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Gitex 2023: Avaya plots generative AI-powered future for customer experience

Leading comms and customer experience technology provider unveils Generative CX concept showing how artificial intelligence can sit at the core of experience transformation

Although the company notes that there is nothing new about artificial intelligence (AI) in its customer experience (CX) and communications solutions, Avaya is making a pitch to set a new standard for AI-based use cases spanning agent experience to customer satisfaction to operations with its Generative CX concept.

The plan will see the generative AI technology and capabilities integrated within the core Avaya Experience Platform (AXP) to help CX practitioners implement workflows and glean precise, actionable insights with the stroke of a keyboard.

As it explained rationale for its move, announced at Gitex Global 2023, Avaya observed that its customers were looking to bring AI, on a large scale, into their contact centres, and in a way that brings AI to the core of their CX transformation. Indeed, it cited a recent Insight report showing that two-thirds of executives plan to use Gen AI to enhance customer service in the next three years.

Yet until now, it said AI in the contact centre has typically been at the front end, usually answering routine questions from customers in the form of intelligent virtual assistants. The launch was aimed at demonstrating how AI can also be extended to the heart of contact centres, creating workflows, reports and helping agents better serve customers.

Avaya’s Generative CX concept is said to provide a vision of how this can be achieved. It is designed to give CX teams the ability to type in the workflows they want to create – such as helping a customer receive the appropriate service from IT support – with the solution instantly returning complete customer journey maps that can be rolled out to AXP.

Other key use cases suggested by the company include enabling contact centre managers to access specific, actionable insights simply by typing natural language requests into the solution interface. Avaya also believes that generative AI can be used to provide general recommendations on contact centre improvements, based on its cloud-based analytics tools.

Talking to Computer Weekly about the new AI solutions, Avaya chief technology officer Omar Javid said the new interest in generative AI for the company was specifically based around large language models (LLMs) and that it was an early field.

He added that a number of different technology vectors – such as broadband costs and speed, processing power and storage – had converged, so generative AI had become “real” in terms of enterprise applications. These applications need to address a world in which the touchpoints with contact centres are expanding all the time, adding to classic chat bot engagement through sources such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms.

“Our customers are at the nexus of a lot of human interaction,” Javid remarked. “We have very large customers, such as airlines, and they may have tens of thousands of contact centre agents. Just think about how they’ve done that business for decades. You have all of this data customer data, call detail records and voice recordings, and then you also have patterns of how those users behave, whether they came to the website via chat or phone call. And so you build these really interesting [models] and then you can incorporate all of the internal knowledge management of the company … and you can create interesting experiences using these large language models.

He added: “We expect customer service will be tailored to people based on their characters and personalities. It’s going to be very personalised … [we have] a module for agent assist, which can detect emotions and intent and then offer the next best action. But now, if you have same AI model supported by the LLMs, you can keep track of the duration of interactions and now you will be able to [introduce] capabilities like understanding intent sentiment into the initial chat session instead of a basic Q&A. A discussion can become much more … [personalised] … with an AI model that’s engaged and intercepting every step of the customer experience so you can predict and understand the customer’s needs. You can learn from previous behaviour. The power of AI is very real and it’s just beginning.”

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