Sabrina Atienza of Pega – Voice AI helps customer support brokers turn into data employees and model ambassadors


Anyone who has checked out this weekly collection in all probability is aware of I’ve a sort of infatuation with voice know-how and conversational AI.  I actually look ahead to the day the place I can use pure language as an alternative of typing, clicking and swiping for extra of my interactions.  Which is why I’m all the time looking out for progressions, evolutions and transformations that could be resulting in a day when that could be getting nearer to taking place.  

One of many areas the place you’re seeing plenty of attention-grabbing stuff happening within the space of voice tech is buyer expertise.   And a technique to enhance that have, significantly while you’re in want for help, is to have nice interactions with a customer support agent who is aware of how that can assist you and may do it effectively.  

Earlier this week Pegasystems, a number one buyer engagement platform, introduced two new merchandise, Voice AI and Messaging AI, that’s trying to present customer support brokers with their very own “co-pilot” to help them in realtime as they assist clients searching for rapid assist.  And I used to be capable of communicate with Sabrina Atienza, director of product administration at Pega, to share her ideas on how voice and messaging AI may also help human brokers present a greater expertise for purchasers in want and switch them into model ambassadors for the corporate.

Under is an edited transcript from a portion of our dialog.  Click on on the embedded SoundCloud participant to listen to the total dialog.

Early begin in AI and Voice Tech

Sabrina Atienza:  I truly grew up within the Philippines and immigrated to America and grew up in New Jersey. And in school, over in UC Berkeley, I studied pc science and physics. This was round 2013 after I graduated and so large knowledge and AI was simply beginning to turn into mainstream and fairly huge throughout all totally different industries.

It actually was an incredible alternative to work with main AI and machine studying professors on this house. And in the end that’s what impressed me to start out an organization proper out of school referred to as Qurious, which specialise in actual time speech recognition and pure language processing for B2B use circumstances.

Quick ahead, a number of years, a few million {dollars} of enterprise funding, and after recruiting a group of machine studying and AI engineers, we ended up partnering with Pega.  They acquired us a couple of yr in the past. And I joined as director of product administration, the place I’m main the event of Voice AI. And we additionally launched a sister product referred to as Messaging AI, each of them very just lately.

Evolution of Voice AI

Brent Leary:  You’ve been concerned with voice know-how going all the best way again to while you have been in class, which isn’t that far again, however again a bit of bit. How have issues modified since you bought began on this space to the place we’re as we speak with this voice know-how and Voice AI?

Sabrina Atienza:  I keep in mind the second after I received an Alexa for the primary time, so the Alexa echo and I assumed it was tremendous superb. And everybody I knew had one, however on the finish of the day, I actually solely used it for possibly one or two issues. So enjoying music and possibly checking the climate.  And it occurred to me then, there’s so many extra purposes of voice AI, voice know-how, and the issues have been simply beginning. This was again, in what? 2014, 2015.

That’s what actually excited me about voice and pure language processing usually. The concept we might leverage synthetic intelligence, machine studying to know human communication and probably to reinforce or improve human communication.  And that’s sort of the spark for the place Qurious and the concepts and the concepts we’re tackling now at Pega come out of, with the ability to leverage that sort of know-how in actual time to help people to have higher, extra environment friendly, simpler conversations.

Higher EX, Higher CX

Brent Leary: So how has voice know-how helped over the past, virtually two years at this level, in making brokers have a greater capacity to create the experiences that clients are needing in instances like this?

Sabrina Atienza:   We simply launched two merchandise, Voice AI and Messaging AI. And you may primarily consider them as co-pilots throughout an actual time telephone or messaging dialog.

They’re truly listening to what the shopper’s saying, what the agent is saying, after which offering actual time steerage based mostly on what’s being mentioned. And in the end, we’re driving in direction of higher and quicker customer support.  So, decreasing common dealing with time, bettering compliance, boosting agent productiveness, accelerating new agent coaching and onboarding. And so with each Voice AI and Messaging AI, it’s principally tapping into that dialog because it’s taking place, understanding the context of the shopper’s points, what are they calling in about.  After which offering useful options to brokers in actual time to assist them resolve these points a lot quicker with increased high quality outcomes and likewise extra constant experiences for his or her clients.

Simply to provide you a pair examples for every of those options and use circumstances that may come up. With script compliance, you possibly can consider HIPAA compliance, the place they affirm your identification and even required monetary disclosures that the agent has to say, Voice AI can examine for that and nudge the agent in actual time, in the event that they haven’t mentioned these items of the scripts.

In the case of surfacing actions to take, for instance, say, you’re calling into your well being insurer so as to add a brand new child to your plan, Voice AI can detect that within the dialog and kick off the suitable workflow or actions to take.  

Equally, for surfacing data articles, think about a model new agent who doesn’t know precisely how charges are calculated for a selected bank card, Voice AI can detect what that dialog’s about, what bank card the shopper has on their accounts and floor the suitable data article based mostly on that set off.

After which the final function which I’m actually enthusiastic about is kind autofill. We are able to take what the shopper is saying in actual time, possibly their title, their deal with, the date of service in the event that they’re calling in a couple of specific declare and we will truly take all these items of data and populate kind fields routinely in order that the agent doesn’t have to do this handbook typing anymore.  They only should validate what our AI has put in there. Be certain that it’s right, after all, however they don’t should do the handbook, tedious, error inclined knowledge entry.

And so, that’s actually our preliminary function set for Voice and Messaging AI. And actually the main focus philosophically was, how can we assist save time? How can we assist brokers get work performed quicker? And this additionally helped newer brokers rise up to hurry on, what’s the right course of to observe right here? What are the perfect practices to observe?

Brent Leary: Let’s simply say, brokers get most of it, proper? There’s some that they might get it flawed, that it will assist, however it’s additionally getting much more than what they’d be having in the event that they have been compelled to sort it.  As a result of as a lot as I want to assume I’m getting every thing, you in all probability aren’t getting a lot as you assume. And so having a system that enables extra knowledge seize must also result in higher subsequent greatest actions after they’ve been analyzed, that knowledge’s been analyzed.

Sabrina Atienza:  Precisely. And that’s why we place it as a co-pilot as a result of it’s all the time there within the background, whether or not it’s a telephone name or a stay messaging dialog, it’s actually there within the background, analyzing it for you, selecting up on cues, which you’ll have missed key phrases and matters and intents, which you’ll have missed since you may be centered on different essential actions.

That’s why it’s actually useful, particularly for newer brokers, but in addition useful even for skilled brokers, as a result of we will get them to the correct display screen quicker, get them to the correct workflow, pop up the right data article that’s contextually related in actual time.

Brent Leary: How do you count on this to extend the shopper’s expertise once they should work together with an agent?

Sabrina Atienza:  Really that very same survey I discussed, one other discovering they discovered was about 50 to 60% of brokers mentioned that clients are annoyed when there’s a lot time spent switching between tabs and apps.

And the agent has to say, “Maintain on. Sorry, the display screen remains to be loading.” Or, “Maintain on, I’m looking for the correct data.”

So simply think about with the ability to get the agent to the correct place instantly, that makes the shopper expertise so significantly better, fewer delays, an agent who can listen totally to the essential issues happening within the dialog.

Brent Leary: Absolutely listen. It sounds really easy to do, however when you’ve got a lot happening round you, it’s actually powerful to make. And also you’re fascinated by the present factor you’re attempting to resolve, you could be fascinated by, is it taking me too lengthy to resolve this?

Sabrina Atienza: Yeah.

How does voice/messaging AI change corporations strategy to CX

Brent Leary: And the way this will affect my evaluations or significantly my elevate or not? So something that enables the rep to only do their job and have every thing else dealt with for them, it needs to be a win-win.

How does you see this altering the general organizations’ strategy to buyer expertise as soon as they began placing these sorts of applied sciences in place?

Sabrina Atienza:   I feel there’s a macro pattern that’s usually taking place, which is that clients are getting extra comfy utilizing self-service for easier requests, which suggests brokers have gotten extra like data employees.

They’re dealing with far more complicated and delicate points. Additionally, attempting to navigate extra complicated providers and merchandise and potential troubleshooting points with these providers and merchandise.

So, there’s a basic shift to data work. And I feel because the adoption of instruments like Voice AI and Messaging AI grows, it’s actually there to allow brokers’ data, surfacing up the essential content material employees want in order that they will concentrate on navigating a extremely complicated and delicate state of affairs.

I feel there’s one other macro pattern that’s associated, which is, any interplay in as we speak’s world can go viral, sadly, proper, whether or not we prefer it or not. One dangerous interplay can go viral and destroy a model’s fame.

So whether or not you prefer it or not, your brokers have gotten data employees and likewise model ambassadors on the entrance line, speaking along with your clients. So with the ability to sort of liberate their psychological load to allow them to concentrate on giving your clients the care that they want, the eye that they want, once more, making them really feel heard and valued, that goes a great distance in direction of that purpose as effectively.

That is a part of the One-on-One Interview collection with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it is an audio or video interview, click on on the embedded participant above, or subscribe by way of iTunes or by way of Stitcher.


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