May 6, 2024 | Tools & Tech

The GenAI revolution: Transforming call centers into profit powerhouses

The GenAI revolution: Transforming call centers into profit powerhouses

In the evolving landscape of business operations within contact centers, the concepts of "cost center" and "profit center" are pivotal in understanding organizational efficiency and profitability. Traditionally, contact centers have been viewed as cost centers—necessary, but expensive facets of customer service.

Generative AI (GenAI) technologies are revolutionizing this perspective. This shift is not merely due to tech advancements but also a growing need for businesses to optimize resources and enhance customer engagement strategies. GenAI's role in transforming contact centers from cost burdens to revenue-generating entities is a compelling narrative that warrants exploring—especially as businesses strive for sustainability and competitive advantage.

The deployment of GenAI introduces a range of artificial intelligence capabilities designed to mimic human-like understanding and responses, revolutionizing the customer interaction landscape. Its core strengths lie in natural language processing, machine learning, and predictive analytics—allowing for an unprecedented level of personalized and efficient customer service.

By integrating GenAI into call center operations, we can leverage AI-driven customer interaction systems that go beyond mere scripted responses. These systems are skilled at analyzing and understanding customer queries in real time, offering solutions that are not only accurate but can also be tailored to individual history and preferences.  

Here’s a look at opportunities that can have a considerable impact on a contact center’s bottom line:

Analyzing customer data for upsell and cross-sell opportunities

GenAI excels in sifting through extensive customer interaction data, unlocking upselling and cross-selling prospects by deeply understanding customer preferences and behaviors. These valuable insights can generate personalized offers, thus significantly enhancing sales potential during interactions. Routine service calls become revenue-generating opportunities and increase closing rate potential by 5-10%.

Cutting costs by boosting efficiency and productivity

GenAI's integration into contact centers via functionality such as agent assist, next best action, and automatic ACW summarization vastly improve response precision, timeliness, and customization. Contact centers leveraging this technology could realize efficiency gains starting at 10-15% to upwards of 30-40% over time through technology maturation. This enhancement in customer service not only boosts satisfaction to create long-term customers but also facilitates the introduction of products or services specifically designed to meet customers' identified needs—creating additional revenue streams. 

Increasing retention through risk mitigation

GenAI and the automation of standard inquiries allows human agents to concentrate on more complex interactions focused on both customer retention through risk mitigation and/or those with higher potential revenue generation. This reallocation of resources reduces operational costs while simultaneously increasing the potential for revenue or reducing the risk of lost revenue, with agents more available to engage in productive customer interactions.

Leveraging predictive analysis for future product opportunities 

Beyond immediate sales, GenAI’s predictive power enables the anticipation of future customer requirements and market trends. Using speech analytics from a leading product such as CallMiner allows for the strategic development of products and marketing initiatives that resonate with evolving customer expectations, ensuring that businesses remain at the forefront of market demands. Evolving product and service offerings to proactively address customers wants and needs will increase customer retention while reducing the overall cost of customer acquisition.


As budgets for in-house contact centers continue to shrink, reducing costs without compromising service quality becomes critical. The competitive landscape is intensifying for business process outsourcing entities, with pricing strategies centered around outcomes rather than time spent. Leveraging advanced technologies like GenAI in this environment becomes a necessity for survival and competitiveness.

Contact center leaders must recognize the urgency of adopting GenAI solutions, not only to navigate the pricing wars but also to transition their operations from traditional cost centers to innovative revenue centers. The future of contact center management is here, and organizations that don’t embrace AI risk being left behind in an era where efficiency and customer-centric revenue generation are paramount. 

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Shaun Poland

Shaun is a principal in West Monroe's customer solutions practice.

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