Recently, Wirehive – a cloud consultancy specialising in data and artificial intelligence (AI) lead cloud transformation – has been helping organisations in retail and hospitality take advantage of the Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services suite to improve customer experience and staff efficiencies.
This suite is designed to help developers build intelligent applications without having direct AI or data science skills or knowledge. They are a set of pre-built machine learning models with a subset of AI that can replicate human senses.
One of the most popular services is the language understanding intelligent services (LUIS). This tool can take a string of text and understand not just what the words are, but the intent of the writer. This makes the use of conversational interfaces, sometimes referred to as chatbots, to help service customer requests at scale much more effective and accessible.
By using LUIS as the first line of customer support, organisations can deal with enquiries more efficiently for the customer and at a lower cost to the business. The technology passes the text from the enquiries through the natural languages processing and matches the most likely answer from a database.
Barriers to adoption are very low as customers can interact with the company though an application like WhatsApp or Facebook messenger, or within an organisation’s existing mobile or web app. It can eliminate many contact centre experience pain points such as having to use a multi-layer interactive voice response to get to the right department or jump through the hoops of security verification. Validation is already provided by the fact that they are logged into that service.
Businesses are starting to understand what is possible by leveraging cognitive services, but the journey from concept to execution is complicated. In response to this Wirehive have created a specialist managed proof of concept programme to help organisations test and validate data and AI projects before committing to a full production environment. Assuming a successful validation of an idea it can then be seamlessly rolled into Wirehive’s standard cloud migration offering.
One such business Wirehive has helped navigate this tricky path is a hospitality company that specialises in corporate hospitality experiences at Wimbledon and Twickenham. Wirehive helped them create a digital concierge to deal with simple requests.
By creating a fact-driven FAQ, using some of the QnA Maker from Microsoft, Wirehive was able to create a first line triage system that allows users to have a better experience than going to a FAQ page on a website and trawling through 500 questions. People can simply ask the computer-assisted translation system: ‘what’s the dress code?’ LUIS will understand the intent of the question and the answer is given from its knowledge base. In doing so, Wirehive has been able to give guests of these sporting events a frictionless experience and increase the value of what buying for one of those events means.
Robert Belgrave is CEO at Wirehive
This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 issue of The Record. Subscribe for FREE here to get the next issues delivered directly to your inbox.
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