Today there is no shortage of articles, blogs and other media events about AI. Chatbots, ChatGPT, Bard and conversational AI are creating many diverse views, along with negative and positive headlines.  But just ask yourself this question. How many times in the past month, or even the past week, have you had a customer service interaction where you waited patiently, or not, on the phone, if you were lucky enough to find a phone number, and would have been delighted if someone or something had answered your seemingly simple inquiry. Yes, I mean a chatbot or even better, an Intelligent Voice Agent (IVA).

Those who have experienced poorly designed and underperforming IVR systems and chatbots whose most frequent refrain is “I’m sorry I don’t understand that”, may still be sceptical about AI. This is primarily because many of our experiences have been with chatbots that are programmed to handle general questions and are not able to handle the depth and breadth of inquiries that modern contact centres handle. These ‘general’ models cannot handle diverse intents and different ways of asking questions and lack the contextual sophistication needed to respond to even simple inquiries.

Herein lies the difference. A well designed and well-trained IVA that continues to learn, just like a human does, can handle myriad inquiries, answer questions, complete tasks, and, apart from delivering superior customer experiences, eliminate mundane tasks for employees, and reduce costs. They are on duty 24/7, can provide consistent and professional responses, especially when there is an unexpected spike in call volumes, there are staff shortages or other operational challenges, and hand-off to a human agent if needed or when requested.

Course Description

An introduction to customer empathy, why it matters, how it works and what you can do to upskill yourself every day.

Learning outcomes

In this workshop you will learn;

  • The differences between simple chatbots and highly effective IVAs.
  • The importance of defining the problem(s) you’re trying to solve.
  • How to identify the best use cases – what works and what doesn’t.
  • How to introduce the role of conversational design in creating the conversation flow.
  • The importance of colleague input and collaboration with IVA design.
  • How to train the IVA – what data do you need and how do you get it?
  • An understanding of how to integrate the IVA with your current technology infrastructure.
  • How to identify the implementation steps from initial testing to production.
  • How analytics can play an important role in expanding IVA capabilities.
  • How to develop the narrative to show colleagues that the IVA is their friend.

Benefits to your business

  • Equipping contact centre leaders with the knowledge required to support IVA deployment.
  • Investing in leaders to understand the implementation steps of IVA.
  • Tips for a successful and positive implementation.
  • Leaders understanding the key benefits of AI, namely;

Being heard. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) engines ensure precision transcription by customising IVA models for your business.

Being understood. Natural language understanding (NLU) enables digital agents to identify your callers’ needs quickly and empowers them to follow the flow of conversation and offer accurate, empathetic responses.

Convenience. Around-the-clock availability, no long hold times and a streamlined path to query resolution ensure that your callers’ queries are resolved quickly and effectively on their channel of choice.

Sentiment and emotion detection. Advanced sentiment and emotion detection tools allow digital agents to create personalised caller interactions that feel natural and human – and provide you with valuable customer behavioural analytics on what may have triggered a specific customer emotion such as anger, disappointment, relief, happiness.

Course content

The course is designed to help organisations who are still exploring how AI can help their business, and/or those looking to expand their AI capabilities beyond simple FAQ chatbots. Here is a brief overview of the topics that will be covered in this course;

  • Conversational AI and how it differs from a voice-driven IVR
  • The best use cases and customer service applications for Conversational AI
  • What contact centres can accomplish with Conversational AI
  • How best to ensure that an IVA can interact and support human colleagues
  • How AI Voice Assistants can enhance customer experience
  • Where to begin with Voice AI deployment & integration

About the trainer

Gerry Brown, aka The Customer Lifeguard, is on a mission to save the world from bad customer service. He helps businesses save customers at risk of expiring and breathes life into their customer service operations and customer experience strategy. Gerry has provided organizational leadership on people development, business transformation, customer engagement and technology enablement for some of the largest companies in the UK, Canada, and EMEA. These include East Sussex County Council, B3 Living, National Express, Nutricia, The Royal Albert Hall, Endsleigh Insurance, O2, Screwfix, Sage, Sky, Bell Canada and TELUS.

He is a frequent speaker, chairperson, panellist and facilitator at conferences, webinars, company events and other business gatherings, where his many years of business and customer service experience provide stimulating, thought-provoking engagement and audience participation. He is also a published author and his new book When a Customer Wins, Nobody Loses is available on Amazon to help business leaders to create winning and memorable customer experiences. Gerry is a Member of the Professional Speaking Association (PSA), the Global Speakers Federation (GSF), the Customer Experience Professionals Association, a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Commerce & Manufacturing (RSA).

What delegates say

“Martin was very knowledgeable and engaging, and I really enjoyed the course. The training raised so many important considerations for my company and the way we approach our own training and quality standards. It’s given me a lot to think about!”

Upcoming Dates

Pick a date below and fill in the booking form to reserve your place and places for colleagues. We will raise an invoice, so if you need to provide a purchase order number, please do so in the form or email it to

AI Deployment - Taking the First Steps
Date: Wed 15 May 2024
Where: Online

Date: Wed 15 May 2024
Where: Online


3 hour online session using Zoom.

Who is it for?

Contact Centre Managers, Customer Service Directors, Customer Experience Directors, CEO’s of smaller companies,  Strategy Leaders, IT Directors, Finance decision makers.

Why should you go?

If you are still exploring how AI can help your business, or looking to expand your AI capabilities, this course will support you with context around the differences between Conversational AI and a voice-driven IVR, the best use cases and customer service applications for Conversational AI, and tips on deployment and integration of Voice AI.

How much is it?

CCMA members: £249*

Non-members: £349*

*excludes VAT

Additional discounts available for group bookings