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WEBINAR: Staff wellbeing and engagement in your contact centre: Why your business success depends on it

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Join MaxContact and CX & EX expert Natalie Calvert as we discuss how improving staff wellbeing and engagement is more important than ever to ensure business success in your contact centre.

With 72% of contact centre workers saying they are burnt out or facing burnout, and the ‘great resignation’ hitting the UK contact centre industry hard, how do you look after your employee’s wellbeing, keep them engaged with your business and drive business results?

By attending, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Find out why investing in employee wellbeing is key to successful business’ performance
  • Learn how to engage staff to improve retention rates and hit targets and KPIs
  • Discover key wellbeing and engagement initiatives to implement in your business now
  • Ask the experts in a live Q&A – Natalie has led over 100 customer and employee experience transformations across the world.

About our speakers:

Natalie Calvert: CX and EX executive coach, Natalie Calvert, has led over 100 customer and employee experience transformations across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the USA. Natalie helps transform business culture, with her proven track record having impacted over 200,000 employees globally.

Sean McIver: With over 15 years experience in various roles and industries within the contact centre industry, from the front lines to looking after teams and systems, Sean has a wealth of industry knowledge. Now a Product Owner at MaxContact, Sean focuses on delivering the vision and objectives of MaxContact’s customer engagement platform, ensuring the customer voice is at the heart of every decision.

Click Here To Register Your Place

Heralding the new age of the chatbot

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By James Stokes, Enterprise Team Lead UKI, Infobip 

When people think ‘robot’ they may visualise a 1960s-style sci-fi creation, but today’s robots come in many forms. And although many of these may be invisible to consumers in the form of chatbots and automated services, they are forging the way for a new era of customer experience.

We’ve seen plenty of dynamic use cases of robots in modern day retail, from Amazon introducing automated retail through their digital Amazon Fresh grocery stores and robot-powered micro-fulfilment, to a whole host of organisations investing in chatbots to provide assistance to online shoppers.

And with Insider Intelligence predicting that consumer retail spend via chatbots worldwide will reach $142 billion by the end of 2024, we find ourselves asking – is the chatbot leading the way of today’s digital-first economy?

The age of the chatbot

The scale and potential of robotisation boils down to its role in improving CX. We’ve seen during the pandemic that consumers prefer a blend of approaches when interacting with brands – and the retail industry is investing in new ways to enable this.

For some time, we’ve spoken of chatbots as ‘the future’. Yet we’re well past the tipping point of automated conversation as a new and emerging technology. According to research, 60% of people have engaged with a chatbot in the last year, and 35% of consumers say they would like to see more companies taking advantage of chatbots. Chatbots are now simply part of modern life, accelerated by the pandemic and an increased desire from consumers to engage with brands instantly and digitally. For businesses, this means embracing automation to greet customers at the digital front door, on a landing page website, or providing support for FAQs by making sense of what’s been said, understanding intent, and generating a suitable answer.

Breaking down the CX advantages

Businesses shouldn’t view implementing a chatbot as a tick-box exercise. Robotisation like this has real, tangible benefits in terms of automating services, reducing pressure on human agents, and the provision of instantaneous communication.

Not only are chatbots proliferating in retail settings, but the next generation workforce is heralding their use in corporate environments.Gartner predicts that in 2022, 70% of white-collar workers will interact with conversational platforms daily, given that chatbots cater to millennials’ demand for instant, digital connections that keep them up to date.

The crux of their effectiveness is the immediacy of response. According to Google, over half (53%) of website visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Tech dependency means we’re becoming more impatient with slower services, and chatbots can help approach this challenge by dispensing wait times with human agents. Chatbots can initiate the conversation, asking for an overview of why a customer is enquiring, and potentially being able to answer the question through rule-based software. In the instance a more sophisticated response is needed, the chatbot can then hand this over to dedicated customer service teams, ensuring all relevant context is at the agent’s fingertips, so they can provide the right support.

Advancements in chatbot tech

Chatbots are nothing new, yet misconceptions still exist around their efficacy. Years ago, rudimentary chatbots could only answer very basic questions, and would prove inadequate replacements for speaking to a human agent. Today, however, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots are trained to understand customer intent through Natural Language Processing (NLP). Customers don’t have to stick to a set script as the chatbot is able to make sense of what’s been said, understand the intent, and generate a suitable answer. This makes interaction much more natural and avoids scenarios where deviation from the script drives the conversation to a grinding halt. And, thanks to machine learning, these chatbots get smarter over time as they’re exposed to more conversational data. A report by IBM found that chatbots can answer 80% of questions.

To capitalise on technology advancements in this space, French luxury fashion brand DIOR Beauty recently launched an industry-first campaign with global influencer Jisoo. Users can interact on WhatsApp in a way that lets them feel like they’re talking to Jisoo – they can choose the type of content they want to receive, from themed videos to exclusive behind the scenes footage of Jisoo’s life as a brand ambassador.

Harnessing chatbot capabilities to deliver enriched communications like this means that brands can connect one-on-one without the challenge of ensuring individual human interactions. Yet, when necessary, the switch from chatbot to human agent is imperceptible, as part of a consistent, seamless digital service.

Chatbots as a force for good

Instant communication through chatbots has positive effects in terms of keeping customers engaged and informed. Not only are we seeing chatbots make CX waves in the private sector, but they can also be used as tech for good.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several public and government health organisations across the world were faced with the challenge of providing up-to-date information quickly and at scale, whilst also combatting misinformation. For many, the answer was using chatbots to alleviate pressure on contact centres, who were already facing a significant influx of calls, while ensuring the public had access to the latest advice and guidance.

These chatbots, built by Infobip and WhatsApp, were easily accessible over a publicly available number. Contact was initiated by the user through entering a number in their contact list and sending “Hi”. This started a dialogue with the WhatsApp chatbot, where users could choose from a list of topics depending on the information they were looking for.

Chatbots like this were used across the globe – from the UK to India – to ensure the right information was accessible 24-7, and so contact centres could function as efficiently as possible during an exceptionally busy time.

Final thoughts

Customers expect to reach businesses whenever they want, wherever they want, and for the experience across each channel to be integrated and seamless. A customer might discover your product on Instagram, send a direct message on the app for more information, go to your website for purchase, and then remain in touch via WhatsApp for ongoing support. At every stage they expect consistency.

Chatbot messages, WhatsApp updates, email confirmations – these can all be managed by an invisible robotic hand, to keep customers updated and satisfied across a plethora of channels. Robots aren’t gadgets and gizmos that have no purpose – they are here to stay, and their involvement in boosting CX will only grow.

Call Centre & Customer Services Summit – Last few places!

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Time is running out to secure the remaining complimentary VIP delegate spaces and supplier stands at the Call Centre & Customer Services Summit, which takes place on September 17th& 18that the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.

The Summit is a highly-focused event that brings customer care professionals together for one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities.

Over two days delegates will meet with credible suppliers who will be able to talk through projects, concerns and obstacles, offering the best advice as well cost saving solutions.

Confirmed suppliers include 8×8, Arise, Aspect, Capgemini, Ctalk, Genesys, IFS mplsystems, Inisoft/KURA, LogMein, Mary Gober, Natterbox, Noble Systems, Performance Telecom, Plantronics, Pole To Win, Premier CX, Puzzel, QuickScripts, Synthetix, The Contact Centre, Tao Leadership, Transversal and more.

Confirmed delegates include representatives from Apello, Anglian Home Improvements, Bet Victor, Barclays Bank, British Airways, Capita, Co-Op Bank, Environment Agency, NHS Ambulance Service, Financial Times, Legal & General, London Borough of Hounslow, Ocado, Santander, Shop Direct, The Hut Group, Virgin Holidays, Whirlpool and more.

Delegates will also learn about the latest customer care trends in educational seminar sessions led by some of the industry’s leading lights, including a keynote from Philip Cripps, Chief Executive at Thameside International, addressing how you can attract and retain employees using more effective communication. Other sessions include:-

Is The Voice In Customer Contact Centres Dead?

Nicola Collister, Managing Director & Founder, Custerian

What Are Contact Centres Doing Right Now?

Jonty Pearce, Editor, Call Centre Helper

The Need For Speed: How To Adapt And React To Ever-Changing Customer Demands

Ian Lycett, IT Configuration Senior Manager, Nationwide Building Society

Gayle Buckland, Event Manager at Forum Events, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by demand for our second event of the year, following April’s successful London Summit – we look forward to welcoming everyone to Manchester for two days of business and networking.”

To secure a complimentary delegate place, call Tiffany Cox on 01992 374087 or email t.cox@forumevents.co.uk.

To attend as a supplier, call Gayle Buckland on 01992 374063 or email g.buckland@forumevents.co.uk.

For more information, visit www.contactcentresummit.co.uk.

GUEST BLOG: The foundational pillars of omnichannel success

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By IFS | mplsystems

Many organisations want to provide an omnichannel experience, but few are actually doing it well consistently.

If you’re a contact centre leader who’s been challenged with leading the omnichannel charge, you’re probably wondering what it takes to make, or break, a successful program.  More importantly, what are the components necessary for getting it right?

Achieving true omnichannel success will require a combined focus to people, processes, and technology that’s driving toward a unified management of the customer experience.  Fundamentally, omnichannel service is about creating a unified experience that ensures context and clarity on a customer’s past, present, and future.

From the perspective of process improvement, organisations must tear down any silos amongst business units which prevent making connections between things like customer feedback and agent performance.

Additionally, the development of a holistic view of each customer should be accessible and consistent across the organisation, along with being integrated through systems that ensure true omnichannel routing and handling of all contacts. The most important part of being capable of improving the customer experience is having access to a robust set of data for decision-making on all customer-focused initiatives.

It’s not acceptable for a contact centre or other business unit leader to make these important decisions on assumption or half-truths. If contact centres want to deliver omnichannel success, and great customer experiences, they need to connect the dots between the many touchpoints of the customer journey.

To connect these touchpoints in the omnichannel customer experience, there are four sets of systems that are necessary for organisations to utilise:

  • Systems of Engagement

These systems manage the contact channels for both self and assisted interactions and include omnichannel interaction routing that’s based on a single set of rules.

  • Systems of Operation

These systems ensure the operational side of interactions run smoothly and include workforce optimisation, agent desktop, and robot process automation.

  • Systems of Record

These systems manage the transactional data related to customer engagement which includes Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), knowledge management, and customer feedback.

  • Analytics

These systems process large volumes of structured (CRM, ERP) and unstructured (call recordings, text, scripts, social posts) data. Analytics systems can provide root-cause analysis so that organisations can understand why customers engage. Additionally, they are able to identify interactions that are handled well and those that are not. These systems should also include predictive capabilities that use historical data to forecast likely customer actions.

While it sounds (and is) incredibly complicated to orchestrate an omnichannel customer experience, by implementing an advanced agent desktop system, organisations can place these complex systems beneath the surface and deliver only the most relevant data to an agent’s fingertips. The result is an experience that is delivered to the customer with ease and fluency yet powered by complexity and sophistication.

It’s important to realise, however, that improvements to the agent’s desktop could be difficult to track and justify based exclusively on numbers.

That doesn’t make the impact any less real. The intangible benefits, such as, “improved agent experience”, can be found in reduced operational costs that are the result of agents using more efficient processes, or decreased employee engagement because of improved system function.

Beyond this, the customer experience is also improved and can lead to improved customer retention, up-sales and increases to customer lifetime value.