People who ignore history’s lessons often make the same old mistakes, and right now, some New Zealand businesses appear to be making this very error.
They appear determined once again to test contact centre credo that a New Zealander responding to New Zealand queries is always going to deliver a better response.
With the significant rise in local labour rates it is an understandable move, however it is not that many years ago that offshoring labour-intensive work was very common in New Zealand. The trends reversed as companies received growing backlash from New Zealand customers not satisfied with the service they were receiving. The common problems with offshoring were:
- Language barriers
- The need to escalate more complex queries back to New Zealand staff resulting in customers having to explain their problem multiple times.
The aim of the industry for some time has been to use technology to separate simple queries from more complex ones with technology handing the simple queries enabling the expensive staff to handle the complex ones.
Early automations using bots have been clunky and not provided great customer experiences. This is now rapidly changing with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Telnet has built its business and is known in New Zealand for its ability to provide scalable solutions to major corporate and government agencies without compromising the customer experience. Some of these programmes require the need to scale staff by many hundreds of staff in short periods for short periods of time.
In the last 12 months Telnet has integrated its cloud-based call management platform, ContactSuite with Amazon Connect, the global omni-channel contact centre platform.
In typical Amazon style the US company is putting massive resources into this product particularly in the AI space. This is enabling companies like Telnet to take advantage of this technology to start solving the challenge that has existed to some time, that is using expensive local staff to handle difficult local queries whist using AI enabled solutions to solve the simple queries.
However these queries and responses still need careful moderation and therefore the same dynamic remains – kiwis will always prefer queries to be solved by kiwis.