Published: August 09, 2021 | Comments
The crisis over the past year and a half has accelerated the future state contact center in terms of fortifying remote work and normalizing the deployment of digital assistants to enable self-service and to guide agents.
Omdia estimates that as a result 50% of agents who were moved to work from home during the pandemic will continue to work remotely even through early 2022. This new normal will require an omnichannel approach, an increase in digital and self-service options, location independent agent workforces, more gig workers, and AI-optimized customer journey orchestration.
As noted in Omdia’s Market Landscape: The Changing Roles and Environments of the Contact Center and its Agents, the events of the past year and a half that resulted in remote workforces and digital-first interactions will give rise to the “super agent.” These highly trained and specialized live agents can share expertise, as well as deliver compassion toward sensitive interactions.
Through AI-powered agent assist capabilities, intelligent journey orchestration, and automation, agents and subject matter experts (SMEs) across the enterprise or in the field are increasingly handling complex or delicate calls to deliver personalized attention and empathetic responses. These super agents will receive these specialized or escalated calls via intelligent routing or AI-powered digital assistants, targeted to help route inquiries and calls to the most appropriate people in the organization.
As AI advances, it will play an increasingly important role in enabling super agent scenarios where automation further streamlines contact center services and AI-powered agent assist. Real-time knowledgebases enable super agents to engage in empathetic ways with customers during sensitive interactions.
Empathy and personalization are vital in connecting with customers in emotional ways especially post-COVID. When enterprises establish and build empathy into their engagements by understanding how and why customers feel the way they do and communicate effectively, it will lend itself to opening pathways toward greater personalization.
AI can’t replace human empathy, but it can help augment human engagement to assist super agents in becoming more empathetic to deliver emotionally connected engagement. This involves taking a human-centric AI approach, which places some of the complex understanding on the shoulders of technology while delivering emotional and cognitive input to humans. Super agents bridge the gap between simulated empathy and human empathy, by delivering empathetic engagement via AI-powered real-time coaching and accessing holistic insights that can enable proactive interactions.
These added capabilities to the contact center’s CX toolset will help to elevate the role of the agent to super agent. In turn, this will reinforce the value of the contact center as a profit center rather than as a cost center as it traditionally had been viewed.
To read similar reports and research, go to www.omdia.com.