Purposeful Chatbots Keep Customers Happy and Costs Down

When America’s largest automobile manufacturer unveiled a concierge service in its luxury models some two decades ago, one of the analysts duly noted that if a couple hundred people use the service, which connects drivers with a call center concierge at the press of a button, that would be a game-changer, an over-the-top luxury offering. But if it caught on and millions of drivers were using the service, where would the auto company get enough humans to field all of those calls requesting the service?

It was an excellent question and, two decades ago, one that could not immediately be answered. Today, however, the answer is simple: Infosys Nia Conversational Interface. In some ways, the prediction 20 years ago that in-vehicle concierge services would become a staple of high-end cars also portended the possibility that call centers would become overwhelmed by driver inquiries and customer service would suffer as a result. That’s why today, with advanced natural language processing and self-learning capabilities, it’s Infosys Nia that’s the game-changer!

Improving the Customer Experience

 
McKinsey predicts that by the end of 2017, Chatbots will have automated some 30 percent of customer service positions in America alone. The global prediction is even higher. It’s not that companies are suddenly not trusting their highly trained human employees in their customer service operations. It’s just the opposite, in fact. Customer-facing enterprises want their human employees to be available to work out complex and sophisticated issues should they arise. Run-of-the-mill inquiries tend to be a drain on a company’s resources and are best allocated to solutions built on Infosys Nia.

For instance, did you know that 70 percent of all inquiries to a large telecommunications company we worked with fell into five categories of questions? If your company is spending significant funds staffing huge call centers simply to field customer inquiries such as: “What’s the current balance on my phone bill?” then you need to reassess your operations and let us deploy Infosys Nia’s high intelligent Chatbots that integrate with the enterprise systems to provide accurate and current responses to customer inquiries. Such Chatbots are purposeful; that is, they seamlessly integrate with all consumer-facing channels: social, mobile, Web, wearable devices, and more.

Purposeful Conversational interfaces should be channel agnostic, multi-lingual, deployable on the Cloud or on premise, support multiple languages, integrate with any application, and easily deployable and maintainable. More importantly, Infosys prides itself on “learnability” and we have built Nia Conversational Interface a self-learning platform!

Giving Telecoms High Marks for Satisfaction

 
Infosys Nia’s flexibility is such an asset when it comes to the highly competitive telecommunications sector. The largest firms know that customers are always discussing – perhaps even more than the signal strength of their mobile coverage – the quality of a firm’s customer service. It is imperative for telecom companies to maintain high customer satisfaction levels in order to retain customers. One way of doing so is to assign serious issues to highly trained agents. Infosys Nia Chatbot automated lower level query resolution, which allowed agents to be available for the more complicated technical requests. A majority of queries are now resolved seamlessly and effectively through the Chatbot.

Better still is that the telecom in question has been able to reduce costs by optimizing agent efficiency and revamping its helpdesk procedures. The reputation of the company – as evidenced in its NPS score – has improved. Infosys Nia Conversational Interface can do so much more, as evidenced by another telecom that uses our automation technology to gather and interpret customer data insights. Infosys Chatbot actually integrated with Infosys Nia Data so responses were customized for users based on their profiles.

Intelligent Conversations

 
What if a leading auto company wanted to automate its Live Agent Assist System with Infosys Nia Conversational Interface? To start with, Infosys Nia enables voice-based conversations across multiple personal devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others. A purposeful Chatbot can be very potent to such an organization. When we say purposeful, we are referring to the kind of conversation – yes, conversation – that our Chatbots have with customers. They not only improve customer satisfaction by responding to queries with personalized, contextual information, but also help streamline an enterprise’s call centers and keep costs down.

In this use case, customers who pressed the “talk” button were put it touch with a live agent. But behind the scenes, it was Infosys Nia that was flexing its muscles. Infosys Nia uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to recognize what the customer is looking for and in turn responds with the appropriate information. The use of Machine Learning and Active Learning helps it get better over time as it learns from customer conversations.

This is a great example of Infosys Nia Conversational Interface as it also showcases how our platform can be integrated with speech enabled devices. That way the automated responses come quickly, efficiently, and accurately, and the driver and passengers are more strongly connected to the automobile brand.

The Best Challenge Yet

 
Finally, there’s a use case that, in our opinion, truly demonstrates the capabilities of our platform: being able to assist travelers at one of the world’s busiest airports. Let’s face it: Technology can make flying a pleasure; the absence of it can make flying an utter nightmare. Thanks to Infosys Nia Chatbots, airport administrators can provide travel information in a one-stop, easy-to-access Facebook Messenger bot.

Infosys Nia Chatbot’s success is partly because of the fact that it is integrated with backend systems for displaying travel-related information. The ability to receive quick, accurate answers to their queries result in more satisfied travelers and the use of Chatbots will result in huge cost savings for airport operators.

Conclusion

Purposeful Chatbots enable enterprises to have purposeful conversations with their customers – all while driving costs down. It’s a win-win technology story if there ever were one. Ask yourself: Has your enterprise discovered the power and efficiency of Infosys Nia and the purposeful Chatbots it provides?

The RPA Impact: Reality – as opposed to theory

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has advanced significantly over the past few years and has made inroads to IT Services, Manufacturing, Banking, Telecom—to name a few. In a digital-first world, RPA has been the essential food for thought among organizations that require seamless operations, and greater value from resources. But the potential impacts of RPA are hit with gloomy predictions like ‘Jobocalypse’, and the only selling point was a potential ‘Skill Uplift’—people who were displaced moved into higher roles.
In this context, recently, I had an opportunity to host a roundtable discussion with various RPA leaders in Australia and New Zealand. And, my key interest in the discussion was to find out what is the reality—as opposed to the theory? Will there be a mass displacement of human labor? Will RPA reduce the need for repetitive human effort?
Yes, there has been a sustained and large-scale RPA rollout in organizations, there has been job displacements—no surprises there, but the fine print is interesting:

  • Some organizations have implemented RPA as a necessity–after a business restructure has been done and people have been let go. Here, RPA was more of a tool to “Cope” up with the loss of manpower.
  • While others have used RPA to avoid staff headcount and costs associated with it in future. In this case, RPA has contributed to an order of magnitude increase in staff productivity, which has allowed organizations to grow without the attendant increase in the cost base.

In both of the above cases, there is no real ‘Skill uplift’. While people who lost jobs in the first scenario, may have acquired new skills and applied for different jobs, Therefore, it is very hard to directly link this as an impact of RPA, but there are other examples, where ‘Real Skill Uplift’ has been observed.

To include a few:

  • In some organizations, people are likely to be potentially displaced by RPA as “Process” SMEs – some even have retrained them as robotics developers. There are significant evidence of people taking up “higher” order cognitive functions – than routine and manual ones.
  • In specialized functions such as Finance – employees, many of whom, happened to have higher levels of qualifications (MBA, CFA etc.), but mired in transaction processing duties are now able to truly leverage their qualifications–by delegating the transaction processing to RPA.
  • In contact centers, organizations have leveraged robotics to improve customer engagement time (Instead of asking people to do data entry operations). However, as the theory predicts, a new class of jobs is getting created. Every large consulting organization now has a thriving RPA practice. A new crop of developers called “Bot builders” are showing up everywhere.

However, people who are taking up these jobs have a consulting or IT background – as opposed to people who are actually displaced by automation.
So, that’s the story so far! I think, after a few years, we may see more substantial examples of RPA roll out in the region. And, this will give us more insights about RPA—its impact on the labor market, and how the “up skilling” plays out.
I thank all the leaders for freely sharing their views during the discussion…