Contexta360’s CTO, Tim Harbers, imagines how contact centres will evolve in years to come.
It’s a sunny day when I arrive at the office. After passing the usual security and health scan, I get to my desk and log in with a single voice command. So far so good, my unique voice signature is instantly encrypted, verified and approved. Meanwhile, one of our mobile coffee robots passes my desk to serve me my morning cappuccino just the way I like it.
The first thing I do is to open the automatic daily team report. Our team did really well yesterday, the estimated NPS was two points higher than average on a regular Tuesday. Last week’s team meeting and coaching session has paid off.
The first-call-resolution metric, in particular, has improved dramatically. I’m interested in how we did this and decide to drill down into the details. The company has finally fixed the knowledge base bug apparently and, also, we have learnt to better work together with the automatic call assistant. Plus, the assistant’s AI engine has once again been upgraded to help with even more questions.
I look over my screen and see the large, live-monitoring dashboard of my team hanging on the wall. The trending call topic of today is obviously an issue with our company’s latest add-on that was released a week ago.
Some 27 per cent of the calls have been about this subject lately and it is increasing every hour. To refresh my own memory, I click on the percentage to see the necessary details. A guideline and sample script are provided to help me learn what to say and how to resolve the issue over the phone.
Time to make the first call. I insert my earplugs and press the ready button on my system. Immediately the first customer profile and her question pops up on my display. Even though this customer has subscribed very recently, the IVR and attached customer prediction model have labelled her as high potential, so it makes sense to have a human handle this call.
I greet the customer, while not worrying about staying close to my microphone. Current voice optimisation technology is perfectly capable of making the sound of my voice as clear as possible and cancelling out any distracting background noise. This gives me much more freedom.
The customer wants to subscribe to a new service and is responding to one of our latest campaign ads. She is, however, unable to find and subscribe to this service in her customer portal. Immediately my digital assistant, eavesdropping on the call, is trying to get my attention.
Within a few seconds, after checking the customer profile, a suggestion in my terminal pops up. Apparently, the customer is still on a trial subscription and company policy forbids changing subscriptions during a trial period.
The assistant lets me know that I am authorised to make her a custom offer to start a new paid subscription, with 10 per cent discount for this customer type. The customer hesitates and wants to know a few more details about the subscription.
By checking the knowledge base and extracting the right information automatically, my assistant can also help me with that part.
Everything is now clear to the customer. When I am about to wish her a wonderful day and end the call, a warning message pops up on my screen. It is my automatic compliance checker reminding me I forgot to inform the customer about the changed payment terms of the new subscription.
I quickly correct this mistake and the compliance checker is satisfied. After ending the call, I can leave the afterwork and the actual subscription to the system itself. The system generates an automatic summary and updates the customer’s CRM record with the new subscription information.
It is 11am and I am invited to a virtual coaching session. After logging into the virtual coaching environment, my personal report from last week shows me my improvements as well as my weaknesses.
First the positive: my overall predicted NPS score has gone up for the third week in a row, this time by 8 per cent. My professionalism and patience are especially appreciated apparently. The report provides me with a couple of fragments from last month’s calls for me to listen to, each has a comment attached about how I could improve further.
Most of them I still remember, like the one from last week where I almost lost my temper. But I’m surprised about a few of them. One call that I thought I handled very well didn’t actually solve the problem and the customer had to call again the next day. Some indicators of this that I missed are pointed out to me by my virtual coach.
Directly after my lunch break there is another call waiting for me. This time, the caller has specifically requested to talk to a human. I’m not looking forward to this as usually these are the difficult type of customers who are typically frustrated with our service and want to blow off some steam.
However, because my performance on these types of calls is higher than average, the system prefers to give these calls to me in general (but not too many in a row as this doesn’t help with motivation).
The caller is requesting to change the login credentials for his subscription, but he is not able to pass the online checks. I go over the standard identity verification process. Immediately, the first alarm bell goes off.
The automatic voice scanner is warning me that the caller’s voice fingerprint does not match what is on record for this subscription. Moreover, the acoustic emotion detection also indicates nervousness and talk speed faster than can be expected for this particular query.
I am on my guard right away and want to make sure I am doing the verification process thoroughly and correctly. Fortunately, the automatic compliance assistant is there to keep an eye on me. Because the caller has neither any login credentials, nor access to the phone that we have on record, I can’t help him any further and politely invite him to one of our physical stores for a full identification.
Finally, the lines are closed, and my day ends with our weekly team briefing. It is a mostly informal meeting, where the conversational analysts share with us the latest trends and newest best practices that they have identified.
This might look like futuristc science fiction, but much of the technology that supports the agent is actually achievable today.