Artificial Intelligence Transforming Call Centers
The Contact Center business is going through a series of very important changes driven by the technology innovation, the raise of socials and the new consumption models being evaluated by most of the companies.
From a technology angle there are very little doubts the advent of Artificial Intelligence is transforming the traditional call centers into Cognitive Call Centers, transforming an IT cost into business strategic tool to increase Customer Experience, achieving higher customer service levels and quality, increasing the productivity of agents, even lifting up their traditional role to the new one: customer ADVISORS and CONSULTANTS.
The proliferation of digital social tools within clients is driving the urgent need to upgrade a traditional voice only call center into a modern Digital Omnichannel Contact Centers and this certainly represents the perfect timing to plan the insertion of Artificial Intelligence.
The first ask from customers is to deliver fast and accurate responses using the channel of their choice and this translates into great customer experience (Reference).
- 73% want the ability to solve product/service issues on their own.
- 83% use self-service options when available.
- 59% will not return after a bad experience.
A traditional IVR is not able to help to achieve these high quality service levels as it has several limitations resulting in poor Customer Experience (Reference).
- 53% still use DTMF-only IVRs (DTMF stands for Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency, which can be defined as the sounds you hear when you press the keys on your telephone.) — Chris Caile, Senior Principal Solutions Marketing Manager, Nuance Communications
- 83% would avoid a company after a poor experience with an interactive voice response — Robin Gomez, Director, Data & Analytics, Radial
- 60% of callers bypass IVR for voice (costs are 12x higher because of this) — Evan Gale, Solutions Executive, Customer Journey Solutions, NICE
- 76% view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them — Robin Gomez, Director, Data & Analytics, Radial
Enhanced Self-Service Solutions
To achieve such an ambitious goal without incurring a huge cost increasing the number of agents Cisco Cognitive Call Centers have enhanced their capabilities to deliver self- service solutions power by Artificial Intelligence.Our vision of self-service solutions is to create a continually learning, effortless, contextual and omni-channel service which helps optimize human agent contact. Let’s have a look at a couple of use cases where these enhancements can bring awesome benefits.
Many of you would agree with the fact that a traditional menu based IVR quite often provides a frustrating experience with all its touch tone options which inevitably end up in choosing 0 or 9 to speak with an operator.
This triggers bad customer experience and high call center costs, it is static and inflexible, it doesn’t take into account the customer journey, for example treating differently a new or a returning caller and it’s not adapting to the context of the call.
Recent Advances that are transforming the IVR Experiences
The recent advances in speech technology and natural language understanding have the potential to transform the IVR experience delivering Conversational IVR solutions where the customer is talking to the Call Centers, potentially bypassing the static tree structure and jumping directly to his end intent.
The IVR traversal time is significantly reduced as well as the traditional limitations to the number of available options in an IVR script has gone and now you can add as many options as needed in a kind of flattened tree.
Also, the voice of the customer is more than the spoken word. It carries sentiment and emotion, gender, all of which can be used to make intelligent decisions to offer better customer experience.
Effectively it can provide much better customer experience as customers can resolve their issues much faster and using the most natural medium of communication: your own voice.
Cisco Call Center Enhancements
Cisco has done certain enhancements to few components of its Call Center solutions.
In release 12.5 of our Contact Center Enterprise we have enhanced the Virtual Voice Browser (VVB) capabilities to natively stream audio over HTTP to Dialogflow using GRPC.
The architecture we developed is flexible to add new adaptors for other Artificial Intelligence vendors as well as we have a portfolio of solutions which applies to Contact Center Express and to previous software releases.
With the constant improvement of the Artificial Intelligence technologies applied to Natural Language Understanding the proposed architecture offers limitless possibilities to greatly enhance the business processes of enterprises of every size and in every vertical… honestly there will be one limitation… the creativity of people to apply technology to their business needs.
The Cisco Voice Portal (CVP) software release 12.5 offers a choice of cloud based or on-prem dialog management as the solution can be configured to route the conversation media and leave the business logic and intent handling on Google Cloud or as an alternative, it is possible to keep dialog management, business logic, intent handling on premise, in Cisco Call Studio, thus retaining existing third-party integrations and using Google for Advanced speech recognition, natural language understanding and speech synthesis.
The following is an example, a proof of concept, of a simple banking automation bot designed in Google DF, interacting with the dialog management on premise, coded in the Cisco Call Studio, which is quite useful to understand the enhancements in 12.5 software.
Watch the video:
This is the logical architecture used in the video when we keep the dialog management in the Call Studio.
Finally Cisco has a portfolio of on premise, hybrid and cloud contact center solutions that covers the undergoing migration to Cloud and the demand for a versatile, open, consistent architecture across on premises, hybrid and cloud solutions able to grant a smooth transition to the large base of existing customers and at the same time granting a consistent innovation adding digital channel and artificial intelligence.
Video on SalesConnect: Cisco Artificial Intelligence in Call Centers: Chat Translation Assistance
Cisco blogs: Hybrid Chat for Cisco Journey Solutions
Cisco blogs: Future of Work with Cisco and Google