Cogito prides itself on being a customer-first company, much like many of the clients we serve. That’s why on a routine basis, we host executives from prominent Fortune 500 companies who we are privileged to call Cogito customers. Recognizing customer service is an ever-evolving industry, our goal is to understand how attitudes and requirements have changed since our last discussion to get the latest pulse on what contact center leaders need, and ensure Cogito is delivering it with new features, enhancements, and innovations.
At our recent meeting in December, our customers predicted that 2024 will be about consolidating costs and driving revenue after an economically turbulent year for most markets. The first effort to achieve this is to balance human agents and technology to properly augment the agent’s role by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into existing workflows to improve the agent, supervisor, and customer experience (CX).
It’s worthwhile to note that most consumers also agree with this notion, considering a recent Cogito commissioned survey found that nearly half (46%) of consumers prefer to speak to a real human during the CX, but feel comfortable if the agent is using AI in the background to improve the interaction.
Check out some of our high-level themes and takeaways from our Customer Advisory Board discussion below.
The Importance of Quality Training Data in the Contact Center
The AI market is booming — perhaps most notably after the emergence of ChatGPT over the past year, a generative AI-powered chatbot that answers questions in a human-like manner. Now, many customers are eager to leverage this and other similar Large Language Models (LLMs) to help make better business decisions and upskill employees. However, as with any innovations, comes the challenges associated with successfully integrating it into the enterprise.
When doing so, we’ve discussed with our customers that no element is more essential in AI than quality training data. The quality of the data has great implications on any AI model’s development, accuracy, and performance — setting a forceful precedent for all future applications leveraging the same training data.
However, the amount of data generated annually has grown year-over-year over the past decade and is far from slowing down. In fact, Statista found the amount of data generated in 2023 is expected to increase by over 150% in 2025. This means it’s getting harder to not only properly gather and store all available data for an enterprise, but then ensure your algorithm is absorbing only high-quality datasets so that any decisions inferred from it won’t cause issues down the line.
This brings us back to the importance of keeping a human in the loop when training datasets. With constant oversight, feedback, intervention, and data gathering from humans directly, the algorithm learns and produces better results every time.
Operationalizing the Agent Experience
It’s no industry secret that customer interactions are becoming increasingly more complex. With this, agents are now required to be a jack of all trades — able to answer many diverse questions, solve lots of different problems and in many industries, also act as a salesperson. However, this feat can seem impossible for agents without the right tools in place to help.
This is where the value of balancing humans with technology becomes a key priority in the contact center. Forward-looking organizations like our customers are keeping a human agent front-and-center during the customer interaction. While behind the scenes, they’re leading agents to better outcomes through leveraging Cogito’s contextually appropriate AI cues to augment the conversation.
First, this AI harnesses the power of analyzing voice signals, words, and phrases to generate real-time Emotion AI cues to effectively understand the customer’s emotional state to help foster deeper and more meaningful connections.
Simultaneously, Conversation AI helps improve the agent’s workflow adherence and makes it simple to adhere to procedures for more effective interactions. This function can help optimize topics via real-time guidance that delivers smart recommendations to help the agent pull what the conversation needs in the moment. This includes access to enriched product knowledge, ways to capitalize on up- or cross-selling opportunities, and tailored customer information — empowering agents to resolve routine and complex customer issues quickly and effectively.
From sarcasm and frustration to excitement and relief, conversation context can shift rapidly throughout customer service conversations. Cogito’s AI cues are delivered in real-time and at hyperscale to give agents the confidence in consistency, ensuring that they’ll understand the context and nuances of the customer’s speech as the conversation progresses.
This winning combination leads to less risk of burnout, fatigue, and turnover in agents, improved job confidence and satisfaction through achieving better customer experiences, and stronger agents through having the data to result in upskilling and training opportunities.
Operationalizing the Supervisor Experience
As we heard from our customers, the agent and customer-specific data doesn’t mean anything if management doesn’t know how to use it to improve experiences. Cogito’s EX Score and live dashboard helps supervisors assess their agent’s perception of every customer interaction and get a live pulse check on how agents are doing.
Evaluating the agent experience has never been more critical than a time where contact centers are facing high levels of burnout and attrition in agents. Even while remote, supervisors can virtually “walk the floor” by having live visibility into each agent’s call and receiving EX alerts that notify them when an agent is navigating a challenging customer interaction. This way, supervisors can be by the agent’s side to support and help coach them through difficult calls to ensure their well-being doesn’t decline, and the customer’s needs are met.
Taking coaching a step further, data from call scores and post-call analyses and summaries enable supervisors to continue to train and upskill their agents even after a conversation ends — arming them with the insight needed to continue improving performance and producing better outcomes.
A Final Thank You
Thank you again to our Customer Advisory Board for their continued collaboration, insights, and progressive mindsets that help Cogito understand the challenges agents and supervisors face and customers’ evolving expectations in this new contact center landscape. With this foresight, we’re excited to continue to improve the human experience in contact centers in 2024. Stay tuned!