At this point, most of us will admit that AI is beginning to touch different parts of our lives every day. Algorithms are being deployed to observe, learn, and iterate to recommend music, auto-fill search queries, and optimize traffic routes.
In the manufacturing sector, for example, image-recognition technology and sensors are allowing a manufacturing plant to take a 360-degree view of each widget produced and ensure that images, weight, and functionality match a model… for 100% of output.
However, when it comes to customer support (CS) operations, AI has not yet managed to infiltrate the contact center. Currently, some of the best CS operations measure quality by reviewing 0.5% of customer digital interactions (email, chat, SMS, or voice support). Operations managers are missing 99.5% of the picture. Only in cases of extreme disappointment from a customer — when they go above and beyond to email management, submit a very negative NPS score, or escalate a chat — do we get an insight into what is driving that negative output.
Today, that is about to change.
At Sutherland, we’ve been thinking about this challenge for some time, and created an AI Solutions team to figure out what the support center of the 21st century will look like when it fully leverages AI and machine learning technology.
One clear approach is to focus on the customer and think of all the ways we can remove customer friction and pain points. Conversational AI solutions, or chatbots, are clearly one of the ways that customers can get to answers faster and CS centers can tackle surges without having long wait times or overworked staff.
But another equally valuable approach is to focus on agents and think about the tools and insights that agents and managers need in order to deliver optimal experiences. Digging into this, we came across one of the most innovative companies we’ve approached in the CS/CX space. Augment CXM has developed an AI application that can sit over our agent-facing UI (tech stack), monitor 100% of the agent–customer interactions, and begin predicting CSAT and NPS based on language, topics, and tone from the customer. The algorithm learns about your particular business, services, and customers and begins to recognize patterns where conversations go sour or when particular underperforming agents need coaching or learning from overperformers.
The application is brilliant. Agents receive real-time guidance and tips on their screen as they interact with customers and managers receive real-time data and insights to coach agents that need it most. After successful deployments with over 10 Fortune 500 companies, like Dyson and Samsung, Augment is seeing that rookie agents turn into veterans in weeks, not months. For an industry with high churn rates, this is critical. Clients are seeing up to a 40% bump in NPS and approximately a 30% boost in agent efficiency — which in turn will reduce churn and agent burn-out.
What we love the most about Augment is that they are using AI in the way we want to use it — as a superpower for our people, not a replacement of our workforce.
After diving deeper into Augment’s solution, we’ve decided to partner and create a single integrated offering for Sutherland customers to unlock the value that Augment delivers within Sutherland solutions.
We realize this is just one of the ways that AI and machine learning will transform customer support. But we are confident that it’s a solid first step in the right direction — using AI for better outcomes.
GM @ Sutherland AI Solutions
VP of Product Innovation @ Sutherland