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.

TCPA – Consumer Protection – Controlled Business Mayhem


The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is surrounded by a plethora of fear, loathing, confusion and a seemingly never ending parade of revisions, clarifications and court decisions that appear to oppose one another.

While the statute looks as though it cuts off telemarketers at the knees; if guidelines are met to satisfy the elements of the TCPA along with good call number hygiene and sound recordkeeping, there is no reason for business not to proceed as usual.

What’s the TCPA All About? 

Born of best intentions – …Read the full article by Abdo Rabadi: TCPA Consumer Protection – Controlled Business Mayhem


Gamification Psychology

Psychology BrainI am fascinated by the human psyche and the drivers behind it – whether internal or external. The value that can be achieved using a properly designed gamification application is massive. Whether it’s to change behaviour, develop a skill or to encourage innovation, the growing role of gamification is becoming more mainstream.

Psychology is the driver and technology the facilitator.  Both are vital to a successful result. The Gartner group says that 80% of gamification applications will fail by 2014 as a result of poor design.

Irrespective of the desired goal, at the end of the day an application has to be very focused, goals driven, measureable, community oriented and ultimately an engaging experience.  It must tap into the basest of human drivers:  Mastery, Meaning and most importantly Recognition to succeed.

As humans developed, we were hard wired with an instinct for survival.  Survival required constant skill development, achievement and community engagement.  We have not lost that instinct.  We crave success, self-improvement, gaining of skills and inherently want others to recognize our achievements.

As insignificant as points, badges and other forms of experience recognition seem on their face, they are powerful drivers when viewed in the totality of human psychology.  The immutable desire for personal satisfaction and transparent recognition is a tremendously powerful tool. That tool when leveraged will modify behavior, encourage desired behaviour and promote learning.

The game is not the end, it is the means.  The human psyche, and a very specific and measurable mission goal is the area of focus to be always in the forefront of designers’ minds when designing a gamification application and avoiding being a member of Gartner’s 80%.

In It To Win It


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Gamification is no longer a tool solely for video game makers.  Organizations everywhere are revolutionizing the way they do business.  Top organizations are motivating, encouraging, engaging, even recruiting, not only their employees but their customers as well.  These organizations use … Continue reading

IVRs – The Most Annoying Invention… Ever: 2000 Consumers Press 1 for Yes


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Do we think 10,000 watt bass amplifiers, pantyhose (so I’m told) or parking meters are annoying? Sure. However, according to the Discovery Channel’s new program How We Invented the World, out of 2000 adults surveyed, automated switchboards (IVRs) rated #1 … 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

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