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CX

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.

74% of brands think they’re providing good or excellent personalised experiences – consumers disagree

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Research has revealed a trust gap between UK brands and consumers – while 74% of companies state they do personalisation well, less than half of consumers (42%) agree.

Despite this, both parties agree that personalisation is key to increasing brand loyalty, with UK customers spending 43% more on their products when engagement is personalised. And while 70% of them believe that personalisation increases brand loyalty, 83% of consumers hold this view globally.

That’s according to to Twilio’s third annual State of Customer Engagement Report, which reflects findings from a survey of 3,450 business leaders and 4,500 consumers across 12 countries, including the UK.

With tech giants like Amazon and Netflix setting the benchmark for personalisation, customers now expect brands to deliver accurate, tailored customer services and experiences.

According to the survey, 70% of UK consumers believe that having personalised interactions with brands increases their chances of going back to that brand for a product or service, building positive relationships and increasing brand loyalty. This is even higher on a global level, with 83% of consumers agreeing that personalisation improves customer relationships with a brand.

Companies are in agreement on the importance of personalisation in their customer engagement strategy, as this translates into increased spend. Brands report that UK consumers spend 43% more on their products when interactions are personalised. For companies in the retail and eCommerce industry, personalisation is even more critical, with 91% of these companies rating personalisation as ‘extremely’ important for their customer engagement strategies.

Although consumers and brands agree on the importance of personalisation, consumers have a distrust of the way that brands are using their personal data. The survey reveals a trust gap: while 97% of UK businesses believe that their customers trust them to protect their data privacy, only two in five UK consumers (39%) have faith that these businesses will do so.

The results reveal that lack of transparency is the main reason customers have trouble trusting brands with their data. Findings suggest that 39% of UK consumers believe companies aren’t clear about how organisations use their data, and 40% don’t believe that businesses use only first-party consented data in their personalisation. Building strong relationships with customers, using personalisation, therefore requires businesses to address trust issues around data handling to add reassurance.

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Brands need to become less reliant on third-party data. Significantly, 82% of UK companies have complete or substantial dependence on third-party data and would therefore be negatively impacted by losing access to it. With brands facing a cookieless future, first-party data will become more important to help them to understand and accommodate their customers with engagement strategies that meet expectations and needs.
  • Businesses already recognise the importance of first party data. In fact, 96% of UK companies agreed that first party customer data insights lead to a better customer experience, with nearly half (47%) strongly agreeing.
  • Companies also understand the potential value of compliantly using customer data well. Data shows that nearly all UK businesses (97%) agree that fully owning and using customer data will be their biggest growth lever over the next three years.

You can read the full report here.

WEBINAR REWIND: Financial services organisations struggle to create a CX culture built to last – but why?

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Don’t worry if you missed the recent webinar from Davies Group exploring the secrets of great CX – You can now re-watch the entire session online!

84% of financial services leaders rank business process alignment as more important than putting the customer first when designing customer experiences. How can they then create a CX culture that really puts the customer first?

Davies has discovered that culture seems to be taking a backseat for most CX leaders, although we all know that the absence of customer-first thinking often brings longer contact-centre wait times & more effort, resulting in enhanced frustration & unhappy customers.

In the webinar session, you’ll discover why, and the expert panel will share top tips on how to create a CX culture that will help you achieve those all-important business objectives, including:-

  • How organisational culture is holding your fellow financial services peers back from achieving their CX goals
  • What CX leaders across financial services see as the most important factors in CX design
  • Common misconceptions on building and sustaining a strong internal CX focussed culture
  • Get actionable insight on how to develop a sustainable CX culture in your business

If you have any questions about the webinar content, please contact Boyden Manns at Boyden.manns@davies-group.com.

You can watch the full webinar below:-

Webinar: Financial services organisations struggle to create a CX culture built to last – but why? from Davies Group on Vimeo.

 

Harnessing digital tech to enable personalised CX in 2022

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By Brian Atkinson, Vice President and General Manager EMEA, Five9

These five trends outline why we can expect more companies to harness digital technologies in 2022 to enable smarter, more personalised customer experiences…

1 – Replacing legacy infrastructure with digital tech

2022 must see the complete uprooting of the ‘press 1’ tree of frustration that is IVR. With accelerated investment across channels such as webchat, SMS and WhatsApp, investment in voice and call experiences is sorely lacking. Reliance on mazes of IVR routing continues to waste customers’ precious time and often fails to provide the solutions they need.

This needs to change, and we are already seeing forward-thinking organisations enhancing the voice experience through next-level IVA (intelligent virtual agents) technologies that shift away from poor, legacy IVR technology and into a natural language, conversational experience underpinned by AI (Artificial Intelligence). It’s time to embrace seamless customer experiences powered by modern technologies and consign frustrating IVR experiences, bogged down in obsolete technology, to the bin.

2 – Empowering human agents with intelligent automation

AI has been slow to realise its potential while organisations have been asking what it can actually deliver in the CX arena, and how. The confusion is now lifting as we are seeing how AI capabilities can holistically impact the entire customer journey. We’re now at a point where we can entrust a ’digital workforce’ of intelligent virtual agents, underpinned by AI to deliver experiences for us.

With practical AI beginning to crystallise, we’ll see customer service increasingly powered not only by humans who have rich data and insight at hand, but by digital agents that can also respond to many requests intelligently. With more AI deployments coming to life in the next 12 months, this interest will turn from curiosity to action. We will see more organisations seeking to harness AI to enable a digital workforce of intelligent automation while empowering ‘real-life’ customer experience agents to deliver that ever-vital human touch.

3 – Shifting from siloed customer data to boundaryless data access 

We’ve been talking about silos for many years but are now truly starting to see those break down, especially in the large enterprise. In the next 12 months, organisations that want to exercise innovation must focus on ending data silos and embracing boundaryless and secure access to data across their systems. Opportunities for automation, AI, machine learning – and even some of the most basic insights are being lost due to continued siloing of data.

This can even go beyond stamping out internal silos, to embracing a decentralised data link approach, leveraging technologies like blockchain, and using cloud-based AI services by vendors such as Google or IBM Watson. Here, third-party services can anonymously analyse millions of customer interactions to help train natural language processing systems, for example. This feeds back into application innovation for all. For example, the development of automated dashboards for agents, who can gain amazing insight into the customer, immediately, at the right time and the right place. Without boundaryless data, this type of innovation cannot be realised.

4 – Enabling empathy-driven customer experiences 

With supply chain issues looking to roll forward into the next year, there must be a continued focus on empathy as part of the customer experience. While organisations may not be able to exert control over many of the variables affecting the supply chain – chip shortages and port blockages, for example – they can return to the six pillars of customer experience, in particular empathy, personalisation, and effort.

This means clear and regular communication, flexibility and understanding. At its most basic, sticking to rigid returns policies at a time like this won’t serve anyone. Levelling up, this can mean offering customers personalised options when disruption does hit. For example, if a customer has ordered a new car and we know that chip delays will delay delivery, can they be contacted in advance to choose whether the cruise control option they selected is essential, or just a nice to have? If not, perhaps they would be happy to accept a different model sooner?

Resolving frustrations and ensuring that customers feel heard and valued will have higher stakes than ever. For example, our research shows that nearly half (47%) of consumers said they are likely to share negative experiences from online shopping on social media platforms. This proves that retailers are just one bad interaction away from a social storm, threatening brand loyalty across the board.

It’s not about delivering the impossible, but about having the data and tools we need to be able to communicate empathically and provide options and flexibility. Technology can help identify these opportunities and then deliver feedback on how that flexibility was received by the customer, helping to power the next experience, for the next customer. As such, technology will open more doors for companies to deliver empathy-driven, personalised experiences that engender loyalty even in the face of disruption.

5 – Cloud ubiquity to underpin personalised CX 

Without widespread cloud adoption, none of the previous innovations will be realised. Innovative organisations know that, and 2022 will see the continuing march towards cloud ubiquity enabling smarter, more powerfully personalised customer experiences. The benefits of cloud adoption are myriad: flexibility, reliability, agility. Testament to that, around 75% of organisations are now taking a cloud-based approach to customer experience.

Both smaller organisations and large enterprises are moving to cloud models to take advantage of the latest technologies powering application development, such as Kubernetes and Docket Containers. When it comes to novel adoption of AI, of NLP and IVAs, cloud is the enabler. It allows organisations to take advantage of third-party innovation, layering of APIs, and access to capabilities way beyond the capabilities of on-premises. In the next 12 months there is no question that the cloud will dominate customer experience conversations, and those that are still wavering are set to get left behind.

REPORT DOWNLOAD: Future proofing CX – How can organisations drive transformation effectively?

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After surveying 360 senior leaders in Customer Experience (CX) as part of their research with Netcall, Davies are delighted to be able to share with you the findings in their new research report.

Find out what CX leaders from financial services, NHS and local government have to say on what is driving, and blocking them, from developing effective CX – and how they are navigating the current accelerated pace of change.

Download Davies’ free report to find out more about:

  • The critical issues obstructing organisations in creating memorable CX, such as complex legacy systems and lack of technical expertise
  • Omnichannel and why 99% of organisations want to be it, but only 26% believe they already are
  • Sustainable CX design and how 62% of organisations said they need to be able to rapidly adapt to keep ahead of CX expectations

Click here to download

Davies webinar session: Financial services organisations struggle to create a CX culture built to last – but why?

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84% of financial services leaders rank business process alignment as more important than putting the customer first when designing customer experiences. How can they then create a CX culture that really puts the customer first?

Davies has discovered that culture seems to be taking a backseat for most CX leaders, although we all know that the absence of customer-first thinking often brings longer contact-centre wait times & more effort, resulting in enhanced frustration & unhappy customers.

In Davies’ upcoming webinar session, they’ll discover why, and their expert panel will share top tips on how to create a CX culture that will help you achieve those all-important business objectives.

Register below to find out:

  • How organisational culture is holding your fellow financial services peers back from achieving their CX goals
  • What CX leaders across financial services see as the most important factors in CX design
  • Common misconceptions on building and sustaining a strong internal CX focussed culture
  • Get actionable insight on how to develop a sustainable CX culture in your business
  • Ask any burning questions you have in a Q&A session

Don’t miss out! If you can’t make the webinar on the day, sign up and Davies will send the recording to you.

Register here

 

Personalisation should be harnessed for better customer communication in 2022

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Paul Adams, Senior Director at cloud communications platform Twilio, has shared his 2022 predictions, drawing on observations in consumer behaviour and customer engagement over the pandemic…

  1. The increased use of first-party data to understand customers from small businesses

“Historically, Netflix and Amazon have dominated the practice of personalisation by making use of first party data, but this will be increasingly used by a wider array of businesses too. The emergence of customer data platforms has made it easier for businesses to harness this data, enabling them to replicate these same levels of personalisation for themselves. Customers now expect this personalised experience, and as more companies begin to rethink their approach to customer experience and update their communication methods, we’ll see a levelling out across businesses of all sizes.

All businesses are going to need to understand all their customer touch points, journeys and profile to the same extent in the long run. Otherwise, consumers’ relationships with your business will be generic, not personalised, and ultimately the consumer will gravitate towards the competition.  So regardless of whether you’re a broadband provider, a grocery retailer, or a holiday booking company, you’ve got to prove that the way you’re engaging with customers and the experience you’re delivering is the best.”

2. The mass digital transformation of small businesses in the B2C market 

“Digital transformation was at the forefront of business conversations before the pandemic, but the sudden need to convert businesses to a digital model overnight significantly sped up the process — by as much as 6 years for many. Businesses are now coming to the end of their natural tech refresh cycles and are accepting that digital transformation is imperative for survival in the market. While large businesses are more likely to have made this jump already, smaller organisations, which have tighter resources and more restrictive budgets by nature, have been slower to make the transition. Many small businesses simply didn’t have the resources to completely remodel during the pandemic, so instead focused on making smaller adjustments for survival. Now, these SMBs, which account  for around 99.2% of businesses in the UK, will be the ones leading this technology innovation and investing in digital transformation for the longer-term. As a result, the level of digital innovation we see from SMBs will be on a level akin to that seen from entrepreneurs in the 1980s.

“Beyond that you’re going to see a lot of industries adopting technology to support better customer engagement. We’re already seeing this in the UK’s mature market, with industries like healthcare, utilities, even buying and selling cars, increasingly moving to a more digital model. Ultimately, their product hasn’t changed but the way they interact with consumers has evolved with apps, chat bots, SMS and WhatsApp for reminders, conversations and alerts. Big brands like Uber and AirBnB have mastered this technique, and innovative start-ups are integrating these lessons into their business models. However, the SMBs that got through the pandemic with limited and underdeveloped digital migrations will now be adjusting their models and their communication methods to meet this expectation.  We’re going to see some very fast-growing companies in this space, as a pressure to differentiate mounts and the ones who engage well, with a great digital service, will be the one to own the transaction.

3. Hybrid lifestyles will be consolidated in the next year, and we expect to see an increased reliance on digital communications for older demographics remote over 30s. 

“The move from pandemic to endemic is an important shift and will have a notable impact on customer engagement. This change will be felt as we experience more new variants and subsequent periods of re-socialisation – and consumer behaviour will be driven by these patterns  as we learn to live with the disease. From this we’ll see three main camps emerge: those who want to return to how things were, those who embrace a hybrid lifestyle and others who adopt a purely remote way of living.”

“Age is a large determining factor driving this changing consumer behaviour. In many cases, it’s younger people who want to return to cities for that socialisation they’ve missed out on this past year, whilst slightly older groups are feeling the benefits of hybrid or remote working more as they have more flexibility to manoeuvre their working lives around families and other commitments. These two groups will be further consolidated in this next phase of the pandemic. Hybrid lifestyles will be solidified with new, flexible commuting patterns while remote lifestyles will become more normalised as families move out of cities and become full-time work-from-home employees.

Younger demographics have historically driven digital adoption. If you look at social media, for example, it’s the 18-35 year olds that make up 80% of users in the UK.  Yet while this age group will continue to lead the charge in embracing newer inventions, we’ll see older demographics start to adapt more to the everyday use of technology to support increasingly hybrid lifestyles. From here, we’ll see greater integration of technologies like digital communications tools to facilitate these lifestyles, so people can work more flexibly and efficiently in the way they choose. Overall, this will increase the prevalence of technology in all of our communities.

4. Business tech innovation decisions will be made based on making businesses ‘future-proof’ rather than just price. 

“The pandemic has highlighted two things for businesses when it comes to technology. First is the importance of having multiple communication channels to alleviate the risk of disruption for customers, and second is the need to invest in technology that will safe-guard businesses for the future. No one could have predicted the pandemic and its effects, but for businesses, it quickly became apparent that those who were forward leaning with their technology footprint were able to make the necessary adjustments to survive. Those who weren’t struggled, and many sadly didn’t make it.  I think this idea of making businesses ‘future proof’ has really taken root and will influence our investment decisions and priorities moving forward. Thinking about long-term solutions that can weather storms will become the way we decide on investment, more so than just considering price. This is also relevant when thinking about sustainability and climate change.

“Something else to consider here is the impact of the “Great Resignation” when it comes to future-proofing businesses. The relationship between organisations and their staff has changed for the long term, and employers are now having to ask themselves how they attract and maintain essential workforce when one in four employees are re-evaluating their careers. Investing in technologies that enable flexibility and open communication with employees and customers is no longer just an IT project — it’s about making fundamental changes to the business model to ensure survival and growth. Those who deploy the tools of digital transformation will be in a far greater position for the next uncertain wave arrives. This is what we mean when we say ‘future-proofing’.”

Movers & shakers: Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021

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2021 flashed by, and brands across the globe kept the pedal to the metal to stay one step ahead of a relentless year. COVID restrictions eased and then returned, competition in the digital realm was fiercer than ever, and consumer preferences changed in the blink of an eye.

However, there were several brands that excelled against all odds, and these are the brands to draw inspiration from as we journey through 2022.

Click here to see Talkwalker’s top 10 brands of 2021.

Do you know what’s missing from your CX strategy?

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By Genesys

Our team here at Genesys have been hard at work creating a digital consultancy solution focused on Omnichannel Contact Centre.  This is in the form of an online self-assessment that will enable you to benchmark against industry standards, identify relevant use cases, and define your CX strategy roadmap.  We’d like to invite you to take advantage of this digital consultancy.

This online self-assessment should take just 5 minutes to complete. Our system will then generate a bespoke report for you which we can walk through. You can also share this invitation with other contacts within your business to complete the assessment and we will correlate the results.

Your report will show anonymously benchmarked results, an assessment of your strengths and also a specific action plan to show you the fastest path to an optimised position.

Just click here to complete your self-assessment and receive your report today!