Top Business Tech caught up with the Sales & Marketing Director for Britannic Technologies, Jonathan Sharp, who takes us on a deep dive into the world of bots, and their value to businesses today.
As so many business leaders understand, implementing AI into a company’s business strategy is becoming an expectation for survival, and no longer just a competitive edge. Within this, it is increasingly essential that automation frees up the time of employees, who could better use the time to focus on tasks that are more specialized to their skill set, saving them hours on lower priority tasks and administrative responsibilities. As we see a continuous rise in the use of bots, we catch up with the Sales & Marketing Director for Britannic Technologies, Jonathan Sharp, who explores the value of bots and advises on how best to implement bot technology into an organization’s business strategy.
Jonathan Sharp has been with the business for 24 years, and he has always had a great interest and passion for the fast-moving world of technology and the running and development of business. “I find aspects such as customer experience and digital transformation fascinating,” he explains, “and the many opportunities presented in a modern world to organizations seeking to solve problems, improve and stand out from the crowd with appropriate use of technology.”
Britannic Technologies has positioned itself at the forefront of business communications, systems integration, digital transformation, and managed services. It received the ‘Best Enterprise Unified Communications Customer Solution of the Year’ award for designing and deploying a contact centre and bot for the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Britannic Technologies has helped customers improve how they communicate internally and externally by increasing productivity and efficiencies supported by modern agile technology. “We work closely with customers in designing, delivering, and developing their business communications, developing an in-depth understanding of their business goals, processes, and culture,” explains Sharp. “We build and support an integrated solution with digital services, systems and applications to meet the end-user needs and commercial requirements. Using technology and capturing data to make strategic business decisions that deliver great results.”
Modernizing QMUL’s contact centre
Sharp explains that Britannic Technologies was able to modernize QMUL’s contact centre by taking it remotely during the lockdown in the pandemic to facilitate home working for staff and students and incorporated a new solution for clearing introducing omnichannel communications with automation. Britannic Technologies achieved this by implementing its digital interaction handing application INBOX, designed to help businesses streamline processes with automation and handle multiple digital interactions.
The bot enabled QMUL to automate standard general enquiries such as university term dates from prospective student enquiries. “Queen Mary introduced multiple channels to the contact centre including a chatbot, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and webchat in addition to voice. “Having a variety of communication channels freed up the human agents to deal with more complex and sensitive enquiries,” he explained. Sharp added that it also ensures that human agents deal with the more urgent enquiries because the solution facilitates the digital and voice enquiries to be prioritized and placed in the queue. The bot brought automation to Queen Mary, increasing efficiencies and building a better platform for growth and accommodating a choice of communication channels.
The rise of the BiziBOT
Since then, Britannic has introduced BiziBOT, an intelligent bot solution which will further enhance the front end of communication. “The introduction of BiziBOT augments our portfolio of AI and Bot technologies, bringing intelligence to technology to enable businesses to optimize workflows and improve customer service.” With the growing demand for 24/7 customer service and digital expectations from customers, automation and self-service are key to delivering a seamless experience. “Our Bot technology can handle a multitude of digital interactions across several channels including phone, email, SMS, WhatsApp and other social media channels to automate, encourage customers to self-serve and handoff enquiries when customers need to speak to an agent.”
The pressure on businesses to reinvent themselves is mounting. The world has changed enormously since the pandemic, and the growth of digital channels has exploded; companies need to recognize and embrace technology to not only differentiate themselves but survive. “By studying their processes and using data insights, they can understand how and where to use bots and systemize it to their advantage.” In addition to this, Sharp explains that businesses now realize that the influx of digital channels means that there must be a way of organizing the interactions and streamlining business processes and workflows. “And, also to extend appropriate communication methods at the right time and in the right way within the process to provide great customer experience,” he adds.
Bots are also an excellent tool for onboarding and training contact centre agents, which has always been a massive challenge in the contact centre industry. “By using bots, you can reduce the time and the scope of the training you need to do by eliminating the transactional elements of the processes and handing them over to the bots,” explains Sharp. “Bots are designed to handle huge volumes of simultaneous interactions, 24/7, freeing valuable human resource up for ongoing coaching, training and new skills development.” In addition, he notes that Bots can train and guide the people doing the job, providing prompts and suggestions based upon data insights, AI and machine learning. “By keeping humans in the loop, they can also continue to train the bots and increase mutual success! This is a perfect example of how technology and humans can work together in unison.”
The key benefits of using bots
“Bots are fantastic for companies that have high volume repeatable interactions and fulfilment,” says Sharp, “Companies like this, for example, in insurance, are leading with digital-first strategies to meet customers’ growing expectations and saving costs.” He continues: “The rise of the Bot is about looking at increasing your return on human capital, where and when you should refocus your contact centre agents on higher-value transactions and hand off the high volume, repetitive tasks to the Bot.” This is especially important in times where attracting resources is so competitive. “Then, looking at the data and designing an approach for blending automation with Bots and people, using technology to make strategic decisions and identify new trends and patterns – actionable insight.”
Implementation of bot technology
Before including bot technology in a business’s technology strategy, Sharp emphasizes that bots need to be considered ideally as an addition to an organization’s overall technology solution and part of its strategy. “Businesses need to ascertain what their challenges are and work closely with solution providers to understand how technology can solve those problems and what technology is required. Then, as with any technology, businesses must integrate bots into the existing front and back-office systems to make a difference.”
When implementing bots in an organization’s business strategy, Sharp notes that it is essential to review your current processes and workflows and understand the problems. Once a business has achieved this, organizations can work with a solution provider to ascertain how technology can help improve them and conduct pilots to test the processes and ensure that you get feedback from all involved. “It is critical to accept that bots make mistakes, just as we do, and you will evolve the solution and the processes, continually improving. Automation and AI technology is an evolutionary process and not one-off fix. It is also vital to ensure that the solution is intuitive, so agents and customers use it,” he says.
As the world continues to hurtle toward greater adoption of AI, Sharp forecasts that bots and AI technology will only increase and become more widespread, especially as roles will change in organizations where technology and humans will operate in a more blended manner. “Businesses will continue to strive to offer outstanding customer service, and personalization will increase, and more customers will choose the self-serve option for convenience,” he says. “The moment of truth is delivering an effortless experience and intuitive journey with the desired outcome for all parties concerned!”
According to Sharp, Britannic Technologies is always looking to the horizon and pre-empting what technologies will come in order to stay one step ahead and deliver digital solutions to customers that truly make a difference. “We will evolve and improve and focus on innovation to help customers with their digital transformation journey and how they can incorporate automation, AI and great customer experience underpinned with agile and innovative technology into their strategy. Our vision is a connected world, where smart technology and a community of talented people work in harmony for a sustainable and brighter future.”
About Jonathan Sharp, Sales and Marketing Director, Britannic Technologies
Jonathan Sharp is a communications visionary and established technology business leader with 20 plus years’ proven excellence in driving business innovation and transformation. Sales & Marketing Director at Britannic Technologies, he puts enthusiasm into technology adoption, helping businesses to connect with their customers and staff in the most efficient and intuitive ways.
Jonathan encourages technology and business leaders to think bigger and, working closely with key strategic partners and major customers alike, regularly shares ideas and strategies to leverage the many benefits of evolving technologies, applications and business models through customer workshops, seminars and conferences. He has introduced a number of technology innovations throughout his tenure and led large technology deployments for both private and public sector organizations.
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About Britannic Technologies
Britannic Technologies are award-winning specialists in business communications, systems integration, digital transformation and managed services. Our technical expertise and consultative approach have helped hundreds of midsized UK businesses with their digital requirements.
Working with customers to understand their business goals, processes and culture, Britannic develop digital strategies, tailored to each client’s needs. As leaders in innovation, Britannic is proud to bring disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, web real-time communications and business process automation to customers.
Britannic partners with industry-leading vendors such as Mitel, 8×8, Five9 Avaya, Bizvu, Red Box and ComputerTel. Trailfinders, North Herts District Council, Markerstudy Group and the Kennel Club are just a few of the customers that have transformed their business with Britannic.