Role AI plays in the contact centers and why human involvement is critical, Cisco looks to AI to improve EX, cut agent churn by improving human involvement
“The concern has been ‘Will AI replace my job?’,” Lorrissa Horton, SVP/GM and Chief Product Officer and Collaboration at Cisco. Horton recognizes that this might occur where the agent is still doing the simplest tasks. “The reality is that where we see the human value is where it’s not simple Q&A but actually these complex tasks and the complex conversations that require empathy, that require knowing the concern that your customer has and that where it will be handled very differently than a virtual agent.”
“I think we will see agents turn into, basically, knowledge workers.” Horton sees AI as freeing agent time from some of the repetitive tasks that take their toll on mental health and morale. She sees a future for agents as holding a more stimulating, rewarding, and interesting workload: from task work to answer seeking. Even the metrics will change, from handle time to customer satisfaction.
It has been the year that AI broke into the popular imagination as the next great disruptive force, fear over job loss and human displacement has often outpaced optimism over a newfound tool to remedy problems. In this podcast Horton a fresh take. As we discuss the role AI plays in the contact center, Horton makes the case that AI can help improve employee experience, as AI is deployed to manage the simpler bits of customer traffic.
Expanding on Cisco’s vision of the new contact center, that was presented at Cisco Live 2023, Horton offers a vision of very different environment than what has come before in this space. Using Ai, she describes a place where people are learning from people, where best approaches and practices to challenges are shared, but in an environment that is agent and employee friendly. Hortons notes that when we look at health care and finance, which are already a very large share of contact center activity, human to human conversations will remain central, while new AI technologies will help agents learn, and learn. AI, CPaaS, stepped up use of texting, will transform the contact center, as we have known it.