Observe.AI debuts real-time AI conversational prompts for call center agents
Contact center intelligence platform provider Z21 Labs Inc., better known as Observe.AI, today announced a new Real-Time AI product suite that will provide call center agents with live, in-the-moment guidance to improve their call interactions as they’re speaking with customers.
The new offering is designed to help call center agents successfully resolve every customer query or complaint, while simultaneously enabling live supervisor coaching and automated actions for after-call work, the company said.
Observe.AI is a provider of artificial intelligence-based call center software that aids human operators with customer services tasks. Under the hood, its platform is powered by AI-based natural language processing algorithms that can analyze conversations between agents and customers as they happen.
The software can also transcribe each call and use sentiment analysis to estimate the level of satisfaction of each caller, enabling companies to glean insights that can later be used to train call center staff and improve customer experiences. For example, the best-performing agents can be used as benchmarks to determine what works and what doesn’t, and train underperforming staff.
Today’s update is all about providing immediate support for call center agents, however. Observe.AI explains that agents are key to both revenue generation and customer satisfaction, and stressed that their conversational proficiency has a direct influence on business outcomes. As such, it’s vital that agents handle their customer interactions perfectly, and that’s what Observe.AI’s Real-Time AI capabilities are meant to ensure.
Observe.AI said the new offering not only listens to conversations as they’re happening, but also factors in historical insights and agent performance data to deliver live, personalized in-call guidance and coaching to each agent. This guidance and coaching is presented to the agent in the form of “Dynamic Prompts” that appear on screen at just the right moment.
So if a customer complains that the price of a service or product is too high, it might prompt the agent to offer a discount or otherwise explain the advantages of that service to justify the expense, Observe.AI explained. Agents are further guided with “Smart Scripts” to ensure each conversation flows and every key point is covered. Another useful feature is “Knowledge Base Automation,” which surfaces relevant Knowledge Base articles for agents so they have the information they need to answer customer’s questions without delay.
Constellation Research Inc. analyst Liz Miller told SiliconANGLE that Observe.AI’s Real-Time AI can be useful because resolving calls is a tough challenge for many companies, especially when the caller is upset or angry and taking their frustrations out on the agent. She explained that it’s one of a new breed of AI applications that are laser-focused on making communications easier.
“These agent-assist tools that help in real time and provide suggestions that add value for both agents and customers are a great example of AI heading in the right direction, from the perspective of business use cases,” she said. “Knowledge base automation is also useful because very few agents actually have any time to sift through pages and pages of knowledge, sales and marketing content that could actually assist the customer.”
In addition to the automated live guidance, Observe.AI’s Real-Time AI also enables supervisors to monitor calls and step in themselves to offer their own assistance. With Supervisor Assist, the supervisor gains a bird’s eye view of all live customer interactions and can quickly step in to take advantage of upsell opportunities, deal with customer escalations and legal threats, and handle agent performance issues.
Miller said Supervisor Assist can be useful, but cautioned that companies will have to be careful when using it. If the tool is used for “spying or punishment,” for example, it could quickly alienate many agents. “It will really depend on the culture of the organization if such tools are used to the benefit of the agent or not,” she said. “For some agents, having a supervisor suddenly jump in could create a negative experience, causing them to feel as if they’re being spied on, rather than supported. And if that happens, it will reflect itself in the customer experience too.”
Observe.AI said beta testing of its Real-Time AI tools has shown that customers are able to increase sales conversions by 10% and reduce hold time violations by 60%. It specifically cited the experience of American First Finance LLC, which reduced its average handle time by 23%, enabling its agents to handle 24% more customer calls, within just 60 days of deploying Real-Time AI.
Observe.AI co-founder and Chief Executive Swapnil Jain said Real-Time AI is intended to coach individual agents on very specific skills, as opposed to generic coaching. “When you coach scientifically, your KPIs will fall in line,” he promised. “Observe.AI is changing real-time guidance by making it highly relevant to each agent, based on their actual performance data, so they are consistently coached in the right areas.”
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