Posts Tagged ‘chatbots’

Microsoft Launches AI Features for Dynamics 365

Posted on: October 9th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

We’re always excited to hear about the latest technology advancements in the call center and customer service industry. And luckily, there are plenty of them at the moment.  

The industry’s leading companies are always competing with their rivals to rule the market. And in order to rule the market, they need to continuously innovate their technologies and processes.

Just recently we talked about Google Duplex and Contact Center AI, Google’s artificial intelligent applications that are capable of communicating with customers over the phone.

This time, it was Microsoft’s turn to introduce something big, and they certainly did: the tech giant announced the release of new AI features in Dynamics 365, a CRM system that was introduced two years ago.

It seems that the rise of machine learning continues to grow, but how does the latest AI technology affect the customer service industry, and more precisely call centers? Read on to find out for yourself!

What is Dynamics 365?

Two years ago Microsoft – in a similar way to other tech giants – embarked on a mission to help businesses accelerate their digital transformations by launching a business application, called Dynamics 365.

Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based system that brings together the best of Microsoft’s customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions into one integrated, cloud-based service.  

Amongst other things, the software has a customer service module that helps businesses manage and track customer service activities, while allowing them to deliver a fast and personalized service.

This customer service hub was designed to help customer service agents keep up with ever-changing customer demands. Its advanced features allow call centers to track customer issues, record every customer interaction, manage performance and productivity through reports and dashboards, and create and schedule services.   

Also included are some more call center-specific features that help empower customer service representatives to deliver an exceptional customer service across several channels.

Dynamics 365 AI features

Two years after its introduction, a number of AI features have now been added to Dynamics 365.

By announcing these new features, Microsoft has taken its journey into AI one step further. As Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Alysa Taylor noted, “the new class of AI applications will not only unify customer data but also infuse it with advanced intelligence to guide decisions and empower organizations to take informed actions”.

The solution now includes customer data and insights, LinkedIn integration, and other intelligent technology, such as machine learning and predictive analytics.

Previously, Microsoft introduced Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, its first AI features added to the Dynamics 365 solution, with the aim of helping sales teams improve their performance by using features such as sentiment analysis and warnings about deals being at risk.

Now, the company has further expanded its portfolio by adding two new solutions, Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service and Market Insights. The Customer Service feature focuses on leveraging natural language understanding to predict customer service problems, as well as helping with the deployment of chatbots that can handle customer queries.

The Market Insights app will allow businesses to access a great amount of social sentiment, and help them increase their brand loyalty by analyzing these insights.

Calls centers utilizing Dynamics 365 AI

This set of new AI features introduced by Microsoft is clearly promising for call centers.

However, it’s important to mention here that AI usage is nothing new in the customer service industry. In fact, most call centers already utilize AI solutions, such as virtual agents who resolve customer issues on agents’ behalf, and virtual assistants that support them with suggested answers during a customer interaction.

The main advantage of AI solutions in call centers is that they can improve customer experience by making it more personalized. And, as already mentioned in a previous article, when it comes to customer care, personalized customer service can make all the difference in our ever-more competitive business environment.

AI solutions used in call centers can analyze huge amounts of customer data, including purchase history, and are able to use this information to deliver personalized offers.

Furthermore, as Dynamics 365 AI for Customer Service is able to predict customer service problems, it can allow call centers to increase their First Call Resolution by helping agents resolve queries more efficiently. In addition, AI-powered chatbots can help provide a fast and smooth call center experience for customers, and thus increase customer satisfaction significantly.

For example, chatbots can be programmed to answer routine questions and therefore take responsibility for some automated conversations with your customers – however, if any problem occurs, a live agent can always intervene in the situation and take over the communication.

Chatbots can also carry out repetitive tasks instead of call center agents, thus allowing agents to handle more complex tasks. As a result, agent workload and potential burn out, due to the struggle of dealing with never-ending and low-value repetitive tasks, can be reduced.

Take away

There’s no doubt that AI technologies have already changed a multitude of industries, including the call center and customer service industry. There are many pending questions yet to be answered, but one thing is certain: artificial intelligence continues to evolve each year, impacting how we live and work.

Forward-thinking call centers already leverage solutions as Google’s Contact Center AI and Amazon’s Dynamics 365 AI on a daily basis. And we expect many more solutions to appear in the next few years.

The future of call centers: chatbots and agents working together

Posted on: May 18th, 2018 by dorarapcsak No Comments

As today’s digital revolution continues, the evolving technology of chatbots is becoming ever more important, and for good reason: chatbots can deliver exceptional customer experience.

It’s no doubt that chatbots are the next big thing in the tech world. According to a research conducted by Oracle, 80% of businesses are already using or plan to use chatbots in their customer service by 2020.

But are they still capable of delivering excellent customer service without any human intervention? And if so, does this mean that call center agents will soon have to say goodbye to their jobs? Although there’s been a lot of buzz around the rise of AI and how it will replace human labour, the answer here, in our opinion, is without a doubt NO.

Our belief is that the ultimate aim of chatbot use is not to replace human call center agents but to improve overall customer experience. Chatbots have been proven to efficiently and effectively handle repetitive and monotonous tasks, but they are not able to provide a holistic customer experience. And this is where the concept of customer service chatbots and agents working together comes in (indeed, if you look, you will realize that in many call center workplaces the two forces already rely on each other).

Bearing this in mind, rather than writing another article on the rise of the robots, we are instead going to take more of a deep dive into the topic, to show you in practical terms how chatbots and call center agents can work together to create better customer experience.

 

Sharing the workload

We have all dealt with the struggle of seemingly never-ending and low-value repetitive tasks, such as spending the whole day answering the most commonly-asked questions a company receives. It’s no surprise that everyone (human, that is) would be happy to stop spending their time on these soul-sucking activities before they totally burn out. This is one area where customer service chatbots can definitely help.

Many companies already started to implement chatbots in their customer service, letting them carry out the kinds of repetitive tasks mentioned above instead of call center agents. In recent years, chat solutions have gained a massive popularity in the call center industry, and as already mentioned in a previous article, if used properly, it can even boost your sales.

As a consequence, agent workload is reduced, allowing them the time to comfortably handle more complex tasks. The result? Customers get answers to simple questions within seconds, while agents deal with higher value activities. It’s a win-win situation!

 

The age of automation

In today’s CX-driven world, customers can choose from a number of platforms when they want to communicate with a particular brand. As a result, businesses receive far more inbound conversations on various channels than they used to.

While your call center agent team on its own would struggle to respond to all of your business’ incoming conversations, customer service chatbots can handle thousands of conversations simultaneously across all channels. As a result, after a while you’ll only need to employ a smaller but more skilled call center team, which will inevitably lead to a higher level of customer service across the board, while giving the opportunity to your agents to improve their skills (if you are too an ambitious call center agent, make sure to check out our article on how you can get promoted to call center supervisor). Once again, it’s a win-win for everyone!

 

Customer service chatbots act as a backup

As already mentioned, in many call center environments chatbots rely on call center agents, and call center agents rely on chatbots. There are a lot of situations in a call center where both chatbots and agents can serve as a backup for each other.

For example, customer service chatbots can be programmed to answer routine questions and therefore provide automated conversations with your customers. But if any problem occurs, a live agent can always intervene in the situation and take over the communication.

On the other hand, while call center agents are on the phone, customer service chatbots can suggest answers and supply all required information. By doing this, communication with clients becomes smoother, and without interruptions.

 

Chatbots are the new personal assistants

Having a personal assistant isn’t increasingly just the privilege of management. In fact, in many call centers, customer service chatbots are already programmed to serve as personal assistants to call center agents. True, the vast majority of consumers still prefer to talk to agents via phone when it comes to complex issues. And as call center agents know it very well, it’s quite challenging to handle incoming calls, especially if they’re complex ones.

However, chatbots have the ability to serve as personal assistants to call center agents, quickly gathering all necessary customer information, such as the customer’s history with the company, to help inform agent interactions and allow them to efficiently resolve the issue. As a result, customers can enjoy personalized conversations, and agents can take advantage of new opportunities when taking more complex calls.

 

So, we can see that customer service chatbots are already starting to work alongside call center agents, and it’s more than likely that this trend will continue to grow over the next few years. Together, they form the perfect partnership: input from call center agents help chatbots provide better customer service, while chatbots take the responsibility for routine work off of agents’ shoulders, so they can focus on high value issues. Did I mention already that it’s a win-win situation?!