Artificial Intelligence is shaping and changing the future of work as we know it. From virtual assistants to chatbots and facial recognition, the world is officially entering the peak era of AI – and so is Empyrean. As part of our most recent product enhancements, we’ve integrated AI technology into our Service Center operations to empower our team members and improve efficiency to deliver unparalleled service and unwavering support to our clients and their employees.
We interviewed Empyrean’s Vice President of Member Service & Service Center Strategy, Freddie Berberena, to delve into the strategic rationale behind Empyrean’s AI Service Center adoption and the recent breakthroughs that have propelled AI from being a tool that once required extensive management to a self-learning marvel.
Why did Empyrean decide to leverage AI for our Service Center?
We’ve been watching the AI space for many years and were early adopters of some of its elementary capabilities. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so easy to add or update information back then, and these tools required a lot of teaching and management since they couldn’t learn by themselves…until recently!
Of course, you’ve probably heard a lot about ChatGPT and how it’s capable of imitating human thinking and tone. What’s really changing the game is the method behind it, called the Large Language Model (LLM). In the past, you had to teach the technology what words to listen for and then build out a repository of answers for it to learn and replicate. Now we can expose AI to a much broader set of information.
With improved Natural Language engines, AI understands different words that have the same meaning and can now teach itself answers to questions based on the information it’s fed. Essentially, we’re teaching AI in a similar way to how we teach humans to assist customers.
Wait…we’re not replacing our highly trained Service Center team with AI, right?
Never! AI is going to make our Service Center support more automated and easier for employees to use on their own. One of the biggest benefits is that employees will be able to get answers to their questions 24/7 without having to call our support line. This will be hugely beneficial, especially for people who prefer not to speak with a live agent.
That said, there are a myriad of complex and sensitive situations that will always require human empathy and support from a trained agent. AI will be most helpful in solving simple tasks such as password resets and providing general plan information, which will allow our Service Center agents to focus on more complex scenarios and questions.
We know that not everyone will be open to AI assistance – and that’s ok! Employees calling in to our Service Center will always have the option to talk to a live representative, no matter their reason for calling.
How is this going to improve the Service Center experience for our clients and their employees?
As we touched on earlier, the two main benefits that members will experience are access to 24/7 support and getting that support through whichever channel they prefer. Customers want efficient, user-friendly service, and we’re finding that more and more people prefer not to talk to a live agent.
We’re also leveraging tools that members can’t see, but will benefit from. Thanks to AI, our Quality Program is now able to review 100% of the calls that come into our Empyrean Service Center. Better yet, it can look for and report on behaviors we find important and notify managers in real time if the tool identifies an issue with a call (such as an upset caller).
Since the tool can listen to calls as they come in, it also helps our Service Center team by providing them with information about the caller’s request. For example, if an employee calls in with questions about HSA contribution maximums for the year, our tool will automatically pull out that information and provide it to the agent, so they don’t have to spend time searching for the answer and putting the caller on hold. It’s a win-win!
How are we going to measure the success of this new functionality?
We’ll measure the success of our AI capabilities based on how much our callers like, use, and engage with our tools. If employees can get the information they need when they need it, it will be a great experience for them – and that is what matters most to us. We’ll also see this functionality reduce the amount of time callers need to spend on a call or chat with us, allowing them to get on with the rest of their busy day.
I recently read a Forbes article that said “47% of Gen Z will walk away from a brand after a single bad customer service experience, so every interaction matters.” This hit home for me, and is exactly why Empyrean will always operate with a service-first and people-first approach. We have trained our Service Center agents to harness the power of our AI tools with the understanding that they are responsible for creating a phenomenal customer experience every time.
As AI continues to usher in a new era of possibilities, Empyrean has seamlessly integrated its capabilities into our Service Center to better support our clients and their employees. By embracing the dynamic power of AI, we remain committed to elevating customer experiences, ensuring access to top tier support, and prioritizing a service-first approach where innovation and empathy coincide for an exceptional people experience every time.
Interested in learning more about our latest product enhancements? Check out our full 2023 Summer Release Notes here.