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

Gamestop NFT

Could GameStop Issue An NFT Dividend?

NFT Dividends A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) is a piece of data that is stored on a blockchain that certifies a digital asset to be unique. An NFT can represent pictures, videos, GIFs, audio and other ...
Matrix

Are We Building The Matrix?…

When sci-fi films like Tom Cruise’s Oblivion depict humans living in the clouds, we imagine that humanity might one day leave our primitive dwellings attached to the ground and ascend to floating castles in the ...
James Corbishly

Addressing Teams Sprawl in the Remote Workspace

Teams Sprawl in the Remote Workspace As working from home has become the new everyday norm, with more employers embracing the remote-work model as a new and likely permanent fixture of the employment world, there ...
Alex Tkatch

Dare to Innovate: 3 Best Practices for Designing and Executing a New Product Launch

Best Practices for Designing and Executing a Product Launch Nothing in entrepreneurial life is more exciting, frustrating, time-consuming and uncertain than launching a new product. Creating something new and different can be exhilarating, assuming everything ...
Dr. Mike Lloyd

How to Mitigate Security Risks in the Cloud

How to Mitigate Security Risks in the Cloud Enterprises continue to spend billions annually on security technology, yet cyber breaches continue to come fast and furious. So what exactly is going on here? Why are ...

CLOUD MONITORING

The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Opsview

    Opsview

    Opsview is a global privately held IT Systems Management software company whose core product, Opsview Enterprise was released in 2009. The company has offices in the UK and USA, boasting some 35,000 corporate clients. Their prominent clients include Cisco, MIT, Allianz, NewVoiceMedia, Active Network, and University of Surrey.

  • Nagios

    Nagios

    Nagios is one of the leading vendors of IT monitoring and management tools offering cloud monitoring capabilities for AWS, EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Storage Service). Their products include infrastructure, server, and network monitoring solutions like Nagios XI, Nagios Log Server, and Nagios Network Analyzer.

  • Datadog

    DataDog

    DataDog is a startup based out of New York which secured $31 Million in series C funding. They are quickly making a name for themselves and have a truly impressive client list with the likes of Adobe, Salesforce, HP, Facebook and many others.

  • Sematext Logo

    Sematext

    Sematext bridges the gap between performance monitoring, real user monitoring, transaction tracing, and logs. Sematext all-in-one monitoring platform gives businesses full-stack visibility by exposing logs, metrics, and traces through a single Cloud or On-Premise solution. Sematext helps smart DevOps teams move faster.