call center commerce

The Kinder, Gentler AI-Powered Call Center

When it comes to interacting with call centers, consumers have become increasingly comfortable with automation. In fact, customers are starting to chafe at traditional authentication methods: 74 percent agree that a fingerprint or voice identifier will protect their personal information better than a traditional password or PIN.

To that end, call center companies are experimenting with new ways to identify customers without interrupting communication. New services powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and biometrics, such as voiceprints, are making their way into the market as customers expect quicker service and less interruption.

In the latest Call Center Commerce Tracker™, PYMNTS examines the ways that call centers are integrating new AI-based or biometric tools into their customer service channels, as well as how consumers around the world are responding to these tools.

Around the Call Center Commerce World

Call centers across the globe are starting to see how AI and advanced analytics tools could better help them engage callers.

Providers like Consolidated Communications have created so-called virtual assistants, backed by AI, to take some of weight off human agents as they deal with an increased volume of calls and requests. The assistant can handle simple inquiries, while human employees take care of more complex ones.

Others, such as call center technology company Avaya, are combining AI with the cloud for more privacy. The company recently launched a private cloud offering with AI capabilities to help with real-time transactions and other requests from clients.

Meanwhile, more solution providers are looking to use biometrics to thoroughly authenticate customers and transactions through digital channels. Industry player NICE is among those deploying a biometrics authentication offering, which ties voice identification to phone number verification and other security services.

For more on the latest developments in the call center commerce world, visit the Tracker’s News & Trends section.

AI And The Problem Of Automating The ‘Judgement Call’

While AI and advanced technologies may be getting more play in the call center commerce world, the technology isn’t sophisticated enough to make the kind of judgement calls that human employees must make every day, according to Professor James Woudhuysen of London South Bank University.

AI may be best-suited to authentication and customer identification when it comes to the call center, Woudhuysen said, but even these solutions will still require “human ingenuity” to protect against opportunistic fraudsters and bad actors.

To learn more about the importance of the human agent, visit the Tracker’s feature story.

About the Tracker

The Call Center Commerce Tracker™ serves as a monthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent call center commerce news and trends. The Tracker also includes a provider directory, highlighting the key players that comprise the call center ecosystem.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.