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Industry Research : Chatbot Frustration Leads to Consumers Opting for Human Interaction

#contactcenterworld, @CCMerchBPO

The majority of surveyed South Africans prefer to communicate with a contact centre agent either via e-mail (68%) or by telephone (62%), rather than resolve a query through a chatbot (35%).

This is according to a survey carried out by business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions provider Merchants.

The research was conducted through a consumer survey, among a sample of 2 000 South Africans aged between 18 years and 50+years, who were interviewed.

It highlights that SA’s national lockdown and continued social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic are creating a further necessity for consumers to engage with contact centres more regularly, with an increase in the influx of calls at customer contact centres reported in the last few months.

When contacting a business or service provider, 68% of respondents said they prefer e-mail communication, 62% opt to speak to a person, 39% prefer WhatsApp, 36% select social media communication, and only 35% said they are more likely to communicate with a live chat service/chatbot.

In the last month, 63% of respondents said they had contacted their bank, 50% had contacted their mobile service provider and 41% had contacted their Internet service provider.

The contact agents in these organisations will have to adapt quickly to the ‘new normal’ and require excellent problem-solving skills, which combine soft skills and digital skills, advises Merchants.

While many people might start their query with a chatbot or digital platform, they most often end up seeking human interaction in order to resolve their query as quickly and effectively as possible, notes the survey.

Among the reasons customers often opt for other forms of communication is that pre-trained chatbots follow a structured conversation plan and can lose the flow fairly easily. With more access to customer history and data, smarter chatbots can ‘learn’ customer preferences.

While technology and chatbots have a huge role to play in customer experience in 2020 and beyond, their role will certainly not be to replace human agents altogether, notes Merchants.

"The role of tech and chatbots will be to enhance the overall interaction; human interaction augmented by the efficiency of bot and the intelligence of tech will often result in the best experience for the customer," says Mathew Conn, group CRO at Merchants.

"The first and possibly most important failure of chatbots comes from the organisation in question not identifying what customer interactions are right for enhancement with chatbots. This is why it is so important to have a business process outsourcing partner who understands the business and where chatbots can have a positive impact, rather than creating a negative customer experience."

Chatbots work well if customers start their conversation as a chat, before being transferred to a human agent if needed, notes Conn. The problem comes in where customers have started a conversation on another channel such as the phone or e-mail. Without consistency across the omni-channels, chatbots will force the customers to start over – and risk damaging a brand and customer experience, he points out.

"While technology is able to fulfil many roles and automate most end-to-end processes, the contact centre will always be an environment where the human element is critical – and I believe this is going to become even more important as we move into the ‘new normal’ and faceless interactions between businesses and their consumers continue to increase," says Conn.

In terms of their experiences with contact centres, one of the biggest frustrations cited by respondents was the need to contact a business multiple times to resolve a query.

When asked what the most important trait is in a contact centre agent, the top result was ‘problem-solving ability’.

The second most important trait, according to the survey, was personality, followed by knowledge of products and services.

"South African contact centre agents are known for their problem-solving ability, and I believe this is what puts the country at the forefront of becoming the next BPO destination of choice as businesses look to outsource into multiple regions," says Conn.

"While human elements like empathy, humour and patience remain important in the contact centre, problem-solving will always be the priority for the consumer."

#contactcenterworld, @CCMerchBPO

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.itweb.co.za


About Merchants:
Company LogoMerchants, a Dimension Data Group company, is a provider of bespoke outsource contact centre solutions and has a 25 year track record of delivering customers contact centre solutions for a variety of blue chip organisations, globally.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Anticipate Volatility

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

Published: Friday, October 2, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide Automation

 
1.) Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.

2.) 
Auraya

EVA Voice Biometrics
Powered by Auraya's patented ArmorVox engine, EVA is a voice biometric extension that provides secure and seamless identification & verification capabilities for Amazon Connect. EVA provides delightful customer experience by removing the friction of providing PINs, passwords or secret information in order to prove caller identity. EVA comes standard with active and passive modes and a simple yet powerful agent interface. This allows for personalised self-service and a more friendly and efficient experience when interacting with an agent.

Outdated security methods such as PINs, passwords and security questions have become insecure and unreliable. Forgetting passwords and security answers o...
(read more)

3.) 
Call Adapt

Soundboard Software
Call Adapt is a cloud-based digital soundboard application designed for contact centers. It works with any type of call and integrates with your existing dialer system. Powered by smart audio technology, Call Adapt gives your agents the ability to converse with customers in real time using programmed keyboard shortcuts. The result is perfect pitch delivery and less time spent on repetitive tasks.

4.) 
Cognigy

Cognigy is a global leader in Conversational AI Automation. Its platform, Cognigy.AI, enables enterprises to automate customer and employee communications using intelligent voice and chatbots

5.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniCloud™
UniCloud™ is an intuitive platform that allows Enterprises to deploy and manage their Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) services with ease and entire provisioning can be completed in seconds using this comprehensive tool supporting digital transformation. The latest release 7.0 of UniCloud™ is a multi-tenant platform that transforms the delivery, management, and integration of collaboration and contact center solutions, for both Cloud and On-Premise deployment models.
With its single-pane-of-glass views and quick provisioning tool, UniCloud™ is instrumental in reducing the time to provision an entire multi-cluster Cisco collaboration platform, including contact centers (C...
(read more)

6.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Solve
Proven, Easy, and Guided Journey to Automate Customer Engagement in a Digital+AI World

7.) 
Emmersion

Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.

8.) 
OpsTel Services

SPEED & PLUS
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 Perfor...
(read more)
 

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