4 June 2023 – How AI-driven solutions are revolutionising customer service in contact centres

Published by rudy Date posted on June 5, 2023


JUNE 4, 2023

Renowned architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

The cost of innovation and the price of stagnation
What happens to a business or brand that can’t react to a changing model or environment? History is littered with former market leaders that stopped innovating, fell short of customer expectations, and became obsolete.

Enterprise brands are especially vulnerable. Innovation at scale is expensive, and replacing long-standing legacy systems is costly and hard. With mounting pressure to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, standing still feels easier than clearing hurdles to move ahead. But customers never stop moving, and the pace of innovation only accelerates. It’s not good enough for brands to walk hand in hand with customers. They need to be comfortably out ahead.

Spotting trends can take you from legacy to leading
Customers are, and always will be, the heart of any successful business. Yet, nowhere is the stagnation of enterprise technology more evident than how we service and support them. Despite the buzz of “digital transformation” over the last decade, it’s shocking to see how similar today’s contact centres are to contact centres of 10 or 20 years ago.

Enterprise businesses grapple with a world today where customers are sharing everything they think, feel, and know about brands. How the business is run, executive reputation and leadership styles, products, services, and the good, bad and ugly of ratings and reviews is fair game for public online discussion.

Unfortunately, the evolution from legacy to leading requires more than just offering a website bot for support. If you don’t have dynamic, customized AI, guided workflows, and an ability to preserve the context of conversations from every digital channel with proper routing to the right agent, you’re only inches ahead of those considered “legacy.” Right now, customers from around the world are “hanging up” on your bot just like your 1-800 number call tree.

Where customers are and where they need you to go
From legacy on-prem systems, to the first cloud-based solutions, to truly omni-channel solutions of today, it’s good to know where the contact centre has been, but it’s more important to know where it should go.

Twenty plus years ago, the customer service function was performed in silos. In-person customer service in physical stores was separate from employees in call centres. The centre of gravity was very much around voice, and these software solutions were entirely on-premise. Companies made massive investments to serve thousands of customer service agents. These systems were complex and very expensive. And many enterprise companies are still stuck with core systems that are decades old.

In the early to mid-2000’s, the very first virtual contact centers emerged. Cloud-based alternatives to traditional, on-prem solutions marked a new era for contact centres. However, these systems were still using voice as the central call-centre technology. And even today, many still consider a voice-first approach.

For companies who made the shift from on-premise to cloud solution support, they claim benefits of cost savings, better interfaces, and more access to data for agents. But what does that mean for customers?

Antiquated voiced-based systems that rely on automated menus haven’t changed our experience much. And with customers in the driver’s seat of who they will or won’t do business with, poor customer service can stand in the way of growth. Or worse, it can break a brand’s reputation and bottom line.

The next generation of customer service
The latest and most sophisticated generation of contact centre software is a fundamentally and radically different experience for the consumer; one that provides benefits to both the business and the customer.

Next generation contact centre as a service (CCaaS) solutions don’t wait for a customer inbound call. The new model for customer service shifts from being reactive to being proactive. Why wait for complaints or even a crisis? With customers sharing petabytes of publicly available data every day, brands can tap into insights about what their customers think, want, and need.

Contact centres that are fueled by insights can activate a very different model for service and dramatically improve that experience for customers. Every one-star review can become a prioritised ticket to resolve. Every mean tweet becomes an opportunity to create an advocate. Every outreach becomes an opportunity to sell. AI that is dynamic and trained to learn and grow, sits at the heart of a leading contact centre. And while voice is still a channel option, customer analysis suggests that faster and easier resolution of problems makes voice support a last resort.

New model: Less service is better service
For today’s consumer, the best service is no service. Proactive listening and insights inform product development, marketing, and sales to help address common pain points and eliminate the need for service at all.

The second-best service is findable, self-service help or virtual agents. Trust me, your customer does not want to call you. AI can provide answers to common issues. It can provide smart responses via a bot or self-service FAQ. Customers are often happy to help themselves or engage with technology if you can make that interaction painless.

When a customer needs an agent’s support, a brand is ready with its third-best option. A phone call may indicate a particularly difficult issue or very frustrated customer.

Agents need a system that captures and preserves the context from any previous interactions on social, email, chat, and more, and makes that context readily available so they can move forward with the best resolution. Ten-to-twenty-year-old legacy systems – on-prem or in the cloud, cannot do this.

Enterprises must find the courage to make the shift from an outdated legacy approach to one built on the premise of meeting customers where they are – with dynamic AI, listening, and insights.

Contact centres of the future can shift from being a cost-centre to revenue drivers. They can shift from inefficient service to a centre of efficiency. And they can move from a reactionary customer complaint department to a proactive model that unlocks an exceptional digital front door for any brand. It’s time for enterprises to fight for their relevancy, or risk being left for another that delights.

Ragy Thomas is the CEO and founder at Sprinklr

April – Month of Planet Earth

“Full speed to renewables!”


Solidarity with CTU Myanmar,
trade unions around the world,
for democracy in Myanmar,
with the daily protests of
people in Myanmar against
the military coup and
continuing oppression.


Accept National Unity Government
(NUG) of Myanmar.
Reject Military!

#WearMask #WashHands

Time to support & empower survivors.
Time to spark a global conversation.
Time for #GenerationEquality to #orangetheworld!
Trade Union Solidarity Campaigns
Get Email from NTUC
Article Categories