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artificial intelligence

How real-time feedback helps drive lasting change

960 640 Lauren Maschio

By Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Portfolio Manager, Enterprise WFO

How to give people feedback, according to Harvard Business Review, is one of the hottest topics in business today. A key problem with feedback, Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall wrote, is that people are “unreliable raters of other humans.”

“This phenomenon is called the idiosyncratic rater effect, and it’s large (more than half of your rating of someone else reflects your characteristics, not hers) and resilient (no training can lessen it),” Buckingham and Goodall asserted.

Human listening is neither consistent nor cost-effective – two people evaluating the same call often disagree whether the agent showed empathy, for example. In the end, agents don’t trust the process because they’re being measured based on a handful of calls each month, and supervisors don’t trust the process because it puts them in the difficult situation of justifying their assessment of the calls.

To overcome this challenge, contact centers are using artificial intelligence (AI) to give agents immediate and accurate feedback. A comprehensive AI framework can provide a consistent, accurate and unbiased score of the agent soft skill behaviors proven through decades of research to drive customer satisfaction – on every single interaction.

AI contact center technology can deliver behavioral insights that reside in the so-called “big data,” where pre-built models have been developed based on millions of hours of customer interactions. AI is delivering dividends, too: A recent survey by Aberdeen Research found that contact centers using AI are enjoying 3.3 times higher customer retention, 3.5 times more satisfied customers and 2.4 times higher agent productivity.

By adding real-time interaction guidance, agents get immediate feedback on how to change the conversation when a customer is expressing frustration. That’s important because while contact centers invest a lot of time and resources into coaching agents to improve behavior, agents often struggle during interactions to retain, recall and apply skills learned in coaching sessions. In fact, research shows that people forget about 50% of the new information they receive in training sessions within an hour. A day later, they’ve forgotten 70% of the material, and one week later, they’ve forgotten on average fully 90% of the coaching.

With real-time interaction guidance, agents receive desktop prompts and specific recommendations, such as how to build rapport or acknowledge loyalty, to have a more engaging conversation. Real-time interaction guidance enables agents to self-correct in the moment and reinforces skills they have already learned in a coaching session.

“Feedback is most meaningful in the moment,” Shani Harmon and Renee Cullinan wrote in Forbes.  “Feedback loops are critical for individual and organizational learning. Without them, we cannot improve.”

Learn more about how contact centers are using AI-powered real-time guidance to help agents while an interaction is in progress, giving them the feedback and coaching

WEBINAR REWIND: 3-Step Guide To Scaling Your Business Using AI

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Don’t worry if you missed KantanMT’s recent webinar giving insight into scaling your business using AI – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

One of the most significant challenges, faced by the contact centres industry is on-boarding new territories and customers. Many contact centre managers will way say it takes too long, it’s expensive, and complex. And if the on-boarding process includes a multi-lingual dimension, then hiring agents with product expertise coupled with language skills can be a nightmare. Combined with increased costs associated with multilingual agent resourcing and rostering, it’s no wonder contact centre managers view it as a significant challenge in scaling their business!

Many contact centre managers are looking towards AI as a solution to help them rapidly scale their business and on-board new clients. This is especially prevalent in the context of providing multi-lingual support and services. These progressive contact centres are shifting the hiring focus away from languages with an emphasis on agent product/service knowledge and expertise.

In the webinar Jim Nolan, AI Evangelist, presents a 3-Step Guide to how AI is used by 1,500 agents at Keywords Studios, for the Gaming and Entertainment industry, delivering support in 12 European and Asian languages. The presentation explores how KantanSkynet is used to remove the language barrier, shifting the hiring focus away from language skills and driving the rapid on-boarding of new territories and clients.

Click here to re-watch the webinar.

If you require additional information, please contact Jimn@kantanmt.com.

WEBINAR: 3-Step Guide to Scaling your Business using AI

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Deploying AI in Contact Centres for rapid on-boarding of new business

By Jim Nolan, Sales Manager, KantanMT

One of the most significant challenges, faced by the contact centres industry is on-boarding new territories and customers. Many contact centre managers will way say it takes too long, it’s expensive, and complex. And if the on-boarding process includes a multi-lingual dimension, then hiring agents with product expertise coupled with language skills can be a nightmare. Combined with increased costs associated with multilingual agent resourcing and rostering, it’s no wonder contact centre managers view it as a significant challenge in scaling their business!

Many contact centre managers are looking towards AI as a solution to help them rapidly scale their business and on-board new clients. This is especially prevalent in the context of providing multi-lingual support and services. These progressive contact centres are shifting the hiring focus away from languages with an emphasis on agent product/service knowledge and expertise.

However, to do this successfully, they must remove the language barrier from all aspects of their service chain, ensuring that any agent, can service any ticket in any language!

By removing the language barrier, contact centres fundamentally change how they organise and deploy support teams. While traditional contact centres establish regional and/or language teams, todays progressive centres focus on product/service teams, where language is simply irrelevant.

To achieve this, progressive contact centres are looking towards AI to remove the language barrier and accelerate on-boarding. This results in higher agent productivity, happier clients, and enhanced business agility.

KantanSkynet is an AI platform that fuses the latest neural machine translation technologies, with a community of professional editors, removing the language barrier and helping contact centres scale.

Jim Nolan, AI Evangelist, will present a 3-Step Guide to how AI is used by 1,500 agents at Keywords Studios, for the Gaming and Entertainment industry, delivering support in 12 European and Asian languages. The presentation will explore how KantanSkynet is used to remove the language barrier, shifting the hiring focus away from language skills and driving the rapid on-boarding of new territories and clients.

Join us on Wednesday 16th September for our webinar and gain an insight into scaling your business using AI.

Click here to reserve you seat at the webinar.

If you require additional information, please contact  Jimn@kantanmt.com.

How AI and automation help contact centers be agile in the COVID-19 era

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By Paul Chance, NICE

As widespread shutdowns went into effect, contact centers had to make an overnight shift to remote work – a significant undertaking in an industry that has historically relied on physical office spaces to bring together and manage the agents who are critical to solving customers’ needs. Agents and contact center leaders, many of whom were taking their organizations remote for the first time ever, learned and adapted on the go.

Now, with many organizations starting to make plans for reopening and thinking about how they can adapt to a multitude of different in-office or remote work scenarios, it has become clear that new strategies and technology tools are needed to help contact centers stay agile.  There’s a lot of uncertainty about the future, and contact centers must put the right solutions in place to be able to react swiftly as business conditions change.

In this environment, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are making nimbleness a reality for contact centers by helping leaders adapt scheduling, planning, hiring, forecasting and intraday management to in-the-moment changes.

AI-driven workforce management enables more accurate decision-making

When AI is embedded into workforce management, contact center leaders gain tools that can accurately predict outcomes in a wide range of scenarios and take much of guesswork and time out of lengthy planning and research needs.

  • Long-term and “what-if” planning. With so much in flux today, determining the right staffing levels needed to meet specific KPIs is particularly challenging. AI makes it easy to incorporate a multitude of variables and specific business requirements into long-term planning and empowers contact centers to problem-solve between staffing requirements and performance gaps. Its meticulous predictions increase long-term forecasting accuracy by 6 to 10%.
  • Hiring the right agents. The lack of face-to-face interaction right now adds a new layer to hiring – how can contact centers make sure they’re choosing the right people? With AI embedded in workforce management, contact centers can use voice analysis to objectively assesses candidates’ aptitude, engagement and performance and determine which candidates are likely to be high-value employees.
  • Forecast accurately and effectively. Forecasting typically takes substantial research and knowledge of the contact center as well as deep expertise in numerous forecasting methods. AI-driven workforce management enables managers to focus their efforts on higher-value tasks by assessing which forecasting methods will be the most accurate in a given situation, pinpointing unseen patterns in data and automatically adjusting to new circumstances – ultimately increasing accuracy and efficiency.
  • Simulate real-world scenarios. The downstream impacts of staffing decisions are incredibly difficult to predict manually, but AI and machine learning can demonstrate exactly how changes to on-hand agent skills, call prioritization, routing and other variables impact service levels.

Automation makes real-time contact center schedule changes possible

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, customer demand can change in an instant – and so can the available pool of agents. Automation empowers contact centers to simulate impacts on KPIs throughout the day and several weeks into the future, after the schedule is published. It enables automatic adjustments to meet customer demand without overstaffing or understaffing.    

  • Fix staffing gaps. As staffing needs change throughout the day, automation within workforce management solutions identifies variances that lead to overstaffing and understaffing. It then brings staffing in line with contact center business needs by automatically offering agents shift swaps, voluntary time off, extra hours and more – but only when changes will benefit the business. There’s no need for heavy monitoring or intervention by a manager.
  • Increase agent engagement. Automation enables contact centers to eliminate some of agents’ biggest frustrations, such as missed shift or overtime opportunities, a lack of flexibility in their schedules and slow approval for schedule change requests. This increases agent engagement, a top driver of productivity, which is essential right now given the distractions agents face at home. 

Whether a contact center is fully remote, working from the office or some blend of the two, the ability to adapt quickly is essential right now – and AI and automation make it possible to do so with workforce management. Learn more about how technologies are empowering contact center agility right now in our ebook on Leveraging AI and Intelligent Automation in the WFM Suite.

For more information please click here.

From Hype To Reality: AI in The Contact Centre

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Content Guru

It’s no secret that the global pandemic, and subsequent lockdown measures, have forced many companies to compete solely on the basis of the remote customer experiences they deliver. Those companies that keep their customers close, by investing in technology that makes customer engagement their competitive advantage, will be those that survive, and even thrive, during lockdown and beyond.

Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO at Content Guru, explores how AI applications like Natural Language Processing and image recognition are revolutionising the delivery of customer service, and helping organisations to drive customer loyalty.

AI in action

Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t a new concept, but conversation around AI is more mature than its actual application. However, key advances in recent years have opened the door for AI to become mainstream, and as a consequence, we are at the tipping point. AI is going to become commonplace, particularly within the contact centre industry.

Advances in big data, machine learning and cloud communications have made AI systems an affordable reality for many organisations around the globe. For these early adopters, making the shift towards AI-based support services across multiple channels means they are now storming ahead with improving Customer Engagement and Experience. Plus, they are reaping the rewards of enhanced productivity through the automation of routine interactions that enable their human agents to focus on more pressing tasks.

These companies have the right idea: businesses scoring in the top quartile of CSAT scores experience 87% less churn from employees and are 44% more profitable.

With future enhancements in AI and machine learning technologies set to boost adoption by mainstream industries, the pressure is on to stay ahead of the curve and deploy this technology to optimise contact centre operations.

Omni-channel consumers expect instant responses

Today’s digitally-connected, always-on consumers expect 24/7 customer service and accurate answers to their queries. AI can play a big role in optimising response times across channels in two ways: utilising personality and behavioural analysis to quickly route callers to the right human agent; and directly responding to commonly asked questions.

Companies of all kinds are now using artificially intelligent chatbots to answer queries, undertake customer authentication, recognise images, or identify whether a caller is happy, annoyed or frustrated. Supplementing trained human agents, these chatbots help out with routine queries and ‘how to’ calls; are on hand to cope with unexpected surges in demand; and provide updates on delivery or service delays.

With Gartner predicting that by 2020 up to 80% of customer service interactions will be handled by AI, organisations that want to stay competitive and relevant will need to future-proof their communications estate fast – or risk being left behind.

Keeping it human

By bringing AI into the contact centre, companies can initiate omni-channel interactions and generate an improved customer experience alongside operational efficiencies. But does taking advantage of new technologies mean organisations risk de-humanising their contact centres?

Rather than replacing agents with automated systems, organisations should instead look to supplement contact centre employees with AI tools that empower them to perform better in their roles. For example, Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology can parse meaning from spoken language and provide on-screen prompts to help agents deliver a faster, more accurate and personalised experience for customers.

Complementing human interactions, NLP ‘listens’ in the background and enhances an agent’s performance by delivering up the data they need to engage in better conversations. At the end of each call, NLP technology automatically provides a wrap summary, which both reduces the reporting burden on agents and enables them to move quickly onto the next call.

So, while AI has a role to play in improving contact centre productivity by automating routine repeated interactions, enabling self-service channels, and optimising response times, it doesn’t take the place of human agents. Complex scenarios or frustrated customers need to be handled by trained representatives of an organisation.

Exploring the possibilities

Using AI to augment human interactions and elevate the customer experience is just part of the story. Organisations are also using tools like NLP to boost the job satisfaction and engagement of their contact centre employees.

High agent churn and absenteeism rates are the bane of call centres everywhere, and replacing talent is expensive. According to the CIPD, the average cost impact of call centre staff turnover is over £6K, rising to £9K for senior positions.

Research shows that the number one source of agent dissatisfaction is workload. Content Guru has successfully used NLP to enable one of our public sector customers to address its 60% contact centre churn. Using intelligent automation to eliminate drudgery for employees, it’s also augmented the ability of teams to seamlessly handle calls. Plus, the use of AI and machine learning now captures and delivers the data insights that reduce employee effort, leading to a reduction in training costs.

Clearly, having AI and human intelligence working hand-in-hand is a win-win scenario.

Improving the customer journey – and keeping people in work

Helping consumers to find a customer service assistant, delivering fast answers to simple questions, and providing personalised product recommendations, are just some of the ways AI is revolutionising how brands engage and serve customers.

But contact centre employees benefit from AI just as much as customers do. Eliminating mind-numbing repetitive tasks means agents are able to focus on more fulfilling and critical work that requires their unique human capacity to be creative and caring. Rather than eliminating jobs, AI is leading to an evolution of roles that will see agents working alongside and training their bots so that customers always get the most helpful and up-to-date responses.

Discover AI for your contact centre here: https://bit.ly/2BMlblR

It’s time to stop talking about AI in the contact centre

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that consumers engage with brands. Lockdown has birthed a new era of digital communication, in which customers expect to interact with companies over the channel of their choice, and receive the same unrivalled service that they do from leading online giants.

How can organisations ensure that they deliver exceptional customer engagement, at a time in which many contact centres are under-resourced, and overwhelmed by new spikes in demand?

Artificial Intelligence can solve this issue. The implementation of automation and intelligent machine learning in the contact centre liberates agents to handle priority contacts, build outstanding customer relationships, and forge customer loyalty in today’s uncertain business environment.

Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO at Content Guru, explains how the contact centre industry is leading the charge in practical AI application…

Old Conversation

AI has started to feel like an old conversation. But the reality is that it’s only just off the starting blocks in many industries. In the last year, contact centres and organisations focused on customer engagement have moved beyond the AI hype into practical implementation. As such, businesses that want to stop talking and start doing should be looking to those organisations as a leading example.

There are tangible examples of AI applications already in full swing in the contact centre industry, ranging from Natural Language Processing (NLP) to image recognition. Research from industry-leading analyst Gartner suggests that in 2020, 80% of customer service interactions will be handled by AI. This is hardly surprising, as around a quarter of customer interactions are already handled through an automated chatbot, and the industry is constantly expanding the very definition of what AI is and what it can do.

The driving force behind the AI revolution is customer experience. As it becomes the key business differentiator, organisations that stay ahead of the curve are seeing happy, loyal and engaged customers and higher profits, by turning AI hype into tangible business success. Moving beyond the hype and towards result-driven applications of AI will be critical to the success of any company wanting to survive in this competitive landscape.

Why the contact centre is embracing the dual interface

AI coupled with real-life human intelligence creates an augmented dual interface that is delivering a competitive advantage to companies wanting to offer a frictionless customer journey. An omni-channel contact centre that deploys AI working hand-in-hand with human agents is becoming critical for any organisation that doesn’t want to be in the bottom quartile for customer satisfaction (CSAT).

Companies in the top quartile experience an impressive 87% less churn from their employees, and are 44% more profitable. Research has shown that the number one reason for agent dissatisfaction is workload. Contact centres are eliminating the mundane tasks for their human agents through intelligent automation, and are supporting the agent’s ability to seamlessly handle calls with AI. This improves job satisfaction, thereby reducing the rate of attrition.

Evolving the role of human agents means less money is spent on training. In the past, data scientists — who possess one of the most sought-after skill-sets — would be required to process, analyse and derive insights from customer data. Now, AI-solutions are programmed to do this automatically, reducing organisations’ dependency on scarce and pricey skill-sets.

Augmented intelligence: working smarter, not harder

Not only is the contact centre industry demystifying practical uses for AI, it is also debunking the rumours about AI replacing humans. Contrary to popular belief, and as the hype may suggest, AI will not cost businesses their human face. Organisations can still leverage automation while maintaining the human touch, by providing intelligently augmented interactions.

This type of intelligent assistance helps employees work more efficiently and deliver better results. The fact is that no new technology in human history has ever created long-term, mass unemployment. There will be a period of adjustment and a need for a different skill-set. But overall, these developments will open up new opportunities for establishing long-term career prospects in contact centres.

NLP is going mainstream

NLP is a form of AI that analyses natural dialogue to draw contextual meaning and understand language the way humans do. NLP registers, deciphers, understands, and makes sense of spoken language, and turns it into actionable data. This technology is a great example of both a tangible and current use of AI to achieve business success, as well as a strong argument against the idea that AI is replacing humans in the workplace.

Having information on the nature of an incoming customer call readily available means that human agents do not have to sift through huge volumes of data to answer the query. This enables them to provide a much faster and more personalised experience to the customer. NLP can also be used to help Machine Agents to parse meaning from spoken language, enabling them to provide more accurate responses.

When a customer reaches a contact centre agent, NLP can work in the background and prompt the agent with automated information on-screen to assist them in resolving the query. Increased automation means companies will need to spend less money on training costs. NLP automatically provides a wrap summary of the conversation on completion of the call so the agent does not have to spend time at the end of the interaction completing this task. This reduces the administrative burden and frees up agents to answer more calls.

Many early adopters of this type of AI are organisations in the public sector. A combination of a tight budget and hefty workloads makes public sector organisations prepared to invest first, but many other industries are now seeing the value in NLP and rolling out the technology en masse.

What’s stopping you from stepping into the future?

In the past, one of the biggest roadblocks of AI deployment was the limited resources available. But today, with hyperscale cloud platforms and vast computing power, the scalability of AI solutions has become much more attainable. We have moved from scarcity, caused by high cost technology, to the abundance of cheap processors.

The combination of extra computing power and new AI-driven processes have really come together in the last few years. This means that organisations can easily and cost-effectively draw on extra computing resources to scale their contact centre capacity accordingly.

This new approach to the contact centre presents businesses across every industry with a scalable opportunity to future-proof their communications estate and keep up with customer expectations of a flawless, omni-channel customer experience. Using the latest cutting-edge tools to complement a company’s existing offering should become second nature to any forward-thinking business. These are exciting times for AI, and, as we move into 2020, it is time to stop talking about AI, and start doing.

Click here to discover AI for your contact centre.

Do you specialise in Artificial Intelligence for contact centres? We want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Call Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in June we’re focusing on Artificial Intelligence solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Artificial Intelligence solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Jun – Artificial Intelligence
Jul – Virtual Call/Contact Centres
Aug – Training & Development
Sep – Knowledge Management
Oct – Web Self Service/Chat
Nov – Display Boards
Dec – CRM

For more information on any of the above, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

Using Artificial Intelligence to build a great future for CX

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AI is already here and it’s revolutionising the way businesses manage their data to transform the customer experience (CX).  Henry Jinman, Commercial Director at EBI.AI, says it pays to tread with caution, despite all the success stories and shares his top 3 Tips for before you begin…

No longer confined to the realms of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and companies are waking up to the potential of machine learning to push the boundaries of customer interactions and drive effective CX strategies.  The truth is AI is totally revolutionising our approach to data through its amazing ability to capture, process and analyse masses of unstructured data across the business.  By automating customer contact management, data recording and analysis processes, AI can readily identify patterns of consumer behaviour that give contact centres and customer service operations a new competitive edge.  With vital customer intelligence at their fingertips, frontline staff are able to push out targeted sales content, pre-empt what customers will purchase in the future and predict their loyalty and value to the business.   

Here are just two real-life success stories to prove it.  Royal Bank of Scotland manages 17 million customers but managed to raise its Net Promotor Score by 18 points unanimously after deploying AI while US telecommunications giant Sprint achieved a 14% increase in customer retention in just six months, simultaneously overcoming an industry-high in turnover rates.

The beauty of Artificial Intelligence is that it is truly democratic.  The wonders of the Cloud mean it is readily available and accessible to all sizes of enterprise.  Now is the time to consider what AI can do for customer service in your organisation but stop before leaping in.  Learn from those who have already gone through the process and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure a successful AI implementation that optimises CX and futureproofs customer loyalty.

Three things to do before you begin

  1. Learn from the past – the major lesson is to tread carefully.  As with all new technologies, instinct tells us to rush in for fear of being left behind the competition or because we believe the latest innovation will be an instant cure-all for everything.  Think back 20 years to when the new mobile, Internet-enabled generation first grabbed the headlines.  Unfortunately, the marketing hype caused a lot of grief with businesses investing in technology that their customers just weren’t ready for!  Similarly, many organisations today deploy AI without really understanding how it is going to benefit their customers or the business.  Instead, businesses should take an inclusive strategy to adopting AI with the emphasis on customer needs and outcomes.
  2. Draw inspiration from real-life successes – EBI.AI has seen first-hand how AI is transforming customer service.  Take Get Living, the largest operator in the UK’s build-to-rent sector.  The company is providing a seamless move-in experience for 500 new homes at the former London 2012 Olympics Athletes’ Village with the help of a virtual AI assistant based on Google Home.  The Get Living Assistant helps people settle in to their new home, from letting them know where they can buy groceries down to giving instructions on how to use their induction hob.  The more residents use the bot, the smarter it becomes while special feedback functionality is crucial to understanding residents’ needs so that Get Living can continually improve its personal service and rental offer.
  3. Get it right first time around – by following a few simple rules:
  • Involve the right people from the very beginning so that when frustration strikes, you’ll have allies who are incentivised to make your AI project successful.
    Avoid over-expectations by educating stakeholders about the limitations of AI technology, explaining what it is and what it isn’t.  Be realistic when sharing  timeframes for results – machine-learning takes time to perfect!
  • Have a plan, start small and don’t go beyond your organisation’s capabilities.
  • Take time to assess the marketplace – engage with experts who understand the complexities of AI but are energised to find creative ways of realising its potential for great customer service.
  • Put data at the heart of AI design.  To build an effective bot, you need access to relevant customer data and you need to train the bot to answer the questions that really matter to customers.

What does the future of AI look like?
The predictive qualities of AI will create a world of augmented intelligence not just artificial intelligence.  Blending AI into their CX platform, organisations will be able to react in real-time with the next best action regardless of how customers engage or where they are on the brand journey.

What is more, as AI enhances rather than replaces human beings, companies should expect to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship between man and machine that adds a completely new dimension to the customer experience.

Woven: AI will change way businesses interact with their customers forever

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In an era where technology is becoming a more significant enabler, new opportunities are being created for all of us to enrich our lives.

In the world of business, this allows companies an opportunity to deliver a level of customer service that until now has not been possible. But it also brings into sharper focus the dangers for business of failing to provide great quality service.

The latest revolution in customer experience is the combination of artificial intelligence and process automation, or in short ‘bots and virtual agents’.

And Woven’s chief technology officer Andy Griffin believes ‘the rise of bots’ will transform the way companies interact with their customers.

Griffin says: “The bots are coming and the landscape of customer experience for businesses will never be the same again.

“How we are impacted by bots will be shaped by how and where we interact with them.”

But what are the implications for companies that serve customers, what do we mean by a ‘bot’ and are these bots genuinely smart?

“Firstly, creating a basic bot is actually fairly simple, and secondly, to smarten a bot means providing it with real-time access to customer data and interactions – the ‘brains behind the bot’, if you like,” ays Griffin.

“This second point has focused the minds of businesses to an age-old conundrum that really should have been grasped a long time ago – that is how business can obtain a true real-time view of their customers.

“It’s a problem that we all thought we were going to solve with the emergence of CRM applications in the early noughties – but didn’t!”

By definition, bots are a series of automated steps with smart capabilities that convert voice to text or the other way around, and which can also convert strings of text to sentiment or intent.

Griffin adds: “If you have this functionality you can create a basic bot and then over time the bot can learn to become better at that simple task.

“But for a bot to become really smart, it needs to reach beyond one task to understand data in multiple systems.

“In the context of customer service, this means that the bot is comprehending in real-time how as a customer we are actually interacting with a company – are we on their website? In a web chat? Waiting in a voice queue? Or perhaps complaining via social?

“Trying to interact effectively using automation without having genuine access to all of this data proves either limiting or just plain self-defeating.

“The bot will simply follow the rules it’s given and will not be cognisant of data it doesn’t have.

“So, whereas a human agent in a contact centre can interact with multiple systems and make a guided judgement, a bot simply cannot compare without having integrated up-to-date data.”

Griffin concludes that business must harness real-time customer data to maximise the benefits bots can bring to the customer service sector – or risk being left in the dark: “Bots are a big part of the customer experience and will change all of our lives.

“But if there’s one core task companies wishing to maximise their opportunities must complete, it has to start with the use of real-time customer data and customer interactions.

“The most effective innovators are those who understand the human element of change, and appreciate that it’s how we interact with technology that creates the biggest impact on our lives.

“Without this understanding, businesses rush into the world of bots at their peril.”

WHITE PAPER: How AI Improves Customer Experience

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By CallMiner

Artificial intelligence is being used in many ways to improve customer experience, and innovative new use cases are emerging all the time. Enterprises must reimagine their operations, with automation and AI at the center of their strategy.

This paper provides an overview of artificial intelligence, explains how AI fits into the spectrum of technologies used for managing contact centers operations and efficiencies both on the agent and customer side, how speech is a gold mine for data, and identifies the leading use cases that are delivering customer experience and stronger business value through customer engagement analytics.

To download the white paper, click here.