Agile Language Partners

By: Wedge Greene, Trevor Hayes

If an organization is able to perform its everyday routine tasks predictably well, then it has more bandwidth to predict, plan and adjust to changing large-scale factors. Too many ICE organizations use up their human intellectual resources and run out of stamina just handling everyday problems such as on-boarding new customers, customer queries and complaints, network outages, inter-carrier disputes and human resources meltdowns - this despite having tens of thousands of employees.

Artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and process automation are now in a position to take over many tasks that employees do today. With strategic investment, it can soon do much more - adding emergent agility to agile systems.

Breaking out of IVR

Many industries are deeply into the cycle of augmenting customer service with Integrated Voice Recognition (IVR) systems. The front end of just about every call interaction from a customer to a customer service center is controlled by scripts in an IVR.  But customers are not happier with this interaction than before it was rolled out. Time and routing efficiencies gained by the ICE are not felt by the customer.  The customer often sees this as a barrier to reaching an agent who will at least listen to their concern. None of this is news. But it need not be this way; so leaving it in place is not strategic or agile.

Despite twenty years of evolution, from call center to customer service center to omnichannel, the automated flow through of information from the customer to the IVR to the agent to the backend systems is still rare.  For too many interactions, a customer, after entering data to navigate through the IVR, is still required to resupply that data when they reach an agent.  No customer likes this.  Agents are also handicapped by this unpleasant start to their honest desire to please the customer.

Better products exist today and investment needs to be made in converting to them. Pipeline has spotlighted many of these in its Innovation Awards. Jacada and VPI are other examples available today which can improve customer experience and information flow.

Jacada has developed an augmentation to existing IVR systems oriented toward smartphone callers and for users sitting at HTML enabled consoles. An interaction which is currently controlled by a static IVR script can be intercepted, via an app or a user response, into an interactive data panel visible by the user.  This is exactly the interface Millennials want. As an agent joins the session, both the user and the agent can share visual information to match the voice call.  The data captured from the customer can then flow to the agent and, via process automation and good back-end application interfaces, fetch and deliver data to and from the meat and potato systems. This should be a required feature of every future customer interaction.


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