Technology Record - Issue 30: Autumn 2023

102 INTERVIEW The essentials of customer service Abby Monaco and Brian Mistretta of NICE discuss how artificial intelligence tools are empowering organisations to deliver better customer experiences Recent advancements in technology have been changing how we work, shop, communicate and more, and organisations looking to deliver exceptional customer experience should consider transforming their approach accordingly. “As we enter a new era of digital immersion, the traditional conventions of delivering customer experience need to be updated and replaced with a new approach that better addresses today’s consumer, agent and brand expectations,” says Abby Monaco, senior product marketing manager of the customer experience division at Nice. To do this, organisations should take advantage of new and evolving technology and the growing range of solutions focused on solving these specific challenges. “Technology is an essential component, if not the core component, to delivering a consistent customer experience,” says Brian Mistretta, director of product marketing in the customer experience division of Nice. “Take artificial intelligence for example. While generative AI has been an industry buzzword for the last year, the technology didn’t emerge without the significant strides in natural language processing and natural language understanding that have been ongoing through many years, especially in the customer experience space. “Self-service channels are now keeping customers engaged because they are providing meaningful support. They can drive proactive outreach, helping customers who may be stuck on a web form, or even handle mundane transactional tasks like making appointments and password resets, all without needing to infringe on their human counterparts.” AI is also a valuable tool that helps human agents communicate, solve problems and deal with issues they may have not come across before in real time. “AI tools help agents decrease the time it takes to resolve interactions by providing contextual and relevant information to the agent ‘in the moment’ as well as analysing sentiment and behaviours to guide agents on what to say next, how to show empathy or point out that they interrupt too often,” says Mistretta. “All soft skills that are difficult to coach and improve.” While organisations recognise that they need to invest in technologies, it can be challenging for them to know which of the many options best suits their needs. “There is an abundance of technology to choose from, and disparate technology stacks made up from solutions developed by multiple vendors don’t always ‘play nice’ with each other,” says Mistretta. “This can result in data silos, blind spots and bottlenecks for the organisation. We recognise that this is a common denominator for many organisations we are working with. They have a dynamic landscape of applications, and they absolutely must be able to work with new systems being introduced.” BY AMBER HICKMAN “ Technology is an essential component, if not the core component, to delivering a consistent customer experience”