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“The Robots are Coming”… but are they really Taking over the Contact Centre? - Enghouse Interactive - Blog

“The Robots are Coming”… but are they really Taking over the Contact Centre?

According to a recent study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte, about 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the following 20 years. We are already seeing growing use of robot agents and other forms of automated technology across all areas of business and commerce – and customer contact centres are among the pioneers in this area.

But don’t panic, at least not yet, robots are not good at empathy or negotiating broken processes and non-standard problems, the things that contact centres excel in and deal with every day. Here, we look at the benefits of using robots to engage with customers, while highlighting why there will always be a need for the ‘human touch’.

Ongoing Growth of Computing Power

20 years ago, IBM announced their Deep Blue computer had beaten the then world champion at chess. Fast forward two decades and UK-based company, Deep Mind has created an artificial intelligence computer which can beat the European champion at Go. When you consider that the number of possible player positions in the Chinese game is more than a googol (i.e. 10100) times larger than chess, it highlights the staggering growth of computing power.

Certainly, consumers today are carrying around a huge amount more computing power on their persons than they would have been even just a decade ago. And their spend on technology easily outstrips that of business and governmental organisations. Consumers are increasingly happy to engage over digital tools and apps to take self-service routes to get what they need and cut out complex business-led processes. That’s great news for organisations of course, because self-service represents a very cost-effective and efficient way of providing service to the customer.

Robot agents play an increasingly critical role in this new world of automated digital interaction.  Businesses are using them more and more at the front end of the interaction. Unlike their human counterparts, they are consistently reliable and always available. Moreover, they excel at triaging customers; interfacing with self-service applications and intelligently searching for information to help resolve queries quickly. That does not mean, however, that we can expect to see robots taking over the contact centre any time soon.

Smart organisations are not pocketing the financial gain they achieve from robot-driven self-service. Instead, they are re-investing it in higher value customer service, where human agents are key in resolving complex queries or in delivering a more personalised empathetic approach.

Robots in their Place

Robots are empowering self-service but they also empower the human agent, freeing up their time to do the value-add non-routine tasks, dealing with exceptions and offering empathy to high-value customers at what McKinsey calls the ‘moment of truth’, where the consumer has invested emotional energy in the outcome of the problem.

According to Mark Lockyer, Business Development Director, at IP Integration “Customers really want engagement and often it’s a combination of human and robot agents working together that is best placed to provide that engagement. In industries like the travel and insurance sectors, people are looking to contact organisations for advice. They want to speak to human agents in the contact centre but the analytical robot agent can play a critical background role gathering relevant information and presenting it as a single view to the agent at the appropriate time, enabling the agent to service the client quickly and efficiently.”

Summing up

So what will the contact centre agent of the future look like? It seems likely that we are going to be in a world when we start to see the hand-off between machine and human become cleaner and smarter than before. Already today, if you are in a chat room talking to an organisation, you typically interact with a robot who will escalate your problem to a human agent if they can’t solve it for you. And bear in mind it is not one size fits all. What might work for younger more tech-savvy customers might not for older customers who are used to fixed line phone calls or face-to-face interactions.

There is a balance to be struck.  Ultimately, the truth is that while the robots will not be taking over the contact centre any time soon, they are an increasingly valuable asset that contact centres can employ today to drive up the quality of their customer service.

Watch our recent webinar “The Robots are coming” to really find out if the contact centre will be taken over.


Publish Date: March 29, 2016 5:00 AM

2021 Buyers Guide IVR

Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

Computer Data Services, LLC

Get the benefits of an expensive, on-premise telephone system without the high price tag and annoying maintenance.

- Never miss another phone call
- No more busy signals
- Feature rich
- Answer your calls from anywhere
PH: 216.662.5870


Virtual Switchboard
Megacall provides a fully customised Virtual Switchboard software for all companies (including IVR service). No matter the size of your business, our services adapt to the needs of each client.

Are you looking for a more effective way to communicate with your customers? Discover the advantages of using the IVR and how it can help in your communications.
PH: +34 952 667 511


MightyCall's IVR that will increase your business’s efficiency at a fraction of the cost of a secretary. Your auto-attendant is designed to:
- Greet callers
- Deliver necessary information
- Forward calls to the appropriate extension
- Take human error out of the system
PH: +1 (888) 256-8312

Nuxiba Technologies

Provide your customers with an effortless self-service experience. Easily create menus using predefined or custom prompts and data dips and route customers to live agents when needed.

Enable your customers to make payments and access information 24/7 at their convenience. Request a quote or live demo today.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Performance Monitoring
PH: 1+480-435-9390

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