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The future of AI-powered call centers: Three key takeaways

July 14, 2023

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PolyAI’s CEO & Co-founder, Nikola Mrkšić, joined Ultimate’s CEO & Co-founder, Reetu Kainulainen, to talk about how generative AI is reshaping the world around us and how contact centers will change in response to this groundbreaking tech.

Here are three key takeaways from Ultimate’s Future-gazing session and your opportunity to watch the entire session.

1. Conversational AI is revolutionizing customer service

Advanced language models like ChatGPT and LLMs are driving the transformative potential of conversational AI. “I think on the general AI front, what’s about to happen is an avalanche of innovation. Models are getting smaller, and — the proof is there. It exists,” said Nikola Mrkšić.

Language models have surpassed expectations by demonstrating remarkable capabilities. This level of advancement in natural language understanding and generation indicates the potential of AI in customer service.

“We are genuinely going through something that’s going to be like an industrial revolution with AI.” – Nikola Mrkšić.

2. Upskilling support teams is crucial

Over the next 12 months, there is an expectation that support teams won’t be uprooted entirely, but they will experience some significant changes.

We can expect support organizations to become smaller, but the good news is that they’ll be better compensated and happier. There’s a growing trend of upskilling support teams and granting them permission to adopt new technologies. This empowerment allows them to become experts in their field and take the lead in driving transformative changes within their companies.

Support teams are often overlooked in big organizations. However, they are becoming the spearhead of innovation. Their hard work and dedication, combined with the adoption of AI, make a real difference in how organizations provide customer support.

“I don’t know if it’s in 12 months, but I think really what we’re moving towards is a contact center that’s probably a fifth of the size in staff, but the staff are better compensated, happier.” Nikola Mrkšić

This transformation towards AI powered call centers has the potential to create more satisfied customers and a positive work environment for support professionals.

“[Support teams] should have a lot of power because they’re the ones integrated with the customers. But I feel like now, they are the ones actually adopting the latest and greatest of technology and becoming the experts in it.” – Reetu Kainulainen

3. Proceed with small steps and a partnership mindset

When adopting AI technologies, companies should take small steps and focus on a quick succession of small wins. Instead of tackling everything at once, investing in education and understanding how the technology fits into their unique environment, customer base, and processes is crucial. Unforeseen challenges may arise, and a strong partnership between technology providers and organizations will be vital for success.

“In the end, it’s your environment, your customers, your processes. There always might be something unexpected — and that’s when the partnership comes in, not the technology. And I think that’s key.” – Nikola Mrkšić

This iterative approach allows companies to learn and adapt as they go along. It is crucial for companies to invest in their education during the early stages of implementing an AI powered call centers. This partnership between AI providers and companies is essential, as unexpected challenges may arise, requiring collaboration and flexibility.


You can watch the full session between Nikola and Reetu here.

PolyAI has partnered with Ultimate to bring its multi-modal, chat-based customer support automation platform to its customers.

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