AI, Automation and Analytics Drive Vast Improvements in Contact Centers
The WFO market has come a long way since DMG Consulting began covering this sector 15 years ago. The service economy has undergone many changes, all of which benefit from real-time contact centers, the subject of the book The Real-Time Contact Center, published by Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting, 13 years ago. Real-time service is a hallmark of the digital transformation: immediate responses are required for omni-channel service, a globalized economy with customers around the world, etc. The real-time transition is underway.
AI and Automation Pave the Way for Improvements
Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way companies operate, allowing businesses to re-imagine many aspects of their operations, including their employees. Automation initiatives are priorities in most industries. Today, there are applications and frameworks that can be inserted into attended or unattended processes and quickly implemented to partially or completely automate a workflow. RPA and desktop process automation (DPA) allow enterprises to automate routine, repetitive tasks; this allows businesses to cut thousands of dollars per day from their budget. At the same time, it allows human resources to be re-allocated to more rewarding cognitive tasks.
Customers are also beneficiaries of automation in the enterprise. Interaction analytics, comprised of speech and text analytics, allows organizations to listen to customers and prospects across voice and digital channels to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their experience. It reveals details about customers’ transaction path through the organization: which touchpoints they used, the route they took, the duration of each step, and where the journey ended. It provides a first-hand account of customers’ perception of the service journey by capturing sentiment and emotion, and the degree of effort expended. Internally, interaction analytics allows a company to monitor service quality from the customer’s perspective.
Analytics will Continue to be a Differentiator
Predictive analytics is an emerging strategy for improving and personalizing the customer experience. It uses data mining, statistical techniques and machine learning to identify relationships, patterns and trends to anticipate the likelihood future events and behaviors, as well as their business impact. In doing so, predictive analytics can be used to understand what customers need and want, and then kick off real-time agent guidance, next-best-action recommendations and optimal marketing offers tailored to customer needs.
Contact centers are not going away for the foreseeable future, but they are going to change. Technology will be used to “work smarter, not harder.” Transaction handling will be personalized and matched to the ideal resource. Highly sophisticated agents will have a new generation of servicing tools at their fingertips to achieve optimal outcomes. As exciting as changes have been for contact centers during the last few years, the best is yet to be.
DMG Consulting LLC is a leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm specializing in unified communications, contact centers, back-office and real-time analytics. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.