How to Use Smart Tech to Automate Your Business

By Bob Violino Print this article Print
Smart technology

Intelligent agents, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, intelligent software, expert systems and robotic devices will soon be common in the workplace.

The company is using Interactions' hosted conversational Virtual Assistant offerings for self-service transactions and call containment. By implementing the cloud-hosted service, TXU removed the need for menu-driven automation. It is now able to deliver a fully unstructured conversation for its customers, allowing them to describe their issue or need and avoid lengthy prompted messages, says Jeff Camp, vice president of contact center operations.

The company had been using a touch-tone and directed-dialog solution to route customers to the appropriate live agent resource to handle simple transitions and perform self-service requests.

"Our existing system, although very successful, had plateaued, especially with its natural-language implementation and customers' desire to simplify their self-service experience," Camp says. "It could no longer meet our goals in terms of enhancing the customer experience and providing better self-service completion rates without an additional investment."

Improving Routing Accuracy and Reducing Costs

TXU Energy had issued a request for proposal to enact a full replacement of the existing system. The goals of the new system were to improve routing accuracy by quickly identifying the caller's intent, reduce overall maintenance costs, and enhance customer service by reducing the level of effort and improving overall satisfaction and ease of use.

In 2012, the company deployed the Interactions technology, and since that time has seen a number of benefits. They include an improvement in customer satisfaction, seamless language transitions between English and Spanish, an 18 percent improvement in call containment and improved ease of management.

The technology has also had an impact on employees. Because customers are able to accomplish tasks in a fully automated self-service application, TXU service agents can focus on "higher-touch" customer interactions. For example, by automating consumers' ability to get information on billing and payment status, agents are now freed up to handle more complex billing issues.

In the future, Camp says, TXU plans to expand into inbound and outbound Short Message Service text messaging. The company also plans to completely integrate its multi-channel support to give customers a more complete omni-channel customer-care offering.

This article was originally published on 2016-06-30

Bob Violino, a Baseline contributor, is a freelance writer and the editorial director at Victory Business Communications. He has covered business and technology for more than 20 years.

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