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UC Roundup: Windstream, Wildix 2021 UCC Trends Amid COVID-19

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…ML applications, chatbots and mobile messaging. That’s up from 15% in 2018.

Uiet's Anand Janefalkar

Uiet’s Anand Janefalkar

AI can make agents’ jobs easier, allowing more efficient triaging and allocation of resources. It also helps address customer needs across a range of channels and devices.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Janefalkar talks more about how contact centers can benefit from AI.

Channel Partners: Can you give some further examples of how AI has helped contact centers in tough times?

Anand Janefalkar: The pandemic added pressure to the contact center from both sides — increasing the volume of incoming interactions while also creating new challenges for agents transitioning to a work-from-home environment.  Taking on the role of virtual agent, AI has helped to deflect a meaningful percentage of incoming interactions and offsetting the agent’s workload, ultimately keeping hold times and SLAs in balance.

With agents and supervisors in separate office environments, and the technology gaps surrounding this change, the typical process for monitoring, coaching and training agents has also strained. By combining natural language processing and ML, AI has taken on the role of robo-supervisor, auditing 100% of interactions, allowing supervisors to focus on the most critical areas so the processes for continuous agent improvement and compliance monitoring can carry on uninterrupted.

AI is dramatically improving the customer experience and driving better business outcomes by leveraging historical data and even behavioral characteristics of the customer and the agent for more intelligent pairing. AI is predicting customer intent and ensuring customers are matched with a live or virtual agent best equipped to resolve their issue.

CP: What sorts of challenges does AI address in contact center?

AJ: Completing simple, non-cognitive tasks so agents, supervisors and administrators can focus on more complex needs. Using conversational AI, agents can help offload many of the incoming interactions and facilitate the self-service model.

Finding the underlying root cause of underperforming metrics may not always be apparent to the human eye. AI can be empowered to make dynamic changes to customer and agent workflows, interactive voice response (IVR) menus, capacity rules and queue assignments to optimize the customer journey and enable the contact center to more quickly react to unforeseen changes.

CP: Are an increasing number of businesses embracing AI in contact centers?

AJ: Adoption of AI solutions is steadily increasing. But the vast majority of inquiries still stop just short of adoption and implementation. There still exists some consumer hesitation as the return on these investments is still widely debated, even among the vendors themselves. Outside of the typical chatbot, the broader use cases are still being defined by the vendors and socialized with the market. More time is needed to socialize the technology, the use cases and most importantly the results. All of which is needed to establish consumer confidence in these solutions before driving more widespread adoption.

CP: Has AI become a competitive advantage in contact center? If so, how?

AJ: Absolutely. Agents can support more complex interactions. Supervisors can focus on the most critical areas for improvement. Customers achieve faster resolution to their issue. And businesses can more quickly adapt to customer requirements. It’s not just an advantage, it’s table stakes for any contact center trying to adapt to ever changing landscape.

CP: Do you have tips for successfully implementing and getting the most benefit from AI in the contact center?

AJ: First, be crystal clear about what specific problem you’re trying to solve. From there, set out to define what success will look like. And work with your vendors to build a plan to get there. AI can’t solve all problems and it often takes considerable ongoing investment. So be very thoughtful about how technology can be applied to move the needle for one particular problem at a time, rather than a broad sweeping makeover.

Lifesize Beefs up CxEngage CCaaS

Lifesize this week unveiled new features and integrations for its CxEngage CCaaS platform.

These enhancements allow contact center agents to be more effective in their work. That results in better omnichannel customer experiences.

New integrations include:

  • AutoReach, an intelligent dialer that helps sales or other outbound teams reach their customers sooner and more reliably.
  • Observe.AI, a combination of voice AI and ML that transcribes calls, creates opportunities to evaluate and coach agents, and condenses the quality assurance process.
  • Omilia, an AI-powered virtual assistant that focuses on customer care tasks.
  • Chat enhancements.

Andy Bird is director of product management for contact center solutions at Lifesize.

“New opportunities for partners will predominantly materialize through the newly announced integrations, as partners will have the chance to implement solutions from multiple leading vendors that work in harmony and compound results,” he said. “For example, Telarus is…

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