Agent augmentation tools make the lives of contact center agents easier by enabling them to deliver high-caliber customer support. Yet today’s technology is siloed; there isn’t a unified agent augmentation solution that aggregates all of the tools that agents need and/or should have. This gap in the customer service technology market creates the conditions for poor service experiences.

The siloed tools that agents use work well — RPA improves agent productivity, next-best-action models predict customer intent, and analytics cue agents on when and how to provide emotional support. To really drive differentiated customer service, however, the technology needs to be federated. My new report (linked here) suggests that such a solution should borrow three components from the wildly popular navigation app Waze:

  1. The wisdom of the crowd driving the system. Waze relies on machine learning (ML) and crowdsourced information to create optimal experiences for drivers. Agent augmentation technology should piggyback off this concept; the solution should draw from agent behaviors and customer feedback. This information would then serve as sources of ML training data to improve the models that drive suggestions and guidance delivered to agents.
  2. The system predicting accidents and potholes ahead. Just as Waze alerts drivers of upcoming hazards, an agent augmentation solution should alert service reps of any forthcoming customer aggravation. Using predictive analytics, the solution would source information like patterns of customer behavior and social data to anticipate where a conversation is headed. This would give an agent ample time to steer a conversation before customer frustration sets in.
  3. The system dynamically rerouting the driver when circumstances change. Waze recognizes where traffic is and continuously redirects a driver to the best route. An augmentation solution should emulate this by providing ongoing coaching during a customer interaction, regardless of whether an agent is taking those suggested actions or not. It’s important that such a solution be discretionary, not prescriptive, though.

Disconnected agent augmentation systems get parts of the job done and provide agents, customers, and enterprises alike with limited benefits. But unifying these disparate technologies into a single solution would provide brands with the wherewithal to drive increased speed-to-proficiency for new agents and support for agents during edge case scenarios, as well as accelerate the creation of excellent customer service experiences. Vendors, take note.

(Hailey Colin contributed to this blog.)