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The New World of Telecom Contact Centre

Businesses and individuals have relied on the telecommunications industry for reliable and secure connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learning and working from home have increased professional and personal demand, ranging from high-speed Internet services to video conference calls.

In Singapore, telecommunications is amongst the most competitive industries. It took merely five years for the Singapore telecommunications market to increase almost four-fold. In 2016, mobile phone users had three providers to choose from, but today, there are 11. The importance of digital technologies will only grow as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Telecommunications as an industry must therefore move quickly to provide better customer experience (CX), while simultaneously empowering employees to succeed in remote or distributed environments. A survey by McKinsey & Company found that CX leaders had 3x higher total shareholder returns than laggards in the 2007-2009 recession.

As one of the most critical areas impacting CX, contact centres offer the highest Return on Investment. There are three main areas where companies can continue to enhance customer value and achieve competitive advantage through contact centres. These are: customer self-service, after call work, and post interaction analytics.

Artificial Intelligence Increases Self-Service Options

Companies can automate mundane interactions through self-service channels such as intelligent virtual assistants to drive better CX. These tools leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing across chatbots and voice-bots to empower customers to resolve simple and straightforward issues quickly and easily on their own.

Similarly, the telecommunications industry can provide customers with instant, on-demand services to fulfill their needs, such as making payments, troubleshooting basic service issues, checking the status of an order and setting up an appointment, among others. This type of AI-powered self-service increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, while lowering costs to serve by offloading routine tasks from live agents.

Automating After Call Work for Immediate ROI

After call work (ACW) represents a central component of contact centre operations, consuming considerable agent time and attention. The process requires agents to summarise and precisely detail interactions after every call – agents must complete this work before connecting with another customer. In addition to being a time-consuming, labour-intensive process, ACW is prone to errors. Summaries vary across agents – they may have small, unexpected interruptions following a call, resulting in a slight delay in write-ups and causing them to forget critical points.

Imagine the following scenario. An agent picks up a new customer call, a comprehensive and visual dashboard opens up, and the conversation begins. As the discussion ensues, the system automatically transcribes the conversation and captures top interaction insights. Applying real-time speech analytics, the system listens to the agent and customer conversation, and alerts the agent to the customer sentiment, reasons for the call, and provides in-call guidance to best handle the conversation. Additionally, supervisors instantly connect to urgent situations, with immediate access to the dashboard. This allows them to quickly step in and deliver agent support as needed while improving CX.

Capturing key conversation details provides a comprehensive summary post the call. Agents can edit the summary if needed and instantly upload it into their internal system, thereby increasing data accuracy. The time and effort saved allows agents to help other customers, focusing their attention on providing personalised customer service and care and decrease customer hold times – giving the telecommunications industry immediate ROI.

Improving Post Interaction Analysis for Superior CX

 This leads us to automation of post-call analysis. Consider the immense benefits if companies could easily and automatically extract data from every customer interaction and use those findings to improve business efficiencies. AI capabilities enhance the value of post-interaction analysis so that telcom companies can coach contact centre agents to higher performance, identify areas for business improvement, and optimise overall internal processes.

Rather than sifting through different systems or reviewing thousands of summaries trying to draw out data, this information would be available at one’s fingertips. Companies can detect customer and agent-centric patterns that otherwise would have been lost in a sea of data, whether the contact stemmed via voice, email, or chat. They can identify potential points of friction in the customer journey to optimise CX.

Automated post-interaction analysis enables operations to identify customer feedback trends and analyse pain points that occur most often across their customer base. By better understanding customer desires and repeated issues, companies can build a knowledge base and enhance existing processes accordingly to improve efficiencies and lower customer churn.

Applying Digital Technologies in 2021 and Beyond

 As digital leaders, telecommunications providers must innovate and apply new digital business strategies. Paramount are technologies such as NLP, real-time automation and AI that make it easier to drive a more personalised CX and simultaneously increase agent efficiency and performance.

With a more intelligent, streamlined approach, companies can maximise their efficiencies and enhance their contact centre operations’ productivity. By streamlining first call resolutions, telcos can help increase employee productivity and reduce operational costs. Automating after call work delivers immediate efficiency benefits, and post-interaction analytics give the telecommunications industry access to data that allows them to optimise further and enhance business systems.

Most importantly, by adopting these digital technologies, telcos can deliver a more superior and secure level of CX. Operation teams are empowered to resolve issues faster and deliver higher quality service to drive customer loyalty in times of uncertainty post-pandemic.

The article was first published on IDVSTRVS

By Ravi Saraogi, Co-founder and President of Asia Pacific, Uniphore

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