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CX

Thinking of Transforming your CX Strategy?

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By Foehn

At Foehn we work with our clients to deliver world-class CX strategies through the delivery of agile, digital, cloud-based solutions such as Genesys Cloud. We have helped many companies enhance their customer experience through our implementations, allowing them to use digital channels, CSAT tools, Workforce Management and Gamification to improve both the customer and agent experience.

Get in touch with us today to start your digital transformation journey!

www.foehn.co.uk

sales@foehn.co.uk

0330 403 0000

Bot Revolution to Permanent WFH: What 2021 Has in Store for CX

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By Content Guru

In the contact centre industry, looking backwards can often give us a clear indicator of what lies ahead. 2020 brought with it both personal and professional challenges no one could have predicted. However, the coronavirus crisis marked a clear turning point for the contact centre – one that has laid the foundations for further changes on the horizon.

Indeed, many of the tools, technologies and techniques that enabled the sector to navigate the pandemic – through lockdowns, infection scares and financial concerns – have put the contact centre on a course of continuing innovation and disruption for the decade ahead.

Let’s take a look at some of the emergent factors set to fuel the contact centre of the future.

Flexible Working Becomes the New Norm

At the start of 2020, contact centres that had already adopted modern cloud technologies were able to pivot in a matter of days to successfully implement new distributed working models. Enabling agents to work securely and compliantly from home, even when handling payments, was just the start. Organisations have also used their contact centre-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions to manage everything from workforce performance and wellbeing, to delivering support and training tailored exactly to the real-time needs of individual agents.

For many, the remote and hybrid models implemented in 2020 will determine how they resource contact centre operations in the future. This will usher in an era, in which agents will have more flexible working options, and organisations will be able to access greater operational agility, essential for coping with evolving market demands.

Working Smarter – with Greater Granular Control

Intelligent automation and smart scheduling tools have certainly proved their worth as contact centres strived to optimise resource utilisation in the context of agent availability. Indeed, today’s AI powered Workforce Optimisation (WFO) has proved highly effective at ensuring schedules are kept at peak efficiency, while giving agents maximum control over the hours they want to work.

Alongside automated services, intelligent routing, and real-time reporting, today’s CCaaS solutions make it possible to ensure that agents are always presented with a familiar desktop – complete with the call recording facilities and integrated information databases they needed to perform – regardless of their location.

Some organisations have even taken advantage of their integrated CCaaS and unified communications environment to garner feedback from agents at the drop of a hat via virtual quality improvement ‘huddles’. Using these insights, contact centre leaders are able to tweak workflows to improve how agents interact with calls, or the information systems they depend on to serve customers.

The Rise of the Bot – Delivering CX with a Human Touch

Having found themselves at times wholly dependent on digital and remote services to undertake everyday life tasks, consumers will increasingly expect to encounter streamlined experiences, no matter which channel they choose to interact with brands over.

While AI, chatbots, smart speakers and virtual assistants aren’t new, the rapid expansion of digital channels during the pandemic saw more contact centres adopting such technologies to cut response times and sustain the mass delivery of high-quality personalised customer experiences.

Capable of sustaining humanised two-way conversations and even detecting a caller’s current mood, AI assistants are fast becoming mainstream in digital channels. In time, expect the role of contact centre agents to evolve, as they increasingly work in collaboration with these technologies to deliver efficient customer experiences with a human touch.

The last 12 months have presented contact centres with an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate digital transformation. In the coming years, they will continue to evolve into value-driven customer engagement hubs capable of orchestrating end-to-end, intuitive customer experiences across every channel.

Keep up with customer expectations. Enhance your CX today: https://bit.ly/37DMdJ3

How Analytics Can Help You Deliver Superior Customer Service

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Lauren Maschio, Product Marketing Manager, NICE

Consumers today expect world-class customer experiences, and delivering the fast, personalized service they demand requires that you build analytics into the core of your business. Analytics can deliver a competitive advantage by improving the quality of your interactions with customers, and with the contact centre the most vital point of contact between your company and your customers, that’s critically important.

Analytics encompasses far more than trends and insights, however; trends and numbers will get you nowhere unless your analytics program is driving the business outcomes you desire rather than simply identifying trends. Here’s what you need keep in mind to truly impact CX and CSAT:

Leverage the power of AI

AI technology has become the driving force behind innovation ranging from self-driving cars to e-commerce recommendations. In the contact center, the use of prebuilt AI technology for analytics has moved from a nice-to-have to an imperative due to its ability to transform customer service, both in terms of quality as well as efficiency. While machine learning examines and compares data to find patterns and explore nuances, AI takes it a step further, continually evolving in how it enables machines to behave in a way previously thought to require human intelligence.

In the contact center, that takes a variety of forms, including:

  • Autodiscovery, or the use of unsupervised machine learning to surface unknowns in interactions data, which makes it possible to focus deeper analysis on the topics that are most critical to your business.
  • Sentiment analysis, which is a proven predictive indicator of customer satisfaction such as tNPS or CSAT surveys.
  • AI behavior models, which score the agent soft-skill behaviors that influence the sentiment analysis on all interactions.

Move beyond speech analytics

Your agents’ interactions with customers are no longer limited to the phone; increasingly, customers are reaching out via chat, email, social media and more. If you really want to know what your customers are talking about, you must be analyzing interactions over all channels – text and audio.

An omnichannel approach that covers all channels of interactions enables you to analyze a variety of characteristics, including:

  • Speech time/non-speech time, or the presence and amount of speaking vs. silence in calls over a period of time. You can identify both the agents who have the highest speech or non-speech time as well as the reasons for call silence.
  • Agent response time in a chat, or how long it takes the agent to respond to a chat request.
  • Customer sentiment on social channels, including through text, hashtags and more.

Focus on outcomes, not data collection

When implemented in a way that drives outcomes rather than simply outlining trends, analytics offers tremendous potential to improve CX and CSAT, as one financial services provider found. After implementing an analytics program across its contact center, the provider discovered that agents were missing information, leading to long hold times. By training agents better, the provider was able to:

  • Decrease hold times.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Save more than $540,000 annually.

Keep evolving

If there’s one constant today, it’s that change is ongoing. Your sales and service models aren’t static, so your analytics program shouldn’t be either. Your business — and the language your agents and customers use when speaking about your unique environment, products and services – will naturally evolve, and your analytics program must be able to adapt in response.

To learn more about how analytics can give you the tools you need to drive the outcomes your business desires and the service your customers demand, download the ebook, AI-Enabled Contact Center Analytics For Dummies 

Customer experience management market to hit $21.8bn

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The global customer experience management market is projected to reach revenue of $21.86 billion by 2027, equivalent to a CAGR of 13%.

That’s according to data from Fortune Business Insights, which cites the heightened importance of enhancing customer experience (CX) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report asserts that with millions of people worldwide confined to their homes, brands are aggressively looking for avenues to maintain visibility among their customers and cater to their changing needs.

The unusual circumstances created by the coronavirus have forced companies to engage customers in a more meaningful way. For example, the cable provider Comcast deepened its customer experience management by developing short, topical videos powered by an interactive experience for its Xfinity cable service during the pandemic.

In China, a restaurant chain started delivering ingredients for meals usually enjoyed in communal settings at people’s doorsteps, ensuring no physical contact and strengthening its relationship with loyal customers. The variety of novel ideas triggered amid the COVID-19 pandemic enabled the market to register an impressive CAGR of 11.7% in 2020.

According to the report, the value of the market was estimated to be $8.29 billion in 2019.

Furthermore, the report says the proliferation of smartphones, mobile applications, and other smart devices has triggered a massive digitization trend among businesses. Enhancing CEM through virtual platforms and online portals has become one of the core strategies adopted by companies to foster long-lasting relationships with their customers.

However, with private customer information being available online in most cases, the threat of data breaches has escalated in recent years. Hackers are targeting digital platforms to extract critical data and sell them on the black market. For example, in April 2020, over 500,000 accounts on the teleconferencing platform Zoom were breached and then sold on the dark web by cyber-criminals.

Similarly, in India in January 2020, Unacademy, the popular online education platform, experienced a massive data breach, exposing more than 20 million accounts containing customer information related to email addresses, payment history, passwords, and usernames. The constant exposure of delicate information to cyber-attacks may inhibit the customer experience management market growth.

In 2019, the North America market size stood at $2.81 billion, and the region is expected to lead the market during the forecast period due to the speedy digital transformation of businesses in the region. CXM companies across the US and Canada are actively adopting and deploying customer experience management solutions powered by advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Thus, the market in North America is foreseen to progress at an incredible pace.

Asia Pacific is strengthening its hold on the customer experience management market share as a result of the broadening presence of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) among enterprises in India and China. In Europe, on the other hand, the increasing number of call centers is expected to propel the regional market.

WEBINAR: Fast Track Your 2021 CX Service Strategy

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Extraordinary times demand original responses. To help you prepare for the next phase of customer service evolution and deliver outstanding CX throughout 2021, Puzzel and customer strategy expert, Martin Hill-Wilson have developed Being Ready, a handy planning framework for contact centre leaders.

Join Puzzel’s webinar tomorrow to learn more about the framework and receive your free e-book and templates.

When: Tomorrow, November 25 at 14:00 GMT

Where: Online

Secure your place now: https://bit.ly/33aBpzU

The five common Contact Centre issues that can lead to losing customers

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By Jabra

Here’s the bad news: there are five issues common to Contact Centres that could cause you to lose 9 out of 10 customers.

However, the good news is that once these issues are addressed you can make your top performing agents almost twice as productive as their least industrious counterparts – which will boost customer satisfaction and increase retention rates.

Find out what the five common issues are and how your Contact Centre can overcome them to maintain positive customer experience and satisfaction:-

https://www.jabra.com/blog/customers-dont-care-about-it-but-will-leave-you-because-of-it/

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Altitude Software omnichannel solutions

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Altitude Software is a global provider of omnichannel solutions that unify all customer interactions whilst providing an exceptional customer and agent experience.

Altitude Xperience is a complete omnichannel cloud contact centre service that powers more effective and efficient multimedia communication between your organisation and your customers, and is applicable to all industries who focus on customer excellence, including: Business Process Outsourcers, Insurance, Banking and Financial Services, Healthcare, Logistics, Retail and others.
Altitude solutions have been included within Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for the sector since 2004. Altitude has ten offices across four continents, a network of 100 solid partnerships, and ISO 9001 certification for outstanding international support.
Major customers include DFS, Ventrica, G4S, Teleperformance, Transcom, Sitel, Allianz and BBVA, . Partners of reference include Altice Group, KIVA, Comways, Warpcom and Xseed.

www.altitude.com

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.

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.