With high inflation, rising interest rates and fears of a potential recession, organizations are increasingly looking to AI to help them cut costs and maximize revenue. Contact centers — which act as the frontline of customer service — are one such area, according to Larry Babbio, CEO at Afiniti, which provides AI that pairs customers and agents based on how well they are likely to interact.
Today, more than 22% of contact centers use chatbots to supplement their customer service channels, including chat and messaging. And that’s before taking into account the rapidly growing adoption of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
Babbio believes there is now even more pressure for contact centers to reduce overhead and invest more in automated solutions. But because the contact center is the first touchpoint of any customer interaction, it is important not to over-automate.
“Chatbots are exploding in popularity as companies race to reduce labor costs,” he says. “These tools are great for helping customers handle simple tasks like updating their address on an insurance policy or asking basic information, but when customers face a more complex issue or are simply frustrated, they’ll almost always want to speak with a live agent.”
Human to human interactions, though more costly than chatbots, tend to be high value and high margin, increasing the importance of getting each interaction right. But legacy contact center technology, which is still in use today, wasn’t built to consider the unique characteristics of the people on either end of the phone.
“Many contact centers still route customers to the next available agent, regardless of that agent’s ability to help that customer,” Babbio says. “Our technology reconfigures that routing process by looking at best fit, rather than agent availability. We figure out which agent is best suited to helping the customer with their particular problem, which increases the odds of delivering better outcomes for customers, agents, and organizations alike.”
Afiniti CEO Babbio believes that AI can drive better business outcomes by making moments of human connection more valuable — rather than by replacing agents. And with 1,000 data scientists and engineers, and more than 400 patents, Afiniti is constantly innovating to develop more use cases and applications of its technology.
“Increasingly, businesses are looking to us for deeper support and insight about how to improve the customer journey. And that’s where Afiniti’s AI technology can make a significant difference,” says Babbio. “Investing in an AI-native contact center is the natural next step for brands looking to create a better customer experience at scale. We see significant growth opportunities not just for us, but for our customers too.”