What is agent assistance?

Agent assistance is an AI tool that offers contact center agents real-time guidance toward important conversation outcomes. 

But let’s be honest: Agent assistance is one of those terms that’s defined a bit differently by everyone who encounters it. Here’s how we think of it. 

Agent assistants are designed to help get the job done

In a very basic way, agent assistant solutions must — whoa! — assist the agent. They can’t be distracting or promote improper use of stagnant data. They also can’t be ineffective. Isn’t it the entire point of an assist helping to score the points? 

So an assistant must be effective, and effectiveness requires context. The kind that’s derived from agent-consumer or agent-patient or agent-borrower interactions. That’s why conversational AI works well for building an agent assistant: it gives that assistant constantly new and improving context. 

It should also serve up information in the proper context: at the right time, with the right message, to the right agent. 

To recap, the first two capabilities that defines agent assistance tools are:

  1. They assist an outcome through assisting the agent
  2. They do this through accurate understanding of context and later, contextual provision of information (real-time delivery)

These capabilities can lead to specific insight that changes the way one or every agent operates. Let’s consider an example insight that could result in an assist and an improvement.

Imagine discovering that one of your agents had a lower percentage of successful mini-Miranda disclosures (or a higher error rate) than 95% of other agents. A great agent assistance tool could next determine that the best path to mini-Miranda delivery involves clarity of speech. That underperforming agent has the opportunity to learn from the past successes in real-time, with a pointer like: “Tone reminder: mini-Miranda. Speak slowly.”

A great, well-designed prompt will let the agent focus on building trust and relationships, instead of on providing the disclosure perfectly. That part will start to come naturally as the menial, though important, tasks are addressed in the flow of the conversation. 

The right prompts will offer maximum information with minimum words and distractions. The great part of an AI-fueled assistant is that, if they aren’t the right prompts, they won’t appear. Some advice will become irrelevant to that conversation or irrelevant overall because it didn’t lead to a successful outcome. 

With this straightforward feedback in play, agents can truly learn by doing. That allows for  shorter nesting periods or retraining time, which leads to greater contributions to the agent’s goals, sooner. And that can lead to higher job satisfaction. Not to mention improved customer experience — one of the greatest benefits of a real-time agent assistance solution.

Want to learn more about agent assistance or conversational AI? Talk to our team below.