AI is redefining the customer experience and organizations are investing in implementations that support deeper uses for AI and NLP to enhance customer service and reduce costs. There are three key factors to consider when planning for AI that will impact your contact center; knowing how to leverage your data, how to best understand your customer’s needs, and how to maximize them together to make the most impact.

Smart experiences start with data

AI technology provides an avenue for organizations to leverage their full bank of customer data from call detail records, to account history, transactions, voice recordings, and support tickets, creating opportunities to better serve customers both effectively and efficiently. This information is often housed across departments in varying systems with limited access across teams. This siloed approach complicates automation and limits the business’ ability to create actionable insights from this gold mine of customer information.

Most contact centers today attempt automation leveraging simple if/then/else rules with available data. All too often these rules are too broad, lack the ability to dynamically personalize interactions, and generally end up being effective for the minority while the majority of customers suffer. AI assists you in accessing and understanding data, regardless of where and how it’s stored, to deliver insights that truly affect every customer interaction for the positive.

To deliver a good experience you must understand your customer

With every interaction, there are generally four elements that together create a complete view of your customer’s needs: intent, entity, emotion, and context.

Intent: What is the customer contacting you about?

Entity: What system or data is required to be accessed to fulfill the customer request. system.

Emotion: AI has the ability to understand the tonality of the customer’s voice and predict emotion.

Context: Information about the customer from profile or account information creates an understanding of who a customer is as well as their preferred means of interaction.

Example: I’m frustrated (emotion), I have not been able to log into (intent) my account online to verify my account balance (entity)

With these inputs the virtual agent has a 360 view of the customer before they interact, providing context and suggested next best action, whether it be a self-service interaction or quickly routing them to a live agent—creating the best possible experience.

Intelligent decision-making is a result of data + understanding

AI has the ability to pull data together and identify the next best actions in seconds and in ways humans could never fully accomplish. AI in the contact center assists to better understand patterns of behavior which then, matched with data, predicts outcomes, and offers proactive responses.

AI understands natural, human inputs across a multitude of channels to gather full picture detail (intent, emotion, entity, context), making it easier for automated systems and contact center agents to assist customers in the most personalized way possible. Through combined data and understanding, AI is transforming every aspect of customer interaction and how the contact center is able to respond. AI-powered decisioning effects every aspect of the customer experience and those that work to deliver it including both virtual and live agents.

By implementing best practices for conversational AI, you’ll enable your contact center to increase sales, decrease time to resolution, and provide the best customer experiences possible. The balance of human interaction with data creates an enhanced experience for customers and agents, enabling a more conversationally relevant interaction every time fueling customer loyalty and delivering increased business results.