When Opus Research last posted about LivePerson, we noted that “Advanced Routing” and “Self-Learning” topped the list of attributes that define its “Curiously Human” approach to customer care. Today, LivePerson announced that it is joining forces with Afiniti to offer a “native deployment” of “AI-Pairing” that represents a giant step toward fulfilling on both of those promises. The move represents a departure from LivePerson’s long-standing investment in internally developed solutions. In this case, it represents a great move for customers of both companies and is one that is already having an impact on how their mutual clients pursue efforts to provide personalized, conversational interactions with clients at large scale, over both digital and voice channels.
Afiniti has more than fifteen years experience applying its “pattern matching” technology to support what was called “precision routing” in old-guard contact centers. As we noted in this post from 2018, Afiniti has found success in the Voice Channel as an integral part of “precision routing” offerings from the likes of Avaya, Genesys, Cisco, AWS, Alvaria and others. Partnering with LivePerson to provide a “native” implementation of “AI-Pairing” brings it more explicitly into the world of the Conversational Cloud, where digital, optichannel conversations will benefit from conversations with agents or assistants that are best suited for their needs.
Shared Values Characterize this Partnership
A “Native” implementation of Afiniti’s technology on LivePerson’s platform will speed the time it takes to expand AI-Pairing to the chat channel and across all channels. Both companies have been dedicated to offering highly personalized conversations at scale. In this case, Afiniti can support pairing customers with the right resource among as many as 6,000 agents. Patterns and preferences gleaned from conversations in the voice channel can be applied when pairing a customer with the right resource or agent in the chat channel. Ideally, thanks to a long-standing learning loop, customers are never stuck because it enables customers to navigate from self-service, to voice, to digital and back again. Each time the intelligence garnered by Afiniti will support the path-of-least-resistance to the most appropriate resource.
Another item for enterprises to keep in mind is the business model and measurements of success. Both Afiniti and LivePerson have offered performance-based pricing and “gain sharing” from their inception. They get paid only when their enterprise customers have a measurable economic benefit. This relies on long-standing “A/B Testing” where they can shut off the routing capabilities for a period of time or for a group of agents to determine outcomes without AI-Pairing. Another positive outcome is that better pairing keeps sessions interesting for live agents and that has proven to be an important contributor to agent retention. Companies save on recruiting, onboarding and training costs associated with high attrition.
How Customers Benefit
The press release accompanying the announcement includes a use case that describe the progress of a conversation between a mobile carrier and a dissatisfied customer. “As the messages come into LivePerson’s Conversational Cloud, Afiniti’s technology uses real-time data about the subscribers, agents, and historical interactions to build a model of the predicted outcomes of all possible pairings.” It then pairs the customer with the agent that is most likely to satisfy his or her request. LivePerson’s AI tools can be applied to suggest responses or send the customers to an automated resource if required. The release is also linked to a blog post featuring a conversation with Afinitie’s Ben Evans and LivePerson’s Dan Sincavage. Each provides his personal perspectives on the value of native integration as well as using “continuous ON/OFF testing” to prove the value of accurate pairing. Given the gain share approach to the combined offer, all parties involved, especially customers, are destined to benefit from the new partnership.