UC Advanced - issue #6


“Hello, How can AI Help You?”

All you need to know from Call and Contact Centre Expo

Call and Contact Centre Expo kicked off with a fiery exchange between members of the opening keynote about the implementation of artificial intelligence. As AI capabilities continue to grow into an integral part of the contact centre, how far the part AI will play was a key source of discussion throughout the show. With Generative AI demonstrating the capabilities to mimic humans in writing, the question of the role of agents, in the long run, was posed to the first panel of the day. “When we talk about empowerment, I’m excited about this sector because I can see that we can have highly motivated, highly driven, accountable people who are opting into a number of different brands,” said Sandra Thompson, founding Director of The Ei Evolution. “The idea that agents will have a whole bunch of different companies to work for on their terms is going to turn everything on its head. “That means that management will be different, it means the availability of information will be different, it means that employee engagement will be different, and this is going to require things like psychological safety, allowing agents to do the job without fear of reprimand or getting in trouble.” With agents in control of when they work, Thompson painted the picture of the contact centre industry becoming a contributor to the gig economy, equating it to the Airbnb and Deliveroo business models that allow people to earn as and when they want to. To facilitate this transition though, Shameem Smillie, founding member of Women in CX, said that trust needs to enter the contact centre if it is to become an attractive place to work. “I talk to a lot of agents on the front line and the biggest thing from their perspective is trust. Even after working from home through COVID, a lot of them now are being forced to go back to the office because people

Sandra Thompson

want to see them at their desks. “We need to be able to trust our people. If we want to make the industry more attractive to find new people, there has to be better benefits, better pay because at the moment people will just use it as filler in between jobs which needs to change.” Looking Forward With AI on the minds of everyone in the room, the future of the contact centre was also a key question that was addressed in the opening seminar. One of the fundamental requirements for generative AI to be a success is an in-depth database for it to draw from. This fact is something that Smillie picked up on and said is one of the most important aspects as we move forward. “As we look to the future, I still think big data is going to change everything. I know, we’ve been talking about it for years, but with the capabilities that are being expedited month on month, I would say that what we do with that data is gonna change a lot of experiences; from the frontline agent to the CEO at the top in all industries.” However, any optimism about the use of Generative AI was shattered by Ira Cohen, VP of business development and marketing


Shameem Smillie

womenincx. community


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