A review of natural language processing in contact centre automation

Shariq Shah*, Hossein Ghomeshi, Edlira Vakaj, Emmett Cooper, Shereen Fouad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Contact centres have been highly valued by organizations for a long time. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted their critical importance in ensuring business continuity, economic activity, and quality customer support. The pandemic has led to an increase in customer inquiries related to payment extensions, cancellations, and stock inquiries, each with varying degrees of urgency. To address this challenge, organizations have taken the opportunity to re-evaluate the function of contact centres and explore innovative solutions. Next-generation platforms that incorporate machine learning techniques and natural language processing, such as self-service voice portals and chatbots, are being implemented to enhance customer service. These platforms offer robust features that equip customer agents with the necessary tools to provide exceptional customer support. Through an extensive review of existing literature, this paper aims to uncover research gaps and explore the advantages of transitioning to a contact centre that utilizes natural language solutions as the norm. Additionally, we will examine the major challenges faced by contact centre organizations and offer recommendations for overcoming them, ultimately expediting the pace of contact centre automation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-846
Number of pages24
JournalPattern Analysis and Applications
Issue number3
Early online date29 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © The Authors, 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.


  • Contact centres (CCs)
  • Automation
  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Machine learning (ML)


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