3 Ways AI Improves Agent Experience

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a level of flexibility and value to contact centers that legacy technologies simply cannot address. For contact center leaders, AI is best viewed as a blank slate with many possibilities rather than a solution for a singular, fixed problem set.

In time, that slate will be filled with a mix of AI-driven applications that are focused on a specific area – agents, supervisors, and customers. They will all provide new, distinct forms of value. For those who view agent experience as a key determinant of customer experience, agent-focused applications are a good place to start. To get you started on this path, here are three ways AI-powered assistance can be used to enhance the agent experience.

AI-Powered Conversation Summaries

AI can be a great tool to assist agents, make their work more manageable, and automate tasks and processes to save time and effort. A prime example is automated conversation summaries. Typically, agents need to manually prepare summaries after each customer interaction. When calls do not go well, reliving the details does not put them in the best mindset for the next call, and takes time away from handling other and more important tasks, like starting a new interaction.

With AI-powered assistance, these summaries can be produced automatically right after each interaction. Even if the engagement only takes three minutes to compile manually, the time savings can add up quickly. Not only can AI summarize calls faster than agents, but today’s speech recognition capabilities go beyond basic transcription and can detect changes in sentiment that can provide richer context than manually prepared notes.

Also, since AI captures everything from the conversation, the summaries will often be more complete and accurate. Another element to consider is that the details will be reported in a more objective manner, which otherwise could be prone to human bias.

AI-Powered Sentiment Analysis

AI-powered sentiment analysis detects in real-time how customers are experiencing their interaction with an agent. These would be non-verbal cues like a change in tone or posture. Agents might be too focused on the direct conversation and could miss cues that better indicate how the customer is feeling – or only notice them too late, when the engagement has already taken a turn for the worse.

Over time, AI becomes increasingly adept at detecting these subtle changes. As the contact center builds richer data sets around these interactions, AI will be better able to identify the types of responses that will yield the best outcomes. This provides the basis to guide agents to show more empathy and respond in the right way before the sentiment change becomes too problematic.

AI-Powered Guided Responses

Another example of AI-powered assistance and agent guidance is helping agents respond to customers in a more effective way. While sentiment analysis has a role to play here, this is about another modality of AI, generative AI. In this scenario, AI is gauging customer sentiment and guiding responses best suited for that sentiment, guiding agents to say the right thing at the right time.

One aspect of this is suggested responses, where generative AI guides the agent with very specific language for the current customer interaction. Without AI-powered assistance, the agent determines their own response during the conversation with the customer and in a written follow-up response. In some cases, the agent is not sure what to say or write, especially with limited experience.

Generative AI provides suggested responses based on integrated knowledge that has been compiled across a vast number of customer interactions. By drawing from extensive datasets, these responses are tailored based on the language, tone, phrasing, and more, to produce the best outcomes for specific situations. Agents can choose to disregard this guidance, but in many cases, they will be unsure how best to respond and having these suggested responses on hand in the moment can provide invaluable guidance and make all the difference in providing an exceptional customer experience.

Learn how Upstream Works’ AI and automation capabilities enhance the agent experience here.