Generative AI technology, like ChatGPT, should be your next contact center investment.
“If you genuinely want to put customers first, you must put employees more first,” says Hal Rosenbluth, author of The Customer Comes Second. It’s a bold claim, but the data backs it up—there’s a strong correlation between employee morale and customers satisfaction.
But employee morale doesn’t come from foosball tables and free bagels. Improving the Agent Experience (AX) means empowering customer service agents to be successful with the right tools and training, and appreciating them for the work they do. That’s not easy on the limited budgets of contact centers and customer support teams, but it’s essential for delivering good customer service—and attracting and retaining top talent. Get those fundamentals right and then you can bring out the bagels.
The most exciting new technology to empower agents is Generative AI. Forget the hype about AI replacing humans—the first wave of innovation is using artificial intelligence to augment humans. Leverage the technology to replace the mundane, repetitive tasks so the humans can focus on what humans are best at—empathy and problem solving.
Generative AI gained a lot of attention after the popularity explosion of ChatGPT in the last half of 2022. But most people haven’t thought past using it to generate blog articles and improve chatbots.
The Power of Generative AI
Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can generate new content. It can write emails, create graphics, and even compose music. And it can help agents deliver better customer service while reducing operational costs in contact centers.
One of my favorite contact center AI use cases is reducing complex After-Call Work (ACW). Imagine a contact center that supports the caregivers of people with a chronic disease. A caregiver calls and discusses a treatment plan with a clinician. After the call is completed, the clinician performs their ACW—documenting the call and treatment plan, and sending the caregiver an email containing the instructions they discussed. The ACW in this scenario typically takes as long as the call itself.
Now imagine if artificial intelligence transcribed the call, generated the documentation, and drafted an email to the caregiver. All the clinician needs to do is review, edit, and approve the generated output—reducing ACW time by as much as 90%.
This isn’t science fiction—it’s happening now. The clinician spends less time documenting and composing emails and more time helping people in distressing situations. That’s a win for everyone.
How to Implement Generative AI
Implementing Generative AI is like any other technology—always start with the problem you’re trying to solve or the opportunity you’re trying to purse.
- Identify the Pain Points: Talk to your agents. Find out what challenges they face and how AI could help. Remember, AI is a tool to empower your agents, not replace them.
- Choose the Right AI: Not all AI is created equal. Look for a solution that is designed for customer service and can integrate with your existing systems. Also consider the data usage and privacy implications before exposing personal information or trade secrets into a public model like ChatGPT.
- Train Your Agents: Implementing AI is not just about installing new software. It’s about changing the way your agents work. Make sure they have the training and support they need to make the most of the new tools. Generative AI can’t read minds—it’s only as good as the prompts it’s given.
- Monitor and Adjust: Like any new initiative, it’s important to monitor the results and make adjustments as needed. Keep an open line of communication with your agents and be ready to tweak the system to better meet their needs.
AX is the True North
Don’t forget that improving the agent experience—and ultimately the customer experience—is the why behind the generative AI investment.
Use this technology to reduce stress and prevent burnout. This not only improves the agent experience but can also lead to lower turnover rates, saving companies the time and cost associated with hiring and training new agents. Use AI to augment your workforce—creating a more positive work environment that benefits agents, customers, and the company.
While there is tremendous potential to reduce operational costs, don’t do so at the expense of your customer and agent experience. That’s a short-term play. Focus on the true north—putting your customers first and your agents more first. The financial results will follow.
This article was created as part of the Vistio Knowledge Collective.