Stress and burnout are common in the workplace, and even more so within contact center employees. In fact, a study found agent turnover is twice that of any other profession and that burnout causes 50% of agent turnover within contact centers. This costs businesses with 100 agents $4.8M each year on average. To combat this, Webex by Cisco, a leading provider of collaboration and contact center technologies powering hybrid work and customer experience, today announced new AI-powered capabilities in Webex Contact Center. These new capabilities aim to help improve agent well-being and productivity, resulting in exceptional customer experiences.
"At Webex, we are embracing agent wellness as a core value to contribute to a more compassionate, inclusive and progressive business culture," said Jeetu Patel, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Security and Collaboration, Cisco. "Our commitment to nurturing the well-being of agents means that businesses can build a foundation for growth, empower innovation and provide exceptional experiences to their customers."
Purpose-Built AI in Webex Contact Center Helps Agents and Customers
For over two decades, Webex has provided contact center solutions that power the customer service function of some of the world's largest customer-centric brands. Within Webex Contact Center, new AI-powered capabilities that aim to improve agent well-being and productivity, while simultaneously improving customer experiences, will include:
- AI-powered agent burnout detection allows businesses to proactively address agent well-being by enabling automated breaks, such as a Thrive Reset, and real-time coaching after challenging customer interactions.
- Suggested responses uses generative AI to automatically suggest responses to increase agent productivity when responding to customer inquiries on digital channels.
- Conversation summaries and wrap-ups provide agents with a clear summarization of issues and resolutions already explored via self-service and a summary of the call or chat to both the agent and customer once it ends. Agent wrap ups automatically generate wrap up codes and actions following every customer interaction, eliminating an average of five minutes for the agent.
- Coaching highlights generates a dashboard for supervisors showing highest and lowest customer-rated interactions. It then automatically summarizes the interactions with the best ratings and provides supervisors with coaching tips based on those findings to train fellow employees. Conversely, highlights from the lowest-rated interactions are captured to then coach lower-performing agents to foster improvement across the board.
Introducing Webex Customer Experience Essentials
Great customer experiences are essential for businesses of all sizes. As employees beyond the contact center become increasingly critical to resolve customer needs, organizations are challenged with how to connect these answer-holding employees to the customer experience journey. Also critical is ensuring every interaction is exceptional and personalized. To help solve this, Webex is introducing Webex Customer Experience Essentials to help employees throughout the organization deliver the best possible customer experience. Webex Customer Experience Essentials brings the core fundamental capabilities of the Webex Contact Center to Webex Calling users, enabling:
- Employees outside the contact center to become specialized agents, leading to faster issue resolution and improved customer satisfaction (removing the potential need for a call back)
- A better understanding of customer issues that need escalation outside of the contact center
- A streamlined contextual engagement from back-office employees during issue escalation
Webex Customer Experience Essentials is designed specifically for customer service-oriented industries and is available for purchase for Webex Calling users.
Integrating Thrive Reset to Empower Contact Center Agents and Reduce Burnout
Webex is expanding its partnership with Thrive Global, the behavior-change technology company founded by Arianna Huffington, to bring Thrive Reset into the agent flow of work, reducing agent attrition and enabling greater agent productivity with Thrive Reset for Webex Contact Center.
"We're excited to continue our longstanding partnership with Webex by Cisco to help combat agent burnout," said Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global Founder and CEO. "Contact center agents are on the front lines of the customer experience. And by integrating with Webex we're embedding well-being directly into the agent workflow, meeting them where they are to boost their health, well-being and productivity while also creating better and more empathetic customer experiences."
Thrive Reset allows agents to break the cycle of cumulative stress and move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing the rush of cortisol through the body. Thrive's library consists of hundreds of 60-second Reset videos— stretching, breathing, mindfulness and gratitude breaks along with calming visuals, awe-inspiring natural landscapes and the latest stress-relief techniques—each with a guided breathing bubble that helps users inhale, exhale and bring themselves back to center before their next customer interaction. Thrive Global's partnership with Universal Music Group to license Universal music for Thrive Reset makes them even more engaging, personalized and effective.
Webex and Thrive Global will use insights from real-time AI technology built by Webex to offer agents an opportunity to reflect, recharge and break the cycle of cumulative stress. Once Webex's AI-based agent burnout analysis detects situations that lead to burnout, the agent is automatically set up for a break and served a 60-second Thrive Reset video to help them reset and relax before their next call. As a result, the next customer in line is handled by an agent who is recharged and better prepared to deliver great service, instead of one coming directly from a stressful experience.
For one financial services customer, a 60-day trial of Webex's AI-based burnout analysis coupled with timely Thrive Reset breaks for agents saw strong results. This included 4x improvement in time spent handling customer inquiries and improved customer satisfaction scores from 4.8 to 4.9 (on a 1-5 scale). Learn more about bringing Thrive Reset for Webex Contact Center – which will be available in the first half of 2024 – to your team here.
The new Webex Contact Center capabilities are not yet generally available but are in various stages of development. Suggested replies is planned to be in beta by the end of 2023, agent burnout detection APIs is planned to be in beta in February 2024. The https://thriveglobal.com/products/thrive-for-webexhttps://thriveglobal.com/products/thrive-for-webexWebex Customer Experience Essentials package is planned to be generally available in the first half of 2024.
Cisco's Approach to Responsible AI
Cisco has leveraged AI with natural language, audio intelligence, video intelligence and analytics for years—all designed with attention to security, privacy and human rights built in from the start. Realizing AI's significant promise while adhering to standards for transparency, fairness, accountability, privacy, security and reliability is part of our ongoing mission at Cisco. This is the promise of Cisco's Responsible AI Framework, which applies to our AI offerings. The Webex Contact Center capabilities are secure and will align with Cisco's Responsible AI Framework.