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Customer Service Roundup: Mixing the Human Touch with AI in the contact center

What does the human touch mean to customers when they call the contact center? Direct contact with a human is luxurious. It comforts, engages and gives the customer a personalized experience, according to a recent Forbes column.

“What we are seeing now is the luxurification of human engagement,” says a quote that Forbes attributes to Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, in the New York Times.

But while the customer-facing interaction may be human-to-human, artificial intelligence and technology play an important role in supporting it.

AI coaches call center reps on compassion

For instance, AI is coaching some call center representatives in soft skills such as compassion as  reps interact with customers, according to USA Today.

The software that’s the focus of the article “listens” to calls with customers, analyzing voice pitch, tone and rhythm to give representatives live tips on how to make their communications better. The AI system might tell the rep they’re talking too fast, or prod them to “think about how the customer is feeling. Try to relate.”

AI coaching could be among a third of activities in 60% of occupations globally that consulting firm McKinsey & Co. estimate in a 2017 report could be automated. Research firm Gartner predicts in the Forbes article that AI will completely handle 15% of all customer service interactions by 2021.

Tech, AI enhances customer experience

In addition to coaching, AI can connect customer calls to the rep with the best-matched skills for the call, as well as help train representatives, according to Big Data Insights newsletter. These and other cited AI and voice-based data analytics can enhance the performance of the agent, or Brand Specialist as they’re known at Global Response.

This set of articles in this week’s customer service roundup points to how there’s plenty of room for AI and technology to help create the best customer experience possible, even while the contact center’s human interaction is still seen as most luxurious for the customer.

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