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September 13, 2018

How AI and Hosted Voice can Revolutionise Business Communications

The AI team can work with company marketing teams to implement extra virtual assistants which can provide support for promotions, events or product launches.

By CBR Staff Writer

Hosted Voice

Chris Martin, CTO at PowWowNow

The rise of new technologies has led to an unprecedented amount of data being present in business and has precipitated the growth of AI-based tools which are able to action smarter and more meaningful uses of these data sets in the workplace.

Despite this, while 84 percent of business leaders said AI would allow them to gain a competitive advantage, only 23 percent implemented it within their processes and service offerings in 2017. It is evident that artificial intelligence holds potential for companies, but its uses are not being fully explored, with many businesses unsure about the ways AI can improve business communications.

Hosted voice or Cloud PBX allows workers to route voice calls to desk-phones or mobile devices and to make calls using the company phone system without needing to buy and maintain their own PBX.

The system can involve call logs for customer and employee profiling as well as handling call recordings for speech analysis and contact management systems for comparative analysis and trending. All of which are environments with repeated action and vast quantities of data, making them perfectly suited for AI systems to assist.

Two million businesses in the UK have adopted hosted voice solutions already. With this technology becoming more widespread, it is increasingly vital that companies are aware of how they can improve their communication operations for the benefit of workers as well as customers and understand how AI can improve their business.

Personalised call systems

Businesses can personalise communications with customers and employees through the use of interactive voice response (IVR) systems — a practice that is useful for companies that frequently receive a large number of calls.

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AI systems work to collect all relevant customer data, such as personal information and recent transactions, they then transfer this to the business representative. Through collating said data sets, workers can be provided with all the information about the caller and the account. The employee is then better informed when interacting with the customer, providing a better service.

This means businesses need to assign fewer personnel to call-query handling and can also reduce the time spent on the phone by the customer, thereby improving overall customer satisfaction.

Creating operations strategy through pattern analysis

Another application of AI is analysing and identifying patterns in order to construct predictive strategies for operations. A business’ operations team can use time-of-day call trends to plan physical and virtual agent availability and can also auto-provision additional virtual agents that are able to deal with high volumes and unpredictable numbers of calls.

As well as this, the AI team can work with company marketing teams to implement extra virtual assistants which can provide support for promotions, events or product launches.

AI-supported voice services or solutions can also reduce operational and capital costs in several ways. Since AI technology and machine-learning is evolving at pace, companies need to ensure that their business communications are as well-developed as possible so then can establish efficient operational workflows, good customer engagement opportunities and business process automation where possible.

AI technologies can also be used to translate calls in real-time and contribute towards smarter business collaboration for all.

Customisable chatbots

AI assistants or customisable chatbots are an additional way AI can be utilised to manage schedules, set up meetings, invite attendees to events and also automate some business processes or tasks, taking repetitive actions off the hands of workers who can then focus on other more complex processes.

For example, medical contact centres can use virtual assistants to take patient calls and enter appointments and can even respond to patients’ individual procedures to advise on things they might need to bring on the day or providing further personalised advice.

Virtual contact centre agents

Voice technology and natural language processing has evolved so that virtual contact centre agents can communicate, answer and handle customer calls. Voice technology supported by AI systems that have evolved to address and understand the queries asked can interpret customer responses and present the best available methods that can result in successful call resolution.

These technologies are also able to learn from and identify emerging trends to hone virtual assistant responses. For example, if a utility company experiences an outage in a specific area, the AI system would be able to identify the spike of incoming calls from that area on a similar subject and alert specific people of the reports or create a virtual contact centre agent response.

Virtual assistants able to translate languages in real-time can also be used, allowing callers the option to use their native language or to translate, meaning that workers can manage customers without encountering issues caused by a language barrier. Through integrating these technologies into contact centres and product knowledge bases, businesses can also give customers guidance on product purchases or bookings at any time.

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