The First Battleground: Exploring The Benefits Of AI In The Workplace

Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the workplace and revolutionizing industries. One sector where AI is already making a significant impact is call centers. With the ability to automate tasks, provide better customer service, and streamline operations, AI-powered call centers are becoming increasingly popular in today’s business landscape.

As customers become more demanding and expect faster and more personalized responses, AI-powered call centers have the potential to revolutionize the way businesses handle customer interactions. From chatbots that can answer basic queries to virtual assistants that can provide more complex solutions, AI transforms how businesses interact with their customers.

Johnathan Bragg views his employment in the home-repair insurance industry with an artistic eye, similar to how an artist would look at a canvas.

Mr. Bragg says:

“I got this road map in my head of what it looks like when you’re delivering world-class customer service—what triggers people, what makes people trust you.”

“It’s like when da Vinci was painting.”

Mr. Bragg is a highly successful sales representative of HomeServe USA Corp. This organization provides plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical repair plans to approximately five million customers across North America.

For the past 11 months out of 12, he has ranked among the top 10% of his call center’s 432 agents due to his practice of intently listening to customers and giving them what they want. This call center is located in a large space on the outskirts of town.

Mr. Bragg went on to say:

“I don’t just say stuff and read scripts.”

“I listen to everybody, whoever you are, and I retain what it is that makes that person interested. I can get just about anybody to buy anything.”

Due to the expansion of HomeServe’s business, they have hired a new agent to help out Mr. Bragg and his colleagues. This agent is Charlie and was built using Google’s AI conversational platform alongside other technologies. She is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant.

Every day, she fields 11,400 calls and directs them to the relevant departments. Additionally, she handles claims submissions and arranges repair appointments. Besides, her voice can be heard in agents’ ears, informing them if a customer is eligible for certain coverage plans. Also, her typing skills are employed on agents’ screens, conveying the reason behind customers’ calls.

Jessica Cloud, the vice president of automation and innovation, expressed.

Jessica Cloud says:

“I tell agents to think of Charlie as a personal assistant.”

Many people working in the Chattanooga call center do not hold Charlie in high regard. Her rigid rule enforcement, such as mandating specific verbiage during customer conversations and punishing employees for deviation from this, has caused her to become unpopular.

Mr. Bragg’s colleague, Robert Caldwell – a top-selling agent sitting in a nearby cubicle – noted that she sometimes directs callers to the incorrect department.

Robert Caldwell says:

“We’re taking up a collection to get Charlie a hearing aid.”

Charlie recently informed Mr. Bragg that a caller desired to sign up for a service plan without comprehending that the individual’s water pipe had broken. He was expecting a fix and was extremely furious. On certain occasions, she proposes ideas that agents are not keen on saying next.

Mr. Bragg picked up the call and uttered the words Charlie had instructed him to say—”I see you’re attempting to enroll”—which resulted in the man on the other end of the line going into an uncontrollable rage.

Charlie’s excellent work has been highly praised by management, and a promotion is on the horizon. Before long, she will instruct agents on their next steps and evaluate them based on their performance.

Mr. Bragg expressed his concern that Charlie was making too many errors.

Bragg continues to say:

“She’s supposed to make the job easier, not just make us do what she said,” “I’m a top performer. She’s not my supervisor.”

AI-powered call centers are already transforming the way businesses interact with their customers. These systems have the potential to automate routine tasks, provide faster and more personalized responses, and streamline operations, resulting in a better customer experience and improved efficiency.

However, the introduction of AI into call centers also presents significant challenges. As jobs become automated, there are concerns about job displacement and the impact on human workers. There are also concerns around privacy and security, as AI-powered systems collect and process large amounts of sensitive customer data.

Source: wsj


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