Confronting the contact-center conundrum
In a world where 73% of customers say they’re likely to switch brands because of an inconsistent level of service, call centers have proven to be a bit of an anomaly in customer experience. They’re traditional, inconsistent by nature and highly resistant to digital transformation.
According to AGC Partners, only 17% of call centers can identify the points of friction that are causing negative customer experiences. But one of the biggest reasons why contact center conundrum is such a tough nut to crack is because at their heart, they’re human. And humans don’t scale to meet demand.
They also don’t integrate well with technology. They work with sometimes fragmented information that they often find hard to locate, while sometimes struggling to adhere to process, governance and regulations. It’s a lot of mechanical thinking.
But humans are the best ambassadors for your brand. They offer a gold standard in customer experience. Real people speak like real people, meaning they engage, empathise and communicate with customers better than any chatbot ever could.
But call center staff need help. Powered by conversational AI, UneeQ digital humans are employed as contact center agents today. They’re available 24/7, they scale to meet demand and they speak data as a native language by integrating with back-end databases.
That means real staff can concentrate on the most valuable, complex or high-touch calls, while digital human agents take the queries that are most open to automation, while retaining some of the human touch customers pay for.
It also means a consistent level of service. At every touchpoint, your brand is offering a human service, with the two-way interaction, open-ended conversation and non-verbal cues that make for greater levels of connection.
Creating exceptional online customer service
Digital humans aren’t just a contact-center solution; UneeQ’s digital humans are employed in the stores of major brands like Vodafone and Singtel, as well as working online to provide greater levels of engagement.
After all, it’s the digital world that has led to the proliferation of automated customer service tools. Many customers are now forced to find their own answers by scouring through the UI of a mobile app, using a website’s search bar or opening a dialogue with a chatbot.
We’re sure you’ve spent significant time and investment on the UX of your app, but there’s another simpler way for customers to find what they want. They can ask. And they can use the oldest and most time-tested user interface there is – the human face.
Whether it’s for eCommerce sales, online customer support, or just help filling out a form, our digital humans live online and breathe customer engagement. In fact, some of our digital human POCs have registered 300% increases in customer engagement and 3x increases in conversion rates. Not to mention that 70% of users who speak with a digital human demonstrate a positive emotional reaction.
Digital channels have sacrificed connection and interaction for speed and convenience. With digital humans, you can have both.
Building better brand experiences in telecommunications
Telcos have some of the grandest, most valuable, most global and most difficult-to-tame brands in the world. The largest are international companies, who have to manage their brands across huge territories, and try to keep consistency across near countless touchpoints.
So what’s one bad customer experience worth? One report from BRP says that, to two-thirds of all consumers, it’s enough for them to stop being a customer altogether. But the opposite is true, too.
Deloitte’s research shows that customers who have a great experience with your brand spend more, cost less to service and stay loyal for longer.
For telecommunications companies, consistency is everything – and there are a lot of ways conversational AI and digital humans can help keep your brand under close control.
For one thing, a digital human uses NLP engines (like Dialogflow, Amazon Lex, IBM Watson or any other) to specify the answers given to a customer. It’s impossible for a digital human to misinform, go off-script, have a bad day and give an off-brand experience, as long as the data is correct.
Even when wider conversational AI engines are used (like GPT-3 or Blender) which use machine learning to hold open-ended and autonomously generated conversations, this can be guard-railed. A digital human using such a tool can have black-lists of topics, words or phrases that it will never touch upon.
Digital humans also plug into virtually any data source, knowledge base or backend system, so he/she can converse using live and up-to-date information from your business.
And that’s not yet mentioning the multichannel form digital humans can take. Living online and “physically” via in-location kiosks or screens, your on-brand AI avatar gives a consistent experience, however people choose to interact, regardless of the time of day.
Why can’t a telco’s chatbot do it?
Chatbots do a lot right, but they are just one component of the trend towards digital workforces. In fact, while conversational AI platforms are on course to grow by 30% each year until 2025 and reaching a value of $17 billion, chatbots only make up a small portion of the final landscape, according to Adroit Market Research.
Natural language platforms will be the drivers of significant growth in conversational AI – the technology behind a chatbot. These “digital brains” can then be used with a variety of interfaces, including chatbots, virtual assistants, voice assistants and digital humans.
So yes, your telco’s chatbot has a place in the near-future. It will remain a great resource for those who want a quick answer via a text interface. But for more complex, higher-value and emotionally engaging interactions, your chatbot cannot provide a good experience.
Your digital human, meanwhile, uses the same “digital brain” as your chatbot, so you can use your chatbot to create a more personal, personalized and human-like customer channel. With 42% of organizations saying they’re prioritizing creating a more human experience into their chatbot channel, telecommunications companies will surely, too, build upon their chatbot success with more humanized AI solutions.
Enhancing the human side of customer experience
Service with a smile has been the cornerstone of great customer service for millenia. Even when customers are interacting with call-center staff, the friendliness and warmth comes through things like tone of voice.
But as we move further into an autonomous, digital-first world of customer service, the smile is going – from both sides of the interaction. A chatbot cannot convey empathy and warmth, and they’ve never made a customer grin.
But in this hyper-efficient world, there’s still room to put some semblance of the human experience back. Conversational AI through digital humans is the only way to scale the human touch. Face-to-face interactions with a digital human can happen in real time, with infinite numbers of customers, 24/7. But most importantly, they recreate the parts of human emotional connection that’s been stripped from digital channels – the type that’s so valuable in human conversations.
Digital humans smile, show warmth and empathy through their facial expressions, and can convey subtle emotions through tone of voice. That means when a customer needs reassurance, or simply someone to share in their excitement, they’re having their emotional needs satisfied.
This is only scratching the surface of user behavior with conversational AI. Humanized AI has been found to build trust, improve user cooperation with technologies, allow people to open up more about sensitive topics and lower the barriers to entry of customer interactions.
And finally, let’s not forget the power of personalization. Marketers around the world know the power of personalized communications, but it’s been infamously hard to integrate into digital channels.
Digital humans see, listen to and interact with people. They use data to talk about a customer’s specific matters, and can even use their names. What can be more personal than that in a digital world?