Dialpad’s Chief Strategy Officer discusses how AI changes customer experience.
Customer experience (CX) is now the top brand differentiator and outweighs price, product quality and all other factors. An interesting data point from ZK Research is that last year two-thirds of millennials changed loyalties to a brand because of a single bad experience.
For many companies, CX starts with the contact center, as it’s the first touch point for customer service. At the same time, agent churn is an all-time high. Typical agent churn rate is in the 30% range but some contact center managers I’ve talked to have told me that it’s now twice that, as hybrid work has given agents far more options.
This raises the question: how can businesses step up their CX initiatives while managing agent churn?
The answer to this question lies in artificial intelligence (AI), as it helps organizations automate inefficient processes, while improving both the customer and the agent experience.
Cloud communications provider Dialpad has made AI a core part of its offering. Dialpad’s TrueCaaS is a converged UCaaS and CCaaS platform, with built-in AI that brings together voice, video, and the contact center together. This enables better self-service, which offloads mundane tasks from the agent, while providing agents with rich information to be “smarter” with customer interactions.
I believe that contact center AI is on the verge of shifting from being solely focused on making agents more efficient to also enabling companies to achieve things they could never do before.
To get a better handle on where the industry is with contact center AI — and where it’s going — I interviewed Dan O’Connell, Chief Strategy Officer at Dialpad, who discussed the importance of AI in the contact center and how Dialpad is innovating in this space. Highlights of the ZKast, done in conjunction with eWEEK eSPEAKS, are below.
- Dialpad’s core belief is that organizations shouldn’t have different software for managing their communications and collaboration needs. Therefore, the vendor develops its own AI models in-house for specific use cases, such as contact centers and conferencing. Dialpad has heavily invested in three AI-focused areas: speech tracking, natural language processing (NLP), and semantic search.
- Differentiation is the leading reason why Dialpad develops its own AI models. Dialpad wants to stand out in a market of big-name competitors by offering something nobody else can replicate. Cost and accuracy are the other advantages. Dialpad builds AI models specifically around contact centers, which ensures accuracy. Dialpad customers are not getting a generic product.
- When Dialpad acquired TalkIQ in 2018, it created an innovative solution that combines communications with real-time speech recognition and NLP. This has given organizations a more intelligent way of understanding and acting on conversations. These are not quick, one-way chats that people have with Siri, Alexa, or Google. They are often hour-long dialogues that contain industry-specific terminology and company/product names that aren’t in the dictionary. Dialpad can extrapolate information from such conversations with accuracy in real-time.
- Earlier this year, Dialpad launched Ai CSAT, a real-time predictive engine for customer satisfaction, as part of its Customer Intelligence offering. Ai CSAT analyzes every customer call to collect feedback. Using the solution, companies obtain customer satisfaction score (CSAT) metrics from voice conversations instead of relying on unpopular post-call surveys. The real-time feedback can be combine with survey responses for a more complete picture of customer satisfaction. This is a good example of a new contact center capability. Without AI, CSAT had to be measured through e-mails or phone surveys, which yielded a low, single digital response rate and was typically skewed negative. AI CSAT can be used on 100% of interactions.
- AI in autonomous vehicles has made people better drivers and now it’s making better agents by removing much of the heavy lifting. If organizations put agents in positions where they can be successful, they’ll be happier and more likely to stay. For this reason, Dialpad recently introduced Agent Empowerment tools designed specifically for contact center supervisors, managers, and agents.
- The first Agent Empowerment tool is Ai Agent Assist, a conversational search engine that handles complex customer inquiries. The second tool, Dialpad Ai QA Scorecards, provides directional scoring for call reviews, saving managers and supervisors time. Dialpad has updated the tool to flag certain phrases and behaviors by pre-filling scorecards automatically.
- Dialpad continues to drive innovation across the entire product line at its AI Labs. Before launching products, Dialpad collects feedback early on in the process by letting customers test out the products. Another aspect of AI Labs is data sharing. It’s a way for the company to engage with customers and use data to build specific models.
- Looking ahead, Dialpad will focus on expanding its portfolio to include churn and revenue prediction tools. As companies try to figure out how to sell more and churn less, Dialpad wants to be the one that helps them mine the data.