AI

The Rise Of AI Receptionists and Automated Phone Systems – Part 1

The Rise Of AI Receptionists

For years most firms would have had to employ numerous phone operators and receptionists to deal with any and all calls that came through. Large companies would have employed entire departments simply just to deal with incoming phone calls; it’s a world that seems light years apart from the phone systems that the vast majority of phone companies use now. As automated phone systems and receptionists became cheaper and more sophisticated businesses turned to this new technology to cut staffing costs and allow them to deal with a much higher volume of calls.

As a result, phone operators and receptionists are one of the fastest disappearing job markets in the US at the moment. Between 2014 and 2024 there will be an estimated 33%  drop in employment figures in this line of work, shrinking an already diminished profession.

As well as more traditional phone operators, many businesses are beginning to turn away from traditional phone services altogether. VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services, such as those offered by RingCentral, are allowing companies to scale their communication requirements with very little cost or disruption and are quickly becoming the norm for both start-ups and larger businesses.

Built into these systems you’ll often find “auto-attendant” software, that gives an automated menu to customers once they call and helps direct them towards the right person or information. The advantages of this sort of system are clear, you will never miss a call or sales opportunity because of a lack of staff or a busy line and will receive the same level of service regardless of the time of day. So it is obvious as to why companies would choose this sort of flexibility over traditional staffing and hardware phone solutions.

However, this transformation has been driven not just by financial and logistical reasons, but by customer demand as well. HoldCom commented in an assessment of “live” receptionists vs auto attendant services that,

“Not too long ago most businesses answered calls live during “normal” business hours. So much has changed in how we work and live and communicate, I’m not sure what is considered normal.  Today customers expect 24/7, 365 support from any channel possible. In order to keep pace with customer demand auto-attendants are used everywhere – even local pizza shops.”

It is far from unusual to see industries or jobs disappear as technology advances, especially in the rapidly evolving disruption economy that we now inhabit, but there are questions to be asked about how necessary it is for businesses to rely upon these automated services.

Live agents can provide the personal feel that automated systems cannot and whilst it may seem more efficient for all parties involved to have customers deal with an automated system, this can make some customers feel under-valued (especially when the systems are poor designed and set-up). More than anything, the way that a company chooses to deal with incoming calls/queries can say a lot about the brand and company culture. Answering as many calls as possible with a live agent can allow companies to inject personality and a friendliness to each and every call, and it is this personal touch that can set companies ahead. With that said, it is almost entirely impractical for firms to answer all their calls live, especially as they grow and expand, so auto-attendant services are invaluable to help bridge that gap.

In part two we will be looking at the AI technology that allows firms to provide a more interactive and conversational phone system, without the need for human operators.

Sponsored series courtesy of Ring Central

By Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton

​Josh Hamilton ​is an aspiring journalist and writer who has written for a number of publications​ involving Cloud computing, Fintech and Legaltech​. ​Josh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Law​ from ​Queen’s University in Belfast​​.
Studies included, Politics of Sustainable Development, European Law, Modern Political Theory and Law of Ethics​.

View Website

CONTRIBUTORS

Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Big Data Analytics

Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Big Data Analytics

Get the Most Out of Big Data Analytics The amount and type of data related companies continues to increase each ...
Resolving the Normalization of Deviance by Building a Culture of Communication

Resolving the Normalization of Deviance by Building a Culture of Communication

Building a Culture of Communication Real-time monitoring and corresponding alerts are critical for maintaining the performance and security of today’s ...
Cyber Criminals Are Business People Too

Cyber Criminals Are Business People Too

Cyber Crime Business You’re on the morning train on the way to work and take a look at the guy ...
This Amsterdam Bank Wants To Hack ... Itself?

This Amsterdam Bank Wants To Hack … Itself?

Bank Wants To Hack ... Itself? With instances of professional hacking and data leaks making the news every year, it’s ...
Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Emerging Technologies To Lookout For In 2017

Emerging Technologies The entire world is being transformed right before our eyes. Emerging technologies are developing at break-neck speeds, and the ...
cloud 2020

IoTT, The Internet of Things, Tomorrow

What Should Your Home Be Telling You? Home. The place where you lay your head to sleep, where a roof ...
How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud

How Identity Governance Can Secure The Cloud

Securing The Cloud Enterprise Cloud adoption is accelerating for most enterprises, and cloud computing is becoming an integral part of ...
Small Businesses CAN Compete Using The Cloud

Small Businesses CAN Compete Using The Cloud

Small Businesses Cloud In the past, small business owners had to either run applications or software that was downloaded physically ...

NEWS

Cloud Security Alliance Issues New Code of Conduct for GDPR Compliance

Cloud Security Alliance Issues New Code of Conduct for GDPR Compliance

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Nov. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world's leading organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices ...
OVH Announces New Hosted Private Cloud Offerings for US Market

OVH Announces New Hosted Private Cloud Offerings for US Market

OVH delivers next-generation services for hosted private cloud, disaster recovery, and hybridity leveraging industry-leading solutions RESTON, VA--(Marketwired - Nov 20, ...
HPE CEO Whitman's surprise exit stumps Wall Street

HPE CEO Whitman’s surprise exit stumps Wall Street

(Reuters) - Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (HPE.N) fell 6 percent on Wednesday after Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman’s ...

SPONSORS

Security: The Goodwill Virus That Keeps On Giving

Security: The Goodwill Virus That Keeps On Giving

The Goodwill Virus When Caitlyn Jenner officially introduced herself to the world by way of a Vanity Fair cover story ...
Visual Data Analytics Helps To Illustrate The Big Picture

Visual Data Analytics Helps To Illustrate The Big Picture

Visual Data Analytics We’re consistently hearing how valuable data is today, how important it is to the success of every ...
Scale your Windows Azure application

Help Your Business Improve Security By Choosing The Right Cloud Provider

Choosing The Right Cloud Provider Security issues have always been a key aspect of business planning; failure to properly protect ...