Customer contact centers double down on AI

By turns mind-numbing and infuriating, call center experiences are refreshing, bringing a more human touch to wear, even as more automation is involved than ever.

Rebranded as “contact centers” given negative associations with “call centers,” the customer service segment is embracing artificial intelligence (AI) at full speed as major players improve interactive voice recognition — and even dreaded robots.

In March, Google introduced its Google Cloud Contact Center AI (CCAI) platform, building on its existing Contact Center AI platform with new features to meet heightened expectations.

In a March 21 blog postGoogle said its new CCAI expands the “ability to deliver personalized customer experiences that are consistent across your brand, whether delivered by a virtual agent, a human agent, or a combination of the two.”

“It eliminates many long-standing issues, from managing data fragmentation to replacing rigid customer experience flows with more engaging, personalized and flexible support.”

Citing a list of customers using its existing customer service AI platform, Google quoted Ryan Nichols, senior vice president and general manager, Salesforce service cloud contact center, as saying, “Customers are continually growing their service expectations, and our research tells us 79% of consumers believe a company’s experience is as important as its products and services.

Google CCAI should be available in August.

Tech News Site CIO reported that “With the [customer relationship management] integration, the new platform allows businesses to manage all inbound and outbound customer interactions with the support of an AI assistant that provides suggestions based on historical CRM data and real-time interactions – essential features for modern CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) solutions. ”

Rising levels of expectation for trained contact centers throughout the pandemic and a shortage of workers in 2022 are driving more businesses to seek automated support.

This is something that all companies offering customer support need to rethink this year.

The “Consumer Authentication Experiences” study, a PYMNTS and pingout collaboration, found that 55% of consumers of all generations use both phone and online channels to conduct business, and that “70% of American adults stick to the traditional phone to communicate with service representatives customer”.

According to the study, 81% of baby boomers and seniors contact customer service by phone, while 86% of millennials and 83% of bridge millennials interact with more self-service digital tools.

Get the study: Consumer Authentication Experiences

In other news reflecting the impact of AI contact center operations, workforce platform Observe.AI announcement a $125 million Series C fundraising on April 12, backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 with participation from Zoom Video Communications.

According to the announcement, the platform is being used by Zoom and others to bring “complete conversation visibility, business-enhancing insights, and machine-driven workflows” to contact centers that have spent more than two years of processing a record number of applications.

Say “No” to bots

Automated chatbots are losing their reputation as few seem to work with intelligence – artificial or otherwise – and bad call experiences can turn into lost customers.

In a PYMNTS interview in February, NLX Co-founder and CEO Andrei Papancea used travel as an ideal example of how self-service customer service can go right or horribly wrong.

“Let’s say the traveler calls because they have a massive disruption to their trip going on and they’re put on hold for two hours, while a myriad of other people are calling asking what the PCR test is. “said Papancea. “The balance and the key to solving the problem is to have practical automation in place that can solve as many use cases as possible through self-service.”

See also: Conversational AI is the talk of the town as call centers adapt to new realities

Claiming that businesses are seeing up to 20% revenue growth “by maximizing remote customer interactions, through a combination of voice and digital channels within the contact center,” the communications-as-a-service provider ( CaaS) Dialpad added digital and virtual channels. agent capabilities to its AI Contact Center solution in March, according to a announcement.

In early April, B2C conversational messaging company Gupshup announcement that it acquires conversational commerce innovator Active.Ai.

In this announcementRavi Shankar, co-founder and CEO of Active.Ai, said, “In the conversational economy, business-to-consumer engagement that combines advanced natural language processing with deep enterprise connectivity is critical.

Read also: B2C provider Gupshup acquires Active.Ai

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS SUPPLIER INNOVATION STUDY – APRIL 2022

Plastiq - The Future Of Business Payables Innovation: How New B2B Payment Options Can Transform The SMB Back Office - April 2022 - Find out how all-in-one payment solutions can help businesses streamline B2B transactions and eliminate transaction friction. AP and AR management

On: While more than half of SMBs believe an all-in-one payment platform can save them time and improve cash flow visibility, 56% believe the solution could be difficult to integrate with AP systems and existing ARs. The Future Of Business Payables innovation report, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Plastiq, surveyed 500 SMBs with revenues between $500,000 and $100 million to explore how all-in-one solutions can exceed customer expectations. SMEs and help sustain their activities.

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