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Could Google Duplex mean the end of call centres?

By May 16, 2018 No Comments

Last week was a key note from Google. They gave an overview of their new software capabilities coming down the track. In the middle of the series of announcements they launched something called Google Duplex. So what exactly is Google Duplex? Its Google’s artificial intelligence brought through Google assistant that can make real phone calls. The concept has been designed so that you will never have to call a business/service to make an appointment, book a table in a restaurant etc. You can see an example of it in flow below:

This all sounds great and very futuristic but what has it got to do with service providers? One of the biggest financial challenges for service providers is having a call centre filled with people that you need to hire, train, maybe pay healthcare etc. Staff turnover is usually pretty high so it’s a constant battle to get a consistent standard of message, response to queries etc. A lot of service providers have been making huge strides to move a lot of their customer care functionality to digital channels and means. This has been welcomed by some people and depending on your query can be the quickest and cheapest for the service provider. However, there is still going to be a cohort of your customer base that wants to speak to somebody.

So this is where the concept of Google Duplex comes in. Instead of building this AI to make calls, you build it to receive calls. Typically the range of queries that come through to a care channel are fairly similar. It wouldn’t take you long to build your algorithm to allow the AI to answer most queries effectively. In a previous Openet blog, we discussed the future of chat bots; this takes it to a new level. The way the voice is designed to sound exactly like a human would respond with pauses, umms and ahhhs it gives the customer the impression that they are speaking to a human. Also the fact that it can deal with different accents is important in a multi-cultural society that we live in today.

The next question is, would you mind if you were speaking to an AI or to a human, if they can fix your query does it matter? I would imagine that if a query is so complex that you would still need some human care, agents on standby could jump in and help solve the issue. But the longer you gather this data, the more you can improve the algorithms to deal with all eventualities.

As service providers are looking to save costs at every point but at the same time, keep their customers happy and not impact their NPS scores. Artificial intelligence voice controlled care could be the next big thing for service providers to embrace over the coming years.