Enhancing your customers’ contact center experience with a digital workforce
At TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World Series, Blue Prism participated in a 5-part webinar, including customers, Bell Canada and Telia, and technology partners, Clevva and Inspection2. The first webinar was introduced by TM Forum’s VP of AI & Customer Experience, Aaron Boasman-Patel. Attendees debated the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the telecommunications industry, particularly in an era when 5G will enable new business models and consumer experiences.
Following the initial sessions, which discussed the priorities for communication service providers (CSPs) and the network operations center (NOC) of the future, part two addresses developments in the customer experience and contact centers.
Automating the customer journey
The first session, delivered by Alisa DiStaso, contact center solutions director at Blue Prism, and Mark Pedersen, co-founder and head of technology sales at Clevva, focused on how to optimize contact centers using AI and robotic process automation (RPA).
Key topics included:
- How to use RPA and AI to drive value from a vast pool of heterogeneous IoT data
- How to combine intelligent automation, AI and IoT to prescribe recommendations and solutions for operations and maintenance, as well as respond to real-time conditions
- How to apply advanced analytics to IoT data to create personalized experiences
- Where automation will help to scale IoT once 5G arrives
Pedersen said the technology available to contact center staff often gets in the way of a good customer experience. “We are finding a number of the telcos we're working with having upwards of 20 different systems that agents have to be trained on. Then the agents have to try and work out what data they need at a particular point in time to determine what the problem is, ask the right questions, and make sure that they're not frustrating the customer.”
Rather than requiring humans to switch between multiple screens, intelligent automation and digital workers can quickly gather data from different systems. They can support multiple channels and provide a seamless experience for customers, whether customers are accessing a chatbot or need a live agent to answer their questions.
Beyond that, Clevva and Blue Prism work together to help telcos gather the information they need to remain compliant with industry regulations. DiStaso added, “It means they can find out what's missing in current data records as well as track decision-making journeys. Those insights are going to help drive governance, making sure that decision-making is based on compliant information and really driving customer experience.”
The future of contact centers
In the final session of the debate, Marco Sciarra, director of operational planning and technology at Bell Canada, and Tony Saarikko, head of consumer development execution at Telia, joined Satish Shenoy, vice president of strategic technology alliances and partnerships at Blue Prism, and Boasman-Patel for a panel discussion about contact center automation.
Boasman-Patel began by asking whether there will be a role for the traditional contact center in the future, given the power of technology. Saarikko responded, “People are still going to need a human touch. We will see a tremendous shift, particularly in the consumer area, but probably less on the B2B side of things.”
Sciarra agreed that what telcos are trying to do is automate as much as possible and enable clients to do things on their own. “We've automated all the simple stuff, but our agents are there for dealing with the tough stuff. Whatever help we can provide them through automation will dramatically impact the customer’s perception, ultimately adding to shareholder value.”
The predictive, proactive nature of contact centers will continue, said Shenoy. “AI will play a bigger role and enrich that customer experience. Businesses will use data to decide how best to serve the customer, whether to anticipate what the customer might do next, or provide tools for agents, such as auto-prompting and sentiment analysis. The opportunities are endless.”
“In the end,” concluded Shenoy, “It's all about the customer. It's not technology for technology's sake; it's about the impact we can make with that technology and that's what will continue to drive us.”