Google onboards Verizon on its Cloud Contact Center Solution
Verizon yesterday announced its partnership with Google Cloud to improve contact center experiences for their customers. This move comes at a time when contact centers across the nation have been grappling with increasing call volumes while operating with limited staff.
With this partnership, Verizon can continue providing bespoke digital experiences for their customers even when operating with significantly smaller customer service teams. Google’s Cloud Contact Center AI solution leverages natural language processing (NLP) to provide customers with instant answers to questions while improving agent effectiveness.
The partnership is expected to help Verizon reduce call times, provide quicker resolutions, and drive improved outcomes for customer satisfaction.
â€œVerizon’s commitment to innovation extends to all aspects of the customer experience,â€ said Shankar Arumugavelu, global CIO & SVP, Verizon. â€œThese customer service enhancements, powered by the Verizon collaboration with Google Cloud, offer a faster and more personalized digital experience for our customers while empowering our customer support agents to provide a higher level of service.â€
One of the biggest advantages of the solution is that it is both customer- and agent-facing, which means, in addition to providing faster self-service options for customers, it also offers contact center representatives a real-time digital assistant that fetches relevant articles within the knowledge base, and then recommends personalized responses to agents at each turn of the conversation, assisting the agents in effectively answering customer questions and addressing any issues.
â€œWe’re proud to work with Verizon to help enable its digital transformation strategy,â€ said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. â€œBy helping Verizon reimagine the customer experience through our AI and ML expertise, we can create an experience that not only delights consumers, but also helps differentiate Verizon in the market.â€
Google revealed its plans for reinventing contact center experiences at its Cloud Next conference in 2018 and the solution was launched in November, last year. The idea behind Google’s Contact Center AI is helping businesses build smarter, faster, and easy-to-use contact center workflows that leverage the promise of NLP to provide more personalized support, allowing agents to focus on more complex issues.
Are Chatbots a Relic of the Past?
Virtual assistants and bots have been around for some time now. However, there has been much debate on the value they create for businesses. While some might argue that earlier versions of the chatbotOpens a new window served a very real business need, they were little more than interactive FAQ interfaces. They responded to user/customer questions with one sentence replies that didn’t encourage conversation.
Smarter, AI-powered chatbots today are capable of doing much more â€“ they are able to establish context by looking up databases for past voice calls and customer interactions. This promotes conversation and engagement. Additionally, intelligent contact center software can also improve agent efficiency by empowering them with continuous support during calls.
Technologies like NLP and machine learning enable the software to transcribe calls in real-time, identify customer intent, and provide real-time step-by-step assistance.
As the Coronavirus crisis drags on, understaffed businesses are scrambling to do more with less, making AI contact center solutions like Cloud Contact Center and IBM’s Watson particularly valuable.
Experts expect a sharp increase in adoption of AI contact center solutions post the pandemic as organizations are forced to keep their operations lean. This means, contact center jobs already lost may not come back.
However, it is too soon to say. And the one thing we certainly know about AI-based solutions is that they are far from perfect at the moment. So, humans-in-the-loop seems like a more plausible future scenario in the contact center context.