If you call Verizon looking for support, don’t be surprised when Google answers the phone.
This week, Verizon announced that it has started piloting Google’s Cloud Contact Center Artificial Intelligence in a bid to deliver, “a more natural and streamlined digital experience.” Verizon believes using Google’s tech will lead to shorter call times and more satisfied customers, with the added bonus of the company being able to deal with more customers calling each day.
Shankar Arumugavelu, global CIO & SVP, Verizon, commented, “Verizon’s commitment to innovation extends to all aspects of the customer experience … These customer service enhancements, powered by the Verizon collaboration with Google Cloud, offer a faster and more personalized digital experience for our customers while empowering our customer support agents to provide a higher level of service.”
Google’s Contact Center AI is built around an end-to-end development suite called Dialogflow. It allows a company to create conversational interfaces, including chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) systems, which effectively remove the need for a real person on the phone, at least until the system has figured out who they should talk to in order to resolve their problem as quickly as possible.
If it works as intended, when (if?) a customer ends up talking to someone at Verizon, the support person should already know exactly what the problem is and not have to ask the customer to repeat any information they’ve already divulged. That’s the theory, anyway, and Verizon is if nothing else, the perfect testing ground for Google’s tech.
Verizon isn’t saying exactly when Google’s AI takes over, other than “soon.” As it’s meant to be an improvement on what’s currently in place, regular callers will probably be able to tell almost immediately.