Dialpad adds agent empowerment to its portfolio of contact center AI capabilities

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala – SiliconANGLE.

Dialpad Inc. Monday announced several new artificial intelligence capabilities for its contact center solution.

The new features fall under the suite name of “Agent Empowerment” designed to make contact center supervisors, managers and agents more productive by equipping them with tools that directly lead to better customer experience. CX improvement has been a top initiative for contact centers, since customer experience is now the top brand differentiator and many customer interactions begin in the contact center.

This release of Agent Empowerment includes the following capabilities:

  • Dialpad Ai Agent Assist uses a combination of AI and productivity tools to make it easier for agents to have more productive conversations. Although Ai Agent Assist is positioned as a single tool, it’s comprised of several functions, including knowledge ingestion, AI-driven shortcuts to answers, smart scripts and workflows and automation tools. A good way to think of Ai Agent Assist is that it turns agents into super-agents by ensuring they always have the right information in front of them. Typically, agents would need to spend time sifting through knowledge bases and acting as the integration point for multiple systems. This leads to the lengthy hold times that we all dislike on contact center calls. Dialpad provide some quantifiable data for the customers using the feature. Some notable features include 99% rate of successful responses to customer inquiries, 66% in average call handle time an 40% reduction in time to onboard new agents.
  • Dialpad Ai QA Scorecards enable supervisors and admins to grade calls and share it with the agents in real time. The agent can use the information to improve performance, which has an obvious CX improvement component but also helps with compliance and quality assurance. With the next upcoming release, Dialpad will be automating scorecard’s phrases and behaviors and pre-filling them to accelerate call reviews.

These types of tools are important today as businesses are running contact centers in a hybrid mode. Three-quarters of contact center managers I have interviewed recently have told me they will maintain agents in a hybrid mode indefinitely. By allowing agents to work from home, companies have access to talent outside of the driving distance to the contact center and can tailor shifts around people’s lifestyles.

For example, a stay-at-home parent can work while their child is in school. I recently talked to a large insurance company that told me it’s actively poaching top agents from their competitors because they are no longer bound by physical geography creating the competitive dynamics of contact centers.

There is also a large pool of contact center talent available. Historical churn rates for contact center agents are in the 30% range. Over the past year, companies have reported that agent churn has more than doubled increasing the talent pool.

Companies have the opportunity to uplevel talent, but agents want to work for companies where they know they will be successful. Companies that hire new agents but then give those people legacy tools will likely see higher churn than those with modern tools, such as the Dialpad AI capabilities. That’s because it puts the agent at risk of having dissatisfied customers take their frustrations out on them.

The scorecards address an issue that has become mainstream in the era of hybrid work: management of remote agents. With legacy call centers, the supervisor could walk around the room and listen for calls going awry and then hop on the call to listen in and then coach the agent after. With work-from-home, this obviously isn’t possible.

Every contact center I have talked with about hybrid work has told me they need better tools for the supervisors because management today is much different than two years ago. I would argue that AI-based tools provide superior management, even for in-office agents, since a supervisor can’t listen to every call but the AI engine can.

For Dialpad, these features are part of its broader AI journey. Earlier this year, it rolled out AI CSAT, which infers customer satisfaction on every call. Most contact center vendors have chosen to partner with third-party AI companies that bring conversational AI, analytics or other capabilities to this area. Dialpad has bucked this trend and has built AI capabilities in-house using talent that came through acquisitions such as Kare and Koopid. This give Dialpad much more control over feature release, roadmap and integrations versus having to assemble capabilities via partnerships.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.