Their new AI-enhanced infrastructure maximizes manpower and system resources, lowers operational costs and still boosts customer experiences amid the pandemic.

Contact centers in Thailand had to manage the surge in call volumes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and state-owned telecommunications and digital services provider TOT Public Company Limited (TOT) is cognizant of the need to buffer up for future surges.

TOT’s contact center had been relying upon systems with a limited ability to serve customers seamlessly across digital channels. Some challenges experienced included lengthy waiting times and incorrect call routing due to limitations posed by its traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) mechanism, potentially contributing to disconnections and customer dissatisfaction.

Compounding the situation were social distancing measures that limited the number of agents who could physically work at TOT’s contact centres. Furthermore, the increasing emergence of digital channels used by today’s consumers meant that TOT needed to address this trend and offer a seamless omnichannel customer experience (CX) strategy to engage with existing and prospective customers across a range of traditional and digital channels.

Lean but personalized CX

With this mandate in mind, the telecom provider needed a solution capable of scaling rapidly to meet unexpected surges in call volume, address a constantly-evolving set of requirements, optimize agent resources, and still deliver superior customer satisfaction with empathy.

This week, they announced digital transformation measures involving cloud-based and AI technology integrated with Google Cloud Contact Centre AI (CCAI). The upgrades now allow agents to operate at a much higher level of efficiency across a multitude of digital channels such as email, web chat, and social media in addition to traditional phone calls.

Said the company’s Senior Director, Cloud and Digital, K. Santhiphap Phoemmongkhonsap: “Customer experience remains one of the most significant measures of success for us as a government organization. With audiences increasingly utilizing digital channels, by leveraging AI and cloud solutions, we made it a priority to modernize our contact centre infrastructure and maintain our high customer experience standards despite significant changes to customer requirements due to COVID-19.”

According to Phoemmongkhonsap, TOT and their appointed technology partner Genesys share a common vision of improving lives with technology. Using Genesys Cloud and Google Cloud CCAI has enabled TOT to embed machine learning and conversational AI capabilities into its existing processes. Consumers reaching out from a range of channels could now interact with AI-powered virtual agents that are able to accurately capture a customer’s intent easily and accurately, routing them to the agents most well placed to handle their needs. These data-driven insights have helped TOT to anticipate customer needs in the long term, enabling it to deliver improved and more personalized customer experiences.

AI and dual-cloud leverage

Operationally, the integration of two cloud solution platforms brought-about an average reduction of one to two minutes in call durations by leveraging AI-powered virtual agents. The upgrade also brought TOT by removing the need to invest in additional manpower, estimated to be around 1,000 additional agents.

Said Gwilym Funnell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Genesys Asia-Pacific: “Genesys is honored to assist TOT in serving the needs of local businesses and consumers, and more importantly harness technology to make lives better amidst the ongoing pandemic. We operate with a strong belief in the transformational potential of AI and Cloud technologies for modern economies.”

Added Antony Passemard, Head of Product for Conversational AI, Google Cloud: “The successful application of (the solution) is a tremendous example of how applied AI can help organizations transform quickly and ultimately drive stronger, more efficient experiences for their customers while maintaining control of their costs. AI and powerful virtual agents are enabling new ways for businesses to reach and support their customers, a need that is growing in a virtual-first world.”