Smart technology and smart people. The future of customer service

Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insights & Futurology, BT

Achieving excellence in customer service is one of the holy grails of business, with the potential to create sustainable differentiation and secure the loyalty of fickle consumers.  Recent years have seen an accelerating shift to automation as consumers seek to interact over digital channels and organisations see an opportunity to reduce costs through self-service.  But, when customers have a complex issue to solve, or when emotions are running high, they still reach out for human contact.  Nicola Millard will draw upon 25 years’ experience of BT’s early adoption of AI to consider its impact on customer relationships and the changing role of people at the customer service frontline.

  • Mutual desire – why customers and organisations both love self-service
  • The human touch – when it really makes a difference, and how technology can enhance it
  • The AI future – how it’s being used in customer service today and where it could take us next
  • The BT AI experience – from the 90’s till now, what’s worked, what we’ve learned and where we’re headed

Though she works for a technology business Nicola is no technologist. Instead she uses psychology and futurology to anticipate what might be around the corner for customers and the organisations that serve them.  She’s worked for BT for 25 years, in interface design, customer service and business consulting, and was the first to apply intelligent systems to the company’s contact centres.  Today Nicola works with many of BT’s biggest clients to help them evaluate and plan their customer service strategies and is recent recipient of the ‘Outstanding Industry Contribution’ award from the UK Contact Centre Forum.