Christmas is so close you can probably taste the peppermint candy canes filling your stockings. But how many of you are actually ready – as in finished – with all of your holiday shopping? The thought of heading anywhere close to the mall right now makes many of us shudder in fear. The people, the lines, the traffic! But if you’re like millions of people, you already know that shopping online is the only way to go. The number of online shoppers increases with each passing year as technology gives us more and more with just the swipe of a screen. But as additional people rely on the ease and selectiveness of online retailers, some companies may struggle to meet demand with their physical data centres.
Everyone has heard of the enormous amount of benefits when migrating to the cloud, but what does that mean from a customer’s point of view? I mean nobody really wants to call into a contact centre… ever. Its no wonder the majority of calls end up in hang ups and frustration and most of the time it’s the fault of the call centre whether its lack of staff or technology.
The solution – move your contact centre to the cloud. But the great debate is whether this migration can do more than just save you money, can it actually improve your customer experience? A recent study by the Aberdeen Group indicates that yes, it can improve customer service. In fact, it showed abandonment rates were significantly lower in cloud contact centres compared with traditional call centres, with just 4.5% of calls abandoned.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – November 21, 2017 – VoiceFoundry, a provider of enterprise cloud-based contact center solutions with a unique focus on customer engagement, today announced the release of a CTI Connector, offering advanced integration between Amazon Connect and ServiceNow®. The CTI Connector has been certified by ServiceNow signifying that VoiceFoundry has successfully completed a set of defined testing focused on integration and interoperability, security and performance. This certification ensures that best practices are utilized in the design and implementation of the VoiceFoundry CTI Connector application.
A long, long time ago…ok, maybe not that long ago, the only thing you expected from contact centre agents was for them to provide quick solutions to pressing issues. But thanks to this fourth industrial revolution we’re having and new technology solutions, customers expect a digital experience when they contact support for assistance.
And whether you gamble or not, the stakes are pretty high. According to an Ovum survey on omni-channel support, 82% of consumers cited a bad customer experience as reason enough to stop doing business with a company. And to make matters more pressing, 45% of consumers expect a response to questions and issues in under one minute. Does the pizza delivery rule apply here – if it’s not there within 30 minutes its free? If only everything was so black and white.
Any chance you remember the last time you had a really horrible customer experience? Maybe it was pretty recent and you just got hair-raising chills going back to that moment. Ok, so stop there.
Now, on a happier note, are you able to remember a blow-your-socks-off great customer experience? Perhaps it was in a store. Or on an airplane. Or maybe it was doing something as simple as making an online purchase. Whatever it was, great customer experiences seem to stand out more than bad ones. And sadly, those over-the-top-genuinely-want-to-help experiences are few and far between. How do we consistently offer these great experiences and set the bar for a new level of customer service? We suggest you look at revamping the User Experience Design (UX).
It’s that time of year when baseball seems to take over every television for 7 nights of the week -if each team is lucky. The World Series is one of the most watched events of the year and this year is no different with both the Dodgers and Astros fighting for the pennant. But why are we talking about baseball? Well the management of a sports team, any sports team really, is not that different from the management of contact centre agents. Remember the Oakland A’s—the major league baseball team that inspired the book Moneyball? They integrated big data analytics into their team strategy and it changed the game as we know it. By leveraging available data, the team manager was able to assess specific players’ values and performances to assemble power-packed lineups for each game. The end result: one of the most influential strategies to hit professional baseball.
Voice is not a new concept. It’s been around for decades and while it’s making its second trip around the sun, evaluating and analysing how far it has come is truly a fascinating endeavor. For all of the super-hip, tech-savvy-millenials, you might as well put on a poodle skirt for this.
1950’s to the 1960’s
In the history of speech recognition technology, this was the era of ‘baby talk’; only numbers and digits could be comprehended. In 1952, ‘Audrey’ was invented by Bell Laboratories which could only understand numbers. But in 1962, the ‘shoebox’ technology was able to understand 16 words in English. Later, voice recognition was enhanced to comprehend 9 consonants and 4 vowels.
When developing your business objectives and technology, a key component is evaluating the degree of automation offered by your technology platforms. Self-service and automated business processes often reduce costs while improving agent and customer productivity. Consider what you are doing to drive overall customer automation, expand the linkages between front-end and backend systems to streamline the agent experiences (CTI) , support your agents by empowering them to better service your customers (WFO) and most importantly, what systems do you have (and desire) to measure your centres performance (Reporting)? What do you need to add, enhance or revamp to deliver a better customer experience? By expanding automation technology across the contact centre you can also expand the areas to which the technology itself can bring value.
Businesses have been advocates of touchpoints for quite a while. The crucial moments when consumers interact with a business seemed to be able to tell how happy a customer actually was. Unfortunately, the narrow focus of satisfaction at those moments actually gives us a rather distorted picture. The picture we need to be looking at is the customer’s entire journey from start to finish. Businesses that are able to carefully manage the experience in its entirety reap enormous benefits across the board.
Churn is a big problem for many companies and for typical reasons. The ways to reduce this are well known, but costly (upgrades, discounted rate plans, etc). This is where customer experience saves the day. It turns out it can not only reduce churn but build a competitive advantage as well. Creating an exceptional customer experience cannot be achieved solely by perfecting touchpoints. While customers might seem happy at certain times during the interaction, many are unhappy with their overall experience. Most customers aren’t fed up with any one phone call, field visit, or other interaction; they don’t really care about these singular touchpoints. They do, however, care about cumulative experiences across multiple touchpoints and multiple channels over time.
Everyone has heard the phrase “in the cloud”. Those white puff balls floating over head seriously contain a massive amount of information – enough to win wars and impeach presidents. While it’s fun to think that the condensed air balls forming animal shapes high in the sky are what’s keeping all of our information safe, the Cloud is actually a bit more complicated. And even more so when you add artificial intelligence (AI) to the equation.
For tons of reasons, many companies already have or are in the process of migrating to the cloud. But some are taking it a step further and focusing on innovating from the cloud with artificial intelligence. You see, the Cloud is the underlying platform with the data storage capacity and massive processing capability that will help enable AI innovation at the speed demanded. Companies are already starting to integrate a variety of AI-driven technologies across voice, vision, language and machine learning in order to transform their businesses.
“Accenture research shows that 85 percent of business and IT executives anticipate making extensive investments in one or more AI-related technologies over the next three years.”