This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Everything Enterprise Connect 2024: News, trends and insights

How agent assist technology works in the contact center

Contact centers that invest in agent assist technology can help their agents become more productive and eliminate tedious tasks to make their jobs easier.

Contact center leaders can uncover measurable success with agent assist technology, as it can make agents more productive and improve customer satisfaction.

Agent assist includes various types of software that use AI to give agents advice, information and context to provide the best customer service in real time. Proper agent assist strategies may also include ancillary products or services. They can incorporate various AI-powered technologies, including natural language processing, sentiment analysis, speech and text analytics, transcriptions and workflow analytics.

Agent assist was a major topic at this year's Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando, with a session hosted by Metrigy titled, "Agent Assist and Virtual Assistants: How are Companies Supercharging their Agents?" CX leaders in the audience agreed with Metrigy's research, which said 2024 will be a big year of growth for agent assist.

How agent assist benefits the contact center

Agent productivity is a growing priority among contact center leaders. In 2022, most CX leaders prioritized customer satisfaction over agent productivity, according to Metrigy's annual MetriCast study. Under 15% of survey respondents in the 2022 report said they prioritized agent productivity. That percentage has grown 20% since, according to Metrigy's upcoming report, as organizations began to realize that improving agent productivity and happiness can improve customer satisfaction in turn.

Other issues also drive the move to agent assist. For example, agent turnover rates continue to rise, according to Metrigy's "AI for Business Success 2024-25" global study of 697 companies. Over half of respondents cited agent burnout as a significant contributor to this attrition. Agent assist can help, as it can offload work, such as after-call tasks, follow-up emails and reading terms and conditions, to help agents swiftly resolve issues and move to the next ones.

Many organizations also choose to implement agent assist because of its proven track record. For example, many companies that already use agent assist have seen average handle time drop. AI works behind the scenes to give agents advice on how to respond to inquiries, provide context to personalize interactions and permit discounts or other offers to retain disgruntled customers.

Additionally, agent assist helps companies sell. Over half of those using it said it helps their agents upsell or cross-sell, which has increased sales from their contact center, according to the Metrigy study.

Contact center supervisors also find value in agent assist. They can pair this technology with coaching software to offer online training amid short lulls in call volume. This can improve overall staff performance and, ultimately, improve customer satisfaction.

Recapping Enterprise Connect 2024

The role of generative AI

Generative AI (GenAI) can improve the quality of agent assist over time. For example, agents can enter natural language prompts into a desktop interface to get fast answers to customer questions; generate documentation, instructions or contextual materials to send to customers; or change their schedules.

GenAI can also improve transcriptions. Rather than spending several minutes after each interaction taking notes, setting up tasks or tracking action items, GenAI can show a live transcription during the entire interaction. This can save agents time on after-call work.

Overall, agent assist can improve agent efficiency and customer satisfaction. As agents become more and more comfortable working with an AI copilot, they will power through a growing number of interactions each day and more easily meet their KPIs.

Robin Gareiss is CEO and principal analyst at Metrigy, which conducts research and advises enterprises and technology providers.

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