Yves T’Joens, Vice President, Head of OSS Suite & Technology, Nokia gave an interview on technology’s involvement on the advancement of customer care at TM Forum Live! View the full video below.
There is a significant evolution happening in call centers and it has three legs according to T’Joens – convergence, augmentation and proactivity.
While call centers today tend to be divided in an organization – specific to products services, etc. – T’Joens paints a unified picture of the call centers of tomorrow, in that they’re to deliver a harmonious customer journey, avoiding the disjointedness of ping-ponging between departments and the like.
He says. “They will not distinguish. It is one call center for all of the services, and also one engine that actually drives all of the channels toward the customers,” by which he means one engine to provide customer solutions such as self-care, assisted care and field engineers. “What we’d like to see, is that there’s convergence in the way the interaction seamlessly moves between these channels inside of a certain session.”
Augmented care refers to the machines, such as interactive bots, that will help humans directly. They tend to have a human-like interface and can converse with customers.
“That’s where you totally exclude any need for the customer to actually have a conversation with a communications service provider [CSP], in the sense that you proactively solve every issue on the network before it even hits the customer,” explains T’Joens, “And that’s how you make a really happy customer, because everything works, every day.”
Such proactivity would include a proactive bot for example. It scans the network, getting a view of anomalies and issues and automatically goes and resolves them before anybody notices.
The challenges CSPs face from customers seem to be the key drivers in bringing about this evolution. The users, and their expectations of customer care, is changing rapidly and T’Joens notes:
“The [services]should always work, they should always be on. If they don’t, they [customers]would like to call the operator, or they would like to have some self-capabilities. When they hit the operator, they don’t want to wait in a queue and repeat information.”
Another challenge which may indeed slacken the evolution is the operational expenditure. According to T’Joens, the operational expenditure in customer care centers is the second biggest after the network infrastructure itself:
“Some of these very large operators are spending easily a billion in terms of customer call centers, field operations, replacement of equipment which is not faulty, but is not [working] well.”
T’Joens also goes on to discuss omnichannel and how chatbots do what they do. See our video below for the full interview: