Artificial Intelligence Enhances Customer Interactions

Several years ago, Gartner predicted that by 2020, 85 percent of customer service interactions will occur without any human interaction. While it remains to be seen if that prediction will come true next year, operators are already preparing for automated conversations with customers.

Leaders from AT&T, Telefónica, Elisa and KDDI Research discussed the applications of automation and artificial intelligence in the session “AI and the Operator Automation Opportunity for CX” on Day 3 of MWC Barcelona.


Different AI applications

 All speakers agreed that artificial intelligence could be used to improve the customer experience, but had different ideas on how it could be used.

Chihiro Ono, Executive Director at KDDI Research, explained a number of different approaches, including a multilingual CG character that could be used for chat and assistance. He also explained how AI could be used by staff at call centers, providing personalized responses to use in customer communications.

AI could also be used on call center staff, according to Ono.

“Call center staff can see their own faces and analyze their facial expressions,” said Ono, saying that staff could monitor if they’re happy, angry or sad and adjust accordingly.

Kirsi Valtari, VP Telco Efficiency Business at Elisa, saw the potential for AI in another area: network management.

“Mobile data consumption is growing and so [are] our networks,” said Valtari.

Valtari continued to say that customer demand for 5G will increase, and operators should use all available tools, including advanced analytics, to lower costs.


Omnichannel engagement

 AI and automation aren’t limited to just messaging—it can also be used on voice channels.

Irene Gomez, Global Digital Product Director at Telefónica, shared how the operator’s new AI tool, Aura, is being used across channels, including voice recognition. Customers can communicate with the AI assistant across more than 20 channels globally. According to Gomez, Aura has had over 30 million cumulative conversations.

But to deploy an omnichannel experience, companies will need to go back to basics, said Sorabh Saxena, President of Global Operations & Services at AT&T Business.

“AI creates a common data model,” said Saxena.

He went on to explain the four steps AT&T has taken to make change happen with AI.

“We’ve built a transformation playbook based on four pillars: people, processes, policy and culture,” said Saxena.


To learn more about enhancing customer interactions with automation, download our ebook on omnichannel engagement.

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