Family › article › LivePerson and Afiniti partner to advance the amazing human customer experience
When Opus Research last published an article on LivePerson, we noticed that “advanced routing” and “self-learning” topped the list of attributes that define its “Curiously Human” approach to customer service. Today, LivePerson is announcing that it will be teaming up with Afiniti to provide “on-premise” of “AI-Pairing”, representing a big step towards fulfilling both promises. The move represents a departure from LivePerson’s long-term investment in internally developed solutions. In this case, it’s a big move for both companies’ customers, and it’s already having an impact on how their mutual customers strive to deliver personalized conversational interactions with customers at scale through digital and voice channels.
Afiniti has over 15 years of experience applying its “pattern matching” technology to support so-called “exact routing” in legacy contact centers. As we pointed out in this 2018 article, Afiniti has been successful in the voice channel as an integral part of “Precise Routing” products from Avaya, Genesys, Cisco, AWS, Alvaria, and others. Partnering with LivePerson to provide a “native” implementation of “AI-Pairing” that brings it more explicitly into the world of conversation clouds, where digital, light-channel conversations will benefit from conversations with agents or assistants that best suit their needs.
Shared values characterize this partnership
The “native” implementation of Afiniti technology on the LivePerson platform will speed up the time it takes to expand AI pairing to chat channels and all channels. Both companies are committed to delivering highly personalized conversations at scale. In this case, Afiniti can support pairing customers with the correct resources across up to 6,000 agents. Patterns and preferences gleaned from conversations in the voice channel can be applied when pairing customers with the correct resource or agent in the chat channel. Ideally, customers are never bogged down due to the long learning cycle, as it enables customers to navigate from self-service to voice, to digital and back again. Each time Afiniti gains intelligence, it will support the path of least resistance to the most appropriate resources.
Another item for businesses to keep in mind is the business model and measures of success. Afiniti and LivePerson have offered performance-based pricing and “benefit sharing” from the start. They are paid only when their corporate clients have a measurable financial benefit. This relies on long-standing “A/B tests” where they can turn off routing for a period of time, or have a group of agents determine the outcome without an AI pairing. Another positive result is that better matchmaking keeps live agents interested in the conversation, which has proven to be an important factor in agent retention. Companies save on recruiting, onboarding, and training costs associated with high churn rates.
How customers benefit
The press release accompanying the announcement includes a use case describing the progress of a conversation between a mobile operator and a dissatisfied customer. “As messages enter LivePerson’s conversation cloud, Afiniti’s technology uses real-time data about subscribers, agents, and historical interactions to build predictive outcome models for all possible pairings.” It then connects customers with agents most likely to fulfill their requests pair. LivePerson’s AI tools can be used to suggest responses or send customers to automated resources when needed. The release also links to a blog post with conversations with Ben Evans of Afinitie and Dan Sincavage of LivePerson. Each provides his personal opinion on the value of native integration and uses “continuous on/off testing” to demonstrate the value of accurate pairing. All parties involved, especially customers, are destined to benefit from the new partnership, given the revenue-sharing approach of the combined offer.