"It really is important to look at this AI moment in telecommunications as more than an incremental feature to current workflows. I fear #CCaaS providers are primarily seeing it as an incremental improvement to what they were already doing with AI," posted Dave Michels, the principal analyst and founder of TalkingPointz.
At 2600Hz we are exploring AI's transformative potential, beyond simple incremental improvements. Our experience indicates that AI will revolutionize the industry, and we're confident that it will bring significant changes to the way we work.
As we examine the workflows of call and contact centers, it's crucial to acknowledge that AI has the potential to do much more than provide incremental improvements, and we cannot set limits on the potential of AI based on what we currently know. AI is "the next wave" for contact centers, enabling intelligence to be driven through both the customer and agent journey. AI can identify intent, provide guidance, offer predictions, and be proactive, all before a customer or employee needs assistance. By providing a proactive and more efficient customer experience, AI can revolutionize the industry.
To further explore this idea, we can draw a comparison between the current AI era and the inception of the internet. It's evident that companies that recognized the transformative potential of the internet succeeded in the long run. However, some companies did not fully grasp the potential of the internet and made decisions based on their existing business model.
Sam Schillance, the Deputy CTO at Microsoft, reflected on that moment in the dot-com era and his experience founding an early internet desktop software company, Claris. He recalls "that Claris looked at the new paradigm through the lens of what it knew. It was a desktop app company, building desktop software (as was pretty much everyone at that moment - the internet had really just barely started), so they looked at the internet, decided web pages were the central and important feature, and decided the right thing to do was to build a desktop web page creator/editor. This wasn’t wrong, exactly - you couldn’t argue that it had no value, and people did use it. But it wasn’t really very right either." Claris, as we know, did not become a major player in the internet era.
Once again, we can see this happening again with the new AI era. Fragments of AI are being incorporated into existing applications or workflows. Although these additions can bring noteworthy enhancements to workflows, they often fail to fully comprehend the transformative potential of AI.
Leading the industry towards a more proactive future, many CCaaS providers are exploring potential transformative uses of AI, one in which customers are alerted to problems before they become aware of them. According to Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President of Cisco, the key to success in the CCaaS industry is not to focus solely on the customer's experience during a call, which often involves navigating menu items and transferring calls multiple times. Instead, it's important to anticipate problems, offer multiple channels for customers to engage based on their preference and priorities, and proactively address any issues that may arise.
Similar to the beginnings of the Internet era, we find ourselves in the middle of a paradigm shift, and while it can be stressful and uncertain, this new era is truly remarkable in terms of reevaluating the capabilities of AI and what it can achieve. CCaaS providers should perceive this pivotal moment as more than a mere incremental addition to existing workflows. Instead, we should acknowledge AI's transformative power and be open to embracing it. As a CCaaS provider, we wholeheartedly embrace the potential and envision a future where AI drives the success of the CCaaS industry.