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

Metasploit-Penetration-Testing-Software-Pen-Testing-Security
Vulnerability Scanners Cyber security vulnerabilities are a constant nuisance and it certainly doesn't help with the world in a current state of disarray and uncertainty. Vulnerabilities leave businesses and individuals subject to a wide range ...
Martin Mendelsohn
The Colonial Pipeline Dilemma The Colonial Pipeline is one of a number of essential energy and infrastructure assets that have been recently targeted by the global ransomware group DarkSide, and other aspiring non-state actors, with ...
David Dymko
Working with virtual machines and or Kubernetes A conversation with David Dymko, Director of Engineering for Cloud Native Development at Vultr.com If you work with virtual machines and or Kubernetes, and if you have some ...
Sofia Jaramillo
Augmented Reality in Architecture Augmented reality (AR) is a growing field of study and application in the world of architecture. This useful tool can help us visualize architectural designs by superimposing them onto real-world scenes ...
Using Data Scraping to Learn What You Need to Know
Data Scraping Opportunities How can you know what you don’t know? It sounds like a rhetorical question, but it is in fact a vital component of business strategy. As much as any company or organization ...

SECURITY TRAINING

  • Isc2

    ISC2

    (ISC)² provides IT training, certifications, and exams that run online, on your premises, or in classrooms. Self-study resources are available. You can also train groups of 10 or more of your employees. If you want a job in cybersecurity, this is the route to take.

  • App Academy

    App Academy

    Immersive software engineering programs. No experience required. Pay $0 until you're hired. Join an online info session to learn more

  • Cybrary

    Cybrary

    CYBRARY Open source Cyber Security learning. Free for everyone, forever. The world's largest cyber security community. Cybrary provides free IT training and paid IT certificates. Courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users are available.

  • Plural Site

    Pluralsite

    Pluralsight provides online courses on popular programming languages and developer tools. Other courses cover fields such as IT security best practices, server infrastructure, and virtualization.