Speech Technology Magazine


Why Customers Prefer Conversational Self-Service (Video)

Omilia's Quinn Agen discusses the advantages of taking a conversational approach in automated contact center customer care in this clip from SpeechTEK 2018.
By The Editors of Speech Technology - Posted Aug 3, 2018
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Learn more about customer self-service at the next SpeechTEK conference.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Quinn Agen: Why is conversational care so important? Well, because everybody speaks, right? One of the most common questions I get from managers and directors when we're having discussions about possibly rolling out conversational customer care in the call center is, how are the elderly demographics going to deal with this? Because they have been traditionally not so cooperative with DTMF or directed dialogue type of interfaces. Obviously for millennials, we all know how to zero out and get to an agent, so there's always a lot of questions in terms of how is this speech interface going to work with folks who either are power users in the DTMF world or our elderly folks who for some odd reason might not be able to understand that they're talking with a conversational system.

To answer that, I would say that some of our best use cases are coming out of some of the deployments that we have here in North America--specifically Royal Bank of Canada--as well as a major credit card issuer here in the United States are the elderly folks. They actually tend to talk way more than anybody else and they give way more information than they actually need to, and the interesting thing is that at the end of the call they actually say something like, "Thank you, my dear," because they not necessarily have realized that they're actually speaking with a machine.

At Omilia, we define conversational customer care as a natural human-like dialogue that takes place between the caller and a machine. It always starts with a true open question like, "Please tell me how may I help you." Not "Please tell me briefly or please tell me in a few words," since humans don't talk like that.

The artificial intelligence drives the conversation. It's a completely unstructured interface, meaning that there's never any right or wrong thing to say. You can switch from one topic to another topic at any point in the dialogue, and the prime objective of the platform is to deliver as many self-services as possible, and then of course if it's an intent request that's either the business has made a decision that they don't want to self-serve, or it's something that's not automatable, we need to make sure that we do the authentication and get that customer to the proper agent skill group on the first transfer, not on the third or fourth.

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