Generative AI for Contact Centers: Applications in Customer Service

October 9, 2023
generative AI for contact centers

The launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT took the world by storm last year - creating a generative AI frenzy that shows no signs of abating.

Since then, the use of this technology in our lives as consumers and professionals has become increasingly prevalent.

In fact, a recent Gartner poll found that 70% of businesses are currently exploring generative AI solutions. 

But what does this mean for contact centers and the digital customer experience?

How can this emerging technology be applied to enhance performance and augment customer support?

In this article, we’ll aim to answer these questions - and more. We’ll cover:

  • What is generative AI?
  • The benefits of using generative AI for customer support
  • Key applications of generative AI in contact centers
  • Getting started with generative AI for your business or call center
human hand and AI robot hand graphic

What is generative AI?

Generative AI is a technology that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to create content autonomously.

This content can take various forms - including text, images, audio, and even video.

What sets generative AI apart from traditional AI systems is its ability to learn and replicate the patterns, context, and nuances found in human-generated content. 

This technology utilizes vast datasets and complex neural networks to generate output that not only appears authentic but also aligns with specific objectives and requirements. 

Whether it’s crafting human-like pieces of text, generating lifelike images, or composing a specific style of music, generative AI has opened up a world of possibilities by pushing the boundaries of what machines can create. 

For businesses and contact centers, this technology represents an invaluable asset in the quest to improve digital customer service and operational efficiency. 

Generative AI has the potential to streamline workflows, reduce manual workloads, and enhance the customer experience - all while maintaining a consistent and high-quality output. 

AI benefits graphic

Benefits of using generative AI for customer support

Generative AI can be a powerful tool for businesses and their contact centers.

In this section, we’ll explore the key benefits of integrating generative AI into your customer service strategy.

Boost operational efficiency

Efficiency is a top priority for call centers because it directly impacts profitability and the ability to meet customer demands.

Generative AI can improve contact center efficiency in a number of ways:

  • Automation: Generative AI can automate routine tasks and repetitive customer queries, freeing up agents to focus on more complex cases. This leads to faster resolutions, improved response times, and a decreased need for human intervention. 
  • 24/7 Availability: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can operate round-the-clock, ensuring customers receive support even outside of regular business hours. This level of availability improves service accessibility and responsiveness.
  • Scalability: Generative AI solutions can easily scale to accommodate fluctuations in support requests. Whether it’s a sudden surge in customer conversations or a busy period, AI can adapt quickly to handle the load efficiently.

In light of these factors, it’s no surprise that 60% of call center agents report that AI helps them save time.

By maximizing efficiency with AI-enhanced customer service, businesses can reduce handling times, decrease wait times, and optimize contact center performance.

happy agent in efficient call center

Increase agent productivity

Productivity is another cornerstone of contact center success that AI can help with.

In fact, AI technologies are projected to increase business productivity by up to 40% in the coming years.

Generative AI contributes to agent productivity in the following ways:

  • Assistive tools: Generative AI tools can assist agents by providing real-time suggestions, relevant information, and even suggested responses during customer interactions (more on this later). This enables agents to handle more cases more quickly and effectively.
  • Knowledge base expansion: AI can continuously update and expand the knowledge base used by agents, ensuring they always have access to the most up-to-date information to answer customer queries effectively.
  • Reduced training time: With AI assisting agents, the onboarding and training time for new hires can be significantly reduced. This allows contact centers to onboard and deploy agents more quickly, especially during peak periods.

It’s a common misconception that generative AI is meant to replace human agents, but this is not the case. 

Rather, these solutions should be used to augment agent capabilities and empower them to reach their full potential - thus facilitating optimal productivity.

productive contact center agent using laptop

Leverage AI-powered analytics

An impressive aspect of generative AI is its ability to gather and process vast amounts of data in real time.

This information offers useful insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. It’s also an invaluable resource for contact center performance management.

AI-powered analytics can be leveraged in various ways, including:

  • Customer profiling: By analyzing customer data and interactions, AI-powered analytics can help contact centers create detailed customer profiles. This information can be used to provide personalization and improve customer relationships.
  • Performance monitoring: AI analytics can be used to track a range of performance metrics, such as average response time and first contact resolution rate. Call centers can use this information to identify areas for improvement and reduce churn.
  • Predictive analytics: Generative AI can be used to predict customer behavior and preferences based on historical data. This can help contact centers anticipate customer needs and provide proactive service.

By harnessing the power of AI analytics, businesses can better understand their customers, elevate the quality of service, and quickly identify any issues that may arise.

AI bot analytics graphic

Enhance the customer experience

As generative AI can help boost contact center performance and efficiency, it makes sense that it also contributes to an improved customer experience.

Thanks to AI technologies, customers can have constant access to instant support and digital self-service.

What’s more, AI can analyze customer data and tailor responses to the individual, creating a more personalized and digitally engaging customer experience.

And, with the help of AI assistive tools, agents can anticipate customer needs, communicate more effectively, and solve problems faster.

It’s why 68% of users say generative AI will help them better serve their customers.

Overall, the use of generative AI augments the customer experience by giving customers more options and empowering agents to provide better service.

happy ecommerce customer on laptop

Applications of generative AI in contact centers

Now that we know the benefits of utilizing AI for customer support, let’s take a look at these technologies in action.

Below, we’ll cover the top five applications of generative AI for businesses and contact centers.

1. AI Chatbots

Chatbots have become a staple in digital customer support - and their capabilities have evolved dramatically thanks to generative AI. 

Instead of relying on pre-programmed responses, AI-powered chatbots can now act like virtual agents - engaging in human-like and contextual conversations. 

This means they can understand customer queries, provide relevant information, and even offer personalization by analyzing customer data.

What’s more, AI bots can continuously learn and improve from each interaction, making them increasingly efficient over time.

AI chatbots can be deployed on your website, app, and social messaging channels to provide 24/7 customer support.

They can handle large volumes of FAQs and common problems without intervention. In fact, it’s estimated that chatbots can fully resolve customer issues around 69% of the time.

This frees up your agents to dedicate more time to the customers who need the human touch.

As well as providing automated customer support, chatbots can also escalate customer service requests to the most appropriate agent/department.

This not only saves time for your agents but also guarantees that users receive the best service for their specific situation - without having to repeat themselves to multiple representatives.

AI chatbot

2. Agent Assist tools

Agent Assist tools are an emerging application of generative AI that can help your human agents perform better and faster.

These technologies leverage AI to provide real-time information and recommendations to agents during customer interactions. 

As agents communicate with customers, the AI analyzes the conversation, retrieves relevant information from databases, and suggests responses or solutions.

This not only accelerates response and resolution times but also ensures that agents provide accurate and consistent information. 

AI assistive tools can also guide agents through complex procedures, ensuring compliance with company policies and industry regulations. 

With Talkative, you can harness the power of two innovative AI assist technologies:

  1. OpenAI Responses - OpenAI is a leading AI research and deployment company responsible for the creation of ChatGPT. Thanks to Talkative’s capabilities, you can use OpenAI technology to enjoy real-time, AI-generated response suggestions during chat interactions with customers. It works by analyzing interactions and automatically generating a selection of response suggestions based on the customer’s message. It can also be trained to provide suggestions based on historical interaction data in addition to the current conversation.
  2. Google Agent Assist - Google Agent Assist is a powerful AI system that can be integrated with Talkative. Once trained and configured, Google Agent Assist can provide agents with guidance, suggestions, and response recommendations during chat interactions with customers. It works by using your website knowledge base and previous interaction transcripts to provide a selection of relevant response recommendations for each customer message.

By arming your agents with generative AI assistance, you’ll empower them to perform to their best ability with supercharged productivity and efficiency.

Want to learn more about AI assistive tools? Check out our article: OpenAI Responses vs. Google Agent Assist.

AI Agent Assist

3. Voice/video chat transcripts

In contact centers, many interactions occur through voice calls or video chat.

With the power of generative AI and natural language processing, you can convert the audio recordings of these interactions into written transcripts.

With Talkative, for example, you can opt to have every video chat and/or web call automatically transcribed into a highly accurate, text-based format. 

These transcripts are a valuable resource that can serve multiple purposes:

  • Quality assurance: Supervisors can review transcripts to evaluate agent performance and identify areas for improvement. They can also ensure that agents adhere to company guidelines and provide a high level of service.
  • Data analysis: Transcripts can be analyzed for valuable, data-driven insights. Machine learning algorithms can mine these transcripts for trends, customer sentiment, and emerging issues. 
  • Compliance: Transcripts can be used for compliance and legal purposes, ensuring that interactions adhere to industry regulations and standards.

In essence, automated voice/video transcripts allow businesses to revisit any customer conversation with greater ease, convenience, and clarity.

It means you can gain detailed insight into every interaction and its context - without watching or listening to a recording.

contact center agent and customer video chat

4. Interaction summaries

Although transcripts are an invaluable resource of information, there will be times when you just want to capture the gist or essence of a case.

Generative AI can also help in this regard by creating concise summaries of customer interactions. 

It works by analyzing an entire transcript and then condensing the key points, issues, and resolutions, into a few sentences.

Interaction summaries are invaluable for follow-up, training/monitoring, documentation, and knowledge sharing within your business.

With the Talkative platform, this capability is powered by our OpenAI integration - allowing automatic summaries of every chat, voice, and video interaction.

By utilizing AI-generated interaction summaries, your contact center teams will be able to understand the content and outcome of every customer conversation at a glance.

This will not only save time for your agents and supervisors but will also help maximize efficiency.

5. Real-time translation

Globalization has made multilingual customer service a necessity for many businesses.

AI allows contact centers to provide this by enabling real-time translation during chat interactions.

Although real-time translation typically involves natural language processing and machine learning, these systems can be powered by generative AI models.

Plus, this feature is an invaluable tool to have in your arsenal - whether it’s powered by generative AI or other AI technologies - so we’d be remiss to leave it out of this discussion.

When a customer communicates in their preferred language, real-time translation tools can instantly detect the language used and translate the messages for the agent. 

In turn, any messages the agent sends will also be automatically translated into the customer’s preferred language.

This enables contact centers to serve a broader customer base without the need for hiring multilingual agents.

Real-time translation facilitates better understanding and rapport during interactions by breaking down language barriers.

It empowers your agents to communicate effectively and efficiently with all customers, whatever language they speak - creating a seamless experience for overseas clients.

Moreover, multilingual live chat helps businesses provide a more personalized and empathetic user experience. 

This is because, when consumers can communicate in their mother tongue, they’re more likely to feel heard and valued.

It’s why Talkative’s live chat and chatbot comes with automatic real-time translation into over a hundred languages as standard.

Ultimately, real-time translation is an essential AI tool - enabling contact centers to engage a wider audience, improve accessibility, and eliminate language barriers.

multilingual customer interactions

The takeaway: Transforming customer service with AI

It’s undeniable that generative AI is here to stay - and it’s going to play a pivotal role in the future of business and customer service.

By leveraging the power of AI, contact centers can maximize efficiency, empower their agents, and ultimately provide a superior customer experience.

The applications covered in this article are a great starting point for anyone looking to add generative AI to their call center technologies.

But, if you want to get the most out of these tools, you need the right platform to facilitate them.

That’s where Talkative comes in.

Our solution provides a complete suite of customer contact channels - from live chat to web calling, video chat, social messaging, and cobrowsing.

As we’ve demonstrated, you can leverage a range of AI-powered capabilities with our platform – from a Virtual Agent chatbot to agent assistive tools, voice/video transcripts, advanced sentiment analysis, and much more.

As a result, you’ll be able to augment the human experience and supercharge contact center performance.

Want to learn more?

‍Book a demo with us today to discover the power of Talkative and AI combined.

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