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How Real-World AI is Transforming the Fast-Paced World of Contact Centers

Thanks to Hollywood, it’s easy for many people to think of artificial intelligence as a sentient, self-learning technology that inevitably runs amok with the intent of wiping out humanity. This makes for fun movies, but what about the practical applications of AI in the real business world?

AI enables a computer or application to perform tasks commonly done by human beings – such as carry on conversations, discover meaning, and generalize or learn from past experiences. So, it should come as no surprise that AI is becoming a valuable tool in Contact Centers where such tasks have traditionally been carried out by human Agents to assist customers.

With more businesses looking to leverage AI’s capabilities, Mitel has partnered with tech leaders like Google to deliver AI-driven improvements across their core contact center solutions…

AI-enabled Chatbots accelerate Implementation

With a traditional chatbot, a contact center team is responsible for predicting what their customers are going to ask, and painstakingly scripting each interaction. With AI in the mix, the customer is connected directly to your company’s knowledge base, simplifying and shifting chatbot implementation time from months to days.

Natural Language Processing enables Virtual Agents

Using natural language processing, an intelligent customer experience solution understands what your customers are saying, chatting or texting – without requiring specific phrasing – and a virtual agent responds in real-time – whether a human agent is available or not.

Whenever the virtual agent reaches a question or situation it cannot handle, it can involve a human Agent in the conversation and feed its conversation details directly to that Agent.

Machine Learning improves the Customer Experience

Leveraging machine learning, the AI solution will continue to observe the customer-agent interaction, suggesting relevant options or content to the Agent and monitoring which responses come to a successful conclusion. This real-time coaching from AI Agent Assist results in more accurate, more responsive follow ups and an improved customer experience.

Webinar recap: The Intelligent Contact Center [57:30]

This in-depth webinar will show you how AI provides valuable insight into customer behavior so your contact center can deliver the best customer experience every time.

Among the topics covered:

  • Utilize IVR and CRM data to intelligently route incoming calls, offer predictive recommendations and drive up first call resolution
  • Save time and money by automating responses to common queries, improving resolution time and customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores
  • Identify trends, monitor performance and unlock deep insights into agents and customers

Video Demo: AI in the Contact Center [4:56 min]  

This video overview shows how Google AI & Mitel technology…

  • Uses the virtual agent chatbot and AI analytics to respond to common customer issues
  • Stays with each call, SMS or chat to find the best information for each customer
  • Learns what works and what doesn’t to improve future customer interactions
  • Simplifies agent workflows with smart virtual agent assist

New use cases will continue to emerge as the technology becomes more advanced. That means the definition of AI will continue to evolve, and you’ll want to keep pace to reap future business benefits.

Ready to improve your customer experience with real-world AI now? Contact TCI today: (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

 

Recapping Mitel’s Recent Road Show on Digital Transformation & Contact Center Innovations

The emergence of the Digital Economy has led companies to transform their call centers into omni-channel customer experience centers. Increasingly, companies are finding that they need optimization solutions like Workforce Management, Interaction Recording, Quality Management and Speech Analytics to successfully operate an omni-channel customer experience center. They’re also looking at AI-powered Agent Assist technology to modernize the customer and agent experience.

Many companies struggle to make the transition seamlessly and are looking for partners to help them navigate through the maze of choices. TCI and Mitel can help.

On July 10 in Columbia, Maryland, the Mitel UC Contact Center Roadshow was in town, a platform for discussions and demonstrations of the latest innovations in contact center technologies and applications. Experts from Mitel, Google, ASC, TalkDesk, and others covered these topics:

  • How Google AI can power Contact Center Agents
  • How to Optimize the largest expense in a Contact Center
  • Benefits of hosting a Contact Center via the cloud
  • How to determine which Contact Center solutions best fit your company

We were delighted to see some of our valued TCI clients and guests, including…

  • Burke and Herbert Bank
  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Society of Civil Engineer
  • Intensive Care On-line Network

If you were unable to attend this event…

We have compiled a 75-page slide deck that provides a recap of the presentations. We offer it in the hope that it may stimulate ideas on the types of innovations available that you can bring into your contact center to improve the customer experience.

Let’s talk about how innovative technologies and applications can advance the effectiveness of your contact center. Contact TCI today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

What to Know About Communications Security in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Unified Communications enables your employees to communicate and collaborate more effectively through screen sharing, video meetings, mobile apps and more. But adding AI to the mix promises to send productivity through the roof, so it’s not surprising that over 40% of enterprises plan to incorporate AI into their UC systems by the end of 2019.

Still, even as AI transforms communications, it also raises new security concerns. Let’s take a deeper dive to understand how AI enhances UC and what you need to do to maintain a secure communications environment.

Artificial Intelligence – Emphasizing the Unified In UC

If you thought unified communications was great for efficiency and collaboration, just wait until you see how AI enhances it…

  • Improved collaboration – Integration of AI chatbots into UC apps opens new doors for collaboration by gathering status updates from team members and even alerting members via an app, email, SMS or push notification. When chatbots keep everyone and everything connected, your teams can more easily troubleshoot together, keep track of each other’s progress on projects and share ideas and information.
  • Easier access and use of data – AI virtual assistants improve access to documents and other information, automatically gathering and distributing data to your team’s devices — whether it be a PDF or a video. If questions on a prior discussion arise during a meeting, the assistant retrieves pertinent emails, messages or documents. Attendees stay focused and engaged in the conversation, with all information at their fingertips.
  • Increased productivity – Chatbots field straightforward calls and online chats with your customers, allowing your customer service team to focus on more complex calls and issues. In meetings, attendees concentrate on the content and discussion rather than on the communications tools. The AI assistant even initiates the conference automatically.
  • Better efficiencies – Wouldn’t it be great to have someone else send meeting notes, assign action items and schedule follow-up calls? The AI assistant handles all of it, allowing human attendees to spend their time on more complex and higher value activities. AI also simplifies scheduling by identifying times that work for everyone.

How To Mitigate AI Security Issues…

While the benefits of AI and UC are many, the security of your communications system will also require more attention. AI technology accesses vast amounts of data on products, processes and customers. If an attack occurs, all of that data becomes vulnerable.

  • New standards and protocols will emerge as AI plays a bigger role in communications systems, so you’ll need to remain vigilant to stay compliant with the latest requirements. You’ll also have an obligation to protect the data gathered about your customers.
  • In addition, there are likely to be security challenges with BYOD, as your employees’ AI-enhanced personal devices enter the workplace. Some organizations are already disabling voice assistants such as Siri in the workplace. But, as employees bring newer devices like the Amazon Echo to the office, organizations will need to assess emerging AI technologies for security threats and establish clear guidelines in a formal security policy.
  • A positive note here is that AI actually enhances data and communications security. It will scan for potential threats and alert IT and security teams when vulnerabilities or possible attacks occur. Security professionals can respond far more quickly with the help of these technologies.

As AI and UC blend, you’ll gain an extremely powerful set of communications and team collaboration tools – productivity will skyrocket and data will be more accessible than ever before. But this architecture must have a stable base, with security as a main priority.

Let’s talk about how your business can reap the benefits of AI and UC, while safeguarding your business from risk. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

 

Mitel Delivers More Advantages with Expanding Google Cloud Partnership

Our strategic partner, Mitel has broadened its partnership with Google Cloud to provide greater security and reliability for businesses looking to move more of their collaboration tools and communications to the cloud in order to accelerate their Digital Transformation…

  • As part of the expanded partnership, Mitel will now leverage the Google Cloud Platform to support its public and private cloud solutions and deliver more innovative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and reporting capabilities.
  • Google Cloud Platform supports Mitel customers with some of the highest levels of security and availability with dedicated operational practices and 24/7 data center monitoring.
  • Google Cloud Platform is also certified as meeting Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards and Service Organization Control Type II (SOC 2) compliance, addressing the stringent requirements of heavily regulated industries like healthcare, government, education and finance.
  • Google Cloud Platform will initially support new MiCloud Connect and MiCloud Flex customers. New MiVoice Business customers will also have the option of deploying on the platform.
  • With this latest announcement, Mitel gains further access to Google Cloud’s AI analytics, as well as integration with Google’s popular G Suite productivity and collaboration tools.

Check out this Mitel-Google Contact Center video [7:30]

Mitel’s decision to anchor their public and private solutions with Google Cloud Platform enables its customers to move forward with confidence, knowing their services are virtually bulletproof and that the latest communications and collaboration capabilities will be at their fingertips.

Let’s talk more about how Mitel solutions – coupled with Google’s Cloud Platform – can give your business a competitive edge. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Improving Customer Service… 8 Call Center Trends You Need to Watch

When it comes to improving the Customer Experience with better technology, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of strategic thinking with focus areas like better analytics, more social media conversations and innovative ways to involve artificial intelligence.

To keep you informed and help you stay on target with your plans, we’ve identified the most influential strategic trends affecting call centers this year.

  • Artificial intelligence integrated into customer interactions – Businesses are getting deeper into predictive analytics, using artificial intelligence (AI) applications to help streamline call center experiences for customers and agents. Early adopters continue to hone AI applications for call routing, and more connections are being forged between various media channels to improve the customer experience.
  • Better contact center analytics – Gone are the days of relying on supervisor skill and know-how to get the most out of contact center agents. Now, even smaller businesses are taking advantage of sophisticated analytics to turn data – like call and screen recordings, chats, SMS messages and more – into truly useful feedback for their agents. More businesses are displaying statistical dashboards on user interfaces, so call agents and managers can get real-time updates on customer experiences.
  • Omni-channel communications for all – Omni-channel communications continues to separate proactive businesses from their more reactive counterparts. This holistic view of the customer experience is helping businesses give customers a more personal feel to resolutions. Unifying customer communications across channels enables businesses to resolve issues faster and helps sales agents identify better opportunities for future sales.
  • Widespread adoption of cloud communications in call centers – Cloud communications has become particularly important for contact centers. With the steady increase in remote call agents, cloud communications are a necessity for businesses that want to take advantage of seamless team communications and collaboration. With the cloud, traditional office-based contact centers can take on new locations, grow and contract workforces as market needs demand.
  • More robust customer satisfaction measurements – Businesses approach customer satisfaction measurement in different ways, but slick all-in-one measuring tools seem to be holding steady. No matter which measurements businesses are using, special care needs to be taken when addressing the customer experience across digital channels. Using effective reporting and analytics tools that are integrated with your communications systems makes this process automatic and valuable.
  • More remote call center agents – Lower overhead, time zone flexibility, and flexible working hours have made remote contact center workers a stable trend for 2019. With constantly improving and unified cloud communications, remote workers have become a permanent and beneficial part of the contact center environment. With collaboration tools, contact center agents can take their work mobile, with access to real-time analytics and customer context.
  • Continued emphasis on self-serve documentation – There is greater emphasis on self-service, problem-solving information on business websites. Giving customers information quickly helps reduce call volumes, and easy-to-navigate FAQs help narrow down calls to those with sufficiently complex issues. Quick access to self-serve solutions to problems also contributes to customer satisfaction and reduces overall call times.
  • Two-way social media conversations – The way businesses approach their social media conversations is changing. It’s not enough to make witty posts or share images. Customers are looking for a two-way social media conversation, and when they interact with businesses online, they expect a personalized and immediate response.

Ready to explore how these Contact Center trends can be applied in your business? Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.

Getting More from Your Technology Investments

Staying competitive, taking advantage of opportunities, and saving money do not always require abandoning technologies you already have in favor of a single silver-bullet breakthrough.

TCI can help you optimize your business processes at incremental cost simply by extending your current technologies to achieve transformative results.

  • Take the Cloud, for example… This is now a mainstream technology that includes deployment options that easily combine the benefits of hosted solutions with your existing systems. The Cloud’s inherent flexibility allows you to meet different business needs without force-fitting all of your technology into a single approach that may fall short of expectations.
  • Add collaboration tools to your Cloud Voice and you have Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). It turns out that built-in disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities add even more value to UCaaS.
  • Most businesses rely heavily on wireless networks but tend to “set and forget” them. Our Managed Wireless service ensures your office Wi-Fi can easily adapt to keep up with growing demands.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly emerging technology that you can integrate into established business applications. It can be added to contact centers, for example, to significantly improve your Customer Experience.

Let’s talk about how you can leverage recent innovations with your existing technologies to transform your business. Contact us today at (703) 321-3030 or info@tcicomm.com.