Future of Work News

AI and Automation for Workforce Management in the Contact Center


The contact center has enormous applications for AI and automation, particularly when it comes to increasing efficiency and improving the performance of agents. Scheduling and workforce management are two of the trickiest and problematic areas for contact centers, and AI has measurable value for both of these applications.

According to recent Salesforce Research, the use of AI among service organizations is expected to increase 143 percent this year alone. Considering the number of benefits AI and automation have in the contact center, we can expect to see widespread use of technology for predictive scheduling and workforce management.

Contact center AI systems have the capacity to calculate agent availability, predicted call volumes, vacation and holiday hours and other parameters to automate workforce scheduling. This type of forecasting also helps ensure contact centers have the right number of agents, with the proper set of skills, on hand as necessary.

AI also has myriad applications for coaching and training agents in real time, as well as providing important historical information and data about customers. AI applications are also being trained in the art of empathy, so they may pick up on tone and cadence and help human agents interact with customers more effectively while de-escalating potentially volatile situations.

Far from replacing human agents, AI and chatbots are automating routine queries and tasks, freeing up contact center workers to handle more challenging and complex interactions. They can also fill in data gaps to better inform these more advanced interactions, ensuring better overall outcomes.

Similarly, AI is not poised to replace contact center managers. Instead it has a valuable role to play in workforce management, automating time consuming tasks like scheduling and reporting. This frees up experienced human managers to deal with more complex issues like ensuring agents are challenged and happy.

Automated reporting can also quickly and easily show managers pain points throughout the contact center. Areas that may be lagging in productivity and efficiency can be quickly addressed, and resources reallocated to ensure the contact center is running optimally and cost effectively.

To learn more about how AI and automation are transforming workforce management in the contact center and beyond, TMC is hosting a Future of Work Expo from February 9-12, 2021 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event will examine how AI and automation are changing the workforce as we know it, with applications in the contact center, customer service, sales and marketing and beyond.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Future of Work Contributor

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