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CX

NICE CX Excellence Awards 2020 – Winners revealed

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NICE has announced the winners of its CX Excellence Awards 2020, with inning organisations honoured for leveraging innovation to drive exceptional customer and employee experiences and improve the bottom line.

The 16 award winners across five categories will be recognised at Interactions Live, NICE’s first-ever virtual conference highlighting the path to uncompromising customer service via best practices for agility, flexibility and adaptability in today’s changing reality.

The winners were also featured in a commemorative digital magazine which highlights how they used innovation to provide brand-differentiating customer service.

The CX Excellence Award winners span a variety of industries including financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, telecommunications, utilities and more. Winners demonstrated remarkable results in one of five categories:

  • Best Cloud Implementation – Highlighting the flawless roll-out of novel cloud-based solutions while enjoying a complete, omnichannel customer experience suite in the cloud. Winners also exhibited rapid innovation cycles and elasticity via their cloud-native platform deployments. The winners are:
    • Farmers Insurance
    • HireRight
    • Trupanion
  • Best Business Impact – Driving quantifiable improvements in KPIs across multiple business areas including customer satisfaction, net promoter score (NPS), agent engagement, operational efficiency and revenue growth. The winners are:
    • Banco BMG
    • Northwestern Mutual
    • Teleflora
  • Best Customer Experience – Achieving a deep understanding of customers’ personalities and journeys to improve customer experience through advanced, real-time analytics. The winners are:
    • KeyBank
    • Michigan Department of State Information Center
    • Valvoline
  • Best Employee Engagement – Boosting workforce engagement and empowerment and demonstrating excellence in transparency, retention and motivation strategies. The winners are:
    • Sallie Mae
    • TD Bank
    • Vera Bradley
  • Rookie of the Year – Demonstrating excellence in the rapid adoption and implementation of best practices, achieving rapid ROI. The winners are:
    • LPL Financial
    • PSCU
    • US Bank
    • Wine Country Gift Baskets

Barak Eilam, CEO, NICE said: “We believe innovation is the critical path to success both in dynamic times as well as in measured ones. These organizations define what it means to be CX Agile in ensuring exceptional experiences even as market conditions evolve, and we’re proud to celebrate them. We remain committed to developing novel technologies that allow our customers to make a meaningful impact on the lives of their consumers in any business environment. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the award applicants and winners for sharing their successes with us this year.”

Click here to access the commemorative digital magazine showcasing how the winners used innovation to drive service excellence.

Call Centre Management – Getting it right from the start

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By Simon Black, CEO, Awaken Intelligence

We all know how having a great contact centre manager can make the world of difference to managing your team of agents and delivering outstanding campaigns. However, with the news that Oracle, alone, sent more than 100,000 customer service agents home to work, how can you ensure that you’re still delivering the best call centre management even with the majority of your agents working remotely?

As a recent FT article highlighted, “the image of a seamless, 24-hour global work ethic (from the contact centre industry), relies to a great extent on humans in large offices – ‘butts on seats’, as one industry locution has it.”

Covid-19 is dramatically changing the contact centre landscape as we know it. So, what critical disciplines and tools are the very foundation of great management of your business? And how can you evolve to ensure you’re getting the best performance and customer satisfaction possible, wherever you can? Below you’ll find a few gems that will support your agents in this rapidly evolving sector.

Onboarding and Culture

According to Glassdoor organisations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70% yet a study by Gallup found that only 12% of employees strongly agree their organisation does a great job of onboarding new employees! The challenge to introduce new joiners effectively is greater than ever and while we know that the job market is going to be flooded at a time like this it is important you get it right. Finding self-motivated individuals that fit within your contact centre and that aren’t just ‘butts on seats’ is really important. You may be looking for completely different people compared to your traditional hires. You’re going to need self-starters that are motivated and that aren’t afraid to shout as they settle into their new role. Managing the existing team is hard enough at the moment but you need to ensure your new agents aren’t just thrown in the deep-end! Make sure you have a robust onboarding process where they get the following:

  • To meet their team and key managers in the business. Give them a feel for your company culture even if it’s only via video calls.
  • Make sure you cover all the HR aspects and get the admin out of the way as quickly as possible.
  • Ease them into the role by showing them the systems and procedures by using video training. The technology exists to do this so there’s really no excuse!
  • Appoint a mentor – a key person your new hire can go to when they’re feeling anxious or have any questions as they settle into the role, and encourage them to schedule regular, virtual coffee meetings. According to HCI, 87% of organisations that assign an ambassador or buddy program during the onboarding process say that it’s an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency.

You’ll see we also mentioned company culture. We know it’s difficult to keep this going while everyone is working remotely but it’s vital as BreatheHR’s Culture Economy Report 2020 highlighted, estimating that toxic workplaces cost the UK economy £15.7 bn every year. Encouraging existing employees as well as new agents to contribute to conversations, turn up on team calls and join in online quizzes or cocktail hours will help to keep people motivated even in this disjointed world.

Best Tools for the Job

AI and voice analytics are changing the way in which many businesses operate and contact centres are no different. Our conversational analytics will not only help you to analyse the vocabulary and sentiment in your most established performers but will also help you to pick up on where new starters are struggling too.  This is so important when you’re unable to stroll around your call centre and listen into conversations taking place. Plus, it’s actually a far more practical and informative way of keeping your finger on the pulse.

Not only will scripting and analytics help to guide even the newest recruits through their first calls but, also with this informative data they’ll soon be able to understand what makes a seamless journey for the customer and a better day at work for them! Here’s a reminder of why conversational analytics (CA) is so important for your agents:

  • The intuitive way CA works means your agents require less training or can move on to different campaigns without spending hours reading reams of training manuals.
  • Ability to handle calls and resolve them faster than before, which means your agent’s experience and job satisfaction will be higher and your cost per call is kept in control.
  • Your agents have the ability to focus on the conversation, rather than the process which means both agent and customer have a better experience. That means your staff retention improves dramatically.
  • By providing you with actionable insights formed into one report, it will allow you to motivate your agents in the right directions and stimulate continuous improvement.

Automate

Automating the intensive process of monitoring agent-customer interactions at scale can help to highlight which agents might need further training and on what in particular. Also, there are repetitive call centre tasks such as listening to agents calls and manually evaluating agent’s performance or screening the calls for quality assurance (QA), that can be automated to make the role more enjoyable. Given automation is a proven way to reduce attrition investing in automation makes even more sense when you look at the numbers. According to Response Design Corporation call centres replace approximately 26% of their agents each year and a report from CIPD claims that the average cost for replacing call centre staff is £6,125. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to realise that re-hiring and training 26% of your workforce on an annual basis is pretty expensive! So, doing anything to retain the great performers is more than worthwhile.

Metrics

It sounds simple but measurements should be in place to monitor individual, team and campaign performance. How can you reward and praise if you have nothing to benchmark people’s efforts by? And similarly, how can you report success on a particular campaign if there are no KPIs.

Any decent call centre technology will provide you with a reporting dashboard where you can gather critical data at every level. You need to measure from the individual call, agent, team, campaign and across the entire contact centre. Generating these reports shouldn’t mean that your contact centre manager spends hours stuck in Excel, these should be generated by a powerful web-based tool providing managers with all necessary information to make strategical decisions for your contact centre.

The Customer is Always King

You’ve heard it before, but your agents should never forget that delivering frictionless customer experience is critical to your organisation’s success. Help them to really understand what makes your customers tick, the variety of different requirements and to share experiences with their peers to help better the experience for all. It’s also important to remind your team, no matter how difficult the client interaction is, that being polite and positive will pay dividends. Smiling on a camera during your virtual meetings will make the conversation instantly warmer in 9 out of 10 cases. And sometimes we all have to accept that if people have a bad day and not to take it too personally either.

Going Full Circle Time and Again

While it’s been tricky with agents working remotely during this time finding ways to offer feedback and being accessible to your team is key to maintaining morale and motivation. We’ve discussed the importance several times of being a good listener and how to run a team efficiently to encourage two-way conversations across the team so they can support one another and share learnings.

As we’ve already said it takes a certain type of person to work in a contact centre and an incredibly motivated one to work from home on their own, amongst a virtual team. That is not going to change any time soon. They need to be confident, efficient and a good listener as well as a team player. However, to help them be successful you need to deploy the right tools and pay attention to the data you garner to ensure that your managers, your agents and campaigns run as efficiently as possible.

Covid-19 has been a catalyst for digital transformation this year, pushing businesses from all industries to embrace smarter technology to support their people and allow their operations to thrive. Solutions that you once viewed as a ‘nice to have’ or planned to introduce over the next five years are now a necessity. Equipping your team with the best will not only enhance their working lives but dramatically improve your customer experience (CX) too.

Everything you should know about customer experience mapping

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By Simon Black, CEO, Awaken Intelligence

Having the right people, the right tools and adding in the right approach is all part of the mix in creating the right level of service for your customers. But how do you know what they really want at different stages of their journey with your brand and how do you create a frictionless customer experience (CX)?

The answer can be found in customer and user experience mapping. It can help you shape the way you handle every aspect of the customer journey. From voice calls and emails through to social media channels, SMS and App usage as well as webchats. However, if you really want to excel in the service you provide you need to firstly understand and then refine every element of your customer omnichannel experience. It might seem daunting but by peeling back the layers and working through the data you collate during your customer engagements you will find real actionable data points that educate you and your team on how to map out a smoother customer journey.

Before you start working on your customer experience mapping there’s one thing to clarify. As Jim Kalbach highlighted in his book Mapping Experiences, there is a difference between customer journey maps and customer experience maps:

  • A customer journey map typically views the individual as a customer of the organisation. And, there is often a decision involved: to purchase a product or service
  • A customer experience map looks at a broader context of human behaviour and shows how the organisation or brand fits into a person’s life. 

How to create a customer experience map fit for your clients

Your customers experience doesn’t necessarily follow a linear path with your brand.  And one size doesn’t fit all. These simple steps will help you to break down what can feel like an overwhelming task:

  • Identify every type of customer your brand or organisation has
  • Work out at what point in their lives do they have a need to engage with your business
  • Then carefully work out every possible interaction these different types of customers, or personas, will have with you during the product or service lifetime.

Let data guide the mapping process

This process will help you to outline the specific routes that each customer takes when buying from your business or brand. And remember, a customer may reach you through various parts of the omnichannel. Just because they initially reach you through the webchat doesn’t mean they’ll continue to communicate that way and it’s likely they’ll switch to voice or email as their journey starts to progress. Every aspect needs to work well and provide a consistent experience.

From that foundation of information, you then need to dig through your data and let it enlighten you on your customers’ experiences. Be prepared to make some uncomfortable discoveries and remember the data doesn’t lie so you should be able to identify some customer pain points that you can quickly resolve along the way.

What’s the goal?

Don’t just embark on the customer experience mapping work because you think it would be a good thing to do. Have a goal so that you can maintain focus throughout the project and be able to deliver on a particular outcome. For example, if your goal is to reduce support times for a certain product by a set number of minutes so that you can handle more customer enquiries (by a certain percentage) make sure that remains your focus. Or, it could be that your goal is to upsell a supporting service or accessory product to work with the original purchase. By mapping that customer experience you’ll be able to identify key touchpoints in the journey for these different engagements.

Customer experience mapping leads to enlightening discoveries

There will be some findings that you’ll be expecting to discover in the process but by carefully picking through the data it’s likely you’ll reveal some insights into what drives greater brand loyalty and, equally, what turns customers off. Your customer experience mapping should help you to identify:

  • new or refine ways to increase customer satisfaction
  • touchpoints or paths that are creating friction rather than aiding the experience
  • to understand what parts of the service or product drives loyalty
  • to discover where you can improve retention and possibly where new product, or service opportunities lie.

Key elements for customer experience mapping

Once you’ve identified your goal(s) and your different customer personas there are some key steps to follow as part of the mapping process that you can also overlay with your data:

  • List every single customer touchpoint.This may range from physical stores to advertising and email marketing through to your website and social media channels. Leave no part of this engagement unturned
  • Identify the customer need.Just as you’ve ascertained your goals your customer will have them too. Make sure you map their needs against the personas as they may have more than one
  • Different phases of interaction.Your customers will engage with you at different points long their journey. Not only do you need to identify what these points will be and the drivers behind them you should also work out the likely route of these touchpoints. Will it be a call or an email enquiry and do you have the appropriate scripts on hand to help your agents deliver the right level of service?

Where does the data come from?

If you’re reading this and worrying about where to draw all this useful data from then you may also need to take a step back and assess what systems, you have in place to manage your customer experience. It may be time to embrace digital transformation and explore how conversational analytics (CA) can help you to evolve your contact centre. It’s not only difficult to navigate across multiple legacy systems to draw on this data, it’s unproductive for your agents and, ultimately, incredibly costly for your business. Don’t be surprised if part of the customer experience mapping process may throw your need to migrate your systems and processes to something more suitable for the 21st Century too!

Removing the friction from Customer Experience 

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By Simon Black, CEO, Awaken

The world in which we now live and work is truly global and as such many companies need to communicate with customers across multiple languages. The inability to converse with customers in a common language presents barriers for many businesses. And while it may seem like a huge ask to address this need the technology now exists to make it possible to communicate with customers no matter where they are and no matter their local language. Now is the time to create a frictionless customer experience (CX). 

Quite often you’ll find that the customer contact centre is at the heart of any company’s customer services. It’s usually the first point of call for customer queries so it’s important to make sure that the communication is as mutually understandable as possible between the agent and the customer. Afterall customers’ experiences are the life blood of your business. It only takes one good or bad experience to make or break a relationship and in today’s world of over-sharing customers are likely to recommend or complain about your business, products or service across their social channels, within minutes.  

According to Reputation Refinery a customer who is dissatisfied will tell 9-15 people about their bad experience with negative interactions spreading to two times as many people as positive interactions. But do not fear, there’s good news. Throw Artificial Intelligence (AI) into this mix and, as a recent survey by PointSource highlighted, 49% of customers are willing to shop more often when AI is present. Furthermore 34% of customers will spend more money, and 38% will share their experiences with friends and family. Essentially, AI makes people shop more, spend more and share more. So, with today’s technology there is every reason and every opportunity to get the customer experience right.  

According to IDC, $13.9B was invested into CX-focused Artificial Intelligence (AI) and $42.7B in CX-focused Big Data and analytics during 2019, with both expected to grow to $90B in 2022. You don’t need much more of an argument that now might be the time to look at how AI can support and enhance the experiences of your customers.  

Back to the supposed language barrier. We’ve worked with many organisations and several online retailers, using AI, to automatically translate languages on the fly. This means a customer can communicate in French (or any other language), and then the text or voice is translated in real-time into the local contact centre agent’s own language so that he/she can understand and respond appropriately. The subsequent communication is then translated back into the local language of that particular customer again. The ability to respond in real-time is transformative. Being able to quickly respond to customers in their own language (not yours) and not have to rely on basic manual translation tools means that you’re creating a truly frictionless experience for your customers. 

Furthermore, being able to understand the conversations taking place across your entire omnichannel is crucial. With AI you can instantly pick up on the tone and sentiment of conversations taking place which helps to better inform your contact centre agents and enables them to predict the journey of that particular customer conversation, adapting their responses and behaviours appropriately and immediately.  

Not only does this approach help to improve the customer experience during a live engagement but it will also help you to identify areas where you need to better communicate and share information with customers online, perhaps via your website, for example. We now have the ability to dynamically change the customer journey as it happens. The call or text can be analysed straight away, within seconds, so your agent can respond and adapt without interrupting the flow of conversation all the while improving the customer experience. AI enables us to give the right information at the right time to help provide a seamless and smooth customer experience. 

Addressing language and translation barriers is an absolute must for businesses operating across multiple and diverse geographies. But once that’s dealt with you need to look at what else can be achieved with AI. For example, we recently worked with an online retailer that had introduced a variety of new services to improve their customer journey yet they couldn’t assess whether these services were being utilised by customers and improving their experience or detracting from it. They weren’t getting any feedback whatsoever. Thanks to AI we were able to quickly build in a voice analytics solution that analysed both voice or text communications and could pick up on feedback, whether positive or negative. For example, ApplePay had been introduced but they didn’t know how customers felt about it and if they liked paying that way. With voice analytics we enabled the business to assess their customers’ emotions and experiences and therefore make informed decisions on which services were working well and other areas that needed improvement. 

AI and voice analytics are proving crucial tools in delivering a better customer experience and being able to measure what is or is not working. It’s also important to remember that communications are two way and that it’s not just about how the customer is communicating with your business but also how your team are responding to those customers. Analysing both sides of the engagement will help you to fine tune customer engagement further. 

AI can help you to recognise if there’s a problem brewing and that some of your people may need your support beyond that of screen prompts. As we all know, if you have a happy and well-informed team, you’ll have happy customers.   

Connect ESAT to CSAT in Times of Crisis: NICE introduces WEM@home

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At a time when human connections matter most, are your frontline employees empowered to perform, and inspired to care? Are you doing all you can to keep your agents engaged and motivated?

Now, more than ever, every moment in the customer journey matters. The COVID-19 crisis has evolved to render face-to-face touchpoints less frequent, thereby highlighting the value of connected experiences in channels from phone to chat to SMS text.

Contact centre agents are in a unique position to deliver personalised, seamless omnichannel customer experiences that synthesise a variety of interactions – and to put the “care” in “customer care”. To this end, contact centre leaders that use actionable insights gained from agent experience feedback can inform successful evolution in times of disruption.

Would your agents recommend your company to a friend?

Employees, when engaged and empowered with the right tools and training, can be your most valuable brand asset – and increase customer loyalty while reducing customer churn.  Successful companies use the power of Net Promoter Score (NPS) along with direct, indirect and operational customer feedback to refine and deliver superior customer experiences, all along a holistic journey. Just as NPS reflects customer experiences from the outside in, it is equally as important to gain insights from the inside out.  Would your agents recommend your company to a friend? How they feel about their experience directly reflects to the experience they provide to the customer.

With insight comes opportunity

Especially in times of crisis, Voice of the Employee (VoE) and agent experience insights are a key part of the holistic feedback mechanism that powers customer experience management. Enhancements to customer experience cannot be accomplished without a keen understanding of the customer experience agent.  How do they feel about their ability to successfully engage when their work environment changes? Do they have the tools they need to deliver? This critical connection cannot be overlooked when working situations evolve. As the human connection to your brand, you must understand their situation and align to their changing needs.

Igniting a holistic CEM program that elevates CSAT

Times of crisis offer an opportunity to authentically engage with your customers, as well as your employees. This open outreach can nurture a collective appreciation of individual feedback that can shift CX programs into high gear. When agents on the front lines feel their feedback is important – their voice is heard – spirits are lifted, and that is infectious. Opening that feedback channel can inspire an ongoing, company-wide culture that not only elevates performance, but values input. And it is that input that is critical to a holistic understanding of all experiences that affect CSAT.

Our challenging times have surfaced human connections as a premium. As contact centre agents connect with your customers, it is more important than ever to connect to their input. With a durable, integrated feedback framework, agents can be inspired to see problems, find solutions, and feel more accountable to a holistic customer experience that delivers on your brand promise.

Integrated feedback management is an essential tool to gather and synthesise actionable frontline insights. NICE Satmetrix offers integrated listening for a 360 degree understanding of multidimensional behaviours that impact customer loyalty. To learn more about how you can gather and use employee experience feedback to drive engagement, and gain visibility and ensure performance, visit wem@home.

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.

Dynamic FAQs improve customer experience and reduce customer contact

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By ContactOne

Today’s web users are increasingly relying on the Internet as a prime source of information and are more likely to use FAQ based solutions for answers. On the plus side this trend can be leveraged to reduce the propensity for on-line visitors to contact Agents.

The flip side of this is that the traditional static help centre solutions are not optimised to take advantage of this as customers often need to leave the webpage of interest to find help in the static FAQ section.

1 – Static Help Centre vs Dynamic FAQs

Dynamic FAQs, from ContactOne, address these issues by enabling the users to get the answers they need without leaving the page. The AI predicts users, queries based on contextually mapping web page content. Website visitors are then presented with a list of relevant help articles, without having to leave their current page.

This means that customers get instant answers to their queries without having to use the contact centre, resulting in positive impacts to the customer journey:

  • Site abandonment drops
  • Encourages self-service
  • Contact deflection increases
  • Sales conversion increases
  • Customer satisfaction increases

Our Dynamic FAQs include an intuitive search function based on partial keywords, phonetic matching, managed plurals and extensions with the returned results prioritised based on tags, titles, content and keywords. The self-learning capabilities and can optimise presented FAQs based on volume of page views and article rating. It also helps fill in gaps in the FAQs by reporting missed search terms.

2- Real-Time Widgets

Dynamic FAQs has several real-time widgets and reporting modules to show the usage and effectiveness of the FAQs. For each FAQ Supervisors can see both the total number of visitors to that FAQ, along with how many of those visitors went on to contact the contact centre. This enables FAQ answers to be optimised over time to meet the desired objective whether that’s to promote Contact, in the case of sales, or reduce contact in the case of level 1 support / customer service activities.

ContactOne’s Dynamic FAQ solution can be supplied as part of an integration with our own Omni-Channel contact centre platform, or as a standalone solution for use with existing Webchat, Email and Phone systems.

For more information on how ContactOne can help you encourage your website visitors to self-serve and improve the customer experience with Dynamic FAQs call ContactOne on 0330 880 4444 or visit ContactOne on the web.

UK boards must take more responsibility for customer experience – Research

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Customer experience is largely perceived as a strategic issue and one that should be driven at board level, with measurement of CX varying wildly within key industry verticals.

That’s according to research conducted by Gobeyond Partners, which surveyed over 450 managers and above across retail and wholesale, financial services and banking, private healthcare, and insurance, finding that 86% of UK businesses are currently measuring customer experience and that 81% of respondents believe customer experience to be a strategic issue which requires more senior level accountability.

It says the results highlight a clear need for senior executives to be knowledgeable about customer experience, and importantly, measure it across the entire customer journey. The results revealed that 36% of organisations surveyed only measure customer experience at specific touchpoints, and not across the entire customer journey, whilst 12% of UK businesses are still not measuring customer experience at all.

Rather it was those companies who do indeed measure customer experience across the entire customer journey (50%) who were found to be 1.4 times more likely to report revenue increases over the last 12 months, than those that don’t.

Other key findings  include:

  • Of those who agreed customer experience should be driven at board level, only 37% strongly agreed that their company utilises customer feedback to improve service design and delivery;
  • 86% of retail respondents agreed that customer experience should be driven at board level and was the most likely industry to see customer experience as a strategic issue. This was followed closely by 85% of insurance respondents, 77% in banking, 72% in private healthcare and 85% insurance;
  • 12% of UK businesses are not measuring customer experience at all;
  • 11% of businesses said they had no senior manager with accountability for customer experience

Mark Palmer, CEO of Gobeyond Partners, said: “We were pleased to see that our recent survey findings validate the work we have been doing with our clients; namely that customer experience is a human issue which should be addressed strategically and prioritised by the board.

“We regularly recommend looking at the end-to-end customer journey through a more human lens. Our findings clearly highlight that introducing the human touch – at all levels of the journey – can radically transform the way you deliver service. For organisations to win in the race for customer loyalty and stronger profitability, they will need to successfully marry great technology and innovation with a major focus on what this means for customers and employees in the transformation journey. Taking this ‘human lens’ will differentiate the quality of solutions offered, drive greater efficiency in getting there and will better engage their people on the change journey.”

What’s on your CX agenda for 2020?

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From hyper-personalisation to voice search, Nali Giliana, Vice President of Digital Experience at OpenText, shares his customer experience predictions for 2020…

Hyper-personalisation driven by data democratisation

2020 will be the year of hyper-personalisation across the consumer journey. The implementation of data democratisation strategies will be one of the main focal points for marketers in 2020. This will see brands leveraging predictive analytics, utilising data from throughout the business – across departments, partners, suppliers and customers – to build marketing strategies which will allow for contextual and hyper-personalised experiences relevant to the target audience. Leading brands will also push beyond the customer experience, and look into delivering individualised products, services and pricing.

Rise of multi-sensory brand experiences

The ways in which customers will engage with brands will transcend the usual digital and physical touchpoints. In 2020, we can expect to see the user experience undergo a significant shift in how customers perceive the digital world and engage with brands. Key technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) will shift the horizon of experience design by combining perception and interaction models to help create a multisensory approach to brand experiences. As a result, customers will look beyond products and will be loyal to brands that can deliver consistent experiences across all the sensory touchpoints.

Voice search will become a key component of the customer experience

In 2020, the majority of customer interactions will be made by AI. Data generated from these interactions will help marketers a great deal in creating more authentic digital communication experiences beyond traditional digital channels. Voice search, in particular, will see significant uptake next year due to its simplicity, and with the adoption of AI-supported intelligent assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa slated to expand, brands will face added pressure to change the design of their customer experience to include voice search.

Transparency and privacy concerns gain steam

While demand for hyper-personalised customer experiences is increasing brands’ dependency on data, consumer concern about the control of their personal information is also increasing. This dynamic is making organisations more aware of the importance of securing and managing personal data, and governments are implementing strict legislation to ensure organisations do so.

In 2020 enterprises will be called to place greater emphasis on transparency and traceability to support digital ethics and privacy needs through the implementation of practices designed to address regulatory requirements, preserve an ethical approach to the use of advanced technologies, and repair the growing lack of trust in companies.

Tech set to ease CX frustrations in 2020

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Three key issues – taking advantage of Conversational User Interfaces, ensuring effective customer Journey Analytics, and addressing the impact of Peak Voice with augmented solutions – will become even more critical in 2020 if brands are to become more consistent in delivering brilliant customer experiences, says Sabio Group’s Chief Innovation Officer, Stuart Dorman…

More and more CX teams now recognise that pursuing a broad omnichannel customer engagement strategy hasn’t actually enabled the kind of best-in-class customer experiences they were looking to offer. That’s why in 2020 we’ll see an increased emphasis on the shaping and refinement of smarter customer journeys – ones that will help direct people towards the channels and resources that are more appropriate for what they’re trying to achieve.

However, being able to deliver this level of engagement at scale is always going to be challenging. And with Conversational User Interfaces fast becoming the dominant way for customers to begin their engagement with organisations, it’s essential that projects are not only designed and driven by CX operations specialists but also regularly optimised with the latest Journey Analytics tools to identify process and customer experience improvements. At the same time, organisations also need to recognise the increased complexity of voice interactions and provide agents with new levels of augmented support.

Here are our 3 key areas of focus for 2020:

  1. Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) – while it’s comparatively easy for an IT team to use open framework tools to build simple chatbots, it’s a much harder challenge to craft comprehensive virtual assistant solutions that can support a range of customer needs while still delivering high quality service at scale. Achieving success here requires organisations to look beyond key technology components such as speech recognition, natural language understanding and text-to-speech, and instead focus more on ‘the Art of CX’ such as the UI design aspect, the language used and the ongoing refinements that can only come from deep operational engagement.
  2. Journey Analytics – Despite the relative maturity as a technology, it’s surprising how few organisations take advantage of analytics tools to really understand the end-to-end customer journey. Getting this right is complex, however the benefits – whether in terms of identifying where demand is coming from, gathering and analysing customer intent, or refining processes to improve the digital experience – can be significant. Effective journey analytics also help to close the loop with other key CX processes. For example, it’s great to have a contact centre with demand fully optimised, but less good if you don’t know where those calls are coming from in the first place.
  3. Peak Voice – with customers experiencing continually improving self-service options thanks to innovations such as the Conversational User Interface (CUI), organisations are reporting a consequent reduction in voice traffic volumes. However, as the industry moves beyond Peak Voice, the actual complexity of calls coming into contact centres is increasing, along with handling times, as agents are left to deal with the interactions that can’t be resolved through self-service alone. This is placing greater focus on continued improvements to the CUI, as well as the introduction of augmented voice services that effectively add a digital channel in parallel with voice to allow agents and customers to share content during interactions.

Tackling these three challenges and working to streamline the customer journey will unlock huge benefits for both organisations and their customers in 2020 and beyond. However, brands simply can’t rely on virtual assistant or chatbot systems that only deliver one-size-fits-all FAQ-style responses.

As consumer expectations evolve, today’s conversations need to be tailored to customer understanding, they increasingly have to recognise a customer’s intent and mood, and they also have to be agile enough to recover from errors in dialogue or journey disconnects.

Bringing all these elements together and making it simple and intuitive for customers to get what they need from their interaction is where ‘the art of CX’ can make a real difference.