AI ChatBots – Your Customers Are Waiting …


Consumers are becoming accustomed to interacting with chat bots.  For many it is a natural, easy and sometimes fun way to be serviced.

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, all have become staples in our daily interactions.  My mother, at 91, is fascinated with my Google Home device and how I get everything from my daily news fix, weather, and recipes to the occasional joke, simply by stating my request preceded with “Hey Goggle”.  “How does it know so much!”, Mom finds it quite marvelous.

I’m quite certain one of my newscasts is actually being read by a chatbot.  I believe this because sometimes the way she pronounces names (famous names), is not quite right, but I appreciate how natural she sounds overall.

Where are AI chatbots headed? “Is it live, or is it Memorex?” … some of you are likely old enough to remember that advertising tag line.  Take a chatbot, and add machine learning or artificial intelligence, and you have a tool that improves with every single interaction it handles.  Agent-assisted interactions allow the chatbot to learn from its human assistant.  In fact, behind the scenes of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, any AI chatbot, are humans who pickup where the AI chatbot leaves off, examining what the chatbot couldn’t understand or misunderstood and providing the human intelligence to respond.

Natural language interfaces used to be anything but natural, now we see, through various apps, just how natural they’ve really become.  While I’m learning Italian, and practicing with Google Translate, the chatbot knows to examine the context of my poorly spoken phrase to “guess” at that I probably meant to say – very human of it -not to mention encouraging for me!

The fact that chatbots can speak and understand any language opens up a panacea for tailored customer service and reduced customer effort.  Allowing customers to service themselves, in the language of their choice, for Canadian businesses is significant, we are a multi-culture nation.  Being able to collect information from our customers in their language and have information shared back to them real time, either through a chatbot alone, or a chatbot-assisted conversation, significantly reduces interaction handle time and delivers a better customer experience.

Chatbots can carry a conversation between channels.  i.e. start as a chat and move to a call, retaining the thread of conversation and avoid the customer having to repeat the same information as they switch channels.  Again, the chatbot helps reduce customer effort and interaction handle times, while improving agent satisfaction by giving agents the information they need up-front.

From the simple to the complex, being able to have services delivered in whole or in part by a chatbot, through any channel, at all times, is a definitely a game changer.

If you’d like to “chat” more about chatbots and their place in your customer’s journey please feel free to contact the writer.

Think Strategic – Workforce Optimization – Get it Working for Your Organization

288042055Over the past few years there has been a great deal of focus and discussion on the operational benefits of a Workforce Optimization (WFO) solution and how it can improve the efficiency of a contact center, but little, if any, discussion of the benefits derived from its inclusion in strategic planning and execution. Leveraging WFO in the strategic planning process can significantly increase your organization’s competitive advantage and profitability through:

  •  An improved customer experience
  •  Increased customer loyalty
  • Greater employee satisfaction
  • Decreased operational costs
  •  More effective marketing campaigns
  • Better products

This paper examines three major elements of WFO: Analytics, Quality Management and Workforce Management, and discusses how and where to incorporate them into your strategic plan.  Think Strategic – Workforce Optimization – Get it Working for Your Organization.

Score: Lexmark 0 – Brown’s 10


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A few weeks ago, I had two very contrasting customer experiences.  Both experiences got me thinking about what makes a customer truly stay loyal. I have a little brown package that I keep on my desk – it contains a … Continue reading

The Company That Cracked the Twitter Customer Service Puzzle


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Warby Parker’s Customer Service Secret This article, authored by Jordy Leiser, November 19, 2012, contains an impressive amount of information and we hope inspires more companies to take the leap and move from monitoring social media to actively engaging and … Continue reading



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SHIFTING THE LOYALTY CURVE – I just read this most interesting excerpt from the Sales, Marketing, And Communications Practice, Customer Contact Council®.  The focus of their paper is what makes customers more “loyal” and they provide a clear differentiation between … Continue reading

SCHEDULE FLEXIBILITY for Customer Care Representatives: I WANT WEEKENDS OFF!


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In response to the subject question I found on a discussion board I provided the following suggestions regarding schedule flexibility and thought I’d share them with you here.  Let me know your thoughts … Over the past 20 years I’ve … Continue reading

Analytics Lessons From The Homeless


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Analytics Lessons From The Homeless – An excellent article – perfect way to start one’s day.  Ray’s daily commute into San Franciso illustrates how a deeper dive is required to truly understand what you observe. By Ray Rivera, Director, Solutions Management, Workforce Planning and … Continue reading

Where Should a Contact Center Invest?


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Where Should a Contact Center Invest in 2013? The Contact Center world is certainly a complex world, with a myriad of issues, opportunities and limited budget.  So the question we’re asking you here is where do you or should you … Continue reading