John Pisarek Talks Artificial Intelligence


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As organizations plan their customer strategies they foresee an onslaught of customer interactions coming their way. The fallacy of believing that adding self-service options will decrease customer requests is now known. When your organization opens channels for customer to interact with you, even with self-service options, customers will interact with you more. This engagement is a good thing. But the only way to handle all of your volume – in an effective manner without adding more staff – is by leveraging Artificial Intelligence.

Listening to John Pisarek  of Interactions at Call Center Week Winter the scenario of about projecting more customer interaction volume and not getting additional staff to handle it is a common reality for many contact center leaders.

And it’s a worry and issue across the industry. In the 2016 Global Contact Center Benchmark Report by Dimension Data 67.8% of contact center leaders project an increase in overall interaction volume. How many of those 67.8% do you think have been provided an increase in staffing in order to handle that increased volume?

Even though a lot of that increased volume is coming via digital channels, an increase in staffing levels in often needed to handle customer interactions that opt into different channels whether it’s another digital channel or voice channel.

This is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) could greatly assist in this common dilemma. But not all AI is built alike. Learning and understanding your needs is the best way to determine the solution you seek.

Watch John Pisarek of Interactions talk Artificial Intelligence at Call Center Week Winter with Jim Rembach Click to Tweet

What Interactions Does

Interactions is a leading provider of speech and natural language technology that enables businesses and consumers to engage in productive conversations. With flexible products and solutions designed to meet the growing demand for unified, multichannel customer care, Interactions is delivering significant cost savings and unprecedented customer experience for some of the largest brands in the world. Founded in 2004, Interactions is headquartered in Franklin, Massachusetts with additional offices in Indiana, Texas, New Jersey and New York. Source:

You don’t need any agents

Total disruption and massive job losses are headed for the contact center industry. The robo agent will take over customer service and the call center agent will be a relic from the past just like rotary dial telephone.

That’s a bunch of foolishness, don’t fall victim to that type of hysteria. What will happen as we continue with advances in AI and natural language capabilities is a shifting in the work conducted by agents.

As the lower level requests are handled by better technology the more complex requests will make their way to the live agent queue. A Frost & Sullivan study claims that by 2022 the number of high-skilled outsourcing jobs could almost double. You can probably expect the same for non-outsourced agent jobs.

The global economy continues to grow. As economies grow there is most often and increase in the need for jobs. Global growth in in 2017 is projected to rise to 2.7 percent according to World Bank. And the world population is on the rise. More people – more (customer) service required.

What’s the quality of your AI?

As we see this shift in the work of the contact center agent, we should also see a shift in the work of quality assurance. What types of channels do you support?:

  • Voice
  • Chat
  • SMS
  • IVR
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Mobile Applications
  • Kiosks
  • Video Chat

What else? Are you measuring quality in each of these channels? We know that customers may opt out into your agent assisted channel from another channel. But you can’t just measure the quality of the voice interaction and expect improvements in the customer experience.

It’s actually an unjust burden to put on agents to only quality monitor their interactions. Agent assisted or not, the quality in each channel is vital to understand your risk of losing a customer and controlling your costs.

Visibility into the quality of your Artificial Intelligence solutions (as well as your other channels) must be part of your strategic planning process. If it’s not your expected savings in staffing won’t be real either.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Rembach
Jim Rembach is recognized as a Top 50 Thought Leader and CX Influencer. He's a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner and host of the Fast Leader Show podcast and president of Call Center Coach, the world's only virtual blended learning academy for contact center supervisors and emerging supervisors. He’s a founding member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association’s CX Expert Panel, Advisory Board Member for Customer Value Creation International (CVCI), and Advisory Board Member for CX University.


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