends and drive predictive recommendations to optimize agent and contact center efficiency. We’ve hidden the complexity of AI, so you don’t need an army of data scientists. All you see is results in the form of better customer/agent engagement, contact center operations and decisions. Here are a few examples:

Agent Intelligence:

Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence can identify trending topics and proactively recommend knowledge base answers to an agent. This is vastly more efficient than an agent having to search through a knowledge base. Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence can also automatically identify the caller’s mood and automate processes, such as an escalation.

Self-service Intelligence:

Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots automatically handle routine customer needs, saving time and money. The bot has the intelligence to understand when a live agent is needed and can route itself to an agent along with the relevant context of the interaction. In Self-Service SDK, Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence can determine estimated wait time and offer the recommended channel.

Routing Intelligence:

Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence reviews all data and offers suggestions for routing optimization, such as to merge an IVR flow or optimize it with better configurations. Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence can even predict the effectiveness of the suggestions, such as reduced transfers and reduced call duration, resulting in a superior customer experience.

Analytics Intelligence:

Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence-powered Talkdesk Analytics can cluster and report trending topics. Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence can also identify underperforming agents and automatically recommend training topics based on perceived knowledge gaps. This can have an immediate impact on customer and agent satisfaction and productivity.

Learn more about Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence

So Where Do You Start with AI?

Focus your initial AI efforts on the low-hanging fruit of simple decision support, task and process automation. This is where you’ll get the biggest returns in terms of cost savings and CX improvement. Your ROI will also be higher if you work with a platform like Talkdesk, which hides all the complexity of AI, so you don’t need an army of expensive data scientists to support your efforts. Talkdesk Artificial Intelligence is AI so simple, all you see is results.


Steve Bell

Steve is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Talkdesk. Steve is a Seattle transplant with a passion for music, wine, food, and travel.