This post is part of Talkdesk’s live-blogging series for Dreamforce 2017. To see all of Talkdesk’s Dreamforce 2017 highlights, visit our Dreamforce 2017 landing page.
Customer experience is the sum of every interaction with a brand. Today’s customers expect intelligent and customized experiences want solutions right away.
At Dreamforce 2017, Talkdesk brought together three cutting-edge technology companies to discuss the top technology trends in service and inside sales. Leah Groos, director of member experience at the human performance company Aduro discussed their modern, artificial intelligence-driven contact center. Bill Hoppin, EVP of strategy sales, marketing and alliances at TalkIQ shared how they derive insights from conversations through artificial intelligence and speech recognition. Rich Rines, CEO of AutoReach offered insights around accelerating productivity through automated dialing and sales intelligence, available to Talkdesk customers through AppConnect. Below are the key artificial intelligence trends that emerged from the panel.
Trend #1: Artificial intelligence will assist (not replace) sales and service professionals
Rich: At AutoReach, we are using artificial intelligence to augment human skillsets by examining on the processes that sales and service reps are doing now and making them more efficient. Sales and service professionals people are the needle-movers of our clients’ businesses. Our goal is to free up their time for the high-value phone calls by taking the tasks that can be done by machines off their plates. AutoReach allows companies to streamline the decision-making process of who you should call and when should you call them so reps can spend more time selling.
Bill: Customers will always need human interaction, human skills, human intelligence and human acumen. At TalkIQ, we are using artificial intelligence to improve the ease and efficiency of human processes. It’s all about allowing sales reps to have quality conversations as easily as possible. The dynamics of a company change all the time, so their tools need to adapt to enable high-quality conversations.
Leah: A very obvious example of artificial intelligence interaction is talking to chatbot to help manage incoming support calls. One reason we kept it as a closed conversation is for the privacy of our customers. In our industry we are dealing with healthcare and lifestyle management. We use chatbots to address the easy needs, but always give the exit route to talk to human.
Trend #2: Artificial intelligence is a tool to create positive customer experiences
Leah: People are interacting with artificial intelligence and don’t even know it. Uber is a great example of how artificial intelligence is used in everyday life: Uber knows who you are, where you are and where you need to go. At Aduro, we use artificial intelligence for human services coaching. Aduro passively gathers data (only with permission, or course) and help shift their behavior by getting in touch through “sparks” or nudges. For us, if a person is struggling with weight management, our technology will send a push notification to that individual to get up and walk around every few hours so they aren’t sitting all day. If they are in the middle of mall around dinner time, we can use geofencing to recommend the healthiest restaurant between the three closest options. This use of artificial intelligence is more like an accent or complement to the individual’s life.
Bill: Artificial intelligence is happening without people realizing it. There is a cool to creepy needle; if I order a Starbucks and it’s ready for me when I get to the store, that’s cool. If Starbucks monitors my coffee intake and tells me I need to cut back when I try to order a third cup of coffee, not cool. Artificial intelligence is something powerful and to be effective in a way that’s cool not creepy, customers need to right amount of engagement.
Trend #3: Human beings like to interact with human beings. Artificial intelligence helps improve human connection
Bill: With artificial intelligence or any new technology, being able to try quickly and easily and having confidence in it working is important. Artificial intelligence bundles machine learning and natural language learning to contextually understand insights from words. It’s all about solving a specific problem. Ask yourself: Am I allowing my sales rep to have a conversation with right person? Are we solving customer problems as efficiently as possible? Do I understand the member’s experience with my brand? Learning is important. The dynamics of company, competitor and strategy change all the time. Technology must adapt to help people, whether it’s a sales or support agent. My biggest concern or fear is of fundamentally losing control over real time customer experience.
Rich: Spending time on the phone is the highest value activity that your sales or service reps can do, it’s not going away.
Leah: Artificial intelligence is about the people we’re serving. Every contact point, sales or service, is an opportunity to engage people to using services the way they’re meant to be using it, and we want them to enjoy that experience. Even if they call in angry, we can turn that around. It is more important than ever that we have that quality time with our end users so we can further our mission of improving people’s lives.
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