As artificial intelligence enters the contact center, the business communication system can start making decisions based on context, past similar decision history, etc. One of the earliest examples of this is keyword spotting and change of tone of the speaker, for something called “sentiment analysis”. Essentially, the computer could determine if you were upset when talking to an agent so you could be handed off to a more experienced person. Given enough data from thousands and thousands of past calls the computer could decide when you’re upset, or about to be upset.
And from this something called a chatbot has emerged. The chatbot will engage you more, and take you further down the discussion as time goes on. Chances are you have talked to a chatbot and didn’t even know it. Like most contact center innovations, chatbots have been driven by the oxymoronic need to both reduce costs and provide better service. And as speech recognition and text to speech programs and computing power have both improved and come down in cost, the advent of computer driven speech into the contact center occurred. In fact, right now, both Google’s and Microsoft’s speech recognition claim to be 95% accurate, which happens to be as accurate as a human brain.
Over time, the simple ‘talk to me’ instead of hitting buttons to drive through an IVR menu gave way to more and more computer driven tasks. And it was OK because you as the IVR caller were getting through the menu and you didn’t have to wait. But you always knew it was a computer because it sounded that way (probably on purpose). However, these more simplistic chats have evolved greatly and today, it’s very possible you are having a conversation with a computer and you don’t even know it. And you’re probably happier talking to this computer, because it might sound like a native language speaker and because the “agent” isn’t making any mistakes. Right now, you likely get handed off to a real person when more complex decisions need to be made but over time, the chatbot will take on more and more responsibility.
Again, with artificial intelligence, the possibilities are endless. The system could predict who you might call based on past history, and how they might want to get connected, who might need to be on a conference call, and the system could ID you based on voice recognition.