The words ‘Artificial Intelligence’ sounds sassy, doesn’t it? Everywhere you go today, you will hear Artificial Intelligence being added to all technological advancements that will eventually solve common problems for us. Have you seen the movie ‘Terminator’? That was the movie that introduced the concept of Artificial Intelligence (this is how robots recognized targets) to common people.
As interesting as it sounds, AI in the telecom industry has also stepped in. In this blog, we are going to learn about the role of AI in telecom that will help future generation businesses to save time and be more efficient.
However, what is Artificial Intelligence (AI) after all?
The simplest way to define Artificial Intelligence is the ability to provide intelligence to any artificial object, software, machine or equipment via a programming algorithm to perform a certain task. We have already started using AI in our daily lives. For example- Cortana from Microsoft, Google Voice recognition, Amazon’s Alexa, etc. In fact, Google uses AI to understand the pattern of the users’ search and deliver results accordingly.
Artificial Intelligence helps both consumers and businesses. To consumers, it helps in performing a certain task that is pre-defined or programmed. To businesses it helps in delivering the right product or solution based on consumer interest, narrowing down the effort to search for something.
In the software world, AI is used in customer interaction tools such as chatbots, (Interactive Voice response) IVRs, emails, etc. Another best example is Grammarly, it identifies the mistakes made by the writer while they are writing and provides suggestions. Cloud computing is another example where the system realizes the failure and starts redundancy.
As far as telecom is concerned, today the consumers use mobile phones to interact with the service providers and expect better delivery and quick solutions to their problems or answers to their questions. The modern consumer wants personalized attention to their matter in detail. Therefore, they have come up with multiple solutions to address this problem using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Telcos are now able to able to identify the pattern of consumer communication, whether it is in traditional ways such as phone calls, emails or chat messages. They are able to identify the happy and unhappy customers by AI reports which give them insights about the customer’s concerns.
Let’s try to understand AI and ML with some examples-
How to identify if the customer is about to stop using the services due to XYZ reasons?
Let’s say there are 10000 customers out of which only 6000 are actively using the telecom services. 2000 of them didn’t recharge their accounts or paid their bills, 1000 of them simply are not reachable, and other 2000 customers call in very frequently with some or other concerns.
Now, if you were to look at this data and narrow the problem, how would you do it? Let’s start by customers who didn’t recharge their accounts. We will look at the history of these customers on the following details-
The average bill
The average stick-around time
The average come-back ratio
When we evaluate the customers on these parameters, we get a common threshold which we can work on. If anything drops below this, it needs immediate attention. The AI should be smart enough to identify high-risk customers and suggest a solution to the business to work on.
For 1000 customers that are not reachable, the system should be able to identify the pattern of location, duration, frequency, and type of customers. This type of data will help in understanding if there is a serious network issue in those areas or people were just buying the numbers for temporary use.
In any case, the AI will perform its function and intimates the business about happenings using AI reports to prepare for better business strategies.
At the end of the day the whole purpose of artificial intelligence to reduce errors and perform tasks with minimum human supervision so that they can focus on other important things in life. If you have an old school mindset, you are probably thinking- that’s just being lazy. And you are probably correct but, laziness’s definition changes in time.
The use of AI in Telcom is just another attempt to provide better and personalized services to consumers. Another classic example of AI is when you get a phone call reminding you about your doctor’s appointment or if you are due on your mortgage or when you call your bank to check your bank balance.
Artificial intelligence with machine learning is very deeply rooted in today’s tech era and is consistently improving. This has not reduced jobs but has made people more efficient and helped them focus on important things that they couldn’t due to time constraints, knowledge limitations or lack of technology.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.