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People want a personal experience that’s fitted exactly to them, and AI is making that human connection possible for businesses at scale.

Tracy Fleming - Advanced Solutions, Avaya

Tracy Fleming

Advanced Solutions, Avaya

The link between company and customer is built on experiences. It might be products and services that bring people to engage with a company in the first place, but it’s the quality of the interaction that retains customers, or loses them. Wherever and whenever that point of contact occurs, there’s a need to deliver an experience that’s welcoming, useful, appropriate, and enjoyable. With more than seven billion people on this planet, however, each with their own needs and desires, it’s simply impossible to curate a single experience that will suit them all. What one customer loves, another will hate.

And that really matters. People are no longer willing to accept friction in their interactions with companies. They know that there’s a better way and they expect it. The data is quite clear that customers are more than willing to walk away from a company after a bad experience. But how can you consistently create a good one for an audience with infinite variety?

The augmented human experience

In today’s era of cloud AI, the golden prize of a truly personalized experience for each customer is finally within reach. The answer is not, however, replacing agents with computers. Instead, we can augment the capabilities of the agents with AI, blending the human and the digital to create a seamlessly personal experience. “The human piece of this isn’t going away,” says Tracy Fleming, Practice Leader for AI at Avaya, a multinational technology company that specializes in cloud communications and workstream collaboration solutions. “Human interaction is still the gold standard. What you’re seeing is AI enabling that human to provide a better experience.”

Artificial intelligence is by no means a new area of exploration within the customer experience field, but as the capabilities of modern AI continue to grow exponentially, the implementation is taking on a whole new character. “The cloud is really the accelerator for the applied use of AI,” says Fleming. “It allows the technology to be applied seamlessly across an entire business model, and so we’re certainly seeing it being deployed in a much broader range of applications. But the core capabilities in this space have been executed in the Avaya world for years.”

Human interaction is still the gold standard. What you’re seeing is AI enabling that human to provide a better experience.

The angel on the shoulder

One of the major new developments is the ever-increasing speed and flexibility with which these AI solutions can be integrated into ongoing interactions. Gone is the time of AI systems facilitating the start of an interaction and then analyzing it afterwards. Whereas it used to be the norm for something like five percent of daily calls to be thoroughly analyzed after hours, now one hundred percent of calls can be analyzed as they’re happening.

AI still plays an integral role in directing the right customer to the right agent, not only for their needs, but also for their personality, demographics, and mood. But then it stays on the line. “What’s been really interesting due to the amount of computing and storage in the cloud today is the way we can provide outcome and input to agents in real time,” says Fleming. “We can have the AI acting as the front door concierge and also sitting on the shoulder of the agent as they’re talking. The AI hears what the customer is saying, finds the relevant data, and then renders it out to the agent on the fly. And it can prompt the agent before the call is over if they forget something, so you never have these incomplete experiences.”

The end result is an experience that is even more human. This is the real arc of the AI transformation, as it allows us to rehumanize our interactions. After decades of digitization and depersonalization, technology is building us a bridge back to genuine human connection.

Let’s see how your company scores on the total experience self-assessment?

There’s nothing artificial about an experience

When implemented properly to build dynamic experiences, artificial intelligence creates an environment where the humanity of both the agent and the customer is able to shine. The Avaya Experience Builders ecosystem leverages all the power of this technology to customize customization itself, so that the experience can be refined down to the essential of the business and then broadened again to fit the rich diversity of its customers. When done right, the most diligent AI experience work renders itself almost invisible.

“When a customer gets off a call thinking that, for 10 minutes, they were the only thing in that person’s world, they may not think to themselves, that was an incredible use of artificial intelligence,” says Fleming. “I would argue that’s the point. I think artificial intelligence is at its best when you don’t know it’s there.”

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