Geomant News

Chatbot Summit, Berlin, 2018.

Geomant colleagues; Jimmy Lee, Peter Hóbor and Gustavo E. Perez, joined thousands of others last month in attendance at the world’s leading Chatbot event series, the ‘Chatbot Summit’. Below they summarise the key takeaways of the conference.

 

Highlighted topics: Real-life chatbot deployments, voice assistants, messaging, customer experience innovation, customer service automation, natural language processing and conversational A.I.

 

The Chatbot’s position within the Hype Cycle

A main topic of the event was the Chatbot’s position within the Hype Cycle; the Hype Cycle is a tool that helps CIOs and IT leaders trace essential trends and innovations to determine scope, state, value and risk in their AI plans. The stages of the lifecycle range from ‘Innovation Trigger’ an early proof-of-concept stage, right through to what’s deemed as the end of the technology lifecycle, the ‘Plateau of Productivity’ stage. According to Gartner, the Chatbot is just beginning the climb of the ‘slope of enlightenment’ or the ‘early adoption’ phase as it’s more commonly known. We’re starting to see more instances of how the technology can benefit businesses such as 24/7 on-demand self-service, and its uses are beginning to become more widely understood.

 

Conversational AI

An interesting thought from the event was that conversational AI (the type of AI that simulates human conversation via text or audio messages) is transforming the customer experience. This thought is shared by many it seems, a recent article by Andy Peart even describes AI as having ‘reignited the customer experience with increased engagement, personalised customer service and improved customer satisfaction’. It’s clear that the Chatbot industry has come on leaps and bounds in this area. However, a speaker at the event touched on the fact that we’re still not quite as advanced as what you see in Sci-Fi films, so we need to manage expectations carefully.

 

Demonstrations

Booking.com were at the event. They demonstrated their virtual assistant which was an excellent example of how AI / Chatbots can work as a post-transaction assistant to provide enhanced user experience. The bot helps with things like adding extras to the room booking etc.

 

The Chatbot market

Another interesting thought and one that we agree with is that Chatbot alone is not a large enough market to manage as a standalone channel, it should be an integrated part of the contact centre. It should be combined with an orchestration layer that can manage and blend the various channels. We need future-proof, channel agnostic communications – other channels may come as quickly as the bot arrived and who knows what will be next. What we do know is the Chatbot cannot ‘live’ alone, human touch must be part of the solution.

 

Challenges

There was an interesting panel discussion between business leaders who named enterprise-grade adaption as the biggest challenge in the industry. Chatbots must be able to adapt on an enterprise-grade level as part of the architecture to provide real integrated business value with customer-specific content, self-service and customisation.

 

Uses – providing real value

Finally, another important message from the event was that we need to be careful not to create a yet another “bad IVR experience” that 90% of customers hate. The Chatbot must provide real value to the end customers and should not be seen as a tool to keep them away from human agents. Fergus Kelly,
Managing Director at Capstone has some interesting thought on this in a recent article ‘Contact centre AI: why automation can’t outsmart the human touch.’

 

Geomant & Buzzeasy

Geomant recently developed Buzzeasy, a new orchestration platform that provides real value to clients by adding autonomous CX services to their existing contact centre – without the need to rip-and-replace. The team were really pleased to see that Buzzeasy and its ethos fits perfectly with key trends and messages from the event. To find out more about Buzzeasy visit www.buzzeasy.com.

 

Why should I integrate Avaya with my CRM system?

Legacy technology or lack of integration is stalling good customer service in some organisations, and in today’s connected age where expectations are at their peak, there’s no longer anywhere to hide. If you’re operating with siloed systems in place for customer relations, the fact of the matter is your customers will be able to tell. It’s time to embrace modern technologies and push forward, or risk being left behind. If you’re reading this, you’re almost certainly using an Avaya and CRM (customer relationship management) system separately, a good place to start is to integrate them. In this blog, we’ll walk you through all the reasons why.

 

The technical bits

When we talk about integrating Avaya with the CRM system, it’s what’s known as an application of CTI (computer telephony integration). There are some core functions that are the product of CTI that work really nicely when they’re connected with and delivered from the CRMS directly.

Screen-Popping – A screen-pop is a feature of a CTI that automatically displays all of the relevant caller and account information on a call centre agent’s screen during a call. It works by collecting information like the caller’s phone number and or details acquired by the IVR and connected with the CRMS; it can match this information to a record and help agents to shave as much as 15-20 seconds off call handling times by providing all relevant information in one place. Other benefits include:

Personalisation: Comments can be added to the CRMS record and read back easily so that the agent is up to speed quickly with every new call. This boosts the satisfaction of not only the customer who receives a more streamlined, personal service but also of the agent who feels more comfortable having full context.

Productivity: Without integration or screen-pop agents would spend a lot of time searching the CRM system for notes which isn’t the best use of time. Agents will be more productive and get through more calls if the information is readily available.

Click-to-Dial – Click to dial does what it says on the tin. Agents can enable calls to be made by simply clicking on any phone number in the CRMS. The benefits include:

Saving time: Eradicating the need for manual dialling and or copy and pasting numbers from the CRMS to the phone service will save agents a lot of time. Calls can be made directly from the phone field of a contact, lead, activity, account or directory of the CRMS.

Improving efficiencies: Where a click-to-dial system exists connected with a CRMS, it will automatically log every outbound call, so that your vital prospect data never slips through the cracks.

Call Routing – Call routing is the process of transferring the customer to the right place or person. You might have an Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system or skills-based routing system that you use with Avaya, and if this is integrated with the CRMS, it’s all the more powerful. Benefits include:

Maximise profits – Combining data like options selected from the IVR along with information like what pages of the site the user has visited paints a more complete picture for the agent. In a sales environment, this can give an advantage in terms of up-sale opportunities. Take a situation where an agent from a telecommunications and internet provider organisation is on a call with a member of the public that they’re trying to upsell to. If they know that person recently visited a page about making long distance calls, the agent might suggest an upgrade to a worldwide cover package or similar.

Customer satisfaction – combining the call routing element of CTI with the CRMS means that callers can be routed to the agent that they last spoke to if available. When you work within an industry where calls can be complicated, your customer support model is likely to support consistent service to reduce customer frustration and having a feature which allows callers to talk with the same person they last spoke to can be really helpful.

 

Other useful features of CRMS/Avaya Integration.

We’ve walked through the core functionality of a CRMS/Avaya integration and its benefits, and that’s reason enough to consider taking the plunge but there are yet more surprises to uncover.

Call recording – If you have a call recording system like Verint Verba, you can play back recordings directly from the CRMS record. This makes it much easier to find and retrieve information about calls in a timely manner.

Callback – Some integration solutions may offer extra features like Callback. Callback is particularly useful in today’s ever-demanding world where customers have short attention spans. In fact, a recent survey concluded that the average human attention span had fallen from 12 seconds in 2000, or around the time the mobile revolution began, to eight seconds. So giving customers choice and convenience in how they get in contact helps to maintain a competitive edge.

 

Let’s summarise the benefits of this technology as a whole.

Every different feature of this type of technology will save agents time in one way or another and as we all know, time is money in the contact centre, so it’s a great return on investment. Not only that but it makes the agents’ job easier which in turn will help with retention rates and productivity. Finally, and some would say the most importantly, CRMS/Avaya integration helps boost customer satisfaction as customers receive a quicker and more personalised service.

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