Inside the Quality-First Contact Center

Outsourced Contact Center Trends Not Happening #3: AI and AR in Agent Training

Why isn't artificial intelligence and augmented reality used in training and retaining contact center agents? Third in a series about call center trends that aren't happening and should.


It seems the buzzwords Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) are everywhere these days. Those on the technology and applications side of things are excited.

But a fear response is common among consumers hearing about increasing use of such technologies in customer care. All of this at a time where many are already interacting with simple AI bots in their daily customer service interactions.

What I’m curious about is why outsourced contact center partners are not leveraging AI and AR for their internal operations. Then using those bots as a launchpad to help other clients roll out interactive AR and other self-service platforms out to their customers.

Call Center Agent Training - The Common Model Today

Let's say you are an outsourced contact center manager who needs to train dozens or hundreds of support agents on how to answer order questions. The way things stand today, you'll likely have to train the trainer. Then, over several more days, the trainer transmits the information to trainees.

Today, call centers do use tools like knowledge base (KB) intranets during agent training. But even with that platform in place, I've seen agents asked to sit in a classroom setting for weeks, going over content in 100-slide decks in order to learn (theoretically, anyway) important information about a campaign, contact center operations, or the like.

Call Center Agent Training of Tomorrow 

Why not take that content and use it to program an AI bot using the same interface as, say, your intranet? You could take that same material and program your bot and invest a few hours making sure learners know how to use the intranet to type in a question and spit out different decision trees. This decision tree example comes from NTT:

Contact Center Agent Decision Tree Training Model

CREDIT: NTT COMMUNICATIONS

In the scenario I'm proposing, customers still interact with live agents, not live chat bots, but AI is speeding up agents' time to readiness while handling service requests. Wouldn't this cut down on training costs to get new employees up to speed? For sure it would cut down on the cost of rolling out AI more broadly in contact center operations.

Applying AI, AR, and VR to training in the contact center seems beneficial. It would make training faster, lower cost, and just as or more effective because the format is likely to be more engaging. 

What are your thoughts?


About this series

With all the ink about trends in contact centers and customer care, I got to thinking: what isn’t happening that really should? This series, Call Center Trends Not Happening, is where I post examples. I'm hoping to learn: should this really be a trend (reality check)? What is the holdup?

More in this series


About Ryan Romero

Ryan Romero of Callzilla.jpg

linkedin_icon.png Ryan Romero is Executive Vice President of Global Sales at Callzilla, an outsourced contact center that ICMI and Customer Magazine rank among the best. He consults with executives in a variety of industries and roles to help determine fit between Callzilla's proprietary methods, and organizations' need to improve customer service, sales, and engagement. Before Callzilla, he led several companies in the contact center and BPO space to mergers and aquisition.

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Topics: Call Center Technology