Sytel Automates the Contact Centre

Sytel, a UK-based vendor of a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) cloud platform, has predicted that as automation is introduced to manage service levels in the contact centre, the need for supervisor intervention will be reduced by 90%+.

The claim is made as Sytel release their Sytel Real-Time Automation (SRA) solution, which automatically assigns agents to work on queues where the service level is under threat, no matter what the media type.

Sytel CEO Michael McKinlay commented “Automation of inbound operations is a logical step forward. What is surprising is that it has taken the industry until now to achieve it.

“Does SRA put supervisors out of a job? Automation will do some of the work supervisors currently do, and do it much more efficiently. But no supervisor wants to spend their time stressing about where to pull agents from to help a struggling queue. Automation frees supervisors for higher value tasks, like coaching, encouraging their teams and quality monitoring.”

Supervisors and team leaders aim to keep queues properly staffed during a shift. But this can be derailed by unscheduled events – e.g. absences, shrinkage, spikes in contact volume. This can keep customers waiting longer in queues, causing frustration, and can break Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for BPOs.

McKinlay continued “Preparation is essential, of course. Workforce Management (WFM) is invaluable in predicting the right staffing needs in advance. But once a shift has started, what do you do when demand outstrips supply?

“WFM can only tell you there’s a problem. It’s usually up to supervisors to figure out where to get extra resources from, without causing more trouble.

“But this job has become increasingly complex, even impossible. That’s especially true for larger contact centres needing to manage customer engagements across voice as well as web chat, email, SMS, WhatsApp, etc.

Contact centres have traditionally coped by bringing non-front-line staff in to handle calls (‘queue busting’) and offering to call customers back while keeping their place in the queue (‘queueback’).

“These practices maintain the illusion that service levels are under control,” says McKinlay. “But really they create more short-term demand, and increase the cost of servicing by failing to resolve issues first time. These should be methods of last resort, not everyday occurrences.

“The best answer? Automation! SRA is making the best possible decisions automatically, literally second by second, so that any supply/ demand imbalance is shared between queues, and no single service level falls off a cliff. Automated service level management ensures that no agent time is wasted, keeps wait times for customers low, and, crucially, offers supervisors freedom from the stress of managing service levels manually.

“The ‘brain’ at the centre of Sytel’s CCaaS platform is the Automatic Session Distributor (ASD™), which holds the current state of everything in memory; all agents with their different skills, all sessions in all channels, all queues, each with its target service level. It has authority to take action across all work queues, outbound as well as inbound. And it is the ‘brain’ which is providing the resources to SRA to do its dynamic management, constantly updating all queue states and assignments second by second.

“It’s a big win for the power of AI and a huge win for CX as customer wait times are now kept under control,” said McKinlay.

JRC in Brazil has been an enthusiastic user of Sytel’s automation solutions for several years. JRC provide a wide range of products and services to support major national infrastructure projects. JRC CEO Jose Rubens Cavalari commented:

“Our customers love the way Sytel Real-Time Automation solves, once and for all, the issue of how to control SLAs and customer wait times in a busy contact centre. They have been waiting for this product for years; how come it took so long!?”

Nielsen, a leader in global market research, have used the Sytel AI Dialer™ for a decade to drive their CATI operations.

Nielsen’s Senior Director of Technology Patrick Kirk commented: “Sytel have done a stellar job of automating the outbound contact centre. They are bringing the same expertise to automating the inbound centre and this is simply a game-changer.”

To see SRA in action, see

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About Sytel

Sytel develops and supplies a full-featured, multichannel Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) cloud platform.

Featuring best-in-class automation for both inbound and outbound, it is available by subscription as CCaaS, fully managed and supported by Sytel, or for quick and easy deployment by partners and enterprise users.

Comprehensive APIs enable integration with any surrounding environment, including leading-edge Generative AI apps.