Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest technologies making its way across organizations today. According to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey, from 2018 to 2019, organizations that have deployed artificial intelligence grew from 4% to 14%.

From healthcare to finance to retail – AI is transforming the way organizations interact with customers and their data. Specifically, AI can be a powerful technology to integrate into contact centers – the main customer service and communications hub for companies – regardless of the vertical. From providing a quicker, smoother customer experience to cutting down on fraud risks, AI can revolutionize the contact center and bring it into the future. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways AI can transform your contact center.

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AI-Powered Chatbots

According to Salesforce, 53% of service organizations expect to use AI-powered chatbots within 18 months – and for a good reason. Salesforce also found that 64% of agents with AI chatbots are able to spend most of their time solving complex problems, versus 50% of agents without AI chatbots. In summary, chatbots do menial tasks that would otherwise take up valuable agent bandwidth and provide a considerable cost and time savings for organizations looking to provide real-time and always-on customer service.

Chatbots utilized in the contact center can answer customers’ FAQs and execute routine actions – such as payments, purchases and returns. On the other hand, chatbots can simply start the data input process and your agent can finish the transaction or inquiry. Chatbots can also be used to identify customer needs and route calls to the correct department or representative – providing live representatives with background on the inquiry and the customer at-a-glance.

AI technology can even bolster an agent’s people management skillset and get ahead of potential customer conflicts. Cutting-edge voice chatbots can identify customer sentiment based on the tone of their voice. If a customer sounds frustrated, they can be routed to an experienced agent for immediate assistance.

Many organizations that have implemented AI-powered chatbots have improved their customer service scores and completed sales across the board.

AI For Data Analytics

It’s no secret that AI is a powerful tool for providing real-time data and analytics that may have not been uncovered by humans or legacy technologies. AI has the ability to compile data from multiple disparate channels and compare and contrast to compile valuable trend insights that can be used to improve sales and marketing, customer retention, customer support, and research and development.

In the contact center specifically, AI solutions can help gather data from customer calls, customer service representative (CSR) actions, and payment transactions over time. Using this information, it can then provide detailed reporting that can help improve operations, average handling times (AHTs), call duration and efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

AI For Fraud

AI is the ultimate investigator. AI-powered fraud solutions have the ability to pattern match across mass amounts of data – regardless of channel or location – and highlight anomalies that can pick fraudsters out of the crowd.

Before AI-powered fraud solutions were available, legacy systems would only be able to analyze historical fraud patterns without being able to predict fraud actions in the future. But with today’s AI technology, fraud systems can ingest historical data and utilize it to create a clear prediction of future fraud actions and patterns. Contact centers that use AI-powered fraud systems can automate the system to take actions in real-time, like rejecting flagged payment methods, to reduce potential fraud.

AI can also be used to reduce friction during the customer verification and purchasing process. AI solutions can assign a risk score based on a customer’s previous actions and recent verifications. For example, if a risk score is low, customers can more freely move through the purchasing process. If a risk score is high, customers can be prompted to provide additional methods of verification for large purchases. AI-powered fraud solutions help keep customers safe and organizations out of the data breach headlines.

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The Compliance and Security Dangers of AI

As helpful as AI can be to a contact center, organizations must also pay attention to the security and compliance risks presented as well. As AI systems analyze call recordings and chatbot conversations to glean insights into how to improve processes, sensitive customer data can be ingested, potentially causing the scope of compliance with data security regulations to spiral out of control.

The best solution to combat these security and compliance challenges is to utilize solutions that remove sensitive customer data, such as payment card details, from the call center completely – before they touch other AI solutions – effectively moving the data out of reach for malicious hackers or insider threats and descoping the sensitive data for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.

By using solutions such as Semafone’s Cardprotect Relay+, organizations that utilize AI-powered chatbots are able to generate a secure digital payment hyperlink on demand, which is then sent to the customer through the chatbot window. The customer simply clicks or taps the link when they receive it and enters their payment details. Their payment details and other sensitive PII are thenencrypted and securely routed directly to the payment service provider (PSP). As a result, none of their sensitive data ever touches the chatbot software or the organization’s network infrastructure, creating a completely secure payment process.

With this approach, organizations can use AI solutions freely without having to worry about security and compliance because no sensitive data has been ingested.

Don’t Forget, AI Still Needs Humans

Integrating AI will drastically reduce the number of menial tasks humans have to perform. AI helps organizations get the most out of their data and their employees – allowing agents to focus on critical tasks and cross-selling/upselling versus tedious data collection. Processes that used to take hours will become automated and only take seconds. But this doesn’t mean AI will take away all jobs from call center employees.

Think of AI technology as the ultimate example of “you get out, what you put in.”

Powerful AI tools still need operators to make sure the correct data is ingested into the system. And most importantly, CISOs and compliance officers need to make sure they have solutions in place that can capture sensitive data before AI ingests it to avoid security and compliance headaches down the road.

Using AI to Transform Your Contact Center

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