Apr 23, 2021

AI for Contact Centers = Better Customer Experiences

Emil Xavier
By Emil Xavier

Product Manager, [24]7 Assist

Customer support agents, new and seasoned, need constant education and training.

The contact center industry is plagued by agent churn, so most contact center leaders continually face a large supply of new, unformed CX agents. (Turnover in the [24]7.ai agent workforce is well below the industry average. We know happier agents mean happier customers, which is better for everyone—so we place a premium on agent satisfaction.)

Similarly, as chatbots take over more mundane and repetitive responsibilities, the agent’s job grows increasingly complex—so even veteran agents must continually upgrade their information toolkit.

Introducing a new [24]7 Digital Assist™ feature: Agent Assist, AI technology designed to give CX agents the tools and support they need to drive productive, context-aware, and personalized conversations. Agent Assist aims to improve agent response time (ART) and reduce transfers that result from a lack of information.

And it works! In our pilot launch, Agent Assist improved ART as much as 6 percent compared to the prior period.

Why Do Contact Centers Need AI Tools?

An intelligent support bot makes an agent’s job easier—and boosts productivity—by automating some tasks, suggesting relevant responses, and simplifying complex processes.

Digital operations teams grapple with annual agent attrition rates at or above 30 percent. Hiring and training replacements is time-consuming and costly, placing a huge burden on customer support operations. Not only do customer care managers have to monitor and coach new hires until they become proficient, but this learning process also requires the participation of experienced team members, which reduces their productivity as well as the overall team efficiency.

And keep in mind that training is not a one-and-done proposition. Agents absorb a lot of information and unless they use it consistently, they are sure to need to relearn much of it again and again. Plus, changing business requirements dictate that training will be constantly updated.

Learning, retaining, and applying this information is challenging not just for new hires but seasoned agents as well. As chatbot automation offloads the mundane and repetitive queries, agent conversations are becoming more complex—which means they need to have a broad understanding of multiple, evolving processes.

Choose Your AI Information Source

Because Agent Assist provides agents with contextual “next best” recommendations via ready-to-use Smart Responses and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), it is an ideal delivery mechanism to bring new hires quickly up to speed and for all agents, seasoned or newbies, to stay up to date with new customer information. Besides, it is the ideal solution to support cross-training initiatives when building a Team of Experts model.

Handy information for agent conversations can be sourced from the following:

  • Past conversations—Agent Assist serves up often-used and follow-up responses
  • Reference information maintained by the organization—Agent Assist draws on knowledgebases (KBs) and FAQs

Past conversations are an overlooked and untapped source of information. Use them to recognize how similar problems were previously resolved. Agent Assist leverages machine learning to recognize intents from past conversations and cluster together responses to these intents. Once curated by domain experts, these responses are ready to serve as instantaneous, templated agent replies.

Similarly, the ability to tap into structured and semi-structured knowledge sources, such as KB pages and FAQs, available either online or offline, enhances and diversifies agent recommendation options.

Choose Your Recommendation Engine

The Agent Assist feature provides you with the flexibility to choose between three powerful recommendation engines:

  • [24]7.ai Information Retrieval Service (IRS)
  • [24]7 Answers™
  • Google Contact Center AI (CCAI) Agent Assist

Google CCAI Agent Assist enables [24]7.ai clients to access a diverse range of information sources, already leveraged in their Dialogflow virtual agent solutions, through our integration with its Smart Reply, FAQ Assist, and Doc Assist features.

AI for Contact Centers = Better Customer Experiences

Whichever engine you choose, Agent Assist offers the following:

  • An edge service that reads agent-customer conversations and enables agents to use these transcripts to fetch applicable responses from the recommendation engine.
  • A user interface, in the agent’s console, that displays response recommendations and enables agents to select them with a single click. Agents may flag inappropriate recommendations, thus tracking usage and improving the recommendation engine. 
  • A recommendation engine, such as [24]7.ai IRS, which uses natural language processing to identify intent (from conversation transcripts), match it with its information index, and provide the next-best response recommendations beyond a confidence score threshold.

Take the Next Step

Even the best-trained agents need a little help—and the right technology makes a big difference to how well they serve customers. Agent Assist is the right investment for building the resourceful and motivated human capital crucial to success.

For more information, email us or visit our Contact Us page.

Or stop by…

Related Posts

Implementing Gamification in Contact Centers for Enhanced Engagement and Well-Being

The secret sauce to enhanced engagement and reduced turnover rates.

Crafting Tailored Customer Connections
Crafting Tailored Customer Connections: Tips for Enhanced CX

Strategies for enhanced customer experiences in the digital age