Customer service, sales, and marketing teams have struggled for years to see inside the customer/prospect’s mind – to really understand what’s going on at a given point.

For instance, is the customer or patient..

  • Happy or disgruntled?
  • A candidate for an upsell or considering defecting?
  • Payment delinquent or have a credit?
  • Recovering from major surgery or six month’s late scheduling their annual checkup?

The Contextually Aware Agent


This contextual awareness is critical for an agent. With this intelligence, agents can maximize the potential of every interaction. Think about it. Imagine if a billing agent takes a call from a customer who just had a blowout dispute with customer support. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know that?

Suppose an outbound call is routed to an agent to follow-up with a patient who has missed several scheduled doctor’s appointments. Wouldn’t it be helpful to know that?

What happens today largely is that agents appear inept on the phone with customers, not because they lack skills, but because they lack contextual knowledge.

Think about it: Consider those instances when you call your bank or cable company e.g. for the second or third time regarding the same issue. Is the new agent you speak with really up-to-speed on your case? The answer, unfortunately, is…rarely, at best. This wastes your time, casts a bad impression in your mind about the agent and the company and frustrates you.

Here’s another one, and this happens all the time. The billing department of a phone company decides to increase its monthly rate come January 1. They neglect to notify customer support – hence, a huge disconnect of communication. An unhappy customer calls in to complain and catches the agent off guard. The agent and the organization don’t look good in this situation.

In this same scenario, what if a next-best-action engine screen popped a message telling the agent that the customer is likely calling regarding the raised billing? The engine could also present a one-month credit offer to ease the customer’s concerns. See how that changes the dynamic altogether? The customer likely leaves the interaction satisfied, rather than angrier than before. Agents empowered with this level of AI-driven contextual intelligence…in a sense…bridge communication gaps between business units and have the tools to better serve the customer.

How does it work?
Contextual awareness within a contact center leverages AI and machine learning to aggregate and analyze multiple data sources (contact center and enterprise data – such previous interactions, customer profile, the customer purchased products or services …) to understand the customer’s contextual disposition. These tools can allow the agent to understand the customer needs better and adjust their behavior or offers to improve customer experience and business result.

Understanding Propensities
You see, this level of situational/contextual intelligence can change everything. Empowered agents become maestros of customer engagement. They have the contextual awareness needed to guide interactions toward positive outcomes. These agents have a complete understanding of everyone’s current dispositions and future propensities and can utilize that to maximize the potential of every interaction.

All industry signs show that context-aware technologies are the next big thing. And it’s already here and growing at 30% YOY. Therefore, it is important to start thinking about how to integrate context-aware capabilities into your sales and customer service operations before your competition does.