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Creating a Winning Contact Center Culture

Contact center leaders spend the majority of their time thinking about the customer. How to serve them better. How to modernize their experience. How to ultimately earn their business time and time again. 

And now more than ever, they’re using technology to do so. Contact centers leaders are at the forefront of integrating AI to enhance the customer experience and make human-to-machine interactions more efficient. 

But one of the most under-appreciated aspects of this shift is the ability for technology to not just transform the customer experience, but the culture of the contact center itself. Here are five qualities that define an outstanding contact center culture and how AI helps leaders achieve them. 

1. A growth mindset 

The introduction of AI in contact centers significantly alters the role of human agents. When AI resolves the majority of routine inquiries and tasks, agents are presented with opportunities to learn and develop new skills. This shift transforms the contact center into a hub of continuous learning and professional growth – a shift that is not only beneficial, but necessary for today’s environment. 

“I had one call type that I dealt with 25 years ago and all I really needed to know was what your balance was and what your interest rate was,” says Brien Mikkel, Director of Customer Engagement at Love’s Travel. “I look at today and all the different call types, the agent’s job has gotten way more complex today than it was 25 years ago.”

Encouraging employees to pursue skill development in areas such as advanced customer service techniques, emotional intelligence, and technical proficiency with AI tools not only enhances their capabilities but also boosts their ability to handle increasingly complex requests. 

2. An emphasis on deep customer connections

Repetitive tier-1 requests are not only time-consuming for agents, they’re mundane. If an agent has only a handful of call types that fill each day, they’re unable to help customers that truly need guidance and empathy. 

With AI handling repetitive tasks, agents can dedicate more time and energy to building meaningful relationships with customers by assisting on more complex requests. This shift allows agents to focus on understanding customer needs, addressing complex issues, and providing personalized solutions. 

“Before AI, nurses were spending time on non-clinical intake,” said Cindy Gambosh, Director of Workforce Automation at CorVel. “Now, they can immediately begin injury assessments, just like doctors can step into an examination room and know exactly who the patient is.” 

The ability to connect on a deeper level fosters customer loyalty and satisfaction, as customers feel valued and heard. This human touch is irreplaceable and becomes a key differentiator in a market where automated responses are becoming the norm.

3. Time to recharge

AI’s efficiency in handling routine tasks translates to more free time for agents. This free time is not just a luxury but a necessity for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. It provides agents with the opportunity to take breaks, recharge, and manage their stress levels, leading to improved mental health and overall job satisfaction.

Southwest Medical Imaging (SMIL) was one contact center that experienced the challenges of high call volumes and stretched-thin agents. When they deployed AI to automate Appointment Management calls, thousands of patients could now manage their appointments any time of day without needing an agent. Now, it’s not uncommon for SMIL’s agents to have one day a week where they’re not needed on the phones at all and can instead learn new skills, focus on more strategic tasks, or simply recharge. 

4. Lower attrition and increased continuity

High turnover rates have long plagued the contact center industry. However, the integration of AI and the subsequent cultural shift towards employee well-being and professional growth can significantly reduce agent attrition. 

“Before AI, we were pushing in 60-70 percent range [of attrition],” said Brien Mikkel, Director of Customer Engagement at Love’s Travel. “We would lose them at the 60-90 day mark. Now, I am south of 20%. I have a lot of great leaders that create a great environment, but there’s no denying that AI played a very key role.”

When agents feel valued, supported, and see clear pathways for career advancement, they are more likely to stay with the company. Fostering a supportive environment where agents receive regular feedback, recognition for their achievements, and opportunities for career progression can build loyalty and reduce turnover. 

5. A commitment to efficiency 

Efficiency is the cornerstone of a successful contact center, and AI plays a crucial role in achieving it. Leveraging AI to streamline processes, reduce wait times, and provide agents with real-time data and insights empowers them to perform their roles more effectively. Continuous improvement and optimization of AI systems ensure that the contact center remains at the cutting edge of efficiency and customer service excellence.

At Love’s Travel, this was not only seen in a reduction in employee turnover, but across the entire business. In two years, they realized over $1.2 million dollars in net cost savings while helping drivers get support faster. This culture of efficiency not only improves the overall performance of the contact center but also enhances the quality of service provided to customers.


Building a winning contact center culture in the age of AI is not only in the best interest of agents, but customers too. A culture that prioritizes employee satisfaction leads to a more stable and experienced workforce, and drives customer service as a differentiator. 

As AI continues to transform the industry, contact centers that embrace these focus areas will not only enhance their operational performance but also evaluate solutions with a culture-first mindset that enables them to choose a strategy that benefits their culture as much as it does their callers.

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