Automation will not silence the human voice…

…but it can help agents to connect with customers in a more effective and efficient way.

2020 has been tough. The Coronavirus pandemic has completely blown apart businesses’ expectations and plans for the year and perhaps the next few years ahead. Despite lockdown measures across the globe easing, and a call for workers in many European countries to return to the office, there are still huge challenges to be faced. During April to June, the UK economy shrank 20.4 per cent compared with the first three months of the year. The International Monetary Fund predicts that, for the year as a whole, GDP in the UK will shrink by 10.2 per cent. The IMF also estimates that the world economy will shrink by 4.9 per cent this year, making it the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.1

Automation is one way that businesses can help to keep down costs. But, when it comes to keeping your customers happy, this has not always been the most successful option. Chatbots and self-service customer care options can often result in a greater number of dissatisfied customers. Research has shown that some 68 per cent of customers abandon chat or self-service to call a human instead. And a recent survey in the US found that 86 per cent of consumers prefer to interact with a human agent and some 71 per cent said they would be less likely to use a brand if it didn’t have human customer service representatives.2

One of the reasons for this is the automated channels are not learning or reacting. In many cases they offer predefined decision trees that are proven to frustrate customers.

Having human agents answering customer calls does not have to be time-consuming or onerous, and automation can help. Speech Analytics can benefit your customers, your staff and your business. Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing should work in conjunction with each other to evaluate what is being said by whom (the agent or the customer) and to automate the identification of issues, intent and actionable insights. Ideally, AI will automatically convert a full version of the conversation into text, then utilise NLP to create a summarised version that connects to and updates your system of record, removing millions of minutes of work (and associated costs) in some contact centres. It should learn from every interaction, creating an ever-growing, constantly improving, knowledge base for your automated systems. 

Done properly, automation can help you to have a greater number of satisfied customers and it can free up your staff time for other areas of priority in the business. During this time of consolidation and recovery, surely every step you take, every gain you make, will help to secure the future of your business, whatever lies ahead.

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Andrew White
As CEO at Contexta 360, Andrew has more than 25 years’ senior leadership experience working for prestigious communications and enterprise software companies throughout EMEA, the US and APAC. Andrew is a thought-leader in the digitisation of business process, automation, AI and conversational computing.