Contact Center AI: A Detailed Guide

With rising customer expectations, learn how brands are utilizing contact center AI to deliver consistent customer experience at scale.

Issac Thomas
June 9, 2024
6 min read

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Contact center AI or contact center artificial intelligence is the technology contact centers use to derive hidden insights from daily conversations, automate repetitive tasks and empower agents to deliver personalized customer experience efficiently.

How?

Let's simplify it further.

Contact center AI (CCAI) provides agents with the right information at the right time so their focus stays on the conversation. As a result, contact center operations become efficient, conversations turn personalized and customer satisfaction increases.

It's a win-win situation for agents and businesses alike as contact center AI does the heavy lifting, sparing agents from exhaustive, repetitive tasks and businesses from negative brand perception.

Today, contact centers struggle with challenges such as escalating call volumes, soaring agent costs and disconnected customer experiences. So, this underscores the essential role of contact center AI in:

  • Anticipating customer needs 

  • Identifying opportunities for automation and self-service 

  • Enabling agents to serve customers faster and better 

  • Democratizing customer insights

In addition, contact center artificial intelligence offers a range of AI-powered solutions that help businesses improve customer experience, boost agent productivity and gain insights into several untapped potentials of customer conversation. 

How does contact center AI work?

Here are the six popular features of contact center AI that you must be aware of, and we will go over these in detail.

Conversational insights

Conversational insights powered by contact center AI take you deep into customer interaction's intricate layers. The granular understanding empowers you to proactively address pain points, allocate resources judiciously and design targeted solutions.
 
The real-time call insights immensely help agents resolve issues faster, reducing the average handle times.

Yet, the true power of conversational insights lies in predictive intelligence. You can harness conversational insights to forecast CSAT, foresee churn rates, predict sales trajectories and initiate proactive notifications.

Speech analytics

Speech analytics software, an integral part of contact center AI captures, transcribes and analyzes customer interactions using speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning. 
 
Typically, the data helps you visualize critical conversational moments, customer intent, sentiments, script adherence and agent performance. Also, by combining voice and text interactions into a single interface, speech analytics software magnifies the point of friction in your customer service experience like no other.  

sentiment analysis with Sprinklr contact center AI

Learn More: Sentiment Analysis in Contact Center, Examples and Use Cases

Interactive voice & chatbots

Virtual agents, also known as chatbots, are AI-powered conversational interfaces that handle customer inquiries through text- or voice-based interactions. You can respond instantly to common queries, guide customers through self-service options and escalate complex issues to human agents when necessary.

🤔 Did you know?

Today, there are sophisticated conversational AI bots that can be trained to recognize contextual clues about customer requests and use them to revert with even better responses over time. 

AI-powered bot helps customer with payment cycle-Sprinklr contact center AI

AI call routing

Contact center AI enables AI call routing, which uses natural language processing, speech recognition, sentiment analysis and machine learning to analyze caller data, voice and intent and assign them to the right agent or self-service interface. 
 
AI call routing remarkably reduces average handle time, hold time and improves the first contact resolution rate. It also optimizes agent utilization rate and productivity while lowering operation expenses. 

AI-led and automated quality management

It is humanly impossible for the compliance team to monitor the quality of each call. CCAI offers a speech analytics solution that delves deeper into the calls, listens to the conversations, assesses agent responses and evaluates factors like tone, empathy and adherence to company-defined standards.

Moreover, contact center quality management uses artificial intelligence to forecast call volumes, peak hours and customer preferences, making resource allocation efficient and wait times minimized. You can have a holistic view of your agents’ performance, identify coaching opportunities and continuously improve service standards. 

Contact center quality management with Sprinklr contact center AI

Point to note: Advanced quality management software like Sprinklr helps you monitor 100% of your calls with real-time agent performance. Take it for a free try! 

AI-led agent assistance

Contact center AI equips your agents with democratized customer insights from connected sources, including PDFs and archived customer calls, in real time. As a result, your agents stay confident and connect with customers on an emotional level without bothering about the tedious task of reporting and data aggregation. 
 
The immediate results you can get are: 

  • Elimination of post-call work   

  • Significant time and cost savings   

  • Improved customer satisfaction   

  • Reduced churn rate   

  • More productive and happier agents 

  • Performance management  

Performance management 

Contact center AI transforms agent performance management by fine-tuning your approach, ensuring that agents' contributions align seamlessly with your overarching goals.

Since contact center artificial intelligence lets you delve deep into the agent-customer interactions through speech analytics, you are provided with a comprehensive view of agents' strengths and scope for improvement.

With real-time feedback and coaching, you refine agent performance and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Key benefits of contact center AI

Contact center AI offers several benefits that can significantly improve your customer service operations. Let's explore some of the key advantages:  

  • Reduced call volume with self-service options
    Contact center artificial intelligence powers customer self-service options, empowering your clientele to find answers to common queries independently. So, your agents stay focused on high-intent conversations. 

  • Improved customer experiences
    Contact center AI reduces customer wait times and enables you to deliver personalized customer experience consistently. Also, with virtual assistants and chatbots, you can provide round-the-clock support and handle customer queries efficiently anytime, anywhere. 

  • Lower OPEX
    With AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants handling most customer inquiries and guiding customers through self-service options, this helps you free up agents for more complex queries and significantly reduces your average handling times. Also, contact center AI deflects expensive voice calls to affordable digital channels, bringing down labor costs.

  • Improved agent performance through Gamification
    Integrating contact center AI into your agent dashboards can help you provide real-time call analysis, enabling agents to receive rewards upon achieving certain milestones or targets. Contact centers are infamous for highly stressful working conditions; with the help of contact center artificial intelligence, you can foster a sense of teamwork and encourage agents to focus on driving results.

A real-life example of contact center AI in action

Cdiscount, a French e-commerce brand, was looking for a solution to address the following challenges:

  • Understand customer sentiment

  • Improve customer interactions for their 10M customers

  • Assist their quality management teams in analyzing 100% of support conversations

  • Coach their agent

They turned to Sprinklr's integrated AI framework that functions as an overlay solution, seamlessly integrating with existing systems, minimizing the need for extensive change management and internal disruptions.

Through a robust Contact Centre AI module, Cdiscount could analyze a wide range of customer interactions across various channels to discern key conversation topics, including delivery problems, refunds and subscription inquiries.

Within months of launching Sprinklr Service, Cdiscount could analyze 100% of voice calls, with agents receiving a quality score for each interaction. The CSAT score has improved by 15% since launch.

How to implement contact center AI in your business: Top 3 considerations

Contact center artificial intelligence is not entirely new. While the benefits of integrating CCAI can help you stay ahead of the curve, there are a few concerns you should remain aware of.

Data and privacy

Implementing contact center AI requires careful consideration of data privacy and security. Customer data collected during interactions must be handled by applicable regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Organizations need robust data protection measures, including encryption and secure storage, to maintain customer trust.

Integration with existing systems

Integrating contact center artificial intelligence solutions with existing systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) platforms and ticketing systems, is crucial for a seamless customer experience. Data synchronization and information sharing between AI systems and other tools enrich customer insights and enable personalized interactions.

📝 Agent training and transition

Successful adoption of contact center AI requires comprehensive agent training and a smooth transition process. Agents should be trained to work collaboratively with AI systems, leveraging their capabilities to deliver enhanced customer service. Training programs should focus on building AI-related skills and nurturing a positive mindset toward AI integration.

Contact Center AI Maturity Assessment

Curious about where you stand in your AI journey? Evaluate your AI Maturity in minutes and claim your complimentary report to level up.

Need help in implementing contact center AI?

Traditional contact centers have been marred by inflexibilities surrounding legacy systems, high call volumes and abandonment rates, lack of real-time data visualization and inconsistent service quality.

Moreover, the rising impatience among customers has led them to reach out to support even for the simplest of queries, and needless to say, they expect immediate resolution.

That’s where an AI-powered contact center solution like Sprinklr Service can be a game-changer for you. Powered by the world’s only unified customer experience management platform, Sprinklr’s inbound contact center solution helps you deliver personalized support 24/7 with inbuilt assistance from contact center AI. 
 
You can streamline workforce management, analyze customer sentiment, and effortlessly automate quality monitoring at your contact center. But to do all of it, you need a kickass CCaaS like Sprinklr. In fact, you can use it for free for the next 30 days and see for yourself how incredible it is.   

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