No, artificial intelligence does not sign the end of the call center!

by bold-lichterman

Towards an AI that replaces call center agents?

The explosion of artificial intelligence is fueling the fantasy of robotization and massive automation in all business processes. Among these, one area is particularly concerned: Customer Relations.

We are promised a magnified customer experience thanks to the handling of customer requests by artificial intelligence available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, present on all channels, able to respond instantly and in a personalized way.

To some extent, all of this is true and is already happening. In the form of chatbots perfectly integrated into the website or instant messaging applications or voicebots, intended in the near future to replace interactive voice servers and their perennial type 1, type 2, which we have all had the unfortunate experience of.

Therefore, one wonders about the future of call center agents as it seems impossible for them to compete with the virtues of these new intelligent interfaces, which also have the advantage of improving the speed of execution at a cost. much lower than that of a human, even in an offshore logic.

And yet, we can imagine that the advisor is not ready to disappear in favor of 100% self-care and completely automatic.

Humans keep several steps ahead

If chatbots and voicebots are undoubtedly destined to become among the main, or even unique, points of contact for customers, the fact remains that they above all address first-level responses.

Even equipped with a powerful NLU * dialogue and understanding engine, with an ever finer ability to guess the customer’s intention and extract useful information, artificial intelligence cannot, at least in the short term, succeed. to put at the level of a human and this for 3 reasons:

  • Because the amount of information provided by the client can be at the same time confusing, disorderly, even incoherent when he contradicts himself.
  • Add to that the emotion. Anger, dismay, weariness or sarcasm should be taken into account. While major progress has been made in this area by emotion detection and sentiment analysis engines, we are still far from the degree of finesse and apprehension of a human.
  • Finally, because the response must be adapted to this emotion or, depending on the case, to this confusion. That you have to be able to go quickly or slowly depending on the interlocutor. That we are all different and that a human has even greater adaptability. The advisor can sort it out, adjust his speech, even when he seems stuck in his straitjacket of preconceived scripts which sometimes and would pass himself off as a robot. But this is another debate …

AI, a factor in the valorization of work

Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence should ultimately be synonymous with the enhancement of humans and their work.

By placing the call center agent at the heart of the complexity and by relieving him of low added value tasks assumed by the bots, we not only reinforce the interest of his work but also the importance and the perceived value of his mission.

We can think more pragmatically that front office and level 1 customer services, devoted to the qualification of customer demand, will for their part, disappear in favor of intelligent conversational assistants.

But once the AI ​​limit has been reached, when the request turns out to be too complex, requires an in-depth examination of the customer’s file or special listening, the telephone advisor will take over by retrieving the elements that it has transmitted to him. .

It is thus possible to project even further, to see in the AI ​​not a replacement for the telephone advisor, but an extraordinary ally capable of making him a great advisor.

The “augmented advisor”, a real playground for AI

Artificial intelligence can be exploited in many ways to make the adviser more effective.

First, by sending it qualified and structured information by the bot upstream. Client name, file number, reason for the request … so many data immediately submitted to the advisor’s attention that will save him precious time and allow him to focus on the client’s problem without a tedious question and answer session. introduction.

But artificial intelligence can do much more to advise it. She can listen to the conversation and submit contextual, aggregated, categorized and relevant information in real time from a multitude of systems. It can also select the appropriate scripts and then direct it towards the famous “Next Best Action”. Of course, it will be necessary here to implement good ergonomics and anticipate the actions of the advisor without overwhelming him with pop-ups and a flood of information that would destroy the goal pursued.

Always in real time, it will be able to alert the supervisor if it detects a delicate situation between the client and the advisor, or simply a problem with the latter being supported.

Finally, AI’s ability to measure irritants or compliance gaps can be used in conversation analysis for quality monitoring and continuous improvement. It can take the place of the advisor to register in one or more systems, loyalty or other actions, relating to the conversation, which require subsequent intervention (customer call back, etc.).

An alliance that stands out as the future of Customer Relations

If the tendency to oppose human and robot is part of the popular imagination, the association of artificial intelligence and the call center agent is actually intended to increase the latter’s capacities and bring us into the era of customer relations. increased. In the end, everyone will emerge victorious, the AI ​​and its designers, the human and above all, the customers.

* Natural Language Understanding

À propos de l'auteur

No artificial intelligence does not sign the end of theLaurent Marcheras, Marketing and Customer Relationship Development Manager, Tessi documents services.

Linkedin: Laurent Marcheras

À propos deTessi documents services

Tessi documents services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tessi Group, is the business unit specializing in the optimization of customer relationship processes, business back-office and management of information and payment flows. The Tessi Group, with more than 8,200 people in Europe and a turnover of 426.6 million euros in 2017, deploys an extensive range of consulting, outsourced services and technological solutions to 2,500 customers to support their projects of digital transformation.
More information on
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