As business owners and entrepreneurs, everyone agrees the importance of communication – with the clients, other businesses, peers or employees. With the mobile phone going rage, most businesses are flooded with queries, or you may want to reach out to customers with information on your product through telemarketing. Setting up a toll free number or a call centre is a huge task. For fledgling businesses, entrepreneurship concerns or small businesses it can even seem a chore – both in terms of resources, economics and time.
Customer care & call centres – going the digital way:
One might think that with the advent of a thousand chat apps, and text messengers, chat bots and social media, the phone might have become extinct. However, surveys show that telephone and voice based communication is still the most effective and popular mode of communication.
Now, why voice has a clear advantage is clear – people often seek human connection, and their first response when faced with an issue is pick up the phone and call (if the issue is milder, one might email and mull over it) Phone based queries, and seeking redressal does not show signs of reducing, rather show strong indications that they will continue to grow.
If you approach a Digital Marketing Company with a low cost solution for voice based customer care, 9 out of 10 would suggest you go the cloud telephony way.
What is cloud telephony?
Cloud telephony is the technology where all mobile, telephone and other voice based communication devices are hosted onto the cloud. The biggest advantage of this being absolutely zero requirement of additional hardware setup or installation. It is scalable, cost effective, and gets the job done.
Cloud telephony service could be an Interactive Voice Response facility, or a physical person taking calls on your behalf. It offers call recording, call forwarding and can be used on any PC, laptop, tablet or your phone.
It works through two networks – PSTN – public switched telephone network – for territories like India and middle east, which do not allow mixing of PSTN and IP networks.
And IP – which is where cloud telephony happens over the internet, much like VoiP
VoiP for businesses and Cloud phone systems are now able to provide so many features at a tiny amount of what would have cost to set up a traditional call centre. However, that is not the most important aspect. Through cloud telephony, businesses now offer incredible functionalities one couldn’t even imagine of to their customers and clients.
Artificial intelligence and cloud telephony
Employing artificial intelligence for communication in the form of text based communications like automatic email replies or chatbots is something we come across every day, are familiar and comfortable with it. To optimise their quality of services over telephone, especially with companies that are pinched for staff, or make a conscious decision to run a lean model, or have a exponential growth in customer base that gets difficult to handle, harnessing artificial intelligence, seeking its help in managing service calls can be a great idea.
Every company which has employed a chat-bot or web chat through AI will vouch for how services in the area of text communications are easier and well handled. Using AI can help manage voice calls as well. Now we are not talking about replacing humans on the other end of the line with AI (while it is a great idea, there is still time for that to go mainstream), it can help employees answer queries better by providing information, recommendations about the issue, reducing call time, and increasing efficiency.
Here are a few ways AI can help in cloud telephony:
Breaking data silos
Normally, the call centre executive handling voice calls is not the same as, or is cut off from the executive handling text communications. By using voice to text features of AI, calls can be transcribed, and a dataset of telephone conversations and text communications can be stored in a single location. This is especially useful for a customer who has multiple interactions over omni channels. Transcriptions could be a great help here, because it would mean the executive has a complete history of the customer’s interactions over each channel – web, app, chat, email, telephone – and can provide better service.
Speed & efficiency
AI tools can transcribe telephone calls as they happen in real time. It is known that a text search is always simple, easy, and fast. Tools can be employed to pick keywords, scour through mountains of data, and provide a prompt to the executive to address the customer’s issue. This not only reduces the call time, but also gives the executive a more humane touch, by concentrating on just listening to the customer.
Most organisations have a database of frequent issues, and also have a model where solutions based on keywords are provided automatically. All AI is doing is getting trained, by arming itself with all of this data, to make the executive’s job easier.
Handling simple requests:
Over 60% of telephonic customer queries/complaints are simple, straight forward requests like order tracking, password resets etc., which is why an IVR system came into being in the first place – to handle routine requests, the customer has to key in a choice from a list of pre-determined, most common requests, and the request is processed. AI is smarter than the good old IVR, and so customers can experience faster and easier solutions to repetitive issues. What this in turn does is free up the resource’s skills to handle issues that are more complicated.
A huge untapped potential lies in the use of AI into cloud based telephony. Leveraging this advantage is easy, and promises assured service quality improvement across all channels. The beauty of cloud based computing is its available for all, very accessible approach. Most of it can be self managed, depending on resources, the services of SEO company in Hyderabad can be hired. Experience the magic of AI, and let it take your business to the clouds, quite literally