What Smart Companies Know About Integrating AI

Does your 2024 to-do list include customer experience transformation? Of course it does. You’re an innovative CX leader who’s poised to leverage the right technology to improve processes for your customers and employees. This year, it’s all about AI integration — and how AI integration streamlines your existing systems.

When a topic is as white hot as AI is right now, it’s natural to feel excited about the possibilities and reluctant to get started. If you’re asking yourself the following questions, you’re not alone:

  • Should I use AI?
  • What’s the right first project with contact centre AI?
  • How do I get started? Like really: What’s the first thing I should do?
  • Will our data be secure?
  • Are there vendors who can meet our privacy standards?
  • Will customers be cool with our use of AI?
  • Will my boss be cool with it?
  • How am I going to build a business case for AI? What will this cost us?
  • How much can we customise AI solutions that we buy?
  • How much of this noise is hype? And how much can I trust is reality?

Most business leaders are in the very early stages of implementing anything to do with generative AI. And there’s a lot of doubt and uncertainty. Don’t feel like you need to be an expert. There are some easy ways to get started when applying generative AI to significantly elevate the customer experience.

Go from Thinking About AI to Doing AI

The first step in taking AI to the next step is to identify a use case. Look for a place in the business that has a lot of manual, repetitive work — the kind of work that machines are really good at and humans tend to find tedious and time-consuming.

Remember: AI never gets bored; it never gets tired; it never gets sloppy or distracted.
In your contact centre, a perfect place to look first is after-call (or chat) work.

Human agents excel at solving problems. And you want them to be ready and available to help your customers solve problems the minute they contact you. But agents also need to take notes after each interaction for things like analytics, agent coaching and record keeping — in case the customer makes contact again on the same issue.

But here’s the thing: Your agents — with very few exceptions — likely don’t enjoy doing after call work. Unlike AI, your agents do get tired, bored and distracted. And of course, they make honest mistakes like forgetting to include a note or a task.

But the real time-sink in this is the fact that this work is “after” call work. They can’t do it concurrently while they’re serving the customer, so none of that necessary work can start until after the interaction has disconnected.

Generative AI can work alongside human agents to summarise what occurred during an interaction as it happened — what was said, what actions were taken, what actions still need to be taken. This means that when an interaction with a customer ends, the agent’s after call work is reduced from creating notes to reviewing notes generated by AI. The human agent is very much in the loop, providing feedback on the work the AI technology did and confirming that they agree with what AI captured.

This work reduction results in time-spent reduction, too… reading what the machine has written, confirming the accuracy and moving on to the next customer with one click is much faster. Agents like this type of work; they believe it improves their outcomes and it keeps them happier at work. That’s something all contact centre leaders value.

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What’s in Store for AI in 2024

Five experts share their take on what’s driving CX and EX in the next year.
Spoiler: AI is a big part of it.

Understanding All the Benefits of AI

We all know one primary benefit of agent-assist technology is that it saves time in the contact centre. And when agents are back on queue faster, wait times are minimised and customers are happier — all without adding headcount.

But time savings isn’t the only benefit of AI working alongside your agents.

A superpower of AI that humans can’t manage to do nearly as well is completing all processes with consistency. AI will keep track of all the key points in the conversation, whether the interaction between agent and customer took 30 seconds or 30 minutes.

A human agent could easily forget key actions and conversation points. But AI remembers.

Your agent assistant will write without abbreviations — unless instructed to use them. It’ll use numerals or spell out numbers every time if you’d like. The AI copilot’s notes have dates formatted the same way, every time. The direct result of consistent, clean data is better analytics as well as a deeper understating of what’s really going on in your business.

The powerful journey management and analytics options in a contact centre manager’s toolkit today hinge on the precision and cleanliness of the incoming data. When AI take the notes, accuracy is no longer a key concern.

Another key benefit of integrating AI into the workplace is improving employee satisfaction. Agents don’t like doing work that’s highly regimented, heavily scrutinised and keeps them from hitting their goals. They want to serve a customer well and then move onto the next customer.

Agents also don’t want to struggle to piece together context from the incomplete notes of a previous customer interaction. When AI handles the summarisation, these challenges are a thing of the past. When agents need to refer to old notes, they know exactly what to expect because the format is identical to the format they review after each interaction. The useful data or insight they’re looking for is there because AI captured it on the last interaction with the same customer.

Finally, when agents are equipped with AI, training for a new role doesn’t have to be as involved. Agents who are on-queue with knowledge surfacing and summarisation technology in their toolkits can spend more of their training time on developing soft skills, like relationship building and empathetic service to customers. They don’t have to spend as much time learning how to look up information in a knowledge base, take notes or select a wrap-up code.

Don’t Go It Alone: Long-Term Success with AI

The vendor landscape for generative AI is complex. There are point solutions of less known or uncertain origins; point solutions with dubious integration offerings; and all-in-one platform solutions that have only just begun to integrate AI. To be sure you’re set up for success, consider a vendor with contact centre and customer experience expertise.

When looking for a contact centre AI technology partner, it’s important to consider these five characteristics and capabilities.

  1. Look for AI technology that’s native to the customer experience platform. The technology should be integrated into the platform to power inbound, outbound, self-service, digital, voice and employee experiences. It’s not a patchwork of disjointed acquisitions.
  2. AI is used with purpose. The platform should encapsulate data transformation; machine learning processes; and multiple AI techniques drawn from conversational, predictive, generative, prescriptive, and other AI disciplines. You don’t want a solution that’s limited to a narrow set of use cases or techniques.
  3. The technology is built with trust at the centre. AI ethics should govern how the technology is used within the CX platform. Be sure the platform conforms to some of the most rigorous data, privacy and security protocols. As AI elements are introduced, they’re thoroughly tested to ensure they don’t violate protections. Not every CX platform has AI ethics built into the foundation — from the point of ideation.
  4. It’s easy to use. AI tools should enable better customer and employee experiences — out of the box. You can easily configure and optimise AI for your specific needs. Built-in analytics help you understand how AI is applied and whether it has the intended business impact. AI doesn’t have to be a lengthy, costly science project.
  5. Flexibility. Likely the most important feature in your AI partner is flexibility. When you’re trying something new and learning as you go, there no greater asset than flexibility. Look for a product with an AI bundle designed with testing, trialing and pivoting in mind. And you want all the capabilities — from advanced chatbots to agent assist and beyond — included in the toolkit as a single offer. This allows you to get it all and leverage the capabilities how (and when) you need them.

Put Genesys AI on Your To-Do List

Every company approaches AI integration with different priorities and different in-house tools. The Genesys Cloud™ platform includes built in AI tools that support your agents so you can support your customers – in the desktop they’re already using, customisable to your use cases and brand voice, and with trust and security at its core.

To learn more, check out this on-demand webinar to see how AI will accelerate your customer and employee experience in 2024 and reach out to a knowledgeable Genesys Cloud expert to get a demo.