Robots, bots, chat bots, intelligent or virtual assistants are just very sophisticated forms of self-service and we all know that self-service is here to stay. The younger generation, in particular, is quick to embrace a self-serve environment and typically find virtual agents entertaining and interesting. So where does that leave humans in contact centres?
Look around you, every kind of robot is out there. Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Alexa are in competition to prove who is smartest and are both voice-enabled wireless speakers, which can answer questions, play music, control smart home devices and even read the news. It is all about low effort and similar devices are proving to be extremely popular. Coming back to UK shores, Enfield Council has used Amelia to transform its cost to serve. New knowledge can be automatically captured and categorised whenever Amelia has to escalate unresolved enquiries to live assistance. It’s fair to say robots have carved out a great opportunity for contact centres to reduce live assistance of inbound volumes leading to huge savings in time and support costs.
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As the next step in the evolution of self-service, robots are becoming an important part of today’s multi-channel contact centre environment, but will they ever take over completely? They certainly have their fair share of good points but much depends on the needs of your customers and on your organisational set-up. Here we present both sides of the argument:
The best of both worlds
Success lies in being all things to all people. Using the latest multichannel cloud contact solutions means advisors have the ability to handle enquiries from all channels. Clever integration with major customer relationship management (CRM) applications enable personalised enquiry handling and queue prioritisation. Giving advisors the right tools to handle customers based on their own judgement improves customer loyalty and delivers the quality of service that all customers deserve and expect.
Ultimately, contact centre leaders should blend the benefits of self-service and virtual agents with the human touch to meet the needs of customers, advisors and the overall business.
About Thomas Rødseth:
Thomas has worked in the telco sector in Europe for over 20 years, including companies such as O2 and Telenor. He has a background in managing large contact centres, employing more than 1,000 agents, giving him first-hand experience of trying to achieve operational efficiencies whilst delivering a great customer experience.
Puzzel (formerly Intelecom) builds on 20 years’ heritage. It was one of the first pioneers to develop a cloud-based contact centre. Puzzel also encompasses leading mobile messaging and mobile payments to deliver a flexible and customisable customer interaction platform to meet the needs of today’s omni-channel and mobile environments. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Puzzel employs over 130 people who are all passionate about delivering innovative customer interaction solutions for contact centres and mobile environments.
Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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