The recent global pandemic elevated digital interactions and contact centers in particular to the forefront of worldwide commerce. Shopping malls emptied and contact center interactions soared to new levels, comprising a greater portion of customer engagement than ever before. The at-home agent population expanded to where an estimated 75% of call center agents across the globe are working remotely. With these new realities firmly in place, the need for intelligence infused into the contact center value chain is happening now.
The Latin phrase “scientia potentia” is better known as “knowledge is power.” The notion is that by gaining knowledge, a person can overcome mental and physical limitations and at times, a superior adversary to achieve success. In competitive terms, the more insight available, the better the odds that success can be accomplished . Companies have consistently built competitive teams to better understand and apply strategies to overcome market headwinds and increase win-rates.
Knowledge is only powerful when insights are turned into action, which activates the power behind the knowledge. Today, artificial intelligence (AI) captures vast amount of data, and that data is stored as information – but the bridge from information to knowledge is often missing. In human terms, understanding and learning from experience and the mistakes of others, builds essential knowledge for future engagements. AI accelerates this process via machine learning (ML).
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As an example, a major retailer selling cosmetic products calls out special days for employees’ to highlight and promote specific labels. This same retailer rates each store and employees on the highly touted Net Promoter Score (NPS). Managers are rewarded on NPS and employees are well aware of what a 9 or 10 NPS rating means. A recent promotion of a well-known label underscores a no-win situation. The sales associate is asked to sell a product at a price up to 60% higher than a major big box retailer and 30% higher than local grocery stores. A study shows 80% of respondents said they would do an online comparison of products – some before and others after making a purchase. If the sales associate makes the sale and the customer compares the price later on, how will that reflect on NPS and customer satisfaction?
Contact centers can be the richest source of information on any customer journey. I recall once telling a CEO if they wanted to know what is going on in their business, putting a headset on and spending an hour in their contact center would be their fastest path to insight. And yes, contact centers are getting smarter – both by necessity and by design. Necessity by being now at the end of complex customer journeys, putting pressure on the contact center to perform to much higher standards than ever. By design through the advent of the practical application of AI, freeing agents up to work with the most critical customer exceptions and finally, delivering low-effort self-service to customers.
The contact center’s elevated enterprise profile and its position often at the end of complex journeys, have caused the realization that customer sentiment along all enterprise touchpoints is now critical to successful customer experiences. At Cisco, we’ve anticipated this paradigm shift and introduced Webex Experience Management. This solution captures real-time customer sentiment via integrating into seventeen touchpoints that may be present in any customer journey. These “listening posts” allow an organization to deliver this sentiment directly to contact center agents. Sentiment savvy agents are the next step in the intelligent contact center – and Cisco is leading the way.
The Safe at the Office, Productive Anywhere series highlights new AI-driven experiences that enhance the remote experience & provide a safe return to the office