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Last week, the Mattersight team headed to sunny (and HOT) Las Vegas for Call Center Week 2017, the largest CX conference in the world! Over the course of the four day event, the Mirage hotel played host to more than 2,000 thousand customer experience enthusiasts, including influential thought leaders from giants like Amazon and Disney.

Mattersight had a booth on the main floor of the event which enabled us to have countless engaging conversations with folks from all different industries, including healthcare, financial services, retail, telco & media, and more. While there was a diverse representation of industries and companies, everyone in attendance shared a common desire to give customers the experiences they deserve.

CCW also gave us an opportunity to sit in on a number of breakout sessions that discussed the future of the contact center, customer journey mapping, agent training best practices, and much, much more. Not surprisingly, one of the most prevalent themes during the event was the subject of Artificial Intelligence and the Customer Experience.

There’s been no shortage of stories around the evolution of AI in the call center, and we’ve made some of our own headlines around the topic recently. The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning as a way to collect data and put it to work to build a better contact center and overall CX is something that the Mattersight team has been invested in since the very beginning.

More specifically, the topic of chatbots and next generation customer service is something that we’ve had a very close eye on. In fact, we’ll be announcing some significant developments in that area soon! And with projections like “bot interactions in the banking sector, completed without human assistance, will move from 12 percent to over 90 percent in 2022”, it’s a good thing CX experts like ourselves are looking at the best ways to harness this type of technology.

It really is incredible to see how far AI has come over the last couple of years. Once just a fantastic thought seemingly pulled from the pages of a Hollywood script, the power of AI has become very real. So real that it make us wonder if it’s time we switch from using the term AI and refer to it as RI — “Real Intelligence.” Perhaps it’s a discussion for another day, but as we’ve seen firsthand, there’s nothing artificial about the results AI is able to bring to the call center and customer experience in general.

As Call Center Week came to an end Mattersight had dinner with some industry leaders. It was a great opportunity to network, discuss key industry trends and share best practices. While it was a thought provoking dinner that uncovered some very interesting ideas and trends, something else stood out.

Over the course of the four days, it was clear that the people we had met looked at the call center as more than an industry. More than a career. It’s a community, made up of passionate, empathetic and creative people who want to make things better for customers all over the globe. And that makes perfect sense — after all — we’re all customers. Therefore, we all have a vested interest in the evolution of the call center community.

This is why we listen so closely to our customers, literally, and with the help of the latest technological advances available to us. It’s impossible to improve a community from the outside, you must go within and build an understanding of its individual members and their nuanced experiences. If CCW did anything, it reinforced this belief!