Generative AI is a revolution in how the world does business. Since Large Language Models (LLMs) took the world by storm in early 2023, Customer Experience (CX) leaders the world over have been imagining ways to transform customer contact by applying AI. For the contact center, generative AI is a quantum leap forward.
Generative AI potential to change the lives of both agents and customers forever:
Contact center generative AI can function as an agent assistant, monitoring interactions and providing real-time script suggestions and information to support interactions as they happen.
Supported by agent performance data, generative AI in the contact center can produce personalized agent feedback, accessible reports, and training programs tailor-made for each individual agent.
Contact center generative AI can provide unprecedented insight into the customer; supported by sentiment analysis and customer data, it can drive a deeper understanding of your customers.
Generative AI might be exciting, but it’s also spawned one of the most intense hype bubbles of the last decade. The technology is in its infancy, so carries early-life technology risks:
Hallucinations – Generative AI creates text by predicting the most likely next word. It doesn’t know what’s true, only what’s likely. It will confidently present incorrect information as reality.
Auditability - As generative AI models are dynamic, it’s also hard to audit issues such as how hallucinations occurred.
Security – Generative AI learns from what it reads. Sensitive information might reused elsewhere. The location of training data needs to be clearly understood to avoid issues such as copyright infringement or data sovereignty breaches.
Regulation – Generative AI is the subject of intense scrutiny by governments, as regulators devise new policies to decide how the technology should be managed. As these regulations come into force, changes to services could be costly to unravel.
Agents aren’t about to be replaced by machines. They will, however, become more efficient. Generative AI will empower CX leaders to overcome to biggest challenges facing the contact center.
The Future of Customer Experience is Generative AI
The contact center is under pressure. Volumes of customer contact continue to rise, even as agent attrition mounts. These two trends are in direct opposition; something has to give. Unless agent attrition can be slowed down, or more customer contacts answered without the need for agent intervention, your CX will suffer. This is where contact center generative AI comes in. But what is generative AI, and what makes it useful for the contact center?
Generative AI draws on large language models (LLMs), which are algorithms (or sets of rules) that analyze large amounts of data and predict word patterns, i.e. create sentences, in a form that a person can understand. This is done using ‘machine learning’ which works on data sets containing perhaps hundreds of billions of parameters and in some cases can create entire documents in different styles that are understandable by humans.
The public release of these models has sparked a wildfire of interest. Your customers likely know what generative AI is, and may even have tried it out themselves. The service expectation from applications such as chatbots has increased dramatically.
Generative AI models can be retrained to generate text on any topic, so long as the data exists. By feeding the model manuals from within your business, you can transform contact center generative AI into an expert on your business, products and services.
The potential is enormous. Contact center generative AI represents an ‘always-on’ expert, which can provide support to agents in real-time. This is an opportunity your business can’t afford to miss out on. How do you make generative AI a part of your contact center?
Implementing Contact Center Generative AI
Contact center generative AI might seem tempting, but effective agent support requires more than just a powerful chatbot. The cloud infrastructure to support a full CX estate must be in place to get the most from generative AI.
Implementing best-in-class contact center generative AI requires:
A cloud-based contact center solution. Traditional on-premise solutions lack the flexibility and adaptability to leverage generative AI fully. LLMs are cloud-native, residing in either public or private clouds and integrating via APIs.
Powerful customer journey mapping tools. To distinguish between the customers that can be redirected to self-service and those that require agent assistance, you need intelligent routing. To ensure that self-service options are implemented in ways that reduce customer effort rather than multiply it, you need an intuitive, in-depth customer journey mapping tool.
A single agent interface. The agent shouldn’t have to tab into another application to view script suggestions and AI-powered feedback. Only by bringing contact center generative AI into the agent interface can you make it a practical part of your CX estate.
If your contact center isn’t already in the cloud, that upgrade needs to happen before any progress can be made with generative AI. But once it has, the possibilities of contact center generative AI open up.
Contact Center Generative AI Supports Agents
Good agents are hard to find, and even harder to maintain. To preserve and develop top talent, you need to ensure that your AX is as important as your CX. Contact center generative AI gives you the tools to make that possible.
Reduce after-call work – By monitoring the content of a customer interaction, generative AI can auto-fill elements of post-call reporting. This speeds up essential after-call processes, letting the agent move on to their next interaction quickly.
Support the agent in the moment – Contact center generative AI can work in tandem with sentiment analysis and Natural Language Processing to identify the tone and topic. From here, the AI can produce script suggestions during the interaction, helping the agent deal with a difficult situation.
Provide an accessible knowledge base – When a customer calls up with a problem, the agent needs to be able to find an answer, and fast. Contact center generative AI can be trained on company information, to function as an always-on expert on your business and services. Agents can query this database by asking a simple question, and receive fluent, accurate answers.
Contact center generative AI won’t remove the need for agents; customers will still want to speak to a human being. It will, however, make the work of agents a lot more efficient. Attracting, maintaining, and developing the top talent will be easier than ever.
Self-Service with Contact Center Generative AI
There’s an important disclaimer to mention here. Generative AI must be supervised. The potential for AI to ‘hallucinate’, that is, makes statements that are entirely untrue and not based in reality, is still a significant issue. Complete, end-to-end conversations with generative AI are not yet feasible in the contact center.
Right now, the best available applications are for generative AI are agent-centric. That doesn’t mean there are no customer-facing applications, however. The following are generative AI use-cases that involve highly structure situations, and can be easily monitored to avoid hallucination:
Guiding customers through self-service options. Often, self-service involves long forms, which take inordinate effort on the part of the customer to complete. Generative AI can support the customer through these, answering questions where they arise, guiding the customer through the process, and even automatically filling out fields with customer data, where the AI has access.
Making intelligent recommendations to customers. Generative AI doesn’t just communicate like a human; it can solve problems like one too. Contact center generative AI can provide customers with actionable insight into their issues, boosting first contact resolution and reducing callbacks.
Drawing on customer data to create personalized responses. By giving contact center generative AI access to your customer data, you can provide responses personalized to customer needs, instantly and at any time. Generative AI can also customize its responses to take on different ‘personas’; that is, different styles of speech appropriate to the customer being addressed.
Contact center generative AI powers enormous cost savings for the contact center. Your CX becomes more effective, once simple interactions are automated. And the improvements don’t stop there; agents have something to gain from generative AI, too.
Contact Center Generative AI with storm®
Contact center generative AI is upon us. Both Customer and Agent Experience are about to be changed forever. With Content Guru, you can make the most of this shift. Content Guru is leading AI innovation in the CX space, by developing integrations into existing Large Foundational Models for agent use. Its AI toolkit, brain® is already in use around the world, providing advanced Natural Language Processing and sentiment analysis capabilities to enterprises. Looking for an AI partner? There’s no better place to start.
Ready to learn more about the future of the contact center? Continue your CX journey by downloading Content Guru’s whitepaper, From AI to AX: How Generative AI will Revolutionize Agent Experience, to learn more.