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Article : The Truth About Self Service, Bots & Intelligent Assistance

#contactcenterworld, @puzzelsolutions

Thomas Rodseth, VP of Product & Marketing at Intelecom explains the options when it comes to intelligent assistance in the following article.


Sometimes a technology takes an age to go mainstream. Other times it appears to arrive like a thunderbolt out of nowhere. Bots chose the high impact option when they arrived in Q1 2016. By mid-summer they were sliding down Gartner’s famous trough of disillusionment accused of being over hyped and inadequate in meeting expectations for the human touch.

This is often the case when the reality of using the new technology fails to deliver the promised benefits that were hailed at its launch.

However bots are not an isolated trend. Nor are they the only type of digital assistance in town. In fact they are part of a much larger wave of innovation in computing that has seen Artificial Intelligence (AI) move from the laboratory into everyday goods and services. So called cognitive computing is a new term for a new age in which every day things in life are infused with a certain intelligence based on their ability to self-learn.


As far as the world of customer engagement and self service is concerned, this ability to recognise the context and intent of a customer’s need and then personalise that interaction comes from a mesh of technologies which have reached new levels of maturity in recent years. Natural language processing, machine to machine learning, semantic search and speech recognition, have been infused with degrees of AI capability. All have become more effective as a result.

As previously mentioned, bots are not the only ones to be built from such capabilities. In fact within the hierarchy of intelligent assistance, bots sit at the bottom of the digital food chain. For instance, Amazon’s Alexa and IPsoft’s Amelia are much more impressive technical achievements.

But that is to miss the point of bots. They are more mass market in their appeal and construction. In fact both Facebook and Microsoft offer bot building frameworks. Over 11,000 developers flocked to the Messenger platform within a few months of Facebook’s announcement that they were now in the bot building business. Bots can be designed to run on ‘rails’ as opposed to more costly natural language processing logic. This makes them cheaper and quicker to build. Not a bad thing for testing consumer demand.

So instead of being valued as being technical frontrunners, bots are special because they act as concierges on top of messaging platforms which now attract massive mobile audiences. This is their niche. They are important because they point to another brave new future that is rapidly arriving. One in which the dominance of the desktop and browser is giving way to the adoption of the smartphone and messaging app.

For this growing demographic, bots are a great way to extend the functional value of their favourite messaging platform. They can add value across the engagement cycle. Provide information throughout a buyer’s journey, enable the sale and payment of things and after that provide whatever ongoing support is required as a customer service tool.

That said, many brands and organisations will still have customers who do not match that type of online behaviour. Mobile browsing and apps are still dominant while a desktop and keyboard remains an important and trusted interface for other types of customers.

This is where more traditional intelligent assistance has flourished. Often built around the well-known functionality of a simple search box, the virtual assistant allows customers to engage in a conversational style, to understand needs and retrieve relevant content from the array of knowledge sources they are plumbed into.

These solutions have been effective. In the context of customer service, demand for live assistance has been reduced dramatically as a result.

As a final point on the different flavours of intelligent assistance, there is one more category that has to be mentioned. These are typically voiced based assistants such as Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant.

Why is this flourishing? Voice is faster than text. Hands free interaction is sometimes the only option. Adoption rates are increasing. More voice searches are happening. Brands are starting to see these services as new ways to connect with customers. Voice can be embedded into devices that do not require screens. This is the reason Samsung bought VIV, a next generation version of Siri. Their grand vision is to embed voice assistance into every Samsung device sold.

So where does this leave us on bots? Today we happily live in a world where we have accepted that smart automated engagement can successfully free up live resources, to concentrate on some interactions where a person at the other end is still needed.

#contactcenterworld, @puzzelsolutions


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.

About Puzzel:
Company LogoPuzzel (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.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Using Predictive Dialers

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017

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2024 Buyers Guide Business Continuity

 
1.) 
Eckoh

CallGuard Remote
A flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments from home or remote locations. It’s quick to deploy needs no changes to processes or systems.

CallGuard Remote prevents agents from seeing, hearing or recording card details so, the agent, their screen, and any call recordings are removed from the scope of PCI DSS.

This simple approach means the customer effectively types their own payment information into the agent’s payment screen, but with the card details being shielded from the agent’s view. It’s simple, and highly effective.

2.) 
Pointel

CCaaSSync – Contact Center Disaster Recovery Solution
CCaaSSync is a comprehensive solution to help businesses prepare for unforeseen disasters that may impact their Genesys cloud contact center infrastructure. Our disaster recovery solution ensures that your business remains operational and continues to provide seamless customer service even in the event of catastrophic failure of your primary infrastructure.

Our disaster recovery solution is a cloud-based service that allows you to synchronize your primary Genesys cloud contact center infrastructure with your disaster recovery Genesys cloud contact center infrastructure, allowing you to quickly and easily switch over to the backup infrastructure in the event of a disaster. This ensures tha...
(read more)

3.) 
Vads

VADS Business Continuity Plan
VADS provides a business continuity plan by providing full outsource services and manage services. we've provided this to several clients. You can contact us for a detailed study case.

4.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
Adapting to the new normal contact center industry has to be ready for work from anywhere agents to maintain business continuity. Even when working from remote locations, the work from home agents or remote agents need to be monitored for smooth customer service operations or effective tele sales.

InterDialog UCCS with its work from home agent ready call center software helps you to have complete control over your contact center operations. Agents can log in from any where , home, office or any other place where they are through their mobile phone or desktop , or even through our ID mobile app . With centralized recording & reporting , you gain visibility of all contact center metrics , and you can manage your center the same way as you were doing when working from office.
 

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