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When It's Time to Automate Your Telecom Contact Center

The pressure to maintain the highest level of customer service and keep a business running is a challenge experienced by many businesses. Telecommunication companies are no exception. Whether launching revenue-generating services faster or embracing new technology such as 5G and IoT, automation is the key to addressing telecom carriers’ needs.
 
With the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, many telecom carriers saw their demand for mobile traffic increase exponentially. Coupled with the challenge of growing bandwidth demand, they have never felt more pressure to deliver a quality customer experience.
 
To address these challenges, we turn to the heart of customer care — the contact center.
 
Traditionally, call centers dealt mainly with incoming phone inquiries. But today’s omni-channel contact centers now also deal with huge volumes of inquiries via email, live chat, and sometimes even social media, Facebook Messenger, and text. Many telecom contact centers are under constant pressure to provide the highest and most efficient levels of service. However, multiple legacy systems, high attrition rates, training and retraining costs, and scalability make this a challenging goal.
 
Agents Face Challenges, Too
In the telecom contact center, agents oftentimes have little if any knowledge about who is calling and why. Typically, they must interact with multiple — often as many as five to 10 — disparate legacy systems. This means when a customer calls, an agent often doesn’t have necessary data readily available. Agents also require significant training and experience before they are fully up to speed on the system and the processes. With a high turnover rate, having experienced agents and keeping them employed can be a challenge.
 
For the business, the high agent attrition rate can get expensive, given that the cost associated with training agents can run as much as $6,500 per new hire. In addition, early efforts to deploy automation might have resulted in lack of scalability or a difficulty in integrating into the many legacy systems that contact centers still use. The use of chatbots can only deflect 10-20% of calls, so in most cases, overburdened agents still receive calls. Lastly, throwing money at the problem is not the answer since most operational budgets are under pressure to be reduced by 20%.
 
Therefore, many contact centers can benefit from the use of intelligent automation.
 
What Is Intelligent Automation?
“Intelligent automation” refers to a set of technologies that, when combined, deliver advanced digital workforce functionality. These “digital workers,” such as available from Blue Prism, offload work from live agents by performing many tasks around the clock. This improves customer experience while reducing agent attrition and costs.
 
Digital workers come out of the box with basic automation skills such as a record button or an ability to manage a few tasks simultaneously. An intelligent automation solution from Blue Prism layers in advanced digital workforce skills, such as the capability to read documents using optical character recognition, rules-based thinking through AI, and the ability to learn through technologies such as machine learning. This elevates your digital workforce with capabilities that take your whole team to the next level.
 
When live agents work hand-in-hand with this superpowered digital workforce, a contact center is able to deliver the highest level of customer experience.
 
How Does It Work?
Using an intuitive web-based UI, agents collaborate with their digital counterparts. Before the digital worker hands the call to a live agent, it already has rapidly fetched data and filled forms from multiple systems. Now equipped with a simple 360-degree customer view, agents are empowered to do what humans do best and focus on the customer’s needs without being bogged down by clunky systems and multiple logins.
 
After partnering with Blue Prism on digital transformation, for example, one contact center reported a drop in average handling time (AHT) from nine minutes down to just two minutes per call. Such efficiency gains improve the effectiveness of the overall operation of the contact center. For omni-channel customer contact centers, this improves virtual agent containment and frees up agents for live assisted calls, allowing agents to be more productive, responsive, empathetic, and engaging. The results: Customers are better served and more upsell opportunities are created.
 
Overall, the business benefits, agents benefit, and, most importantly, the customer has the best possible experience.
 
To find out more about intelligent automation in telecom contact centers, please visit us at: BluePrism.com/RPA-for-contact-centers

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