|Cognitive Telephone Call Routing Engine
In the contact center business, today’s staid technology is going to put you at a competitive disadvantage. Contact centers of all sizes should be looking at methods of deploying a cognitive routing engine (CRE) based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
In the news, over the past years, there have been several examples of machine learning/AI. IBM developed a chess-playing computer called Deep Blue. In 1997 Deep Blue learned enough to beat a chess master.(Watch a short video here) In 2011, you may have seen IBM Watson beat the Jeopardy champions. (Here is a short clip) More recently, on October 18, 2017, AI beat the champions of the most complicated game man plays – Go. (Click here to read a short article) All these technologies/games are examples of artificial intelligence or the ability of computers to learn through experience.
Let’s consider what machine learning could do for your business’s contact center. Imagine a premium customer has called into your business. First, AI would determine who among your existing customers are considered premium. This would be handled by AI’s ability to calculate a customer’s lifetime value. A cognitive routing engine would then use this information in order to route inbound calls to a standard or priority queue. Now that the premium caller has been identified the CRE would either route the call to their preferred agent or should that agent be on a call, notify the agent that the customer calling is “premium” and when do you think you will be finished with the current call? The communication would happen via Chat from the CRE to the agent. Once this information was relayed to the agent, the agent could “Chat” back that they would like to take the call, but are currently assisting another caller and should be available in about 30 seconds. The CRE would then speak the “Chat” to the caller where the caller would normally hear “Thank you for calling, your business is very important to us”. The caller could choose to hold, to be routed to another agent or to have the preferred agent call back once available.
Imagine a contact center with skills-based routing that automatically adjusts routing as an agent grows in experience, providing more, but not too many calls. Imagine a CRE that schedules start times, breaks and vacation times all while meeting your service level. Imagine giving bonuses to your agents based on the calls taken during the day – not only based on call volume and talk time, but also based on call quality with a virtual supervisor monitoring each call for quality, customer experience or “up sales”.
Imagine a utility company that knows in advance that a customer is calling due to a power outage. The CRE would take into account previous repair history, the severity of the storm, and available crews. The CRE would not only log the trouble ticket but also keep the customer updated throughout the outage using Text Messaging.
These are but a few changes that are coming to the contact center business. Improving customer experience goes way beyond the oftentimes-postulated AI Chat Bot. Whether you write code for contact centers or utilize contact center software, you don’t need to imagine, you can deploy this technology today.
As technology changes so must I. I am now working with Soothsayer Analytics based in Livonia, Michigan. If you are interested in exploring AI to improve your customer’s experience please give me a call or send me an email. Please note new email address and phone number below.
AI Strategist/Telecom Ambassador