The contact centre is changing. In the past, call centre agents had to process a large volume of standard calls, really quickly But with the deployment of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) these agents no longer have to carry out incredibly repetitive tasks and can rather focus their attention on tackling more complex customer concerns.
For call agents, RPA makes it possible to complete simple tasks across back-end systems, which reduces the amount of time spent on admin, says Adriaan van Staden, senior sales manager at call centre tech vendor Genesys South Africa. RPA is in its broadest sense an application that is governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software, or a “robot,” to capture data for processing a transaction, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA lets businesses automate day-to-day, basic rules-based business processes.
More advanced systems use artifical intelligence or machine learning, a subset of AI that enables systems to learn and predict outcomes without explicit programming, embracing methods and algorithms – such as neural networks — that let applications to better their performance as they ingest more data.
For customers, these RPA and AI-powered solutions can solve problems more efficiently and better serve their needs. Finally, for contact centre managers and CIOs, AI-based systems can track each agent’s competency. These insights can be used to ensure that your always provide the best service.
But true AI is still a new area of technology and the scope is not very well defined, explains Mark Walker, associate VP for sub-Saharan Africa at IDC. Not only in Africa, but also across the globe. Progress is being made, though. “Contact centres offer a great business case because these solutions can be used across the entire value chain,” Walker said.