Avaya is partnering with a vendor that uses artificial intelligence to route incoming calls to the support and...
sales agents most likely to meet the customers' needs. Afiniti Enterprise Behavioral Pairing will be added to Avaya's contact center platforms later this year, although companies will need to execute a contract with Afiniti to activate the service.
Afiniti's intelligent call routing starts with a customer's phone number and then scans more than 100 internet and internal databases, including customer relationship management systems, to build a profile of each caller. The process could also include demographic information and records of previous contact center queries made by the customer.
The platform also accesses information about available agents, such as their success rate with particular customer segments, and can analyze trends across the contact center. If male agents are determined to be twice as successful as female agents at selling to male customers, for example, Afiniti's service could route incoming calls accordingly when possible.
More than 150 organizations are already using Afiniti's intelligent call routing. The over-the-top service is compatible with dozens of contact center platforms, including those from Cisco and Genesys. Avaya plans to natively integrate the service with its contact center products to make it easier for customers to activate.
Avaya will add the Afiniti software to Avaya Aura Call Center Elite through a software patch in the third quarter of 2018. The vendor is aiming to enable intelligent routing of texts, emails and chats through its platforms by early 2019.
The partnership announced this week between Avaya and Afiniti is part of the A.I. Connect initiative that Avaya launched last year to improve its contact center and unified communications portfolios using artificial intelligence.
Contact center vendors pursue intelligent call routing
The Afiniti integration will help Avaya deliver on a long-standing promise of contact center vendors to support routing that is truly intelligent, said Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder of Opus Research, based in San Francisco.
"For a couple of decades, [intelligent routing] equated to the rudimentary delivery of incoming calls to the 'best agent,' which was often just the next available agent," Miller said. "For businesses like Caesars World and T-Mobile, Afiniti has shown that artificial intelligence can be applied in real time to match an incoming contact with the most appropriate agent or resource."
Afiniti says its intelligent call routing helped T-Mobile generate $70 million in additional annual revenues by converting prospective customers to paying customers at a higher rate. Afiniti charges customers based on a percentage of the value derived from use of its product.
Avaya is not the only contact center vendor pursuing this type of technology. Genesys Predictive Routing, for example, analyzes data on agents and customer interactions to predict outcomes and route queries accordingly. Similar to Afiniti, Genesys uses machine learning to improve customer-agent matches over time.
Avaya has been working to embed artificial intelligence throughout its customer experience portfolio through internal product development, as well as vendor partnerships, according to Nancy Jamison, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
Avaya recently acquired the company Spoken, which makes speech recognition technology that listens for keywords during contact center conversations and provides contextual information to agents. The tool also automatically transcribes those interactions.
"Exciting areas of R&D, including cognitive and behavioral science, have vast potential to prove value when it comes to the employee and customer engagement," Jamison said.