06/21/2021

Transcription: The Starting Point for Capable Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is an exceptionally broad umbrella term for many technologies which originate from a similar field. These various technologies include machine learning, natural language processing (NLU and NLG), and cognitive computing. These are but buzzwords in the world of artificial intelligence. So where do they bring us in terms of self-service solutions and AI-assisted agents? In the realm of contact centers, there are a plethora of solutions which are marketed with the promise of being able to solve everything from simple automated self-service tasks to handling complex customer problems.

To understand the value of the support that artificial intelligence offers, we should look at what problems it can solve. The goals are simple: empower the best customer service, whilst simultaneously reducing overhead costs, and more importantly, provide a flexible, efficient, and frictionless customer interaction. Time is precious, both for the contact center and the customer, and the opportunities for increasing efficiency through technology are enormous. The use of artificial intelligence should not be seen as a threat, but rather as a tool to overcome hurdles in efficiency that exist with the natural limitations of humans. 

The key to unlocking AI in contact centers? Transcription

Contact centers rely on data to understand their customers. Transcription is critical for exactly that. Transcription is when spoken language is converted into text. This can be, for example, the transcription of a voice clip or a video recording. The use of artificial intelligence in transcription provides tremendous added value, because it allows conversations to be captured, analyzed, and aggregated faster than ever to provide accurate information in real-time. By understanding natural language, users can interact with systems and devices in their own words without being constrained by a fixed set of responses. It helps systems, like virtual assistants, to better understand what a person is saying because it is able to recognize a wider variety of responses - even if it has never heard them before. It helps contact centers as a whole, by transforming human speech into data that can be accurately analyzed on a huge scale, allowing companies to better understand their customers both en masse, and at an individual level. Here are three major areas where transcription is helping contact centers deliver:

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1. Supporting agents: Putting expertise at their fingertips

When contact center agents have all the information they need, they can fully engage with customers. You need to make sure the agent can read between the lines and truly understand the customer's needs. Give them clues about the customer's mood, how he feels and acts. All this non-verbal data helps the agent to give the customer the attention they need and deserve. One way to do this is to provide supporting suggestions or automated agent verification to increase customer trust. Another method is via a powerful and agent-guided bot that delivers answers in natural-sounding language - effectively an intelligent, automated conversation with a human-assisted touch. With transcription, systems like Salesforce Einstein are empowered to give real-time next best action advice.

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2. AI innovation for intelligent assistance

The use of AI makes it possible to make even more accurate predictions about customers' needs. Based on the events within a particular customer interaction, a targeted attempt can be made to achieve a personal touch, and deliver a uniquely-tailored customer experience. Using transcription, bots can automatically close customer cases based on what was said during the call. They can also sense the need to offer additional services or to offer suggestions for solving problems before they arise. Eventually, the AI will begin to uncover, based upon call types, potential new problems and offer potential solutions to those. All of these use-case scenarios help to increase the likelihood of an agent having a smooth and positive interaction with the customer. 

However, intelligent support in contact centers does not stop with supporting the customer - the needs of the agent must also be considered. With the help of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), agents are also supported and their processes optimized. Above all, software robots can perform standard tasks, including repetitive tasks such as creating cases, summarizing customer conversations, or scheduling tasks. The potential for gains here is immense, as simple data entry tasks eat up valuable time and is also prone to human error.

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3. Customer relationship Efficiency

Historical customer data is critically important to understanding customer relationships. It serves not only as a solid foundation for the development of bots, but it also provides a foundation to create complex AI algorithms for new case assistants. Furthermore, historical data is an important source for building a trusting customer relationship. Allowing an agent to have quick access to historical data ensures efficiency in the long term. The added value of transcription lies within the in-depth analyses of the big-picture and more detail-orientated trends which are collected from transcribed conversations.

All of these incredible innovations start with transcription. Transcription is the foundation of success and represents the starting point for the AI-powered, customer relationship management of the future. It is exciting to imagine what the service world of tomorrow will look like, and which of the use-case scenarios will have the greatest impact. This is but merely the beginning.

Customer centricity is at the heart of the biggest brands' success stories. But it doesn't happen overnight and it doesn't happen without sacrifice. Increasing customer-focus company-wide, requires resources. Efficiency is vital. With transcription, we stand at the precipice of highly-automated, highly-efficient contact centers, that'll help promote a significant shift in agent focus towards the customer. A small piece of a large puzzle, that will further drive the increasing value of the contact center. The days of the contact center as a cost-center are firmly behind us.

This article was written with the use of a speech-to-text transcription service. b+s Connects for Salesforce and b+s Connects for Service Cloud Voice will provide an integrated platform for transcription services in Salesforce in Q3 2021. Transcription of Cisco Contact Center interactions will facilitate Salesforce Einstein AI features like Next Best Action, Case Wrap-up and Article recommendations, as well as cross-channel analytics that incorporate the complete customer journey. Stay tuned for more details.