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Better Calls with AI

Blog AI Calls

Customers are a crucial component to a company’s success, as they not only purchase the products and services offered, but also impact the reputation of a business. A company’s reputation relies on the quality of their customer service, as good service translates to a positive company appearance and beneficial word-of-mouth promotion from customers. On the contrary, poor service leads to a detrimental appearance and negative reviews that harm reputation.

A way service is judged by customers is through communication with a business. One of the channels customers are able to communicate is via calls. Some of these companies have an automated service in place to direct a call to the appropriate person or attempt to resolve the issue through programed answers. Others simply allow staff members to directly answer calls. However, issues arise from these phone answering methods as either there is no answer, a long wait, or incorrect/insufficient automated assistance. Nowadays customers expect quickness in service and easy availability of information.

A solution to this is the incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI), to assist with calls. These systems allow AI bots to communicate with customers over the phone to reduce wait times through quick responses and provide accurate information and assistance. Further benefits of AI bots include saving employees time by reducing the period spent on answering calls, and instead allowing them to address other company needs. They also deescalate issues by not letting emotions interfere with serving customers, for instance handling an angry client. These bots can also work alongside staff to assist with searches to resolve customer issues and retain information faster.

A big improvement from traditional automated calls is that AI technology can understand customer emotions and speech for enhanced communication and appropriate help. Google has recently ventured into this creation by launching Contact Center AI, which features bots that have conversations through Dialogflow with customers in a personalized manner to address their needs efficiently and directly. It can also be used to assist staff receiving calls for faster support.  Overall, switching over to AI bots saves businesses money while enhancing customer service.

IP Phones Aid Police

IP Phones Aid Police

IP phones not only have beneficial impact on companies, but have attracted the attention of emergency dispatchers, too. There are numerous issues with the current dispatcher system, mainly with being able to effectively communicate the concern or issue and identify a specific location where police need to be directed. If the call drops or the location is not identifiable, this increases the risks by delaying emergency services where it is needed.

In response to this issue pertaining to outdated systems, some emergency dispatchers are making the switch to IP phones, in order to be able to launch Next-Generation 911 (NextGen 911). NextGen 911is geared to respond effectively with mobile devices, which many 911 callers use to report an incident or receive help. This new service is beneficial to 911 callers and police services as it makes reporting easier by adapting to the current technology trend for communication.

Callers will be able to share images and videos regarding the incident being described to the dispatcher over the phone, providing detail and accuracy to their report. By having access to images and videos of the incident, the police can be in a better position to handle the issues and can use the content for evidence purposes if needed. Those requiring emergency services can also communicate their medical and accessibility details to be properly and quickly aided by police and medical staff. Additionally, those with hearing or speaking difficulties can seek help by being able to send text messages instead of calling over the phone. Apart from accessibility, this service is ideal in situations that require the caller to hide for safety, as they can quietly send a message for help through their phones.

Here in Canada, the government instructed all telephone businesses to upgrade their systems to incorporate the upcoming launch of Next-Generation 911. They believe communication will be greatly improved for the public by allowing additional means to reach emergency services. The voice service is expected to be functional by June 30, 2020, while the texting service is expected to be active December 31, 2020 at the latest.

Therefore, the use of VoIP systems helps to improve communication by allowing multiple channels to share information, which is crucial in emergency services. The traditional phones failed to provide accessibility options and were limited in functionality. Thus, the change to VoIP not only improves services to 911 callers but assists emergency personnel to perform more efficiently and rapidly.

Beware of VoIP Hackers

VoIP Hackers

 

Hacking is often associated with computers being remotely accessed for information and data due to a flaw in the system and vulnerability caused by the Internet. This leads to leaked information and documents impacting customers privacy and sensitive information, along with the impacted company’s reputation and security. However, hacking can also occur with VoIP systems, as many companies communicate via calls and the system is also linked to the Internet.

Recently, Cisco discovered a bug that impacted phones by allowing hackers to access and even make calls to gain information. They have created an update to resolve the threat, which will be available in August. The Cisco phones that were targeted were 6800, 7800, and 8800 systems.

The strategy for attackers is to attack the phone systems during times when the office is vacant for a longer time period, which includes weekends and holidays, as it takes longer to notice and act. In this period, they will try to increase a company’s phone bill by making outgoing or long-distance calls. There are also other forms of threats beyond a costly phone bill.

a. Eavesdropping is a major risk, creating an opportunity for hackers to listen in on calls and gather classified data and knowledge. These calls may include sensitive information pertaining to clients or the company itself.

b. Voicemail hacking is another threat, as important messages can be accessed and used for malicious purposes such as blackmail.

c. Softphone hacking allows attackers to replicate a company’s account by discovering the authentication details. From this, the hackers can listen in on conversations or take a more active approach and make phone calls impersonating the company.

d. Denial of service aims to prevent actions from a company, such as intervening and blocking outgoing calls.

e. Toll fraud refers to hackers using a company’s phone systems to complete long distance calls with toll charges, producing an expensive phone bill for the company to pay.

Therefore, it is important to be mindful of these threats, and have security precautions in place to deal with situations like these. By being aware of the tactics used by hackers, a company can better understand how to avoid or even protect sensitive information.

Benefits of VoIP

Benefits of VoIP

1. Price: VoIP systems have the ability to cut expenses pertaining to phone calls in contrast to traditional phone lines. The main fee associated with this system is for the Internet, which is what is required to make the calls. Additionally, a company can enroll in VoIP plans and systems for a low monthly fee, and still have freedom as there are no contracts. These systems also offer cheaper use of features such as conference and video calls, and long distance calling across the nation or globe. Some providers even offer a mobile app for making calls from mobile devices using data.

2. Scalability: If more systems are required due to company growth, there is no need to acquire costly hardware. All that is required is plugging in a VoIP phone and configuring the settings to make it connect, making the set up fairly convenient. Furthermore, if an employee relocates, their phone number would remain the same, reducing the headache of acquiring a new number and sharing it with staff.

3. Accessibility: VoIP systems have the ability to be used worldwide as long as there is an Internet connection. There are VoIP adapters available that can allow remote access for communication. Users have option to access telephone services through email as well by accessing voicemail transcripts. This makes it an ideal option for those who work from home and travel frequently for business trips. It is also beneficial to reach a larger scope of customers across the country or even overseas.

4. Features: It has many of the same features associated with traditional phone lines, such as caller ID and voicemail, for no additional charges. It provides the option to conference call with multiple individuals, as well as communicating via videoconferencing. There is also a feature to convert voicemails into transcripts that are accessible via email, which is convenient for sharing with others and making notes. Documents and images can be forwarded using the system to increase collaboration and connectivity of meetings.

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation1

The need and desire to decrease costs and initiate real-time action, in a highly competitive climate where margins are extremely thin, need logistics businesses to initiate a better control over their supply chain and make sure the operation is carried out smoothly at an efficient pace. Towards these goals, logistics companies are increasingly applying Big Data technology, to collect and analyze data, to streamline their current methods of operations while optimizing the supply chain.

Computers utilize algorithms to sort out Big Data, this unlocks insights as well as opportunities not possible with previous methods. These insights allow streamlining operations and optimization of the supply chain.

 

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