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BT: Innovation in Customer Experience

Discussing the relationship between customers, technology and contact center agents to explore how customer experience has changed over the years and what has remained the same.

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Executive Summary

Back in the 1990s, BT (formerly British Telecom) was already designing and evaluating the deployment of artificial intelligence in contact centers. Part of their project team was Dr Nicola Millard, a social scientist and now Principal Innovation Partner, Enterprise CTIO at BT. She’s fascinated by the interplay between people and technology, innovating both employee and customer experience (EX and CX). Erik Pfannmöller discusses with Nicola in this episode the importance and challenges of technology adoption, the problem of missing communities of coping when working remotely as contact center agents and the move from on premise to cloud.

In This Episode, You’ll Learn

  • How BT pursues innovation around the digital workplace and customer experience
  • What drives people to use technology, especially in the contact center context
  • How psychology can be applied to improve the technology usage in contact centers
  • Why the contact center industry has been very reticent until recently to embrace change, like working from home
  • Why technology needs to fulfill three requirements for successful adoption: Is it useful? Is it usable? Who else is using it?
  • How BT’s first homeshoring trial (“The Inverness Experiment”) had already shown in the 1990s that working from home improves both CX and EX


This episode of The Art of Customer Service covers the following topics on the innovation in customer experience:

1. 00:00:00 Introduction to the topic

2. 00:07:58 What drives people to use technology?

3. 00:12:56 What innovations have shaped the contact center industry?

4. 00:19:45 The future of talking

5. 00:26:12 How will the customer experience change in the next 5 years?


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