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The growing role of AI in the modern contact center

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Insights from analytics

Analytics is a key component of today’s call center functioning. “Most customers monitor five critical metrics,”
said Close. “These are abandonment rate, which is the percent of people who hang up between the end of the IVR [interactive voice response] portion of the call and the beginning of the conversation with the agent; average time for the agent to answer once the phone rings; hold time; talk time; and service level, which is the percent of calls answered within a defined time. First call resolution is another one—and is often considered the holy grail.” These metrics are indicators of responsiveness within the contact center and are highly correlated with customer satisfaction.

Talkdesk is a cloud-native contact center platform that uses the same interface no matter where the agent is working; 85% of Talkdesk users work from home. “The on-premise legacy systems of 20 years ago cannot meet modern requirements,” said Close. “We invest 50% of our profits in R&D and innovation. We had a plan in place to introduce 20 new products in the first 20 weeks of 2020, and when the pandemic hit, we adjusted the lineup to focus on business continuity.” The launches targeted six areas of innovation: customer self-service, proactive engagement, digital transformation, enterprise collaboration, employee engagement, and customization.

With respect to analytics, advanced companies are moving from operational metrics to asking why a certain outcome occurred. “Initially, they may have been asking questions about how well they perform in terms of response rate or customer satisfaction, but over the last year we saw an evolution,” Martinez noted. For example, customers were asking why the chat acceptance rate was at a certain level, and, if it was low, what they could do about it; they were not just looking for the percentage, Martinez said.

The future of contact centers

One of the issues that has arisen with the WFH trend is security. Some vulnerabilities such as phishing and weak passwords can occur in any environment, while others, such as weak security on home Wi-Fi, can become a greater risk in the home environment. Talkdesk Guardian addresses this by providing its customers a means of monitoring contact center employees to mitigate risk against data leakage, fraud, identity theft, and privacy breaches. Its tools for remote supervision allow managers to monitor and interact with agents regardless of location. Features such as call and screen recording, quality management, and speech analytics support this function.

And while most companies that can benefit from contact centers already have them, their needs are not necessarily being met, particularly with respect to analytics. “Among the biggest growth markets are analytics and BI,” Snedecker noted. “There has been a huge adoption of analytics over the last 5 years, but many companies do not have automated speech analytics, for example.”

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