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AI in the Workplace Is Already Here. The First Battleground? Call Centers

Lisa Bannon

The Wall Street Journal

Feb 18, 2023

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They have deployed bots that automate basic tasks and instruct the remaining humans how to do their jobs

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—Johnathan Bragg has always looked at his job selling home-repair insurance the same way an artist looks at a canvas.

“I got this road map in my head of what it looks like when you’re delivering world-class customer service—what triggers people, what makes people trust you,” Mr. Bragg said. “It’s like when da Vinci was painting.”

Mr. Bragg is one of the top-performing sales agents for HomeServe USA Corp., a home-repair service company that sells plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical repair plans to about five million customers in North America. For 11 of the past 12 months, working from a cavernous call center on the outskirts of town, he has been in the top 10% of its 432 agents, he said, for the simple fact that he listens to what people want.

“I don’t just say stuff and read scripts,” said Mr. Bragg. “I listen to everybody, whoever you are, and I retain what it is that makes that person interested. I can get just about anybody to buy anything.”