Dispelling 10 Contact Centre Misconceptions

Number 10 Formed By Wooden Blocks On A White Table

Ginger Conlon at Genesys looks beyond the AI hype and dispells ten contact centre misconceptions.

More than three-quarters of senior business leaders agree that artificial intelligence (AI) will be a critical part of their customer experience (CX) operations in the coming years.

But it’s all too easy to get distracted by the AI hype, which can impede progress when using the technology to build a competitive edge.

At a recent Frost & Sullivan MindXchange event, acclaimed speaker and AI expert Christina “CK” Kerley debunked 10 misconceptions CX leaders have about what contact centre AI can do. During her keynote “Shock, Awe & AI,” she reframed the AI hype into the following AI truths.

1. AI Will Collaborate, Not Compete, With Humans

What humans and AI each do well are not the same. We excel at critical thinking while AI excels at doing exactly what it’s programmed to do — in nanoseconds and at scale.

AI is here to assist and elevate us in every way possible. “We’re moving from working on machines to working with machines,” said Kerley.

At a time when customer expectations and CX technologies are changing rapidly, AI can be an excellent collaborator, she said. Imagine every frontline employee having an AI coach to help them resolve issues and continue learning.

And imagine how powerful it is to detect issues and proactively resolve them before they escalate to an influx of calls from frustrated customers.

2. AI Will Elevate Jobs, Not Completely Automate Them

AI will assist, amplify and elevate customer experience employees in their work and make the most of their time and talents. It will be their customer interaction sidekick, their data whiz and their innovation guru, said Kerley.

AI will increase jobs focused on training models and generating prompts, where agents’ knowledge of customer interactions and expectations will be invaluable.

3. The Real AI Job Story Is Reskilling, Not Replacement

Organisations “invest” in research and development but “spend” on learning and development (L&D).

Kerley asserts that investing in L&D should be a strategic imperative. Learning how to get the most from AI and using the technology to personalise learning pathways should be top priorities.

The more we use AI and other new technologies, the easier it gets. And the easier it gets, the more we’ll use them, she added.

“People aren’t as easily updated as apps,” she said, adding that 50% of employees will need reskilling by 2025 and up to 90% will need reskilling by 2030, according to the World Economic Forum.

“AI frees employees to be more human.”

4. The Rise of Robots Will Rehumanise, Not Dehumanise Us

“We’ve been doing robots’ jobs for far too long,” said Kerley, citing the rote tasks AI is often designed to take on. “The real news is the human renaissance.”

CX employees need digital literacy, but as they take on more complex interactions, soft skills like emotional intelligence and empathy are back.

Adaptability, communication and leadership are more important than ever in customer experience.

“The better our human-to-machine insight, the better our human-to-human experience. AI frees employees to be more human,” noted Kerley.

5. In an AI World, the Most Valuable Skill Is Asking the Right Questions

Asking “why?” and being curious are default mode as humans, said Kerley. Critical thinking is invaluable in business — especially in solving complex customer problems. It’s all about curiosity and asking questions.

“The smartest person in the room is the one with all the questions we need to ask,” to solve our problems and reach our goals, she said.

6. Today’s Winners Will Have the Best Ideas, Not Simply the Best Budgets and SEO

AI is the “Age of Ideas,” said Kerley. Generative AI is democratising the processes of creation and ideation and making them more accessible, affordable and scalable.

Now is the time to explore how to use AI to reinvent, personalise and streamline service processes — to set them distinctly apart from the competition.

“The technology is always a tool. The strategy is reinvention. The goal is relevance.”

7. Businesses Must Focus on Humans, Not Just on AI

There’s too much focus on technology, at the risk of dehumanising customer and employee experiences.

If we shape our tools first, without considering how they affect users, then the tools will shape us. Consider how the mobile phone has changed people’s behaviors and expectations, Kerley pointed out.

“We’re in the expectation economy. Real time is rearview,” she said. Now, consumers want brands to predict what they need. Hyper-personalisation will become the expected. That means organisations that focus on human wants and needs will win.

“The technology is always a tool. The strategy is reinvention. The goal is relevance,” said Kerley.

8. AI Success Requires New Models, Not Only New Strategies

“Organisations can’t just dump new technology on old business models. They need reinvention,” said Kerley. If someone launched a business now, how would its service operation be different?

Flip the model. Move from reactive customer care to proactive service. Move from generalised employee training to personalised education.

9. AI Will Focus on Us; We Won’t Hyper-Focus on AI

We need technology, but today we give so much input for so little output, noted Kerley. AI will help organisations focus more on customers and employees.

Businesses can use it to improve experiences by making interactions more contextual and personal, as well as more conversational, gestural, hearable, intellectual and visual.

“AI is taking on the tasks best suited to it, and leaving the tasks best suited to us.”

10. The Best Thing We’ll Get From AI Is Time, Not Tools

AI will give customers time back because it will personalise, simplify and streamline their interactions. It will give employees time back as it takes on more rote elements of their job.

“AI is taking on the tasks best suited to it, and leaving the tasks best suited to us,” said Kerley. “It’ll give us more time to spend on the projects, passions and people we value the most.”

AI will help CX leaders reinvent experiences — but only if they’re not misled by the siren’s song of where AI could take them. As Kerley emphasised: “AI is not ‘shock and awe’, it’s ‘wonder and awe’ — and it’s meant to support us.”

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Genesys – View the Original Article

For more information about Genesys - visit the Genesys Website

About Genesys

Genesys Every year, Genesys orchestrates billions of remarkable customer experiences for organisations in more than 100 countries. Through the power of our cloud, digital and AI technologies, organisations can realise Experience as a Service, our vision for empathetic customer experiences at scale. With Genesys, organisations have the power to deliver proactive, predictive, and hyper personalised experiences to deepen their customer connection across every marketing, sales, and service moment on any channel, while also improving employee productivity and engagement.

Find out more about Genesys

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: Genesys

Published On: 1st Dec 2023 - Last modified: 5th Dec 2023
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