Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have become an increasingly common tool for contact centres and other businesses to leverage in their operations in recent years. According to Deloitte, the AI ‘early adopter’ phase is ending as the market moves more into the ‘early majority’ space, driven by the technology maturing.1
However, while AI technologies are intuitive and provide many benefits to contact centres, business leaders must strategically plan and optimise their integrations to truly realise the full extent of their AI capabilities, according to NICE.
Rod Lester, managing director ANZ, NICE, said, “Digital transformation presents extensive opportunities for contact centres to leverage AI and reap the benefits. However, not all opportunities are created equal, and some will provide more benefits than others. It’s essential that contact centre leaders can identify the most valuable ways to leverage AI across their operations to capitalise on the benefits of these technologies.”
By following a roadmap towards digital transformation with the support of AI, contact centre leaders can maximise the benefits from AI integrations, strengthen business operations, and provide a better foundation for business continuity. Companies can use a seven-step process to optimise their AI deployments:
1. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis
The first step in a digital transformation journey is conducting a cost-benefit analysis of potential tools and technologies. Not all contact centres will experience the same benefits from AI, so it’s essential that business leaders conduct a cost-benefit analysis to understand their company’s unique positioning and how they may benefit from AI deployments.
2. Align IT with business needs
To truly realise the benefits of AI deployments, business leaders must align their IT departments with business objectives. This ensures the IT team understands areas of the business that need enhancement and focus and can help to identify AI and other technologies to facilitate success in these areas.
Data is essential for contact centres in terms of managing and optimising customer experience (CX). While it’s not the IT department’s responsibility to manage data integration and analysis, aligning IT with business objectives ensures the IT team can understand where there is potential to leverage AI capabilities for better results and insights.
3. Assess and ensure compliance and data security
Good data security and compliance is essential. Understanding how AI will be used across the organisation will inform the type of data that needs to be collected, and what regulations may impact on its collection and use.
4. Identify opportunities for AI enhancement
Conducting a cost-benefit analysis provides an opportunity for contact centre leaders to understand what the end goal is by implementing AI. At this stage, business leaders must also consider what areas should have AI capabilities integrated to help achieve those objectives to subsequently realise the benefits.
5. Integrate education and training
AI capabilities can be used to enhance the agent experience, rather than replace human agents in contact centres. However, agents will require education and training on how best to use AI technologies to empower them to fully realise the benefits.
AI solutions can be leveraged to provide real-time guidance and feedback to agents, essentially acting as a digital twin on calls. However, agents will require training and education on how to leverage AI during customer interactions. Additionally, AI capabilities can be leveraged to improve and build on training programs to ensure agents always have access to the most up-to-date training information.
6. Regularly assess AI activities
AI can provide many benefits to businesses, though it’s essential to have a clear benchmark to assess against to ensure these are still meeting business needs and requirements. Contact centres must develop relevant benchmarks to regularly assess AI-enabled activities.
7. Regularly assess AI for enhancements or adjustments
AI technologies leverage machine learning among other things to improve performance and optimise contact centres for streamlined efficiencies. However, these capabilities can adjust and change over time. It’s essential to regularly assess AI tools to ensure they are still operating correctly and to help identify any changes that need to be made.