There is talk about advances in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the like putting live agents out of work, but Callzilla leadership views them as tremendous opportunities to add value. Callzilla President Neal Topf had the pleasure to serve on a panel assembled by Fonolo The purpose and topic of this panel was “Call Center BPO Automation: Where Do Humans Fit In?” He joined Shai Berger, Fonolo, CEO; Mark Hillary, IT Decisions, CEO/Writer; Peter Ryan, Ryan Strategic Advisory, Principal; and Jeremy Watkin, FCR, Head of Quality. Daniela Puzzo, Director of Marketing at Fonolo, moderated the discussion.

Although we see the demand for automated services growing, when technology fails, human agents must be ready to take over. – Shai Berger, CEO, Fonolo

Neal agreed with Shai about the continued, perhaps even growing importance of live agents.

No matter how good Alexa and Srii are, no matter how good our programmers are, there’s always going to be room for simple preferences,” he adds. “People are going to be able to express their preferences—be able to opt out of the AI interaction and speak to a live agent. The live agent will not go away. -Neal Topf

Neal distinguished between automation that’s already mainstream, and innovations in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the like.

Automated short message service (SMS) texting with customers has been mainstream for quite a while. For example, from the call center operations side, quick automated responses are ideal for account activation, password resets, and other quick problem solving. On the customer side, self-service is strongly preferred over live interactions by many consumers.

In fact, some automation has worked out so well that Callzilla clients are looking for ways to enhance the customer experience with advances in automation. “We do have clients who are so excited to get access to new things to improve customer experience, that they’re willing to create test environments and provide other flexibility,” said Topf. “These are tremendous opportunities for Callzilla to add value as a true partner.

Links below point to call center success stories highlighting the way BPO automation can compliment the work of live agents. In one, Callzilla boosted direct response campaign results for an auto reseller with a method that included email and text follow-ups with customers. In another, carefully deployed pre-recorded messages helped a pharmaceutical company help its clients educate patients and enhance doctor-patient relationships.

About the Author: Neal Topf

Neal Topf, a seasoned contact center expert, is dedicated to transforming customer experiences. With years of industry wisdom, he guides businesses to excellence. His articles provide actionable insights for live answering, tech support, appointment scheduling, and implementing automated services, ensuring unparalleled customer experiences and operational efficiency.