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What’s Your Strategy for AI in the Contact Center?

If you’re going to be an AI expert, you need to know all the acronyms, so I’ll share this one, courtesy of Dan Miller of Opus Research: DIH

That stands for “Deer in Headlights,” and it’s a condition that Miller has found afflicting many enterprise IT folks as they confront the oncoming reality of AI, particularly generative AI (GenAI), in the year since ChatGPT was released. The technology—and the hype around it—has left enterprises unsure where to start and how to proceed as they try to determine how GenAI can best be deployed to help their business, particularly in the contact center.

So how do you keep from being roadkill venison in the GenAI world of late 2023 and early 2024? In a webinar last week presented by No Jitter and our sibling website AI Business, Miller was joined by his Opus Research colleague Derek Top, along with Elizabeth Tobey, head of marketing, digital and AI at NICE and Jessica Smith, director of CCaaS product marketing at 8x8, to discuss ways enterprises should plan on getting started with AI in their contact centers (NICE and 8x8 co-sponsored the webinar).

The quick win, all agreed, is call summarization, presenting an agent with an AI-generated wrap-up that the agent can simply edit and correct as needed. This reduces time on post-call work, translating into real savings.

From there, the panel also encouraged enterprises to look to their IVR models, finding ways to improve this stage of the interaction without taking the ultimate step of allowing customers to interact with a Large Language Model (LLM)-driven chatbot. For example, Top noted that, “There are leaps and bounds that GenAI can help with dialogue design,” saving developer time and resources.

As you create your broader GenAI strategy, Tobey said it’s important to build a cross-functional team of technology, business, and contact center stakeholders. The discovery process should be both quantitative and qualitative: “There is a lot of data that sits with agents and supervisors that may be extremely powerful,” she observed. At the same time, you need to talk to agents and managers: “Where are folks struggling? Where are folks succeeding?”

Enterprises also need to get their arms around the data that GenAI-driven systems will leverage, which includes knowledge bases, knowledge management systems, and all the systems that handle customer data, like CRM. “AI is only going to be as powerful and useful as that underlying data,” Smith said.

These are just some of the factors you’ll need to consider as you build and refine your own enterprise’s strategy for using GenAI in your contact center. For a deeper dive, I hope you’ll consider attending Enterprise Connect 2024. We created the EC24 conference program knowing that AI would be a major element of our contact center programming, and I’m excited about what we’ll be providing our attendees. Within our CX/Contact Center track, we’ll feature acase study sessionwith Michael Altieri, service delivery manager at Medtronic, who will describe how the medical device manufacturer is using conversational and generative AI to deliver omni-channel services.

Here are some of the other AI-focused sessions from our CX/Contact Center track:

In addition, Miller and Top of Opus will lead two panels of enterprise executives in sessions within our AI & Automation track, offering aReality Check: How Not to Fall Behind in AI and a look at Conversational Intelligence: How Domain-Specific LMs Should Inform Your Intelligent Assistants.

GenAI is moving into the contact center, and your enterprise needs to be ready. The Enterprise Connect 2024 program offers you tons of opportunities to learn about and discuss AI strategy. I hope you’ll be able to join us in Orlando the week of March 25 to partake in these important strategic conversations.