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Stuart O'Brien

NICE release special home working solution in response to COVID-19

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By NICE inContact

We live in a world where the only constant is change.  As we experience together the COVID 19 global pandemic and its impacts on our daily lives, the necessity of being able to adapt is very clear. In addition to the massive strains on the healthcare systems around the globe, the business world we live in is also severely impacted.  With the disruption of supply chains resulting in shortages of goods, to the current and impending layoffs of employees around the globe, the world we live in is changing at a faster pace that anyone could expect. This makes the Financial Crisis of 2009 look minor in comparison, as people are concerned about both their financial and physical well-being.

These changes hold true for contact centers given the critical role they play in business. As the front line to customers, they too need to adjust to our new reality.  Customer demands on agents are higher than ever but the safety of the contact center agents is also critical given the nature of the crisis.  How does one balance customer demands with the new reality of “social distancing”?  The roles of governments also come into play where some have restricted or eliminated freedom of movement which causes agents to be unable to get to the office. This results in businesses not being able to provide the services and support that customers expect.  Lost revenues and customers, and potentially the total closure of the business itself are inevitable for those without a plan to quickly adjust to this new reality.

Some businesses failed to have strong business continuity plans, but there are others that were preparing for any eventuality.  This includes preparing their contact center agents to work from home leveraging a cloud based technology.  Understanding how to manage the human resource elements from hiring to performance management is also a critical part of the plan.  Here are just a few best practices you should focus on when moving your contact center agents to work from home.

NICE inContact are offering CXone@home to help companies transition in 48 hours their contact center agents to a home-based work environment, at no cost for 45 days.

Choose the Right Cloud Solution
A full suite of AI and Analytics driven applications from compliance, workforce and performance management to automation.

Equip Workers with the Tools They Need to Succeed
Remote contact center workers and supervisors need the same access to applications and tools as they do when in the office.

Ensure You Transition the Right Existing People to be Remote Agents
Employees need to be self-motivated, resourceful, mindful of the importance of confidentiality (with customer data) as well as technically oriented.

Make Experts Readily Available
Employees need ready access to the companies knowledge bank of information in real time.  This should include things like attended robotic process automation.

Utilize Tools and Reporting to Track Agent Activity, Goals, and Metrics
Allow managers to effectively monitor teams remotely through things like call monitoring and recording as we as deliver effective performance management.

Optimize Skill Development with Distance and AI Driven Personalized Learning
Using distance learning or eLearning technologies to certify agents on new campaigns or products.

The crisis we are now facing should cause many of those in the contact center industry to rethink the way they do business.  Now is the time to move your contact center to the cloud to weather the storm we are currently in and be ready for those yet to come because we will always live in a world of constant change.

Learn more about CXone@home here. https://get.niceincontact.com/cxoneathome

Digital Customer Engagement Summit – Everything you need to know

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Are you free on October 13th? Join 60 of your peers at the Digital Customer Engagement Summit!

This is a bespoke and highly-targeted one-day event created specifically for senior professionals like you. It is entirely FREE for you to attend.

Simply register your place here!

When: 13 October

Where: Hilton London Canary Wharf

Format: Corporate ‘speed-dating’. As our VIP guest, you will be provided with a bespoke and personalised itinerary of pre-arranged, 1-2-1 meetings with suppliers relevant to your requirements. A series of seminars will also be hosted throughout the day, and you can network with professionals who share your challenges.
Lunch and refreshments are included with your complimentary guest pass.

Who Attends: Senior customer service professionals, with job titles including:-

Head of Customer Care
Head of Digital
Customer Services Manager
Head of Customer & Digital Operations
Director of Customer Service
Head of Contact Automation
Digital Customer Service

Would you like to join us? Register today!

Join us at the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit this July

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There’s a free guest place reserved for you at the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit – find out what you could discover at this unique two-day event.

6 & 7 July 2020 – Radisson Blu, London Stansted

This unique event is entirely FREE for you to attend – simply RSVP here.

  • Source new innovative and budget-saving suppliers
  • Attend inspirational seminar sessions from industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded peers
  • Enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments
  • Free overnight accommodation
  • Invitation to our networking dinner

RSVP now to avoid disappointment!

Do you specialise in Automated Customer Satisfaction solutions? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Call Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in April we’re focusing on Automated Customer Satisfaction solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Automated Customer Satisfaction solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Apr – Automated Customer Satisfaction
May – Social Media
Jun – Artificial Intelligence
Jul – Virtual Call/Contact Centres
Aug – Training & Development
Sep – Knowledge Management
Oct – Web Self Service/Chat
Nov – Display Boards
Dec – CRM

For more information on any of the above, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

Digital Customer Engagement: 2020 buying trends revealed

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Online Live-Chat Systems, Self Service and VoC Programmes top the list of solutions the UK’s leading digital customer engagement professionals are sourcing in 2020.

The findings have been revealed following the recent Digital Customer Engagement Summit, where delegates registering to attend the event were been asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2020 and beyond.

Nearly 50% are looking to invest in Online Live-Chat Systems and Self Service.

Just behind are VoC Programmes (55.4%), Multichannel Survey Tools (42.9%), Voice Analytics Technology (42.9%) and AI Applications (41.3%).

% of delegates at the Digital Customer Engagement Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Online Live-chat Systems 47.6%
Self Service 47.6%
VoC Programmes (voice of the customer) 44.4%
Multichannel Survey Tools 42.9%
Voice Analytics Technology 42.9%
AI Applications 41.3%
Social Media Monitoring & Mgmt 39.7%
Text Analytics Software 33.3%
Predictive Routing Technology 30.2%
Business Intelligence Solutions 27.0%

To find out more about the Digital Customer Engagement Summit, which takes place on October 13th, visit https://contactcentresummit.co.uk/digital-customer-engagement-summit.

eTailing Summit – Registration open, secure your place!

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Registration is now open for this summer’s eTailing Summit – Claim your complimentary guest pass today.

What can I expect?

Taking place on July 7th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf, the eTailing Summit allows senior ecommerce professionals to share forward-thinking ideas, meet new partners and discover new ways to underpin their strategies.

It’s entirely FREE for you to attend and your complimentary guest pass includes:

• A bespoke itinerary of pre-arranged meetings with product and service providers who match your requirements and upcoming projects
• Access to a series of seminars by industry thought-leaders
• Networking with like-minded peers
• Complimentary lunch and refreshments

How Do I Get Involved?

We have just 60 guest passes available, so register your free place today!

Book now for the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit

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There’s a free guest place reserved for you at the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit – find out what you could discover at this unique two-day event.

2 & 3 June 2020 – Radisson Blu, London Stansted

This unique event is entirely FREE for you to attend – simply RSVP here.

  • Source new innovative and budget-saving suppliers
  • Attend inspirational seminar sessions from industry thought-leaders
  • Network with like-minded peers
  • Enjoy complimentary lunch and refreshments
  • Free overnight accommodation
  • Invitation to our networking dinner

RSVP now to avoid disappointment!

Using Artificial Intelligence to build a great future for CX

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AI is already here and it’s revolutionising the way businesses manage their data to transform the customer experience (CX).  Henry Jinman, Commercial Director at EBI.AI, says it pays to tread with caution, despite all the success stories and shares his top 3 Tips for before you begin…

No longer confined to the realms of science fiction, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here and companies are waking up to the potential of machine learning to push the boundaries of customer interactions and drive effective CX strategies.  The truth is AI is totally revolutionising our approach to data through its amazing ability to capture, process and analyse masses of unstructured data across the business.  By automating customer contact management, data recording and analysis processes, AI can readily identify patterns of consumer behaviour that give contact centres and customer service operations a new competitive edge.  With vital customer intelligence at their fingertips, frontline staff are able to push out targeted sales content, pre-empt what customers will purchase in the future and predict their loyalty and value to the business.   

Here are just two real-life success stories to prove it.  Royal Bank of Scotland manages 17 million customers but managed to raise its Net Promotor Score by 18 points unanimously after deploying AI while US telecommunications giant Sprint achieved a 14% increase in customer retention in just six months, simultaneously overcoming an industry-high in turnover rates.

The beauty of Artificial Intelligence is that it is truly democratic.  The wonders of the Cloud mean it is readily available and accessible to all sizes of enterprise.  Now is the time to consider what AI can do for customer service in your organisation but stop before leaping in.  Learn from those who have already gone through the process and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure a successful AI implementation that optimises CX and futureproofs customer loyalty.

Three things to do before you begin

  1. Learn from the past – the major lesson is to tread carefully.  As with all new technologies, instinct tells us to rush in for fear of being left behind the competition or because we believe the latest innovation will be an instant cure-all for everything.  Think back 20 years to when the new mobile, Internet-enabled generation first grabbed the headlines.  Unfortunately, the marketing hype caused a lot of grief with businesses investing in technology that their customers just weren’t ready for!  Similarly, many organisations today deploy AI without really understanding how it is going to benefit their customers or the business.  Instead, businesses should take an inclusive strategy to adopting AI with the emphasis on customer needs and outcomes.
  2. Draw inspiration from real-life successes – EBI.AI has seen first-hand how AI is transforming customer service.  Take Get Living, the largest operator in the UK’s build-to-rent sector.  The company is providing a seamless move-in experience for 500 new homes at the former London 2012 Olympics Athletes’ Village with the help of a virtual AI assistant based on Google Home.  The Get Living Assistant helps people settle in to their new home, from letting them know where they can buy groceries down to giving instructions on how to use their induction hob.  The more residents use the bot, the smarter it becomes while special feedback functionality is crucial to understanding residents’ needs so that Get Living can continually improve its personal service and rental offer.
  3. Get it right first time around – by following a few simple rules:
  • Involve the right people from the very beginning so that when frustration strikes, you’ll have allies who are incentivised to make your AI project successful.
    Avoid over-expectations by educating stakeholders about the limitations of AI technology, explaining what it is and what it isn’t.  Be realistic when sharing  timeframes for results – machine-learning takes time to perfect!
  • Have a plan, start small and don’t go beyond your organisation’s capabilities.
  • Take time to assess the marketplace – engage with experts who understand the complexities of AI but are energised to find creative ways of realising its potential for great customer service.
  • Put data at the heart of AI design.  To build an effective bot, you need access to relevant customer data and you need to train the bot to answer the questions that really matter to customers.

What does the future of AI look like?
The predictive qualities of AI will create a world of augmented intelligence not just artificial intelligence.  Blending AI into their CX platform, organisations will be able to react in real-time with the next best action regardless of how customers engage or where they are on the brand journey.

What is more, as AI enhances rather than replaces human beings, companies should expect to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship between man and machine that adds a completely new dimension to the customer experience.

5 Minutes With… Harriet Treadwell, Butternut Box

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In the latest instalment of our contact centre executive interview series, we sat down with Harriet Treadwell, Head of Customer Love at Butternut Box, to talk about her company’s approach to CX, industry opportunities, challenges and career…

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career to-date.

I head up the amazingly dedicated Customer Love team at Butternut Box, striving for better for every customer and employee experience. Regularly sharing insight with industry leaders on our unique offering, and demonstrating our exceptional customer journeys with outstanding NPS, Google and Trustpilot reviews.

Operating always with genuine care to go over and above, being open and transparent across every interaction, and knowing that our whole Customer Love team does everything for the love of dogs is what keeps me motivated and enjoy every day at Butternut Box.

I’ve worked my way up in many customer facing roles, from cabin crew to property management – but I’ve always been passionate about developing a team of people, and firmly believe that great team engagement and experience in the workplace makes the customer journey exceptional.

What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing the industry at present?

A new generation of workforce who have grown up with digital platforms – this means they really find it challenging to speak to the older generation on the phone. This instills a fear factor of being taken outside their comfort zone, and in a world where wellness is key, what can we do to combat this?

If you had not taken your current career path, what do you believe you would be doing now?

I would likely be a pilot, and probably for the Royal Navy.

What has helped you get to where you are now, and what advice would you say to others who want to go in the same direction?

Push yourself far and wide outside what you think you can achieve. Two years ago, speaking in front of a crowd would scare me, and I wouldn’t think that what I had to say was valuable. In fact, all of our experiences present value in different ways to different people and it’s important that you know your worth – otherwise who’s going to be there to speak up for your team in critical business decisions?

What do you believe are the benefits of attending the Contact Centre & Customer Services Summit?

Seeing how companies have scaled and operate with a large team.

Tell us an interesting or funny fact about yourself?

I once went on ITV’s The Chase.

What is your go-to party anthem?

AC/DC – Thunderstruck

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I’d know what others were thinking, so I could make better life choices!

Do you specialise in Call Centre Technologies? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Call Centres Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the customer care market – and in March we’re focusing on Call Centre Technologies.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help customer care industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Call Centre Technologies and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Mar – Call Centre Technology
Apr – Automated Customer Satisfaction
May – Social Media
Jun – Artificial Intelligence
Jul – Virtual Call/Contact Centres
Aug – Training & Development
Sep – Knowledge Management
Oct – Web Self Service/Chat
Nov – Display Boards
Dec – CRM

For more information on any of the above, contact Gayle Buckland on g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.