By Steve Forcum, Sales Engineer, Chief Evangelist, and Podcast Host for Avaya\n\nIn part 2 of this 3-part series we are visited by the Ghost of Contact Centers, Present. Tackling elevated customer frustration levels while lowering the overall temperature during the call process is vital, especially during the holidays.\n\nNo matter how much automation your organization invests in, the majority of calls must still be processed by subject matter experts. This means callers wait in ever-expanding queues, which can test the patience of even the most forgiving customer. When these callers land on the employee\u2019s desk, they often feel that they know more than the agent does about their issue, which can lead to friction. In reality, every caller, and every call, that an agent handles is different and unique. This requires time spent listening, digesting, researching, and then suggesting potential answers. The more time that is spent in the research and suggest cycle, the longer the waits and the greater the frustration for subsequent callers.\n\nThe answer to this fundamental problem? Artificial intelligence (AI). \n\nLet\u2019s go back to Dickens for a moment. When Scrooge first meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, he is taken aback by the joyful, opulent scene, and frankly, he\u2019s overwhelmed! Your employees might be feeling the same way about AI and the abundant opportunities that come with it. Many call center employees fear the advent of artificial intelligence because it\u2019s seen as a threat to their employment. However, spending some time getting to know how and when artificial intelligence can be deployed in an assistive manner can reveal incredible outcomes that could convince even the most skeptical employee. AI can listen in on every call, in real time, identify questions the caller is asking, and instantly suggest answers to the agent. When callers express frustration, either spoken or unspoken, AI can provide guidance to ensure better outcomes. Wait times in queue go down as agent productivity goes up; again, granting the contact center operations their wish \u2013 doing more with less. \n\nWhile the primary goal of assistive AI is to deliver operational efficiency that delights callers and increases productivity, a third benefit also arises. Being an agent in today\u2019s contact centers can be thankless work. You handle frustrated caller after frustrated caller, basking in the moments spent in wrap-up mode like an oasis, only to realize it\u2019s a mirage. When AI creates better customer outcomes, agents return to the queue more satisfied with their call resolutions. In other words, happier customers create happier agents, and happier agents create happier customers. It\u2019s a compounding benefit which leads to lower employee turnover, especially valuable in today\u2019s tight labor market.\n\nTo learn more about automation and how Avaya can help, reach out to a sales representative today.