Artificial Intelligence is on the rise and yet, believe it or not, tomorrow’s contact centre will need more—not fewer—agents. Dave Hoekstra, Product Evangelist, at Calabrio explains why and shares their top tips to activate the agent of the future.
Research and consulting firm Gartner predicts that Conversational AI will reduce contact centre labour costs by $80 billion in 2026 and over the same period, one in 10 agent interactions (10%) will be automated, an increase from an estimated 1.6% of interactions today. Faced with this dramatic rise in AI-driven tech for customer service, you might expect the number of agents to decrease but therein lies an interesting paradox.
When Calabrio set out to explore the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) recently, the results were astounding. AI is going to impact customer service agents, but not in the way most people probably think. The response from 400 contact centre managers around the world is clear and reflects Calabrio’s own conversations with customers. While organizations are embracing automation and analytics to maximize their operations, AI won’t entirely replace agents. In fact, over two-thirds (70%) of respondents predict an increase in the number of agents over the next decade.
Changing Role of the Agent
The reason for this paradox is when technology removes a large portion of administrative tasks from humans, agents must adapt to embrace increasingly complex customer inquiries, becoming true brand guardians with the power to influence corporate perception, enhance loyalty and boost profits. As a result, agent skillsets are changing too. The majority (63%) of contact centre managers believe ‘critical thinking skills like problem-solving and troubleshooting’ and ‘adaptability and continuous learning’ (62%) are the most important proficiencies for agents to be successful in the future.
7 Ways to Bridge the Gap
However, contact centres have a long way to go to create their dream teams because many agents are not yet ready to meet the demands of an AI future. Nearly half of contact centre managers (45%) say agents currently do not have the right skillsets. Critical thinking and adaptability are most frequently identified as lacking and perhaps more worryingly, they are the first to fly out of the window when agents are stressed or disengaged. Here are a few quick-win ideas to bridge the gap:
About Ross Daniels:
Ross Daniels is Chief Marketing Officer at Calabrio.
The digital foundation of a customer-centric contact center, the Calabrio ONE suite helps enrich and understand human interactions, empowering your contact center as a brand guardian. We maximize agent performance, exceed customer expectations, and boost workforce efficiency using connected data, AI-fueled analytics, automated workforce management and personalized coaching. Only Calabrio ONE unites WFO, agent engagement and business intelligence solutions into a true-cloud, fully integrated suite that adapts to your business.
Published: Friday, November 17, 2023
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Geomant offers a fully managed recording service for those organisations who need to address compliance or quality management while working on Teams. The Service utilises Verint’s market leading recording technology and is hosted by Geomant in Microsoft Azure. Our managed service approach is unique in that it allows organisations to benefit from advanced recording features, all while being free from any technical infrastructure or maintenance requirements that come with a traditional on-premises set up.
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L&A provides vendor-independent consulting services to select, contract for, test, and implement contact center recording systems. The firm's consultants specialize in contact center I.T. and have several decades of experience each with all major and many smaller makers of phone and call recording systems.
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Enterprise recording management for storage, retrieval, playback, and monitoring communications throughout your contact center.
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