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Customer Engagement

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: eGain customer engagement solutions

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By eGain

eGain customer engagement solutions deliver digital transformation for leading brands – powered by virtual assistance, AI, knowledge, and analytics.

Our comprehensive suite of applications help clients deliver memorable, digital-first customer experiences in an omnichannel world.

To find out more about eGain, visit http://www.egain.com.

Inisoft

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Introducing Syntelate XA, Inisoft’s new Omni-Channel Customer Engagement Suite

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Inisoft has spent years listening to its customers and agent feedback to produce its best and most powerful contact centre solution yet.

So what is Syntelate XA and what does this mean for you?

Quite simply, Syntelate XA unites all your communication channels, allowing your contact centre agents to provide the best customer service to your clients. It’s simple yet powerful.

Simple: Inisoft believes agents should spend their time doing what humans do best: connecting with your customers. That’s why with Syntelate XA, your agents can handle inbound calls, outbound calls, emails, web chats, SMS messages, and social media interactions – all from the same simple interface.

Powerful: Using Inisoft’s simple design tools, you can configure Syntelate XA to exactly meet your needs. What’s more, with its Voice of the Customer, Voice of the Agent, and dashboard solutions, you can monitor the effectiveness of your contact centre in real time.

Check out the demo video here!

For more information visit www.inisoft.com or contact info@inisoft.com.

Guest Blog, Gail Partridge: Holding memorable conversations with your customers…

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Delivering a first-class customer experience should be the number one priority for any brand – it really is that important. It affects perceptions and memories of a business, and encompasses everything a customer goes through with that company. The contact centre is an important part of this, often called into action when something with the customer experience has gone wrong. When this occurs, a customer issue should, of course, be resolved as effortlessly as possible, but the experience is improved if the conversation – whether over the telephone, via email, Live Chat or social media – is a memorable one.

This is arguably even truer over social media, where conversations can take place in public. In addition to addressing the issue at hand, the representative must be aware that others can see the conversation and can share it quickly if they so wish. So what’s the best way of delivering those memorable conversations?

Context/preparation

While to an extent this depends on the technology a brand is using in its contact centre, I would say that context is hugely important for any customer interaction and quality of conversation. An employee should ideally know the customer’s name, what the issue is and whether there have been issues in the past. This saves a lot of leg work upfront and means the customer doesn’t have to repeat information they may have shared via another channel previously.

Body language

It isn’t just what you say that leads to a memorable conversation it’s how you say it. When speaking with a customer, employees must have the right mindset during the conversation – the key to really listen to the customer and to respond in a personal way to show they care and want to help

So the way you show up and even your body language and the way you sit can have an impact on the customer experience.  For example, if you were face to face with someone and slouching in your seat, would the customer think you are interested in what you have to say? Removing distractions and being fully present with every customer will give confidence and control which will all be reflected in the way you deal with the customer issue and your tone of voice will be one which shows that you really want to engage with the customer.

Be engaging

Although operational stats, e.g. average handling time, are important for monitoring efficiency and resourcing in a contact centre, this should not be down to an individual level as this pressure can stop the natural conversation and engaging with customers. To engage you have to be fully present and allow the natural flow of a curious conversation, where the customer is asked about not only what they problem is but also why it is important to them to have it fixed. Your people should draw out the other person, listen carefully to what they are saying and make the customer feel confident that their problem is in the right hands to be addressed. The more this can be done, the more positive experience the customer will have.

Taking genuine interest broader than the issue at hand can often prevent further issues occurring and the need to call back to have more problems resolved. If an employee can find some common ground in a natural, rather than scripted way, then that can only add to the engagement felt.

Signing-off in style

As the conversation draws to a close, it’s important to strike the right note as you finish – that will be the abiding memory. Some technology systems in a contact centre allow for a personalised follow-up – an email to enquire if everything was resolved to the customer’s satisfaction – others do not. But that shouldn’t stop an upbeat and positive end to the conversation.

Teach your staff how to do this

Providing smart and effective training to customer-facing people is a surprisingly overlooked element of customer interaction. This should include product or service information of course, and the ability to properly use whichever software and technologies are in play in that contact centre.

But it should also and always include tips and techniques on actually communicating with people. This can vary according to the channel – what works when speaking with someone might not be as effective via social media – but there are aspects that can be used whatever the channel.

As social media is a public forum, you should be clear about what an agent can and cannot say. This is especially so given that for most Millennials, social media is a way of life, and they use a tone in their personal accounts that would not necessarily be suited to a professional interaction.

Memorable and effortless conversations are a key part of delivering a good customer experience, something to bear in mind as the variety of communication channels broadens, from social media and beyond.

 

Gail Partridge is a consultant at PeopleTECH, a customer experience management consultancy that advises organisations on how to deliver the right customer experience via people, processes and technology. Gail has previously worked with brands such as Sky, Standard Life and British Airways, advising on all elements of call centre strategy.

[24]7 and Amdocs partnership introduces ‘powerful’ self-service support…

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A ‘strategic’ partnership formed by the global customer engagement solutions provider, [24]7 and the customer experience software provider, Amdocs, promises to deliver ‘intelligent, personalised customer support’ across all service channels including email, voice, chat  and web; meanwhile reducing the time and costs associated with setting up consumer self-service.

The combination of both offerings claims to grant customers an ‘enhanced’ customer experience with the integration of Amdocs Customer Care, Omnichannel Experience and Digital Care and Commerce solutions, with [24]7’s Virtual Agent technology, and [24]7 Speech. As a result, this allows customers to easily manage billing needs through phone self-service, including account balance, payment inquiries and customer service.

[24]7’s chief marketing officer, Scott Horn, commented: “In the highly competitive telecom industry, the ability to deliver an effortless customer service experience is a key differentiator. Our partnership with Amdocs enables telecommunications companies to offer powerful self-service options to their customers, and if someone needs to transfer to a live agent, they can do so without losing context. This eliminates the need to repeat information, one of the biggest pain points in customer service.”

According to both parties, the offering has already been snapped up by an undisclosed wireless service provider.

To learn more about [24]7’s customer engagement solutions, click here

New Content Guru and Teleopti partnership to optimise customer engagement…

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The communications integration provider, Content Guru and the workforce management solutions company, Teleopti, have announced their ‘best-in-class’ partnership by combining both services to improve customer engagement strategies in contact centres.

A custom-built integration connects Teleopti’s WFM client with the dynamic agent environment within Content Guru’s award-winning storm® CONTACT™ solution, enabling contact centre and workforce managers to continually evaluate and adapt their resourcing and customer engagement strategies.

Chief commercial officer at Content Guru, John Rees, said: “Workforce management (WFM) is an increasingly important element of the customer engagement hub, and plays a vital role in driving staff efficiencies in combination with more traditional contact centre functions. We’re delighted to partner with Teleopti to deliver best-in-class capabilities across both front-end routing and back-end staff distribution, using a cloud model to open up the benefits of converged WFM and contact centre capabilities to any size of organisation.”

The partnership has already welcomed a number of key clients in the UK and is reportedly looking to expand to global markets.

Contact centres define omnichannel integration as a ‘challenge’…

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Respondents to research conducted by the contact centre solutions provider, Aspect Software, have determined that the biggest ‘challenge’ currently facing the industry’s customer service development is integrating a text-based customer engagement service alongside other channels.

Widely considered to be an essential element of the modern customer service strategy, the survey of Europe-based industry professionals found that 90 per cent said are already supporting either a Facebook or Twitter service; 74 per cent have implemented email channels to support customer service and 34 per cent use SMS. Despite 42 per cent claiming that the introduction of a text-based messaging platform described as a challenge by many, 90 per cent stated that the channel will become imperative to their strategies within the next two years.

Senior vice president Europe and Africa at Aspect, Stephen Ball, said: “From our research we know that many in the industry find integration of text-based messaging a challenge, but if they can rise to it, there are fantastic opportunities for their businesses. Technology can offer easy-to-deploy omnichannel solutions to meet this challenge, but companies need help from trusted partners to pinpoint the root cause of their own integration difficulties. Only then can they benefit from text options for customers.”