The AI way brings NICE ENLIGHTENment for contact centres

2 September 2020 | 2990 Shares

When customers are under stress, their expectations rise. That’s the lesson  being learnt the hard way by customer care teams and contact centre staff the world over in the last few months.

Higher expectations and increasing demand for better experiences are stretching contact centre staff to their limits, a situation exacerbated by remote working and an uncertain economic future for many. It’s therefore critical that the team is given the best tools available so they can deliver their best performance.

With many teams working remotely, call centre staff don’t have the immediacy of physical help and guidance on hand. Thanks to advanced technologies like those from NICE (see previous articles here, here, and here), remote support to staff and digital, real-time guidance of customer care agents’ performance are possible. But agents’ performance can be directly correlated to their happiness, the level of support they receive, and the feedback they get — all things which were difficult enough to maintain even in a traditional, pre-coronavirus environment. In “the new normal”, things get a whole lot more challenging!

Of course, sensible contact centre managers already use interconnected, dedicated software and systems to make sure their people can work at their optimum, and provide the kind of world-class service that customers today expect. So why not take the next step, and start utilizing the behavioral insight that resides in the so-called “big data” that’s available today, where pre-built models have been developed based on millions of hours of customer interactions?

That’s the promise offered by artificial intelligence (AI), but until now, such a facility was the remit only of data scientists — people capable of negotiating the APIs between customer data and third-party AI engines, like IBM’s Watson.

For contact centres, there is now a new, ready-made choice, and one that’s been developed specifically for the customer care professional. NICE ENLIGHTEN is a dedicated artificial intelligence facility for the industry that draws on behavioral models that have been generated from billions of hours of customer-agent interactions.

Contact centre AI

The result is an analysis feature that gives real-time interaction guidance to agents. It examines and identifies customer sentiment during the actual interaction, from both voice and text. It can also predict (thanks to its deep learning capabilities) the possible outcome of the conversation, and suggest steps that can be taken by the agent to effectively steer the conversation to a better outcome for all parties.

NICE ENLIGHTEN never tires, always listens with 100 per cent attention, examining speech velocity, the amount of crosstalk, and recognizes and learns keywords and phrases that give valuable insights into sentiments on both sides of the conversation.

That means the customer care agent can be told, in real-time, whether the customer really understands what’s being said, can be told to be more patient, or even try a different tack.

The facilities and advantages offered to each agent empower them, providing the type of constant support and guidance that wouldn’t be possible even with a colleague listening-in and helping out on every single call or text interaction.

Because the AI “brain” is designed specifically for the industry, it’s one of only a few use cases of machine learning — in our opinion — that has a practical and positive impact on business.

Users of NICE ENLIGHTEN have reported more productive, happier agents, a significant rise in CSAT metrics (customer satisfaction), and a significant increase in operational efficiency. Customers get better responses with higher quality experiences, the business gets a better resolution of issues, and there are also possibilities around staff performance monitoring, in-role training, and a whole swathe of data analysis possibilities that have yet to be fully explored (the science is quite new, after all!).

Every organization can benefit from real-time interaction guidance as part of their agents’ dashboard, which shows sentiment, call progression, degree of crosstalk (or conversational “weighting”), behavioral scoring and any of many real-time metrics that the AI engine can produce and display instantly.

Away from the hype surrounding machine learning and “smart” computers, the NICE ENLIGHTEN platform performs positive and helpful tasks tirelessly, drawing on vast amounts of data and always self-improving as it goes. Call centre agents get better quality feedback, faster, and customer experiences improve. All in all, NICE ENLIGHTEN is a win-win proposition. Learn more about this powerful new part of the NICE portfolio here.