An interview with Merchants’ Sales & Marketing Executive Ross Telfer (Part Three)
Read this interview series from Part One
Continuing from Part Two.
On the subject of bots, how big a role do you think bots will play in the future? And what kind of tasks will the bot take over from the contact centre agent?
If you talk to the Futurists, the bots will take over everything. Bots will become more intelligent, but they're already dealing with part of our transactions. You talk to Amazon, and they're looking to see if all of their call centres can be managed completely by bots.
When I read about the pace of change in technology, it’s surprising how fast it is. It's often faster than we can think. In five years, the shape of the contact centre as we know it today will be very different. Exactly what it looks like, we shall see. But businesses are going to see that bots don't need a tea break, don't get sick, don't need a holiday. You just have to make sure the servers are up and running every day and you've got “someone” who's productive 24/7, and they're going to give excellent customer experience.
How will contact centres engage with social media channels in the future? Will bots take over this as well?
They will, but in regards to social media today, the contact centre agent still features quite extensively. At the moment, organisations have banks of individuals who are scanning social media as things come in, or they’re using technology that enables you to take the request from whichever media channel it is, handle it, recognise who the customer is, understand the question and send out an answer.
However, some businesses don’t even realise that their customers are talking about them or to them on social media.
The companies that don't realise this are the ones that won't be there in three to four years, because their competition will have got to their target audience faster than them, and their customers will have left them and moved across.
What tools or technology would you like to see in the future that could make your and your customer's lives easier?
It's something I'll need to muse over for a while. There's nothing that immediately springs to mind, simply because a lot of changes are happening at the moment. These changes are coming in so quickly and are so radical in their design that we're having to react to that. You don't even get a chance to think about how you want certain things because change is happening whether you like it or not. It’s important for organisations to realise when change appears, you need to manage it, understand it and build it into your model.
Thank you very much for your insights and time Ross.
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