Comm100 Launches AI-enabled Agent Assist
We caught up with Comm100 to talk about their new AI-powered Virtual Assistant
Comm100 has unveiled Agent Assist, its new artificial intelligence (AI) powered virtual assistant to help call centre agents handle calls more efficiently and effectively. The company says AI has been applied not to replace human agents with automated machines but to make it easier for agents to respond accurately and rapidly to queries, thereby freeing up time to spend on more complex customer interactions.
“We’ve built a Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine that listens in on the customer conversation, deduces their intent and then surfaces that for the agent to use to respond to the query,” explained Jeff Epstein, the vice president of product at Comm100. “Within the live chat, we have a feature called canned messages which makes it easy for agents to respond in a standardised way to what’s being said. Without Agent Assist, the agent has to search for the appropriate message to use.”
AI Agent Enhancement
Epstein added that a recent CCW Disruptive Technology Review found that 88% of customer experience professionals recognise that AI will enhance, not replace agents. “Agent Assist listens, finds terms and intents and surfaces that very quickly with button links to messages for the agent to choose from,” he said. “The benefits are that the agent doesn’t have to pay quite as close attention because Agent Assist helps them figure out what the customer wants. In addition, there’s no need for them to search for the appropriate answers because Agent Assist does it for them, and, when a question never seen before occurs, the agent can expand the knowledge of the system.” So, Agent Assist interprets customer intents and then suggests actual answers for the agent to use, impressive stuff.
“Our estimation is that by using Agent Assist, you can cut the response time by 10-15%,” he added.
“You’ve made the customer happy and you’ve increased agent productivity by shortening the call length. Significant benefit accrues to the customer, not just the organisation.”
In spite of the recent advances in AI, Epstein does not feel the end of human agents is approaching. “When it comes to AI in the contact centre, our belief is that the box is open now and you can’t put AI back in its box,” he added. “However, we do believe that agent facing AI will happen faster than the introduction of chatbots because it’s lower risk and we are bullish that there is quicker return on investment for AI in the call centre than for chatbots.”
Chatbots as Frontline Tool
Epstein thinks that, while chatbots have clear applications and are accepted by many users, for more complex queries and certain demographics of customers, there are cultural barriers to their wider uptake. “It’s a cultural question,” he confirmed. “We’ve rolled out chatbots and seen growing adoption of them as a front line tool. However, there are situations where customers want to bypass the chatbot and we can route that chat, for example for a VIP customer, past the bot and directly to an agent.”
“You can put up your AI in the front line and skim off the easy questions to the bot or bypass it completely,” Epstein said.
“You can then bring the right query to the right agent to handle it. We see the workflow between humans and AI becoming a mutually beneficial and productive collaboration.”