Conversational AI helps adapt call centers

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In the often infuriating experiences made infamous by customer service chatbots and voice prompts, digitally savvy consumers know there has to be a better way.

Yet human call center agents are in short supply these days, and they need to eat, sleep and take a day off once in a while, which is why bots and voice prompts were invented. in the first place. The solution to this multifaceted dilemma is conversational artificial intelligence (AI) that improves automated customer service experiences using smarter technology.

On a mission to decode conversational AI for customer engagement, NLX co-founder and CEO Andrei Papancea told PYMNTS editor Matt Nesto that demand has “exploded since the pandemic.”

“Thanks to the needs of having to scale human operations, conversational AI is such a practical use of technology,” he said. “It goes beyond the digital assistants we’re used to like Siri, Alexa…especially in the call center. We have seen a huge increase in demand for call center technology and automation in particular. »

All consumers have horror stories about call centers, but it becomes less of a pain as AI advances. Consider the task of resetting a password you forgot.

“It’s one of the top reasons for calling in almost every call center, and it’s hard to automate voice,” Papancea said. “For you to automate this over voice, you first have to manage a relatively insecure channel” – saying the passwords out loud over the phone – plus “it’s error-prone”.

Instead of this risky and cumbersome method, NLX has introduced technology that picks up people on the phone after following a few prompts, sending them a link to reset the password. Then, instead of dropping the call, the digital assistant stays online and syncs with what the customer sees on the screen.

Using the range of human/digital expressions from the spoken word to the embedded link, Papancea said, “It creates this consistent end-to-end experience that can cross channels, but at the same time doesn’t lose context and frustrate users throughout the process. It’s like making sure the end user has a good experience.

See also: Yum Brands deploys conversational commerce in 2,000 stores

Say the magic word

Having been part of the team that built the conversational AI platform for American Express, Papancea told Nesto that the pandemic crisis catalyzed the need for the NLX platform.

After completing a $5 million seed funding round in January, NLX is investing in new innovations while adding to a roster of customers and partners that includes Amazon, among others.

“Our growth started during the pandemic,” Papancea said. “In our partnership with Amazon, we focused on the travel and hospitality industry because they were really hurting, and we wanted to be part of that rebound. There were a lot of opportunities to help them do better. things.

Customers like Panama-based Copa Airlines have been plagued by cancellations and COVID entry rules enacted by many busy places around the world.

“Let’s say the traveler calls because they have a massive disruption with their current trip being put on hold for two hours, while a myriad of other people are calling asking what the PCR test is,” Papancea said. “The balance and the key to solving the problem is to have practical automation in place that can solve as many use cases as possible through self-service.”

By applying AI automation to the call center, “it seemed like a great opportunity to help reshape an industry,” he said.

Building on this experience, NLX is the launch partner for the start-up airline which is expected to begin operations within months. The company is also looking to financial services and healthcare, he said, where the company’s SOC 2 and HIPAA compliance come in handy. Along the way, he tells customers that not all solutions call for automation: the goal is to optimize the experience.

“Sometimes the right thing for the customer experience is to send the person to an agent,” he said. “Problems arise when automation is not used, or not used correctly.” he said.

See also: The voice takes its place as a digital gateway for a better patient experience

Customers first

Papancea said that from startups to enterprises, “We teach [clients] how to use our products so that they can build and manage these conversations themselves… introducing transparency into the operation of these applications. We don’t need the black box solution where you go around a corner and hide behind some magic AI. We build practical business solutions.

This feature resonates with businesses looking to revamp automated customer service in an age of ultimate optionality, which means the experience is everywhere – so get it right.

“The cool thing is we’re seeing more and more companies looking to put the customer first,” Papancea said.

Regardless of the type of business, “a lot of the time it’s about being able to scale their operations elastically,” he said. “If you crank up the volume on how many call center agents you have … you can allow the AI ​​system to take more calls. Sometimes customers are just looking for additional communication channels.

See also: Democrats propose rules on artificial intelligence

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