Contact Centre AI – The Truth Revealed

Row of robots working in a call centre
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Where are you on your artificial intelligence (AI) journey in your contact centre? Do you know how you compare to other industry professionals?

In our webinar The Truth About Contact Centre Artificial Intelligence, we captured a snapshot of sentiment in opinions, polls, and expert insights to reveal how contact centre leaders are feeling about artificial intelligence right now.

AI Will Really Enable Managers to Focus on the ‘Value Add’

Repetitive, non-value tasks are still a huge part of the manager’s day, which detracts from them being effective coaches and collaborators!

AI will really enable to managers to provide a personalized experience for their staff, giving them playbooks to get the right response from their individuals, while also enabling the manager to focus on the ‘value add’.

Contributed by: Ian, a Call Centre Helper reader

We Shouldn’t Train AI to Replace Agents

Don’t train AI to replace agents!

Instead, train agents to be brand ambassadors that control and manage AI applications for greater organizational value.

Contributed by: Kieran, who attended our AI webinar

Only 6% of Organizations Don’t Have Any Fears About AI

In recent CallMiner research, when organizations were asked about their biggest fears around implementing AI in CX or customer service use cases, 45% said ’Exposing the company to security and / or compliance risks’ whilst 43% had fears around AI ‘giving customers the wrong answers and / or spreading misinformation’ – compared to just 6% that said, ‘I don’t have any fears’.

CallMiner research, when organizations were asked about their biggest fears around implementing AI in CX or customer service use cases

AI Is a Means, Not an End

MJ Johnson at CallMiner
MJ Johnson

It’s important to think of artificial intelligence as a means, not an end.

For example, AI techniques – including automatic speech recognition (ASR), sentiment analysis, vector databases, named entity recognition (NER), rules-based algorithms, and more – can be used to:

  • Reduce or eliminate human effort
  • Do something that a human can’t do, better and cheaper
  • Provide insights not easily generated in another way

Contributed by: MJ Johnson, Senior Director, Product Marketing at CallMiner

We Must Teach Customer-Facing AI Our QA Models

Teach your customer-facing AI your QA model, and hold it to the same standard as your agents for its CX.

Contributed by: Lewis, a Call Centre Helper reader

AI Allows Our Agents to Ask Questions About Our Policy Documents

A simple and accessible bit of AI we use allows agents to ask questions of our policy documents based on customer queries. It simply saves time and avoids putting customers on hold.

Contributed by: Roland, a Call Centre Helper reader

Only 13% Say “We’re Flying” on Our AI Journey

During the webinar, we asked “If your contact centre has deployed AI so far, how successfully would you say it has been implemented?”.

Just 13% said ‘We’re Flying!’, compared to a further 63% who said ‘Okay, but could have been better’, and 25% who said ‘Poorly’.

If your contact centre has deployed AI so far, how successfully would you say it has been implemented? poll graph 2024
Success in AI Deployment Response %
We’re Flying! 13%
Okay, But Could Have Been Better 63%
Poorly 25%

There Is Concern That the Robots Will Take Over

Dave D’Arcy, Global award-winning customer experience leader
Dave D’Arcy

There is concern that the robots will take over and immediately put our jobs at risk.

However, this isn’t the case, and in the short term (at least), we should be looking at how AI can enhance and enable our work rather than look at how it can replace us or our teams.

Why? AI will currently only do what it’s programmed to do, so think about that as a limitation – as by definition, AI can’t replace anyone until we program it to do so.

‘Theory of mind’ and ‘self-aware’ models of artificial intelligence are currently just concepts, and all existing AI we use today falls into the following two categories:

  • Reactive machines – These are machines that are programmed to respond to a specific pattern of actions in a pre-planned manner.
  • Limited memory – This is an advancement on reactive machines, using historical data to learn how to respond, such as chatbots, self-drive cars, virtual assistants, and smart speakers.

Contributed by: Dave D’Arcy, Managing Director of Laughing Leadership

AI Insights Will Quickly Identify Flaws in Scripts and Call Guides

AI insights will quickly identify flaws in scripts and call guides.

With appropriate coaching, it is relatively easy to shave 10% off AHT. Do the maths!

Contributed by: Rod, who attended our AI webinar

44% Expect AI to Deliver Efficiencies

During the webinar, we asked ‘What impact do you believe AI will have on your contact centre operation over the next 2 years? Do you expect it to…’

44% said ‘Deliver efficiencies – process re-engineering’ and 41% said ‘Improve customer experience/satisfaction’, compared to just 13% who expected AI to ‘Reduce staff/headcount’ and 3% who ‘Anticipated little change from now’.

What impact do you believe AI will have on your contact centre operation over the next 2 years? Do you expect it to… Webinar Poll Graph 2024
AI Impact Response %
Deliver Efficiencies – Process Re-Engineering 44%
Improve Customer Experience / Satisfaction 41%
Reduce Staff / Headcount 13%
Anticipate Little Change From Now 3%

AI Helps Agents Spend More Time on Revenue-Generating Areas

Whilst AI is focusing on recurring queries, agents can focus on revenue-generating areas.

Contributed by: Ropafadzo, a Call Centre Helper reader

Insights Can Deliver Very Fast and Easily Measurable ROI

One of the easiest quick wins is the ability to identify in-call and post-call silent time.

These are massive insights and can deliver very fast and easily measurable ROI.

Contributed by: Rod, who attended our AI webinar

It’s Interesting the Focus for AI Application Has Gone to the Customer Face

It’s interesting that the focus for AI application has gone to the customer face.

Surely there’s benefits and a safer, sandbox environment to use AI? For example, to analyse management accounting processes, internal decision-making, and other non-customer-facing areas?

Contributed by: Danny Wareham

It’s Essential to Focus on a Specific Use Case

When considering a customer-facing bot, it’s essential to focus on a specific use case.

Design the conversational responses specifically for this and keep a human in the loop. You can use AI to help build the flows and improve intent recognition.

Contributed by: Sally, who attended our AI webinar

For expert suggestions on the potential uses of AI in customer service, read our article: Our Top Use Cases for AI in Customer Service

8% Already Using AI for Real-Time Guidance for Agents

During the webinar, we asked “What does AI look like in your contact centre organization?”

Whilst 73% said ‘We are still adopting AI technology at this time’, a small percentage were already using it for real-time guidance for your agent (8%), post-contact feedback (4%), post-contact automation (3%), and analysing and understanding customer interactions (12%).

What does AI look like in your contact centre organization? webinar poll graph 2024
AI in Contact Centre Response %
We Are Still Adopting AI Technology At This Time 73%
Analysing And Understanding Customer Interactions 12%
Real-Time Guidance For Your Agents 8%
Post-Contact Feedback 4%
Post-Contact Automation (i.e. Summarisation) 3%

AI Will Not Replace You BUT Someone Who Knows About AI Will

We are actively using the statement ‘AI will not replace you, but someone who knows about AI will’ to try to encourage our agents to learn about AI functionality and consider how they can use it in their roles.

Contributed by: Daniel, a Call Centre Helper reader

For more information on contact centre technology, read these articles next:

Author: Megan Jones
Reviewed by: Xander Freeman

Published On: 25th Mar 2024 - Last modified: 27th Mar 2024
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