21st Aug 2018
Marks & Spencer [M&S] has announced the deployment of Twilio’s chatbot platform to deal with calls across 640 of its stores and UK contact centres.
The system, which replaces its human customer service staff, is used to redirect calls to the most relevant department, store or customer service representative.
In contrast, T-Mobile last week introduced its new ‘Team of Experts’ initiative, which will see a greater emphasis placed on human interaction as opposed to chatbots. While a robot will initially answer the call, customers will automatically be transferred to a real person.
Team of Experts personnel will be available to all postpaid T-Mobile customers – those who pay for their monthly service at the end of a billing cycle –at no additional expense.
Customers will have access to the service 7am to 9pm, with plans to make the service available 24 hours a day by early 2019.
Marks & Spencer have chosen a different approach, turning to a chatbot-focused customer service approach in a bid to streamline their processes.
Having previously used a legacy switchboard platform that used human interaction to re-rout the caller, the new Twilio chatbot will identify what a customer is calling about and then re-direct the call to the relevant department.
The idea is that this will be improve the speed and accuracy of the service.
The move to adopt Twilio’s flexible cloud communications platform has not resulted in any job losses. Instead it has allowed more than 100 switchboard employees to move to customer-facing roles in stores.