Reading out terms and conditions, copying text from one screen to another, repeating the same content time and time again … there are lots of steps in a customer call that can be repetitive.
And with repetition, comes the risk of mistakes. It’s why AI-backed robotic process automation is a game-changer for contact centres, and why you should expect your contact centre to have invested in this as well.
Working in tele-sales is fast-paced and often frenetic, but at the same time, it can be mind-numbingly repetitive.
Adding boredom and monotony to the innate pressure to close a deal can often be a bad mix, increasing the risk that the customer may not fully understand the transaction, or may even end up buying a product or service that’s not really suited to them.
Either of those scenarios is a bad customer experience and isn’t likely to result in repeat business.
Identifying opportunities for automation
With that in mind, Australia’s leading call-centre operator TSA Group decided to reduce the pressure on its team members by identifying which processes could be automated.
“We know that there’s only a finite number of different scenarios a customer is going to speak to you about,” Group General Manager of TSA Group Jessica Stewart said.
“Companies need to think about the low-effort, low complexity, little things that customers call for – it’s about 30 per cent of our inbound traffic.
“What we do is we work with our clients to remove that 30 per cent by letting the customer do it themselves.”
Miss Stewart said one of the best ways companies can empower customers is to give them a robust mobile app or website.
An app or an interactive website allows customers to verify their identity, make billing changes, account changes or add new products to their accounts without ever speaking to another individual.
Self-serve is also an option for customers that call, with those simple functions able to be automated through the use of interactive voice recognition technology (IVR).
On the TSA Group side, call centre teams are constantly upskilled through the use of knowledge management systems, with customer interactions analysed and evaluated to make future communications more efficient.
The result of automating call centre processes
Reduced interaction times, more customers served and those customers receiving better service than if they’d simply spoken to a call centre team member.
Those automations can also help to significantly bring down costs, enabling companies to incorporate local customer service centres rather than shifting all of their tele-sales operations offshore.
TSA’s timesaving tech – Cerebro
One of the biggest timesaving technologies implemented by TSA Group has been a text-to-speech platform known as Cerebro, which was specifically designed in-house to automate the process of reading out terms and conditions.
Cerebro was initially introduced to TSA Group’s call centre operations for one of its biggest clients, a leader in the Australian telecommunications industry, with the platform quickly streamlining a legally complex, multi-faceted and time-consuming process.
Miss Stewart said the implementation of automated T&Cs provided a robust suite of benefits for customers as well as employees.
Swipe for more
Those benefits include a 19 per cent reduction in the length of terms and conditions, which had previously taken up to 10 to 12 minutes to explain, and a 50 to 200 per cent increase in customers’ understanding of those T&Cs.
For TSA Group employees, Miss Stewart said the system saved around seven minutes of time per sale, providing a massive boost to productivity.
“We came up with Cerebro because our team members were challenged by the sheer volume of different tools and systems that they would need to utilise on a call,” Miss Stewart said
“There was also the volume of different systems that they would then need to utilise to be able to pull together appropriate terms and conditions based on the action that they were taking with the customer on that call.”
To ensure the platform was a success in the Australian context, Miss Stewart said Cerebro was customised to speak in a local accent rather than the generic robotic tones typical of text-to-speech platforms.
Prior to the introduction of Cerebro, Miss Stewart said there was a lot of anxiety around making sure TSA Group employees not only understood the legalities of terms and conditions but were also able to communicate that complexity to customers.
In the telecommunications industry, call centre operators are required to be across a wide range of legal requirements, contractual obligations the customer will be faced with, and a comprehensive suite of assorted products and services at varying price points.
For broadband internet products alone, Miss Stewart said there are five or six different technology types and varying speed plans, all of which come at different costs, making conditions different for each customer depending on the product mix they choose.
“Cerebro alleviates the need for team members to think as deeply as they previously had to about this, because there are just so many systems that they had to get right,” Miss Stewart said.
“It makes sure that in the first instance, customers are being told the most appropriate information, which can help to reduce bill shock.
“It also helps the customer feel a lot more secure about what they’re being told as well, because it is not at the whim of an individual.
“Customers can feel confident that the technology will give them all the details.”
While some customers may be wary about interacting with a robotic platform, Miss Stewart said the vast majority that had been exposed to Cerebro were more than satisfied with the process.
What’s next for Cerebro?
Looking forward, Miss Stewart said TSA Group was evaluating the possibility of adapting Cerebro for use with clients outside of telecommunications.
“There is a never-ending list of applications Cerebro can be used for. It is not just a sales tool, you could also apply it to an environment where you need to leave notes on every single call for every single customer about what you did for them,” Miss Stewart said.
“It is in-depth and detailed and eliminates the need for the customer to repeat themselves — we all know how frustrating that can be.
“It is also being used in the messaging environment. Rather than having to use multiple systems to get terms and conditions for the customer, it is all in Cerebro and we can copy and paste it across into a message.
“The next evolution for that is for that message to be a PDF version of the curated terms and conditions, then the next evolution of that will be to include animations as well.
“We want to make every interaction less scripted, less boring, and less dull. That won’t just make it more interesting, but it will make this complex area of compliance easier to achieve.”
TSA are Australia’s market leading specialists in CX Consultancy and Contact Centre Services. We are passionate about revolutionising the way brands connect with Australians. How? By combining our local expertise with the most sophisticated customer experience technology on earth, and delivering with an expert team of customer service consultants who know exactly how to help brands care for their customers.