A team from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) has recently started work on a 28-month Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), exploring ways to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to improve people’s experience of contact centres.
The University has partnered with FourNet, a cloud and managed services company, which is looking to enhance the contact centre services it can provide to clients by embedding AI technology via an intelligent client interaction tool.
The aim of this project is to provide a new platform for a personalised and more intelligent customer care service using AI, Machine Learning, data analytics and Natural Language Processing tools to identify opportunities to improve customer service. The implementation of this project will give FourNet a leading position in providing AI solutions to the contact centre business within the UK.
AI is seen as a competitive differentiator that will enable contact centres to deliver consistent, timely and contextually relevant experiences to their customers. AI can also help automate simpler customer service requests, freeing staff to deal with more complex and higher-value customer inquiries.
The application of AI in contact centre services is a new area that provides a unique opportunity for the CEBE team to exploit their current skills in a new domain, and extend and promote their ongoing research in several AI-based technologies
Dr Shereen Fouad, Senior Lecturer at CEBE and the KTP project lead, said: “The project aims to incorporate various AI techniques into a unified solution. None of the off-the-shelf techniques offers an efficient solution that can comprehensively address company needs.
“Developing a unique tool that is tailored to the requirement and objectives of the company is a challenging task. In addition, collecting and analysing data from various sources within the company and with high diversity and quality is a major AI implementation challenge.”
FourNet Chief Technology Officer Mike Jervis added: “With the help of both BCU and the whole KTP team, FourNet have gained an excellent candidate that will help develop our AI proposition to our clients. This proposition will greatly enhance the client’s customer care and will help bring greater revenue into FourNet due to the uniqueness of the application that is being developed.
“The whole process of working with the KTP team was easy and straightforward and I would recommend it to any company.”
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses for the past 40 years to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. In a KTP, the University employs a graduate or postgraduate (the Associate) to work on site with the company, jointly supervised by company and university staff.