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But that does not mean it is not here to stay. Use AI to collect the most important a relevant data about your customers and use them to provide better customer service.

What will be the role of AI and technology in general in contact centres in the future?

Technology in general is already having a huge influence in our contact centres but this will only get greater. The way our customers lead their lives means they expect:

  • more options when looking to contact companies
  • a greater pace of resolution of their request or issue
  • to know exactly the progress of their service at any time
  • to continue to get excellent “Bedside Manner” no matter the time, circumstance or channel of communication

This can only be achieved through the greater and higher quality, use of technology and the smart application of technologies such as AI. It is important to state that the success of the technology is fully reliant on what you put into it. If your contact centre staff are all capturing data in different ways then it does not matter how much technology you implement, its benefits will always be greatly reduced.

AI is a buzz word at the moment but that does not mean it is only a passing fad. The key consideration in the use of AI is not in the volume but in the power of the use cases. Where AI can progressively learn about the behaviours of your customers and actively influence your offerings and processes is always the right place to start. The most important thing while doing this is to realise that good data collection is fundamental and definitely drives a quicker, positive outcome.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of self-service?

Self-service gives customers the opportunity to engage with companies in a way and a time that suits them. This is always a benefit for the customers. From our point of view this is a positive step as it can reduce the volume we experience in our contact centres for things which are relatively minor.

The main disadvantages are that not all queries can be efficiently self-served. On top of this, it is also very hard to have a positive effect on customer satisfaction without the correct interactions. Our duty of care to our customers also means we need to be able to recognise and respond to them in a way that self-service will never allow.

How to boost agent performance and productivity?

From my point of view, this is easy to answer, but not so easy to implement. This can all be achieved from the correct collection and use of data. If you have the right data, all to a high quality, then you can implement the right tools and processes to ensure whenever an agent is in communication with a customer, they know the right information, with no lag and they are able to present a predetermined best outcome solution to the customer.


Jay Tait is based in Edinburgh Scotland and works for The Royal Bank of Scotland as Head of Customer Services & Operations Analytics. Jay is responsible for providing Analytical Insight for the Service Centres that support the Commercial Bank customers. This has a focus on providing a better experience for the customer and driving efficiencies to way we provide services. Jay has 20 years of experience in the IT Services and Financial Services Sector.


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