If you are a Torchwood fan, you’ll recognise this misquote. ‘2019 is going to be the year it all changes’ For once we’re not talking about Brexit, but instead the Contact Centre world. Nowadays most businesses have a website that serves up the fundamental information about what that business does. If it sells to consumers it will either have its own online shop or will operate through a third party like Amazon or eBay or Alibaba. Its website will have support pages to answer all the most likely questions about its products. You will be able to check your order status on the website, receive updates via SMS, or the business may even have a dedicated app.
The introduction of chatbots powered by natural language processing and machine learning also means that people can have an interactive dialogue without the need to speak to a human. And by interacting with scheduling systems, it is possible to automate the booking of appointments or arranging for things to be delivered. All of this makes operational efficiency available to businesses, with the associated resourcing and cost benefits that this brings
So, the opportunity and challenge for businesses is to move to an Engagement Automation solution that handles the majority of enquiries through an automated process and may even pre-empt enquiries through the use of IoT sensors to detect faults in equipment, or to trigger re-ordering of stock. The system may use AI to monitor customer activity and prompt them to repurchase items, or rebook visits. This can be built in the cloud using serverless computing models which allow resources to scale to meet demand automatically and be charged on a per transaction basis.
So where is the role of the contact centre in all of this? The fundamental process of a queue of customers waiting to speak to a group of general-purpose agents, or of a general-purpose agent handling a queue of email messages or webchats could be vastly reduced.. This offers an opportunity for long-term cost savings, improved operational effectiveness and also delivers an improved customer experience. Historically 70-75% of the costs in a contact centre were the resources, so we are increasingly seeing companies budget shift towards digital trends and automation efficiencies.
Of course humans will always be needed, but if business can shift the easier repetitive work to machines, then what is left requires the knowledge-based decision-making ability of an agent. In some situations, we know that there is a real need for an emotional connection. In this case, a properly functioning UC solution will use presence and skills-based routing and calendaring to deliver customers to these skilful people when needed. This means that your resource isn’t tied-up in repetitive, unrewarding tasks. instead the AI system will transfer a call to the person who best matches the needs of the caller. The expert receives a call that has been security vetted and the context of the call will be transferred as well, along with the solution’s best, calculated guess at what the caller needs. This delivers a win for the customer, who will get the answer they need, and for the expert who will have a more rewarding job.
Follow this link to find out more about our Customer Engagement solutions: https://www.jtglobalenterprise.co.uk/solutions/customer-engagement/