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Alan Linter

How can you support your customers, boost your revenue and protect your reputation in a disrupted world with Conversational AI? 

A whirlwind of incoming calls and contacts start to overwhelm your contact centre as worried consumers seek the latest information on a disruptive event. Can your operation cope? Your reputation and your bottom line are at risk if it can’t. 

As a company at the heart of customer management operations, we see organisations increasingly concerned about how to manage BAU and maintain revenue when disruptive trigger events hit. And it seems there has rarely been a time when our lives have been so disrupted. As if coping with floods, fires and storms wasn’t hard enough, people are being affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, collapsing travel companies, cancelled flights and more. Such events can throw an enormous burden on contact centres as they struggle to sustain high standards of customer service while the numbers of calls from worried customers soar. 

Just two months into 2020 and we’ve already been hit by four storms that have caused widespread flooding and disruption. At Davos, Professor Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability at Lancaster University, painted a chilling picture of how the massive melting of Arctic ice will lead to even more extreme weather events, across the world and here in the UK. Elsewhere, 2019 was characterised by brutal weather catastrophes that sent bush fires raging across Australia and led to a record number of cyclones in the Middle East.

Worried consumers expect immediate answers

All of these disruptive events, be they through weather, health, business or more, will impact UK consumers in some way or another. They want answers from the brands they trust, and they expect to get them immediately. It’s human nature to want rapid responses in worrying situations, and consumers are increasingly quick to criticise organisations that cannot provide them. No one wants to be the organisation that couldn’t rise to the challenge when the pressure was on (a painful lesson for many travel companies and airlines caught up in exceptional events).

But it’s a situation for which very few organisations and their contact centres are truly prepared. 

As the latest headlines cause enquiries to surge, your agents can become overwhelmed, your day-to-day business struggles and your customers can lose patience. Vital transactional enquiries can slip through the net as you focus all your resources on stemming the tide of urgent enquiries. And if you fail to respond quickly enough to the questions that are vitally important to your customers, your reputation could be damaged.

How automation beats the information bottleneck for customers

If conversational artificial intelligence didn’t already exist, this is exactly the situation for which it might have been invented. Smart chatbots that can be pre-loaded with relevant information and use it to answer people’s questions are the ideal first line of urgent enquiry when disruption hits, and can play a key role in helping your organisation to maintain its essential functions during testing times.

Quick and easy to both deploy and keep updated, conversational AI can give your customers critical information, supporting your human customer service advisers and preventing them from becoming so overwhelmed that BAU grinds to a halt.

With a few lines of code and the right content from trusted sources, Capita's conversational AI tool can be up and running on your website within a day, creating better business outcomes for you by maintaining your good reputation, reducing your people’s stress and improving your customers’ experience when they call you. 

Supporting your teams when they can’t get to work

As well as helping you to deal with the surge in enquiries during a disruptive event, conversational AI can also help you to keep running when your own employees can’t get to work, whether it’s because their journey into the office has been disrupted or because they’re having to self-quarantine due to potential illness. Having conversational AI available to shoulder part of the burden means that the staff who do make it in are free to concentrate on the most important calls.

Capita’s conversational AI tool is a proven solution, already at work for several clients (including a travel company facing exactly the challenges outlined above). If you want to know more about how Capita’s conversational AI tool can help your organisation to recover from disruption more effectively, get in touch.

Written by


Alan Linter

Innovation and Data Science Director, Capita

In his current role, Alan is responsible for searching out new and innovative technology solutions that allow our clients to be at the forefront of customer service delivery. He is also responsible for our Data Science practice that looks to link complex data sets and maximise the value that data can generate for clients in improving customer experience, generating revenue and reducing costs.

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