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So much happened in the tech space in 2016, especially in regards to what innovative technology means for customers. We saw the promise of AI start to deliver through digital assistants and connected home devices. We saw the once-futuristic idea of virtual reality become a real, tangible product, and we saw many of the devices and technologies that seemed so advanced become even better. Self-driving cars are now an expected capability as we car shop in the future. While those examples are just a snapshot of the progress technology made last year, the point remains that we received so much more than we imagined we would.

Which leads us into 2017. The new year started off strong (with the Cowboys securing 1st place in the NFC and home field advantage for the playoffs) and the CES show highlighting the latest and greatest technologies that promise to change our world. So what are the biggest things to look out for this year?

First and foremost, we need to be ready for the true digital revolution. Soon the true power of AI will become apparent as it is integrated into even more areas of our lives. The IoT is upon us and we need to be ready; the era of “smart” everything is here: smart homes, smart devices, smart automobiles, and smart machines will become the norm.

More importantly, 2017 will be the year of the smart agent. A typical contact center agent has many tools at their disposal to serve clients, yet too often they are not actually helpful or usable, individually or in tandem. The integration of AI will make this issue a thing of the past; agents will have the ability to know much more about their clients, and will be able to use their resources much more effectively to better serve their needs.

AI will make knowing the customer easier, and it will usher in a new standard for customer experience: predictive service. Customers will expect that their favorite brands know them, their preferences, their purchase history, etc. and bring that knowledge into every interaction to make the experience frictionless. With predictive analytics, businesses and agents will have a better understanding of their customers and what motivates them, and can use that knowledge to deliver amazing customer experiences.

As the products of the digital revolution become more prevalent in our lives, it will be imperative that we take advantage of their capabilities. AI and smart agents aren’t merely things to look forward to this year; they are things we must start using if we are to succeed in business. Those who don’t will get left behind, as customers will not settle for sub-par customer experiences due to exceptionally long wait times, repeating information, and numerous transfers. You can avoid most of these issues by integrating AI into your contact center, which will improve workflow and give your agents the information they need to blow your customers away with incredible experiences.

One thing is certain, though: 2017 will be an exciting year.

Do you have a plan for integrating AI into your contact centers? Get started here.


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