Artificial intelligence, or AI, has begun to play an increasingly vital role in call centers in the Philippines, thanks in large part to the escalated volume of calls those centers are processing today. AI has been used to support customer service agents and provide consistency while maximizing first-call resolutions and reducing call-handling times. The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the development and use of AI in call centers in the Philippines.
“There is a common fear that implementing AI will ultimately lead to loss of human jobs, but in the case of customer service interactions, this is unlikely. Human-to-human contact is a preference for many customers; rather than replacing agents, AI utilizes machine learning and predictive analytics to provide real-time feedback that aids them, making both agents and call center more productive,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, an award-winning call center in the Philippines.
“AI is still in its infant stages and unable to fully replace agents. It augments the customer service experience, allowing agents to access data as they need it and customers to access information about their account history without long hold times, resolving simple queries quickly. At the same time, when a customer needs or desires interaction with an actual agent, AI’s assistance means agents can close issues much faster,” says Ellspermann.
All call centers, including those in the Philippines, have long been heavily performance-based. Scripting, oversight, and careful attention to specific key concerns and solutions have been the standard in order to maximize efficiency and customer experience as quickly and succinctly as possible.
“Thanks to AI, scaling these solutions and results is faster and more precise than ever before. For example, agents have traditionally received feedback regarding their performance only after the call has been completed. However, with the assistance of smart AI that recognizes certain words and phrases and evaluates potential outcomes, agents can receive feedback or suggestions for problem-solving in real time,” he adds.
While AI is incredibly helpful in supporting agents during a call, it has additional benefits. Agents who deal with fewer agitated callers have better performance overall and greater job satisfaction.
“Through machine learning, data points related to vocal characteristics, previous call histories, and even the issue of concern that caused the customer to initiate the call in the first place, AI can predict when a customer might get angry and can prompt the agent to facilitate change before the issue even arises,” Ellspermann explains.
This proves especially advantageous when call centers are located in different countries of origin than the callers, as it reduces confusion that can be created by language barriers or difficulties navigating different dialects. AI demonstrates its value not only to the corporations spending millions of dollars on customer service calls, but to the agents in call centers and the customers themselves. That said, there is little doubt that AI is here to stay and will play an increasingly important role for call centers in the Philippines and around the world.