Classic IVR automation already reduces customer service call costs by more than 90 percent—imagine what sophisticated A.I. can do. Join bot technology experts and A.I. scientists as they explore this and many other business implications of a world where bots join the conversation.
“We’ve got to do something about how we communicate with customers,” says Tobias Goebel, director of emerging technology at Aspect Softare. “We don’t want to be stuck in the 20th century.”
He points to the primary market research that shows that the era of the phone call is coming to an end in a time when an entire generation rarely, if ever, makes phone calls, and even baby boomers would prefer to text customer service questions than pick up the phone to talk to a rep.
“Making somebody pick up a phone and dial a number, that’s pretty much how we’ve been doing it for the last hundred years,” says Goebel. “Not showing any innovation there is almost embarrassing.”
Companies need to start thinking about going far beyond the phone, and even web and email, because the market has far moved past the point where you can afford to do that and still stay competitive.
“Yet it’s not about keeping you from an agent in the contact center,” Goebel adds. “It’s about smarter ways to get you to the agent in the contact center.” Aspect, in the engagement technologies industry for over 40 years, has watched this evolution of customer service. Their solution has been to meet the demand for new channels with automated A.I. solutions, powered by natural language understanding, as the central entry point to the customer experience.
Basic automation already reduces costs by roughly a factor of ten, Goebel says. An IVR call is one dollar — versus the industry average of $13 for an agent phone call. And companies are naturally always on the hunt for the smarter, more sophisticated solution that can make a customer’s experience even seamless (and banish visions of the user angrily pounding the 0 button to get to an operator).
“We’ve started to truly reimagine customer service — how should it be in an optimal world? And chat bots are part of that,” says Goebel.
“Customer service, if you think of it abstractly, is about keeping a balance of information,” he continues. “You always want it at zero. You don’t want the customer to know something the business doesn’t know but should know and vice versa.”
So it comes down to harnessing the most efficient forms of communications. “It’s finding the best interface for getting the job done,” Goebel says, “and it appears that messaging and chat is that kind of interface.”
“If you can teach a computer to speak on behalf of a person, then you can improve the overall experience because these bots are there 24/7, they are there immediately, you don’t have to wait in line,” he explains. “They give you more direct access to business data.”
As consumers continue to get more comfortable with the concept of A.I. and chatbots, Goebel envisions ever more efficient ways to reinvent customer service.
Every customer understands they need to tell a business what department they need to talk to, he explains. “Why can’t you start with a text, get a response with the wait time, get put on a list, be called, and engage?” he asks. “Why can’t my insurance send me one text or one facebook message about my bill, do you want to pay with your card on file? And I answer yes and I’m done with it.”
There is a very strong value proposition around artificial intelligence, especially around chatbots in the contact center, Goebel says, but we’re not at the HAL stage yet. “The ROI can be made — but you have to sit down and figure out what you can and cannot do.”
Join Goebel along with others leading the A.I. charge — and learn more about the possibilities that A.I. and bots present for your company.
Don’t miss out!
In this VB Live event, you’ll learn to:
- Understand the A.I. outlook
- Recognize the key players (what they know that you should too)
- Anticipate changes in the A.I. landscape and plan accordingly
- Find ways to integrate A.I. into your business plan
- Ron Brachman, IEEE Fellow, Former Chief Scientist of Yahoo!
- Tobias Goebel, Director of Emerging Technologies, Aspect Software
- Akhil Aryan, VP of Product & Growth at Haptik
- Jon Cifuentes, Analyst, VentureBeat
- Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat