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Contact Centre Masterclass: How to Turn AI into ROI and loyal customers

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Advances in AI Automation through Conversational Artificial Intelligence are enabling companies to provide high quality customer service at scale while also helping call centres achieve significant cost savings.

But the AI topic has been around for years so how do you actually achieve the promise of Conversational AI in your contact centre today?

Join this session to learn about:

  • The top use cases for AI and how they will help you re-imagine your agent roles and customer experience
  • How to build your business case for AI to demonstrate the cost savings and growth that could be gained from investments
  • See a live demonstration of the leading tools for Self Service, Insights and real-time Agent Assist to serve your customers better than ever before.

To provide a more personalised experience during the session, spaces are limited.

Click Here To Register Today

WEBINAR REWIND: The future of AI in the contact centre

300 250 Stuart O'Brien

Don’t worry if you missed last week’s insightful webinar about the future of AI in the contact centre – You can now re-watch the entire session online.

The in-depth discussion saw Paul Lasserre (Global Segment Lead for Applied AI solutions, AWS) explore the maturity of AI in the CX space, the key barriers to AI adoption, and the top predictions for the future of AI in the contact centre.

Contact centres worldwide are adopting AI technology to reimagine the customer journey and empower agents to deliver faster, more accurate customer service. Yet despite 89% of CX professionals recognising the importance of leveraging AI in the contact centre, only 14% of organizations consider themselves “transformational” in employing AI to do the heavy lifting for their business.

The session explore the obstacles organizations face on their journey to AI maturity and how can these barriers be overcome as automation becomes a CX standard.

Click Here To Watch Again

WEBINAR: The future of AI in the contact centre

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 10 a.m. BST

Join talkdesk for a virtual discussion with Paul Lasserre (Global Segment Lead for Applied AI solutions, AWS) to explore the maturity of AI in the CX space, the key barriers to AI adoption, and the top predictions for the future of AI in the contact centre.

Contact centres worldwide are adopting AI technology to reimagine the customer journey and empower agents to deliver faster, more accurate customer service. Yet despite 89% of CX professionals recognising the importance of leveraging AI in the contact centre, only 14% of organizations consider themselves “transformational” in employing AI to do the heavy lifting for their business.

What are the obstacles organizations face on their journey to AI maturity? And how can these barriers be overcome as automation becomes a CX standard?

Sign up to explore how businesses are adopting AI and the top predictions for the future AI in the contact centre.

Click Here To Register

WEBINAR REWIND: How AI is delivering a new generation of CX Analytics

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Don’t worry if you missed TalkDesk’s recent webinar – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

Contact centres spend significant resources evaluating agent effectiveness and customer sentiment, but don’t always know if they are capturing the right data, creating the right KPIs and sharing the available analytics to allow them to improve agent and customer metrics. Has your approach to analytics been re-evaluated to take advantage of today’s cloud and AI technology?

In the webinar, Sheila McGee-Smith, President & Principal Analyst at McGee-Smith Analytics, LLC, and Rob Peterson, Head of CX Strategy at Talkdesk, pull back the curtain on the analytics “black box” and introduce a vision to measure technology as a leading indicator of exceptional CX and business outcomes.

Click Here To Watch Again

Talkdesk recognizes the importance of measuring and evaluating your KPIs, to make informed and strategic business decisions. The brand new 2021 Talkdesk KPI benchmarking report analyzes how contact center metrics changed during 2020 compared to 2019 and provides you with insightful tips on how to optimize your contact center and deliver superior CX. Download our KPI benchmarking report here.

Analyst Report: AI Helps Align Agent Performance with Customer Expectations

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By Abby Monaco, Senior Product Marketing Manager, NICE

Using AI capabilities to deliver agent guidance in real time, at the exact moment it’s needed, helps contact centres maximize agent performance, delight customers and reduce costs. That’s the finding of a report by Aberdeen, which surveyed more than 300 contact center leaders across industries around the world.

Aberdeen found that the No. 1 priority of contact centres, regardless of industry, is to improve the customer experience, followed by reducing service costs to drive operational efficiency.  In the report, “The ROI of Real-time Agent Guidance: How AI Helps Align Agent Performance with Customer Expectations,” Aberdeen Vice President and Principal Analyst Omer Minkara details opportunities for improvement for contact centres considering implementing AI.

Aberdeen defines contact center AI as encompassing:

  • Artificial intelligence: Automated reasoning and decision-making capabilities based on insights uncovered through machine learning algorithms.
  • Machine learning: Technology applications that learn by themselves by analysing a pattern of historical and recent data.
  • Prescriptive guidance: Tools used to analyze structured and unstructured historical data to make predictions and suggest decision options.
  • Predictive analytics: Tools to predict future behavior of customers.
  • Automation: Tools used to automate the execution of tasks such as customer routing, agent scheduling and quality assurance.

AI enables organizations to monitor and analyse 100% of customer interactions in real time and give agents the contextual guidance they need to turn the conversation around in the moment. Supervisors gain relevant and accurate insights that help boost their productivity and inform the one-on-one coaching and guidance they offer to agents. In fact, firms using AI report a 2.9% annual improvement in the amount of time supervisors spend helping agents, compared to a 0.1% worsening by contact centers without AI capabilities.

The benefits of AI in the contact center extend to customers as well. According to the report, contact centres leveraging AI capabilities like speech analytics, text analytics and journey analytics enjoy superior CX performance improvements that include:

  • A 10.5% increase in customer retention (compared to a 3.2% improvement for contact centers not using AI).
  • A 3.5x greater improvement in customer satisfaction (10.1% vs. 2.9%).
  • An 8.8% improvement in customer effort score (compared to 1.1%).

“Modern contact centers leverage AI capabilities to take quality assurance to the next level,” Minkara wrote. “Instead of periodic reviews and subsequent agent coaching and guidance, they use AI capabilities to review all interactions in real time – using the resulting insights to provide agents with real-time contextual guidance.”

“This helps shorten the time to make necessary improvements in agent skills and activities to address evolving client needs,” he added. “It also minimizes customer frustration and churn due to inefficiencies in service delivery activities.”

Minkara concluded the report with a strong recommendation that contact centers not currently using AI to boost agent productivity and performance consider doing so. AI models can learn from and be trained using an organization’s historical interaction data, enabling quick results. Read the full report here.

How Analytics Can Help You Deliver Superior Customer Service

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Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Manager, NICE

Consumers today expect world-class customer experiences, and delivering the fast, personalized service they demand requires that you build analytics into the core of your business. Analytics can deliver a competitive advantage by improving the quality of your interactions with customers, and with the contact centre the most vital point of contact between your company and your customers, that’s critically important.

Analytics encompasses far more than trends and insights, however; trends and numbers will get you nowhere unless your analytics program is driving the business outcomes you desire rather than simply identifying trends. Here’s what you need keep in mind to truly impact CX and CSAT:

Leverage the power of AI

AI technology has become the driving force behind innovation ranging from self-driving cars to e-commerce recommendations. In the contact center, the use of prebuilt AI technology for analytics has moved from a nice-to-have to an imperative due to its ability to transform customer service, both in terms of quality as well as efficiency. While machine learning examines and compares data to find patterns and explore nuances, AI takes it a step further, continually evolving in how it enables machines to behave in a way previously thought to require human intelligence.

In the contact center, that takes a variety of forms, including:

  • Autodiscovery, or the use of unsupervised machine learning to surface unknowns in interactions data, which makes it possible to focus deeper analysis on the topics that are most critical to your business.
  • Sentiment analysis, which is a proven predictive indicator of customer satisfaction such as tNPS or CSAT surveys.
  • AI behavior models, which score the agent soft-skill behaviors that influence the sentiment analysis on all interactions.

Move beyond speech analytics

Your agents’ interactions with customers are no longer limited to the phone; increasingly, customers are reaching out via chat, email, social media and more. If you really want to know what your customers are talking about, you must be analyzing interactions over all channels – text and audio.

An omnichannel approach that covers all channels of interactions enables you to analyze a variety of characteristics, including:

  • Speech time/non-speech time, or the presence and amount of speaking vs. silence in calls over a period of time. You can identify both the agents who have the highest speech or non-speech time as well as the reasons for call silence.
  • Agent response time in a chat, or how long it takes the agent to respond to a chat request.
  • Customer sentiment on social channels, including through text, hashtags and more.

Focus on outcomes, not data collection

When implemented in a way that drives outcomes rather than simply outlining trends, analytics offers tremendous potential to improve CX and CSAT, as one financial services provider found. After implementing an analytics program across its contact center, the provider discovered that agents were missing information, leading to long hold times. By training agents better, the provider was able to:

  • Decrease hold times.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Save more than $540,000 annually.

Keep evolving

If there’s one constant today, it’s that change is ongoing. Your sales and service models aren’t static, so your analytics program shouldn’t be either. Your business — and the language your agents and customers use when speaking about your unique environment, products and services – will naturally evolve, and your analytics program must be able to adapt in response.

To learn more about how analytics can give you the tools you need to drive the outcomes your business desires and the service your customers demand, download the ebook, AI-Enabled Contact Center Analytics For Dummies 

Integration with existing business tools, the biggest blocker to improving Call Centre Operations

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By Frédéric Durand (pictured), Founder & CEO Diabolocom

In a live survey being run by Diabolocom, 67% of respondents have shared that the biggest barrier they for-see in 2021 to improving call centre operations is the need to integrate with existing business tools. When asked about their organisations planned investments for 2021, 80% indicated that they would be expanding video-conferencing capability and a further 63% would be exploring the integration of AI into their platforms.

So, in a world of cloud and AI, why is integrating with existing business tools perceived to be the biggest barrier for organisations? The answer is complex, many organisations have legacy enterprise tools that require weeks of development time to make changes. API’s have been added, bespoke work-arounds created and development coded into their systems. In some cases, organisations may have not or are not able to migrate to cloud systems as of today, and others do not want the disruptive change to their businesses. Underneath the shiny websites though, organisations can have complex and cumbersome IT ecosystems that can make technology improvements difficult to implement.

With all this being said, organisations must evolve to survive and thrive. A post Covid-19 world is the test case to prove this statement. Throughout 2020, organisations have had to turn into an almost fully remote workforce, with the demand for technology that can support this fundamental shift in ways of working increasing ten-fold. Customer behaviours have also changed. When budgets are tight, pressure to deliver greater than ever, and in an always digitally on mindset, it can be argued that customer communication and the tools required to support this needs to change also.

How then, can contact centre operatives pivot and thrive in this rapidly changing environment? The answer – a flexible and tailorable platform that is already set up to integrate rapidly with existing tools such as your CRM, can be accessed from anywhere, regardless of where in the world your workforce is, and has a simple and intuitive user interface that ensures the enhanced value to your operations almost immediately.

The argument for a platform such as Diabolocom is compelling for improving contact centre operations. A completely omni-channel platform that integrates seamlessly with existing business tools and can be deployed rapidly through the cloud overcomes many challenges to improving operational excellence. With built in integrations with the likes of Zendesk, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and ServiceNow, the platform provides your agents with all of the information they need to continue thriving in a new contact centre world. Multi-channel and flexible to your needs, your agents and customers can communicate in more than ways than ever before, all captured and recorded using your existing CRM.

To feed into the live survey and share your insights into the contact centre industry, follow the link here:

To find out more about Diabolocom and why it might be the right tool for you to overcome barriers to operational success, visit

How real-time feedback helps drive lasting change

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By Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Portfolio Manager, Enterprise WFO

How to give people feedback, according to Harvard Business Review, is one of the hottest topics in business today. A key problem with feedback, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall wrote, is that people are “unreliable raters of other humans.”

“This phenomenon is called the idiosyncratic rater effect, and it’s large (more than half of your rating of someone else reflects your characteristics, not hers) and resilient (no training can lessen it),” Buckingham and Goodall asserted.

Human listening is neither consistent nor cost-effective – two people evaluating the same call often disagree whether the agent showed empathy, for example. In the end, agents don’t trust the process because they’re being measured based on a handful of calls each month, and supervisors don’t trust the process because it puts them in the difficult situation of justifying their assessment of the calls.

To overcome this challenge, contact centers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to give agents immediate and accurate feedback. A comprehensive AI framework can provide a consistent, accurate and unbiased score of the agent soft skill behaviors proven through decades of research to drive customer satisfaction – on every single interaction.

AI contact center technology can deliver behavioral insights that reside in the so-called “big data,” where pre-built models have been developed based on millions of hours of customer interactions. AI is delivering dividends, too: A recent survey by Aberdeen Research found that contact centers using AI are enjoying 3.3 times higher customer retention, 3.5 times more satisfied customers and 2.4 times higher agent productivity.

By adding real-time interaction guidance, agents get immediate feedback on how to change the conversation when a customer is expressing frustration. That’s important because while contact centers invest a lot of time and resources into coaching agents to improve behavior, agents often struggle during interactions to retain, recall and apply skills learned in coaching sessions. In fact, research shows that people forget about 50% of the new information they receive in training sessions within an hour. A day later, they’ve forgotten 70% of the material, and one week later, they’ve forgotten on average fully 90% of the coaching.

With real-time interaction guidance, agents receive desktop prompts and specific recommendations, such as how to build rapport or acknowledge loyalty, to have a more engaging conversation. Real-time interaction guidance enables agents to self-correct in the moment and reinforces skills they have already learned in a coaching session.

“Feedback is most meaningful in the moment,” Shani Harmon and Renee Cullinan wrote in Forbes.  “Feedback loops are critical for individual and organizational learning. Without them, we cannot improve.”

Learn more about how contact centers are using AI-powered real-time guidance to help agents while an interaction is in progress, giving them the feedback and coaching

Why 2020 will mark the death of the chatbot (as you know it)

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Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO at Content Guru, explains how the convergence of written and verbal chatbot functionality will bring about an entirely new Conversational User Interface (CUI)…

It’s no secret that 2020 has been an unusual year for customer communication. With international lockdowns limiting person-to-person interactions, many companies have turned to digital channels to continue relationships with their customers. Automation, and the trusty chatbot, have proved invaluable to many companies attempting to field the vast amount of customer queries caused by pandemic-induced uncertainty.

However, increased social isolation has put a premium on human interactions. Businesses that can deliver a joined-up customer journey, where the speed and convenience of automated customer service meets on-demand agent attention, will find themselves profiting from increased customer loyalty in the coming recession

Chatbots are dead. Long live chatbots

Most of us have had the misfortune of interacting with a badly configured chatbot. Whether to return faulty clothes or complain about an incorrect phone bill, we are often left feeling even more frustrated than we were beforehand.

Many businesses viewed these chatbots as a cheap panacea to all customer service problems but, in reality, this idea never came to fruition. In the last year or so, businesses should have realised that the idea of the chatbot as a magical one-size-fits-all solution, is dead.

So, the notion of the all-providing IM chatbot that was once hailed as the answer to all our customer service automation needs, is dead. However, the technology is not gone for good. In fact, the chatbot we will soon come to know is just being born.

The very fabric of the chatbot is evolving alongside the advancements in cloud, AI, and voice technologies to become a valuable part of every wider omni-channel portfolio. The convergence of written and spoken chatbot functionalities should, and likely will, be the driving force behind the rebirth of a new CUI, built on the foundations the humble chatbot began.

The resurgence of voice 

According to recent research, only 9 percent of customers felt that they would be best served by a chatbot for serious enquiries, whereas the figures for a voice call were in excess of 80 percent. But with 80 percent of contact centers wanting to adopt chatbot technology by 2020, what is does this industry know that we don’t?

Well, they are seeing the bright and not-so-distant future of this technology, and it doesn’t look like a thing like your average chatbot. The resurgence of voice-led interactions, driven by home assistants such as Alexa, and the fact that customers still overwhelmingly prefer to speak to another human for important queries, is ushering in a new Golden Age of Voice. This has led to a growing maturity in the consumer base that sees the chatbot becoming a valuable channel led by the latest, cutting-edge voice technology.

A branch of AI called Natural Language Processing (NLP) is one of the most recent developments that is pushing the chatbot to become more than it once was. With 2020 set to be the year that Natural Language Processing (NLP) goes mainstream in contact centres, the new CUI chatbot will benefit from the rich insights produced by this tool.

A necessary evolution

The chatbot has often been defined as just an online text-based engagement portal, but with NLP cementing itself in the last year or so as a tool that opens up unprecedented insight into voice data, especially in customer journey analytics, the chatbot should be the next to follow suit.

Yesterday’s humble V1.0 chatbot will evolve alongside these technological advancements in voice. By building on the chatbot in this way, it stops becoming a one-stop-shop of automated responses, and instead becomes the shop-front to an intelligent customer engagement hub.

In practice this simply means that those customers with more complex enquiries can be transferred to a human agent, and those with simple queries can save time by utilising the CUI alone. All using an automated CUI powered by NLP and sentiment tracking.

Sentiment is king

With NLP, by the time the agent answers a customer they know exactly what their issue is, since the call has already been categorised. Queries can be resolved faster and more accurately, since the agent is more prepared and won’t have to spend time searching for answers in real-time during the call.

There is now a big rush to roll out NLP everywhere, in all sectors. It is set to be a gamechanger in the contact centre industry, since it is manifestly more efficient than a traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and supports agent activity.

Advancements in sentiment analysis will be the next big step for NLP and will continue to pave the way for monumental changes to the chatbot in 2020. This is where a sophisticated mix of keywords, tone of voice, and volume create a much deeper picture of the caller and their needs for the agent. With this information, businesses can ensure that each caller is routed to the agent or department best equipped to deal with their enquiry.

For example, if sentiment analysis during a chatbot interaction detects a customer who is distressed, the call can be routed to an agent who is experienced or trained in handling these types of conversation. This streamlines processes and ensures customers are always served by the most suitable person.

The chatbot in 2020 and beyond

So, while the chatbot as we know it is not destined to take over the world of contact centers, the future of the chatbot is far from doomed. Instead, 2020 is an exciting time for the latest evolution of this cog in the wider machine of all successful customer engagement hubs.

These changes will ultimately lay the foundations for a future where, as a consumer, it will be extremely difficult — if not impossible — to tell the difference between human and chatbot. Advances in sentiment tracking, NLP and machine learning will all drive the chatbot to become the ultimate customer service assistant.

Revolutionise your contact centre with next generation chatbot functionality:

WEBINAR REWIND: 3-Step Guide To Scaling Your Business Using AI

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Don’t worry if you missed KantanMT’s recent webinar giving insight into scaling your business using AI – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

One of the most significant challenges, faced by the contact centres industry is on-boarding new territories and customers. Many contact centre managers will way say it takes too long, it’s expensive, and complex. And if the on-boarding process includes a multi-lingual dimension, then hiring agents with product expertise coupled with language skills can be a nightmare. Combined with increased costs associated with multilingual agent resourcing and rostering, it’s no wonder contact centre managers view it as a significant challenge in scaling their business!

Many contact centre managers are looking towards AI as a solution to help them rapidly scale their business and on-board new clients. This is especially prevalent in the context of providing multi-lingual support and services. These progressive contact centres are shifting the hiring focus away from languages with an emphasis on agent product/service knowledge and expertise.

In the webinar Jim Nolan, AI Evangelist, presents a 3-Step Guide to how AI is used by 1,500 agents at Keywords Studios, for the Gaming and Entertainment industry, delivering support in 12 European and Asian languages. The presentation explores how KantanSkynet is used to remove the language barrier, shifting the hiring focus away from language skills and driving the rapid on-boarding of new territories and clients.

Click here to re-watch the webinar.

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