Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Cognitive Technologies Make Contact Center Solutions Smarter

April 25, 2017

While we spend a lot of time examining what’s new in contact center technology, it’s equally important to take some time to examine what’s new in customers. While people don’t change at their core – they still want good prices and fast service – their expectations (and time schedules for them) do change, as do their preferred methods of communications. To succeed, companies need to keep customers at the top of mind, according to Aspect’s Chris O’Brien.

“Customer expectations are continuing to rise. Businesses who succeed at meeting them hold a distinct competitive advantage over those who don’t.”

There is, of course, only so much performance you can get out of humans. You can keep pushing your human contact center agents to take more calls, shorten the duration of each call and produce more results. There will come a time, however, when you’ll no longer be able to get more out of humans, and your turnover rate will become cost-prohibitively high. You can, however, have ever increasing expectations of your contact center solutions, and the merging of traditional call center functions and cognitive technologies such as automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language understanding is producing some exciting results.

A recent report by Aberdeen Group entitled, “Cognitive Customer Experience: The Future Is Here” found that the implementation of cognitive technologies can play a key role in meeting elevated customer expectations with contact center solutions.

“By incorporating proactive machine interactions at relevant stages of the customer journey, companies can transform traditional ways of addressing consumers’ needs, offering solutions that go above and beyond simply responding to requests,” wrote O’Brien.

More important, there need not be any human involvement in these anticipatory customer interventions. O’Brien recounts an experience of getting locked out of an online account. (We’re all familiar with the annoyance of having to keep track of dozens of complex passwords and user names, plus the additional burden of having to remember what our “favorite vacation spot” is.) As it turns out, the company’s contact center solutions were a little smarter than average.

“I needed access, so I dialed the customer service number and entered the realm of automation, the IVR,” wrote O’Brien. “After verifying some security information, I expected to be transferred to an agent. Instead, the IVR anticipated my reason for calling and suggested, ‘It looks like your account is locked. Are you calling to reset your password?’ To say the least, I was both surprised and delighted that this issue could be resolved so easily.”

The process was quick, easy and – best of all – entirely resolved through automated process that anticipated a customer’s need, thanks to cognitive technology that was able to predict why a customer was calling and offer the right resolution at the right time.

If you’d like to learn more about AI and machine learning, be sure to check out TMC and Crossfire Media’s newest conference and expo, Communications 20/20, happening July 18-20 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The event will focus on the next wave of technology and innovations that will transcend the importance of person to person contact, disrupting the future of the entire communications industry. Find out more HERE.

Edited by Alicia Young