The Rise Of AI Receptionists and Automated Phone Systems – Part 2

The Rise Of AI Receptionists – Part 2

In part one of this article we discussed the advantages of using a VoIP phone system and auto-attendants to manage incoming calls, as well as the benefits of using live agents. However, once a company grows beyond a certain size, it becomes impractical and increasingly costly to employ dedicated phone operators and attendants, so it is necessary for firms to rely on technology to help them deal with these issues.

The personality and personability of live agents was, up until very recently, almost impossible to recreate via an auto-attendant service, but that is now changing. With rapid advancements in AI and machine learning, systems can be built that interact and converse with customers when they call customer service or sales lines.

The idea was introduced several years back at Finovate 2013, where the technology was demonstrated for the public. They claimed at the time that the technology was:  “Able to talk to the automated assistant just like he would to any real, live person. The assistant is actually conversational, and understands what the caller is saying, and even responds with appropriate humor and creativity. That is unheard of in the world of automated customer service.”

At the time the technology was very young and wasn’t great at actually being conversational, but it did provide real breakthroughs in voice recognition of phrases that would have been indecipherable to voice recognition software in previous years such as email addresses and web login ID’s.

artificial intelligence

Since 2013, Machine Learning and artificial intelligence has exploded into almost every corner of ever industry, including the auto-attendant sector. Huge companies such as AmTrak and BskyB are already using the technology to augment their customer service agents, rather than simply replacing them. It can help to provide more information for the customer service or sales rep once they eventually get on the phone, as well as predicting customer behavior (based on analysis of all call records that the company has). Nexmo have predicted that,

In the coming years, AI will be crucial to the contact center but in much more of a background role. It will draw on multiple data sources to anticipate customer and company needs, handle interactions on its own where possible, and provide in-call support where needed. Humans will still be there for when the data–or simple common sense–shows they do a better job.”

Cloud Communications firms like Ring Central offer auto-attendant software as a part of their VoIP software that can seriously reduce the burden on live agents and these systems are only going to be further enhanced as AI receptionists develop and become the norm.

There are scenarios in which the need for human interaction will be eliminated, simple tasks like authorizing payments, sending money, or requesting a call back could all be done with today’s technology. However, whilst we could see AI auto-attendants appearing in more and more call centres and larger firms, they are unlikely to replace the need for human interaction to solve more complex problems.

We are fast approaching a point at which companies may choose not to employ any live agents or phone operators at all, relying solely on AI based auto-attendants. However, as is often the case, the technology will be best utilized when it augments and compliments humans, rather than simply replacing them.

Sponsored series courtesy of Ring Central

By Josh Hamilton

Episode 6: Cloud Migration: Why It’s More Important Than Ever

The Importance of Cloud Migration Moving fully to the cloud is still a concern for ...

Episode 3: The Bottomless Cloud – An Interview with David Friend of Wasabi

Why data is not “the new oil” and why “cloud” means more than we think ...

Episode 5: How the Pandemic is Changing Business and the Cloud

An Interview with Ed Dryer of Steadfast With the global pandemic wreaking havoc on business ...
Kayla Matthews

Higher-Ups More Likely to Break Policy, Data Breach Survey Finds

Data Protection Policies In an ideal scenario, the people at the highest levels of an organization would be the most likely to abide by data ...
Dan Saks 1

How to Transform to Succeed in the Digital Economy

Succeed in the Digital Economy In today’s increasingly competitive business climate, companies must put digital technologies at the core of their operations. In order to ...
Jen Klostermann

Telemedicine to medical smartphone applications

Telemedicine to medical smartphone applications With the current and growing worldwide concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID 19). Telemedicine is more important now than ever. What ...
Juan Pablo Perez Etchegoyen

7 Security and Compliance Considerations for Cloud-Based Business Applications  

Security and Compliance Considerations There’s no doubt on-premises deployments of mission-critical business applications provide more control over data as it resides within the four walls ...
Christian Buckley

The Evolution of SharePoint Customization

When I started working with SharePoint back in 2005, deploying WSS 2.0 followed and then SharePoint Portal Server 2003 for a large client, the concept ...
Ian Hayes

EasyShip – Shipping and delivering across the cloud

The Shipping Industry  Article branded by Easyship Shipping and delivering across the world is as hectic as it sounds, and it can get really chaotic ...
François Amigorena

SMB’s perceptions of Cloud Storage Security

Data Storage Security The use of cloud storage is on the increase. However, SMBs are still suspicious about it. Actually, 61% of SMBs believe their ...
David Gevorkian

Website Accessibility: Compliancy, Laws and Best Practices

Key to Making Your Website Accessible The internet has changed the education sector in so many ways. With e-learning, more people around the globe are ...
Garry Connolly

What’s Behind Smart Devices? A Data Centre, Of Course

Smart TV's, Smart Phones, What’s Behind Smart Devices? It’s not difficult to be “smart” these days. We wake up in the morning and check our ...
Ajay

Explainable Intelligence Part 2 – Illusion of the Free Will

Illusion of the Free Will Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) is getting a lot of attention these days, and like most people, you're drawn to it because ...