Does it seem as if enterprise communication practices are changing quickly? That’s because they are, spurred largely by customer preference and the continuing evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) tools and other technologies.
As technology evolves and a new generation moves into the workforce and the customer base, organizations need to keep pace with these advancements and preferences or risk falling behind. Cloud-based applications and artificial intelligence are the front-runners in helping accomplish that goal.
Evolution of Existing Technologies
A new generation of workers and consumers is transforming how organizations communicate both internally and externally, bringing new expectations for customer experience and employee experience interactions.
A perfect example of how communication is evolving is the precipitous decline in conference calls for remote communication and collaboration. Spurred by the pandemic, most organizations have turned to video conferencing—a trend that is unlikely to reverse. Remote and hybrid workforces have driven companies to expand the features of their Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) platforms to facilitate real-time collaboration among on-site and remote employees, seamlessly integrating communication, scheduling and conferencing.
More and more organizations are requesting Application Programming Interface (API) integration, which enables seamless, automatic communications between different software or web tools, such as Microsoft Teams, CRM applications like Salesforce, and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Integrations reduce costs and increase accuracy to improve operational efficiency.
Contact Centers as a Service (CCaaS)
The shift to cloud-based UCaaS systems has made it more economical for organizations of all sizes to benefit from call recording and advanced customer service metrics. As a result, more businesses and nonprofits are using CCaaS solutions to deploy personnel more efficiently while promoting growth through an enhanced customer experience.
Given ongoing technological advancement, one might expect that faxing in general would be obsolete, but eFax services are experiencing an uptick in usage. The fax does not appear quite ready to go the way of the telegram.
AI Transforms Efficiency and Customer Experience
Of course, the biggest news in communication has been the explosive growth and improved effectiveness of AI-based tools and systems. Not too long ago, AI-based communication was obviously robotic and at times difficult to manage, particularly with natural language processing and voice recognition systems.
Now, however, both chatbots and voice bots are difficult to distinguish from humans, depending on the complexity of the interactions. Modern bots can compose text that is mechanically superior to that of many adult humans, even if it lacks depth and art.
AI-based customer service systems now effectively use voice bots and chatbots as assists to human agents. Bots can offer general information via FAQs or answer simple questions and then serve as a bridge to human agents if the situation becomes too complicated. With recent advances in natural language processing, both written and verbal, bots can handle more customer expectations than ever before; some can even determine the customer’s emotional state, which can affect how the interaction is handled. Bots can gather all the necessary background information before the human agent is connected, which increases efficiency and reduces costs. Once the chat or voice conversation transfers to a live agent, today’s bots can remain on the live call, in listen-only mode, to hear the agent’s responses. The bot can then update the FAQ database (using machine learning), which allows the bot to answer similar questions in the future.
Driven by not only advances in AI but also changes in customer communication preferences and expectations, customer contact centers now work across media types, allowing people the option of using text, chat, or email, in addition to old-fashioned phone calls.
Using bots as the first contact of customer interaction offers a better way to provide on-demand information, reserving human agents for more complicated issues—when customers need to talk to a human.
Implemented effectively, an AI-based customer interface system can work extremely well for both customers and the organization’s bottom line. If implemented poorly, artificial intelligence tools result in bad customer experiences and increased costs.
Benefits of a Skilled Communications Partner
The desire to embrace new technologies and features is often tempered by a reluctance to change. While many tools promise savings through greater efficiency, organizations naturally want to minimize the pain associated with the transition. The right communications partner, however, can put those concerns to rest.
All VOIP Networks clients receive U.S.-based, white-glove support 24/7, starting even before the official engagement. We collaborate closely with prospective customers to determine their exact needs and offer a complimentary proof-of-concept trial, which allows organizations to experience proposed solutions without obligation. We also provide full-system administrative and end-user training at no extra cost, which ensures widespread adoption and improves the employee and customer experience.
In addition, our multi-instance architecture offers greater security, control, and reliability because each customer is hosted on their own virtual servers, not sharing servers among several tenants (multi-tenant architecture). Each client’s dedicated virtual servers are located in geo-redundant data centers to provide added continuity.
With more than 35 years of communications expertise, VOIP Networks designs, installs, and manages multi-instance systems to provide the highest quality and reliability. For more information on artificial intelligence, or to discuss your communication needs, please contact us.