Communication is one of the most crucial factors that impact the success of any business. Let me take you through the past, present, and future of business communications and how it can take your business to next level.
Communication is the lifeline for all businesses
Communication is the lifeline of all kinds of businesses, be it B2C, B2B, etc. The following diagram shows the touchpoints where a company normally interacts with its customers.
Previous Paradigm – An In-House Telephony and Call Center setup
In this paradigm, people communicated over the phone through an in-house call center setup. It involved substantial set-up costs and recurring operating costs. This also comprised building in-house IT/technical capabilities to run the call center, irrespective of the nature of the business of the company. Dealing with the different ecosystems of different telecom providers (for redundancy), issues and downtimes, etc proved very painful!
A decade ago, a subscription-based SaaS model emerged in telephony which was hosted in the cloud. This proved to be much simpler for businesses to use and operate. Knowlarity pioneered the idea in PSTN markets like India and over a period of time several other companies also followed. Today, almost a decade later, this space has become more or less commoditized. The time is ripe for disruption in communication again!
Next Orbit – AI & Analytics in Communications
Artificial Intelligence is making the unthinkable possible in communications and data crunching. AI holds the potential to talk personally to your customers and respond to their queries. AI and Analytics can track your systems 24×7 and alert you immediately when anything anomalous happens, always keeping your business on track.
This will reduce the manpower and training required for routine and repeated work. Machines don’t get tired and can repeat same actions around the clock without making mistakes – something which plagues manual processes. Humans would be second rung of escalation when the computer determines that specialised task needs to be done.
Magical scenarios possible via AI & Analytics –
Know what your customers/agents are “talking” about you (using Automated Speech Recognition – ASR)
Millions of call recordings in call centers are wasted, as no analysis is possible without listening to them. Sampling and listening is too sub-optimal and error prone to be useful. What if a computer can listen to every single recording and give you the most frequent business keywords being mentioned and also tag sentiments in calls? What if you could also search recordings based on keywords and sentiments? All this is possible now!
Imagine you can say “show me all recordings in which someone said unhappy” or “show me all recordings with negative sentiment”. Then in the result set, you click and go directly to the spot in recording where the word “unhappy” was said. That’s possible now!
Imagine Amitabh Bachchan calling me and saying “Hello Ajay, your daughter Aditi is 3 years old and should be vaccinated for pulse polio tomorrow, at the Pioneer Park near your house. Make sure to get her vaccinated”. This cuts through the clutter of generic promotional calls!
Everything can be personalised and contextual using the information from databases (say municipal database in example above) and spoken using TTS. That’s possible now!
To type the IVR options on the phone, one has to take off the phone from his ears, look at it, then type and quickly replace it back against his ear to hear the next IVR response. This can be a very irritating experience!
Imagine, if you could just speak out your choices to proceed without having to remove your phone from your ears. That is possible now!
Have “Real time charts and alerts” even for huge/streaming data(using Big Data – Analytics)
Imagine, if you are a business owner and you are able to see in “Real Time” what your customers are talking (say a word cloud dashboard as seen below)? How is your business doing as per your previous records and relative to competition? Get alerts for any deviations from the normal in that very minute?
Huge terabytes of data crunching at the speed of light. All that is possible now!
“Command the computer in English” to do above business tasks(using Natural Language Processing – NLP)
Imagine if you could command your computer in English (verbal and written) to do business tasks like generate reports, build charts, set alerts etc, just as you would talk to a human secretary. Many of you would have experienced services like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant etc. Similar NLP services will be your business secretary soon. Yes that’s possible now!
There are exciting times ahead, as B2C communication would never be the same again in the coming months. Stay tuned to hear more!Written By: Admin