Wednesday, March 20, 2024

How AI is Helping to Improve Call Centers

By: John Shepler

All of us have been frustrated when making calls to customer service… and it seems to be getting worse. High costs and labor shortages serve to dishearten the poor customer hanging on the phone for hours and, also, the companies who desperately need to provide a favorable experience to keep their customers and attract new ones. Tech correspondent David Pogue discusses this situation and possible solutions in this CBS News report:

Did you catch that the likely solution going forward is a combination of traditional call center agents and new artificial intelligence software. The example in the story is called Grace. Here’s a more detailed look at how Grace works as a stand-alone agent:

Of course, even the most advanced AI agents come to a screeching halt when confronted by unique or complex situations. That’s where the best solution is to transfer immediately to a trained human agent. Some of the best agents are located in countries outside the United States and English is not their first language. Many US customers are put off by interacting with an agent with a heavy foreign accent, even though this agent has excellent technical skills. A new AI tool that can help is from a company called Sanas. The software works to change the speaker’s accent without otherwise affecting the conversation. You can try it out online and compare how actual call center agents sound with and without the AI support.

Behind the Scenes
Not all AI tools directly interact with customers. More mundane, yet important, applications include optimizing networks to get the best performance. SD-WAN is a simple system that combines multiple Internet or direct line connections and continuously chooses what traffic to direct down what path. Highly sensitive functions like VoIP phone calls and teleconferences get highest priority on for the lowest latency paths. Less sensitive operations, like remote backups, get lower priority and lesser performing paths.

AI software is also valuable for intelligently routing calls to ensure that they go to the next available person that can properly handle them and to track down key players regardless of whether they are at their desks or on the move.

Do you have communications issues that might be helped with newer or better technical solutions? Things are changing rapidly. Get support and find out what telecom solutions can really benefit your company.

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