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The Benefits of Conversational AI in Contact Centers

Jay is joined by Garrett Mullins, Vice President of Customer Experience Solutions for Aucera, who shares his insight in answering the question, “How should companies that operate contact centers get in a position to obtain the benefits of conversational AI?”

January 10, 2024
9 min

Jay Ollero (00:08):
Hello, I am Jay Ollero and welcome to the CX Espresso. This micro cast features leading customer experience experts who share their thoughts on trends, tools, and best practices in customer experience. CX Espresso are single shots of Hot CX topics served to you by aera. Now today's topic brings into focus the changing landscape of customer experience services. An Aucera team member emailed this question about the contact center business at large. With so many technology advancements such as artificial intelligence, what does the future of our business look like? And joining us again is Aucera’s Scott Bell, Vice President of Customer Experience Solutions, who has worked for a customer experience services companies for close to 15 years. Welcome, Scott.

Jay Ollero (00:08):
Hello, I am Jay Ollero and welcome to the CX Espresso. This micro cast features leading customer experience experts who share their thoughts on trends, tools, and best practices in customer experience. CX Espresso are single shots of Hot CX topics served to you by Aucera. Today's topic centers around the benefits of conversational AI for companies that operate contact centers. Today I am joined by Aucera's, Garrett Mullins, Vice President of Customer Experience Solutions. Thank you so much for joining me today, Garrett.

Garrett Mullins (00:45):
Thanks, man. I'm really glad to be here. Really glad to talk about this topic and always glad to talk about Aucera.

Jay (00:51):
Well, let's just jump right into today's question. So how should companies that operate contact centers get in position to obtain the benefits of conversational AI?

Garrett (01:04):
That's a great question and there's lots of answers to this question. For our discussion today, I'd ask people to think about or just imagine that they're working for a well-funded startup, and the founders of the board came in and asked the question, said, what are we really doing to take advantage of AI or conversational AI, or how do we take advantage of it? Let's start with a definition about conversational AI. I think that might be a good place to start. So conversational AI, man, it's a technology approach that enables machines to really engage in what we call human-like conversations with users. And those users can be customers or they can be members of the customer engagement team or what we call the agents. It takes a mix of algorithms and machine learning and some kind of natural language speech and text processing, and it wraps all that up to capture all the words spoken by the customer and all the words spoken by the agent and puts them into a common system so those answers can be obtained from the software given right to the agent. That's why some people call this guided analytics. It actually guides the agent to the right answers that are needed, and as the system learns more is taught more, it just continues to give better answers that'll result in business improvements for our clients, like call deflection and other operational savings.

Jay (02:37):
How does the system or AI learn the right information for specific customers?

Garrett (02:43):
Yeah, that's great. There's so much talk around chat GPT and finding answers and AI hallucinating and those things. We believe the answer is rooted in the right way. Knowledge management is deployed when you have knowledge management, all the answers that are all packaged into a knowledge management system that can go out to single or multiple places to find the right answer for the agent. And in the execution of knowledge management, man, there's absolutely gold in capturing those answers and continually to refine the answers and the quality and accuracy of those answers because that just shortens call times improves customer sat, improves customer quality and conversion and all the things that customer care operators really care about.

Jay (03:38):
So setting up a knowledge management system, that's the answer,

Garrett (03:44):
Jay, it's a component of the answer at Aucera. We think it's probably the top one or two parts of the answer. We think it all starts with a narrative discovery of what customers and agents are really saying when they're interacting. The importance of this knowledge management's critical, but it's based upon what customers are really asking for and the kind of answers customer service professionals or agents are providing. What we believe is that answer is in your call recordings using speech analytics to understand these narratives at scale. Matter of fact, we even offer a review, a segment of a customer's recorded inbound calls to prove this out, to prove the kind of questions that are being asked, and were they or were they not actionable in knowledge management and delivered correctly from the agent? We do that as a service just to prove out the power of not only speech analytics, but knowledge management in this whole question prove customer experience,

Jay (04:53):
Experience. What else is needed in a startup company business plan to get the most from conversational AI?

Garrett (05:01):
Yeah, man, I love it. This is great, and I know our listeners probably don't have much time left, and this is a micro cast, but I'm going to go as quick as I can. It starts with having an omnichannel architecture. That means you're able to handle a call, take an email, handle a chat session or chatbot session simultaneously with the customer that provides a seamless way to communicate with customers in the way they want to communicate. If you've got that in place, that's the first thing we offer. Omnichannel tool, we can talk about that. Again, it's not a sales presentation, it's just telling you where you need to get started. The other thing is your CRM or your customer relationship management software, whether it's Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, you need to leverage that in guiding your AI solution with your agents. And what that means is once an answer or question is typed into the knowledge management system, real time AI kind of provides that answer back to the agent and it also enters your CRM system.

Garrett (06:05):
So you start to have that information at the fingertips of the agent, which we think is really powerful. We also mentioned speech analytics earlier, and I don't want to miss the point or making the importance that this is, knowing every recorded word spoken or typed by the customer is critical in understanding what the customer really wanted, and then did we really provide the right answer for them when they typed or emailed or asked us the questions? So speech analytics tied to your CRM and your call recordings, and along with being omnichannel, you have those components. I think you're on the right track to delivering really great customer experience in today's marketplace. I think there's another part I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget that the AI data analysts, and I probably should have said this sooner, a lot of the software that companies deploy for improving customer experience, a lot of this is you'll hear it's plug and play or it kind of works on its own and it will, it'll light up and the lights will blink on their own, but the information's harvested by the analysts.

Garrett (07:11):
So we think these data AI analysts are critical in really understanding how to make out-of-the-box software really, really function for our clients and Aucera’s been researching and evaluating these technologies for quite a while, and we actually offer them as a service to our clients versus having to research vendors and figure out which suppliers to utilize and purchase software license. Our agents and analysts understand these tools too. So it makes it really easy for our clients to take advantage of these technologies along with our solutions and ultimately improving their business and client relationships without wasting time with trying to figure out the suppliers and the technologies and software to buy. We've put these components into a single offering we call our innovation lab that gives the power of these CX improving tools for our clients. And Jay, our goal is to provide a solution that really improves your customer experience every time.

Jay (08:14):
Well, Garrett, thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your insight, and I look forward to talking with you soon.

Garrett (08:20):
Thanks, Jay. Thanks.

Jay (08:22):
And to the listeners, again, I am Jay Ollero, and if you'd like to submit CX questions for consideration, please email us at And if you'd like to learn more about Aucera, please visit Aucera is one of the nation's largest privately held contact center companies. Aucera provides bespoke cost-effective customer services and solutions.

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