The influence of AI within our daily lives is on the rise, with smart devices like Amazon Echo and applications through our smartphones. The workplace is no exception to this! Everything from social media algorithms learning our habits to chat bots and intelligent attendants when calling banks and businesses are driven by AI. Recently Google unveiled its new project ‘Duplex’ which was able to accurately mimic human speech so that callers weren’t even aware they weren’t talking to a human being, check out the demo here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd1mEm2Fy08.
AI does not mean customers will not be able to speak to a person, or that real people will be replaced within the workplace. Artificial Intelligence’s role in the telecoms industry strives to assist agents by saving time clarifying customers and shorten processes for quicker resolutions.
The telecoms industry has been developing it’s Artificial Intelligence for several years, with many more big names to add AI to their roster of products in the coming months and years.
Social Media and Customer Care
This is a feature already available through some phone systems and allows for intelligent management of social media enquiries. For example Avaya’s IP Office platform recently released a chat bot feature for social media which can handle initial contact and interactions without the need for human interference. Chat bot agents handle first-level queries such as FAQs. By automating responses to basic customer queries, chat bots decrease handling time by 10 percent or more. They also help reduce issue escalation to higher-cost support, increase first contact resolution rates, and decrease agent training time for basic tasks that can be handled by chat bots.
Another solution is AI assisted human agents, in this case AI will analyse data within email or social media and suggest responses to human agents. This adapts to the platform e.g. twitter replies kept within character limits but greater detail within emails. This shortens customer wait time as rather than searching their personal knowledge base for an answer and generating a custom response each time, agents simply edit a preformed answer provided by the AI platform.
Call Handling and Routing
Calling HMRC or Sky TV in the UK will lead you through a path of intelligent auto attendants, these route calls to the most appropriate agent and department through AI combined with speech recognition. This technology can also run through security questions before reaching the agent shortening the amount of time spent verifying customers. Many developers are working on this technology to provide ‘Identity as a service’ for business users to heighten security and reduce wait times.
Automatic and Adaptive
Many operators are investing heavily in the development of SDN’s (software defined networks) to provide both providers and end users with shorter processing times and a better experience. Software defined networks work by removing additional steps and processes taken to complete an action. For example simple fault reporting or flexible bandwidths will be possible almost immediately as part of a SDN without having to go through several companies or departments to make the changes. As it is always learning AI can adapt to the changing situations businesses can present and learn from its previous experiences meaning it can be applied to a range of departments from sales to customer service.