Call center automation: how has technology evolved?

Call center automation, come si è evoluta la tecnologia?

Call center automation represents a crucial crossroads for companies in terms of customer support. Customers, who have access to various communication channels, such as social networks, smartphones and chatbots, expect responsive, fast and efficient assistance.

There are a number of critical issues that certainly do not work in a company’s favor when it comes to call centers, such as long wait times accompanied by a nerve-racking jingle, rude operators who do not know how to respond adequately, or a failure to resolve the problem within a reasonable timeframe. Customer service is a kind of business card: if it works badly, the whole business suffers.

Fortunately, companies today have several tools at their disposal to meet the needs of their customers, from the cloud to machine learning. Personalizing customer experiences and improving lead generation is Humable’s goal. The partners who have relied on our services have found an improvement in the level of customer satisfaction, which has been followed by a higher percentage in terms of sales and loyalty.

From machine learning to the cloud: artificial intelligence services available to call centers

call center automation

Cloud services, which allow access to data at any time and from any device, and machine learning tools, which allow machines to imitate human behavior, have favored the entry of artificial intelligence in call centers.

This process provides a number of benefits: it reduces waiting times, cuts costs, frees service personnel from numerous cumbersome and superficial tasks, and guarantees optimal service.

Chatbots stand out among the most popular tools of this recent technological period, where these permit customers to use self service to solve a problem independently or immediately find an answer to a question. Furthermore, chatbots allow for the possibility of collecting useful data on customer habits by extracting important information from them.

The long path from the switchboard to chatbots: the evolution of call center automation technology 

Digging into history, we discover that the first real switchboard was patented in 1891 by Almon Brown Strowger, where this was a system capable of automatically sorting phone calls and allowing people to phone one another without the intervention of operators.

In 1950, a breakthrough was made with the ACD (automatic call distributor) system, used by major telephone companies, which represents the cornerstone of the call center. With a specific algorithm, phone calls were filtered and redirected to the requested operator. In 1970, the Welsh company British Gas optimized the ACD system, designing it with multilingual functionality.

At the turn of the 70s and 80s, new technologies were developed in the field of call centers according to various business strategies. Below is the evolutionary path that led to chatbots:

  • touch-tone dialing: keypad telephones that found widespread use from the 1980s;
  • toll-free numbers: these still exist today and are at the service of customer questions;
  • interactive voice response: another system still in use, capable of reciting information to a caller by interacting via the telephone keypad;
  • predictive dialer: telephone dialers that connect operators with those numbers where people answer, that is, where the line is not busy or unanswered; these are essential for optimizing time;
  • short message system: the sms, representing the first textual form of communication;
  • speech analytics: a technology capable of recognizing the customer’s vocal tone, therefore inferring the person’s state of mind;
  • chatbots: tools capable of sorting customer inquiries, managing reservations, assisting with the purchase process and providing relevant answers, by having a conversation with a human being.

Call centers get smarter

Chatbots are essential allies for companies, as they improve performance and reduce waiting times. Customer care chatbots offer a tangible immediate advantage, but allow you to make the right strategic decisions for the medium and long term. With chatbots, you can collect invaluable data pertaining to users, thus anticipating the future needs of customers and intercepting new market trends.

Customer experience is the key to obtaining a real advantage over competitors and adding real value to business performance. In this context, artificial intelligence is the ace in your hand, capable of maximizing the customer experience and improving the services of companies at 360 °.

According to the latest trends, two interesting facts emerge with regard to artificial intelligence in business 

  • customer care strategies will increasingly use automation systems aimed at customer satisfaction;
  • the call centers of the future will be centered on artificial intelligence systems.

 

85% of companies intend to increase the use of digital channels by 2025. If you do not wish to fall behind, but rather want to move with the times, contact us.

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