3 compelling reasons why an AI specialist outperforms your telecoms provider for customer service chatbot automation

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
AI assistant handling customer enquiries

You’re already speaking with customers across different channels and using your telecoms provider’s platform to manage communications. To introduce an AI chatbot, surely the most efficient thing to do is use their add-on tools to do it?

Not necessarily ― it could be a costly decision.

If you’re ready to dive into conversational AI and are questioning the best way to do it, you can’t afford to ignore these three reasons why using your telecoms provider might not be the best option for your bank balance or your brand.

TL;DR

  • Every phone call costs a call centre £6.26 on average, but you’ll spend less than 5p on an AI-driven chat
  • Calls are what the telecoms provider business is built on ― that’s their expertise, yet there has to be an incentive to reduce the number of calls you get overall when you introduce AI
  • An experienced AI provider is focused on reducing your customer service costs as well as lessening the pressure on your team to take low-value routine calls repetitively
  • AI experts keep a ‘human in the loop’ to respond quickly to trends, plus conversations with your customers are reviewed by language specialists, psychologists and designers for enhanced customer experience
  • AI providers deliberately design assistants to work seamlessly alongside your business systems, including your telecoms provider, for the easiest implementation

Recognising the power of AI for customer service

For so many years, call centres relied on phone lines as the only way to connect with their customers. Digital channels gradually started to transform their operations, from email communication and web-based chats to social media interactions. Now, the move to AI-driven chatbots and automated self-service offers real time engagement opportunities for immediate customer support on any channel.

CallMiner found those working in customer experience (CX) think “digital transformation has unlocked a wealth of data for CX teams,” which helps customer service leaders respond better to what their customers want, elevate satisfaction, drive up loyalty, improve efficiency, and increase revenue. The divisions in the customer service pie are changing, where phone is a far smaller portion than it used to be.

Rethinking the customer service pie: 80% AI chatbot, 15% live chat, 5% phone

Preserving personal connection

The importance of personal connection, historically nestled in the nostalgia of the telephone call, remains key because AI doesn’t replace your customer service agents. There are many opportunities for customer service teams to thrive in the age of AI, but traditional telephone services and advanced AI are two entirely different customer service beasts, so you’ll need two distinct approaches to serve them.

3 reasons not to stick with your telecoms provider for AI automation

It’s clear by now AI isn’t a passing fad, it’s a whole new way of working. Gartner predicts by 2026 AI will “reduce agent labour costs by $80 billion,” so customer service providers need to be ready for the shift to automation.

Here’s how using a specialist AI provider can help protect your bank balance and your brand reputation:

1. You’ll pay less for AI using a specialist provider

Every phone call costs a call centre £6.26 on average, but you’ll spend less than 5p on an AI-driven chat.

On the left, a woman is on the phone and looks unhappy. Text reads

Calls are what the telecoms provider business is built on ― that’s their expertise, yet there has to be an incentive to reduce the number of calls you get overall when you introduce AI. An experienced AI provider is consistently focused on reducing your customer service costs with an instant, customer-centric support system that also helps lessen the pressure on your team to take low-value routine calls repetitively.

2. An AI provider knows how to build an efficient chat-based system

When chatbots were first introduced, basic bot technology gave them a bad rep because they could only perform a handful of tasks. Fast forward a couple of decades and the most advanced AI assistants can now talk to your customers using natural language, integrate with all your business systems, and teach you more about your customers than you ever dreamed possible.

AI experts are driving this change:

  • They know why chatbots fail and how to fix them.
  • They keep a human in the loop to inspect data and respond quickly to trends that appear, so your agents are never working harder than they need to be to get their job done.
  • Conversations with your customers are reviewed by language specialists, psychologists, designers and writers, so customers don’t become frustrated by being asked to call in or send an email, to check back later or reach a dead end in the chat. AI experts build for the resolution of every query ― instantly, as often as is feasibly possible (our typical success rate is 91%).

A basic chatbot shows a response to the question:

All of this combined results in a high-end chatbot experience for your customers, showing them the commitment you’ve made to getting it right.

3. You can trust an AI provider to slot in with what you’re already doing

You don’t have to pit your telecoms provider against an AI provider. The most advanced AI assistants are designed to work seamlessly alongside all your current business systems, whether it’s a CRM, a booking or payment system, contact centre software, or a telephone operator. The other way around, you’re simply adding an AI chatbot to a pre-existing system or service it wasn’t originally designed for. Ultimately, you want to uncover the best way to make everything work well together as you navigate the shift to customer service automation, and an expert AI provider will gladly help you do that.

Let’s say you already use 8×8, a popular choice for customer service call facility:

  • Keep your telecoms provider; change nothing
  • Launch an AI assistant for free with just your website URL (ready in 10 minutes)
  • Connect your AI assistant to 8×8 and, voilà! You get a low-cost next-gen AI assistant answering all your routine queries and, when your customer needs to speak with someone, it transfers them across to your 8×8 system where your agents carry on as usual.

In minutes, you’ve introduced a new AI element to your communications channels and your customer service agents won’t need to adjust to a thing.

Two devices link together alongside the text

Even the most advanced AI assistant is affordable these days (you won’t need to go to tender). Plus you can be sure it looks good, works well, and is designed to help you rapidly improve the omnichannel experience for your customers.

How to decide on an AI chatbot solution that works best for you

One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to delay getting AI automation live and operational because near enough all global customer service leaders (95%) “expect their customers to be served by an AI bot” in future.

To help you decide how to progress, do thorough research:

An AI assistant sits alongside a human to support a customer (illustration) alongside the text

Try out different AI assistants

  • Get a demo of all the platforms you’re considering using to see how they compare in terms of design and functionality.
  • Ask yourself: What will the experience be like for your customers and is it likely to damage, maintain, or improve your brand reputation?

Look at what other organisations are doing

  • Read the stories of those who’ve already transformed their business using AI, like Barking & Dagenham Council who saved £48,000 in their first six months of launching an AI assistant, to pinpoint what you want to focus on.
  • Ask yourself: What’s going to have the biggest impact on your organisation and your unique customer base?

Estimate your ROI

Calculate your savings

Calculate the cost savings that will be achieved by adding an AI assistant to your website

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25,000+

Move the slider above to match your total customer service load per month (including calls, emails and live chats).
To calculate accurate savings for your business, put your real figures in the boxes below to replace these benchmarks.

your current average cost per enquiry (calls, emails, and live chats)
of enquiries you wish to be handled by your AI assistant (without the need for a call, email or live chat)
your average hourly rate for customer service rep / agent (including costs such as training, equipment, recruitment)

“It’s an expected shift for telephony service providers to move towards AI. There are many ways they can do this, from AI infused IVR and voice AI, to creating their own chatbots. However, the use of AI demands using a provider that’s well equipped to deal with the necessities of AI such as AI ethics, generative AI and ever-expanding technical capabilities. Only this can deliver the true benefits of using an AI chatbot, like 67% CSAT increases, 30% YoY call reductions, and 533% ROI, which are all very achievable for your customer care team, with a well thought through AI assistant.”
Abbie Heslop, Head of Customer Journey at EBI.AI

Act now

You don’t need us to tell you how quickly AI technology is advancing. The use of large language models (LLMs) is now transforming customer service chatbots at a phenomenal pace.

Get ahead by making the right investments now to enhance service quality, boost customer satisfaction, increase profits, and achieve outstanding returns.

FAQs

Can a telecoms provider manage my AI chatbot?
While a telecoms provider can manage an AI chatbot, it's important to carefully consider how they prioritise AI automation alongside traditional services. As their primary expertise lies in phone calls, their proficiency in AI chatbot management might also be limited, so it's advisable to assess their skill set, capabilities, and experience before making a decision.
Is it cost effective to use my telecoms provider for an AI chatbot?
Using a telecoms provider for an AI chatbot might not be the most cost-effective option. Telecoms providers typically focus on providing phone services whereas AI-driven support aims to cut down on call volumes and associated costs. Compare costs with telecoms and AI chatbot providers to see which gives you the most value for improved customer experience.
How can I integrate an AI chatbot into my telecoms provider platform?
To integrate an AI chatbot into your telecoms provider platform, explore chatbot platforms that offer seamless integration capabilities. Some platforms are specifically designed to simplify integration, so you can set up and launch your chatbot in minutes. These platforms remove the complexities and technical challenges for a smooth, efficient integration process.
Is it most efficient to have one provider for telephone and chatbot services?
Where there used to be benefits to having a single provider for services, for convenience and streamlined processes, it's much more common now to choose separate specialised providers for different services. This way, you can choose the best option in each domain based on expertise, capabilities, and cost-effectiveness.