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Data

Fast call centre analytics ‘vital’ in the new WFH normal

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The immediate provision of accurate speech analytics is becoming increasingly vital as contact centres increasingly look to maintain work from home (WFH) operational models.

That’s the view of leading call centre solution provider Avoira, which is anticipating heightened interest in the technology from delegates attending the virtual Contact Centre & Customer Service Summit.

The company reports managers are finding that the interactive nature of a sophisticated real-time analytics solution not only enables more effective call outcomes, but enhances employee engagement.

Speaking ahead of the Summit, Steve Watts, Avoira’s head of sales, said: “With team leaders and managers having lost the Captain’s Chair view of what’s happening minute-to-minute,  real-time analytics are even more important and compelling.

“As a result contact centre directors and heads of innovation are now taking a closer look at the sophisticated tools they might deploy to ensure productivity and service standards are maintained as the novelty of homeworking wears off.”

He adds that capturing real-time traffic not just within a centralised centre but across a remote working network, remains a challenge for all but the most potent speech analytic solutions.

As such Watts is expecting heightened interest at the Summit in the AI powered voice analytics solution which Avoira is set to showcase.

The cloud-based Xdroid solution is a rarity – arguably unique – in delivering real-time analytics of both voice and text communications. It automatically records and analyses all calls and monitors customer experience, compliance and the performance of individual agents, wherever they are working.

The powerful solution can detect and range of emotions, reporting on whether customers are displaying displeasure, uncertainty, disappointment or happiness. Based on analysis of dialogue, it provides on-screen prompts which can steer an agent to engage in specific actions – such as up-selling or making a compensatory gesture – at the time most likely to yield a positive response.

A formidable customer service tool, the technology claims to deliver an increased client retention rate of 30% and an inbound sales uplift of 14%.

It can also increase agent retention and reduce breaches which can result in legal or regulatory actions.

“It’s not just regulatory and legal compliance with which our solution can assist, but in ensuring employees, wherever they are, continue to subscribe to and share the organisation’s ethos,” says Watts. “By providing tools with which to help an agents job be performed more easily and effectively, it also helps them feel valued.”

Banking on security: Keeping customer data secure in financial services

960 641 Guest Post

Simon Hill, Legal & Compliance, Certes Networks

The protection of sensitive data in line with regulations, both for banks and other financial services organisations, is currently a big challenge.

The way these organisations operate has changed dramatically in recent years, due mostly to the fact that financial institutions are not only heavily regulated by data privacy requirements, but they are also under mounting pressure to be open to consumers and businesses about how they are protecting their data from potential breaches.

The increasing expectations of consumers means that banks and financial institutions are trying to achieve a balancing act: how can they protect data privacy, while at the same time remaining transparent about how data is being protected?

However, it doesn’t have to be a play-off between meeting these customer expectations and meeting cyber security and compliance requirements: banks and financial services organisations can utilise technology to the fullest extent while still protecting data. 

The balancing act 

To achieve this balance, banks and financial services organisations need to take control of their security posture and assume the entire network is vulnerable to the possibility of a cyber-attack. Robust encryption and controlled security policies should be a central part of an organisation’s cyber security strategy.

Through generating and defining policies, network policy enforcement allows organisations to ensure that only authorised applications and users are communicating with one another, while enabling them to meet their own governance, security and compliance requirements. 

Rather than waiting for a cyber-attack to happen, new technology tools are now available to gain a deeper understanding of policy deployment and analyse every application that tries to communicate across the network, all the while monitoring all traffic and limiting the pathways potential threats can travel. 

Conclusion 

Banks and financial services organisations should not have to worry about keeping data secure and protected. Adopting new ways of thinking about how these organisations can strengthen the protection of data requires well-defined policies, strict key assignments and authorisation of who sends and receives data.

But, most importantly, the ability to enforce policies to better monitor and observe applications and suspicious activity on the network will require sophisticated technology and tools that are currently available today. 

AI key to customer service, but performance overrated

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Sixty-three per cent of contact centre leaders agree that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier for consumers to get their issues resolved.

That’s according to findings of the second annual NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark, a global research study that gauges the changing attitudes of both industry professionals and consumers.

NICE inContact polled contact centre leaders in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The report compares global findings to the 2018 consumer wave of the study, and includes year-over-year findings for the US.

NICE inContact says results reveal that businesses are confident in artificial intelligence’s (AI’s) role in delivering exceptional customer service experiences, but they overrate their own CX performance.

Compared to consumers, businesses overreach when estimating their own net promoter scores (NPS), overrate their own CX success, and underperform when it comes to delivering seamless omnichannel experiences.    

Key findings:

·       Businesses express confidence in AI. The CX Transformation Benchmark found that 63 percent of contact center leaders agree that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier for consumers to get their issues resolved, and 68 percent of those surveyed agree that consumers want to use virtual assistants to interact with them. Findings show that significantly more US businesses now offer automated assistants / chatbots online, at 54 percent compared to 44 percent the prior year.

·       Business overreach in self-assigned Net Promoter Score (NPS). Compared to consumers, businesses give themselves higher net promoter scores for every method of communication tested. Businesses overestimate most channel-specific NPS by broad margins. For example:

o   Automated Assistant / Chatbot: While consumers award automated assistants an NPS of -8, businesses estimate they earn an NPS of 25, for a gap of 33 points.

o   Email: The consumer NPS for email is -9 while the business NPS is 19, for a gap of 28 points.

o   Text: Consumers give text a -2 NPS while businesses estimate 25, for a gap of 27 points.

·       Businesses overrate their CX success. Businesses are 15 percent more likely than consumers to agree that they make it easier for consumers to get their issues resolved in their preferred channels, and that they provide a consistent customer service experience across the purchase journey.

·       Businesses understand the value of omnichannel experiences, but underperform. While 93 percent of businesses agree that consumers expect companies to provide a seamless experience when moving between channels, only 24% of businesses globally give themselves an excellent rating on allowing consumers to switch seamlessly between methods of communication.

Paul Jarman, CEO at NICE inContact, said: “We are at an inflection point for AI in the contact center. AI innovations are at their best when paired with the human touch and deployed to address targeted customer and agent experience opportunities. AI in the contact center has the potential to add significant value to customer experience outcomes and operational performance.

“The CX Transformation Benchmark shows contact center leader confidence in AI, and we join them in delivering end-to-end AI capabilities that span the entire customer and agent experience, to empower organizations of all sizes to stay one step ahead of customer expectations.”

NICE inContact surveyed more than 900 contact center decision makers in the US, UK, and Australia. The report presents global findings from the business wave of the research and provides comparative results to the consumer study published in 2018.

For more information and to download the full research report, please click here.

UK customers now contact brands nearly half a billion times every month

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Research has highlighted the growing volume of consumer queries that UK brands now need to handle, and the increasing cost this imposes on companies – estimated at £1.227 billion.

The average UK consumer now contacts organisations nine times per month, according to research undertaken as part of the 2018 Eptica Customer Experience Automation Study.

Across the adult population this means brands need to respond to 463.5 million contacts every month, and the figure is rising.

88% of those surveyed said they now contact companies more or the same number of times as five years ago – with 16% getting in touch more than twice as often.

Increasingly, consumers are happy to embrace self-service channels where they can find their own answers, without needing to contact brands through email, the telephone, chat or social media.

83% already use or are willing to use web self-service systems, which analyse queries and deliver automatic instant answers on a company website, while over half (54%) would use intelligent voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Siri from Apple to gain information. 64% also want to use automated, artificial intelligence-powered chatbots.

Using industry average figures from analysts Contact Babel[1], answering these queries costs the UK economy £1.227 billion across the telephone, web, email, social media and chat channels. This is made up of £440.44m (email), £236.98m (social media), £211.99m (chat) and £338.31m (telephone).

In contrast automated channels such as self-service, chatbots and voice assistants have a negligible cost per interaction once they are in place.

“Delivering an excellent customer experience is crucial to every organisation today. However, our research shows the scale of the challenge brands face, with consumers getting in contact nearly half a billion times every month in the UK,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder, Eptica. “Clearly many of these conversations are complex and require the human touch, but others could be automated, speeding up the process for consumers and increasing efficiency for brands.”

Demonstrating the multichannel nature of today’s customer experience, on average each UK consumer used email for 27% of their interactions by brands, followed by web self-service, telephone and social media (17%) each, with 11% of contacts through chat and chatbots respectively.

“Reducing the number of contacts by 10% would save over £122 million – enabling companies to focus resources where they are needed most. Our research shows that consumers are open to embracing new AI-powered technologies such as voice assistants and chatbots, providing an opportunity to improve the experience and reduce costs at the same time,” added Olivier Njamfa.

For the research 1,000 UK consumers were surveyed online in Q3 2018.

The full report, including the study results, graphics and best practice recommendations for brands is available here.

An infographic on the results is available here.

Web chat high on UK financial services agenda

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

UK financial services companies expect to make massive investments in AI-enabled web chat, automated customer identification and interaction analytics technology within the next two years.

A survey of over 200 UK contact centres by analyst ContactBabel shows that financial services operations expect their use of web chat to grow from 24% today to 89% by the beginning of 2020.

The use of interaction analytics is expected to rise from 33% to 77%, and automated speech recognition from 17% to 52% in the same timescale, with much of the latter being used to reduce fraud and the time required to take phone customers through security.

Due in part to increased automation, the sector will see a drop in contact centre employment of around 7,500 jobs by 2020.

Steve Morrell, Principal Analyst at ContactBabel, said: “With average call lengths in UK financial services contact centres having risen by over 50% since 2010, the industry is looking for ways to manage their costs while maintaining the quality of customer service, and making each customer more profitable.

“AI-enabled web chat can handle a large proportion of straightforward customer requests, while automating the customer identity process will shorten call times and reduces fraud. Analytics gives businesses an insight into how and why customers are contacting them, and provides opportunities to grow the business through providing contact centre agents or the automated channel with timely and relevant cross-selling and up-selling offers.”

The full report is downloadable from www.contactbabel.com/reports.cfm.

6 ‘major pain points’ identified in ContactBabel’s annual report…

800 450 Jack Wynn

The 14th edition of ContactBabels annual ‘UK Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide’ has been released by the industry analyst firm, which focuses on the operations, performance, technology and HR aspects of UK contact centre operations.

Based on a random sample of the industry, a detailed questionnaire was presented to 216 contact centre directors and managers to complete between June and August 2016, and analysis of all collected responses was conducted in September.

Six ‘major pain points’ were identified throughout the report: strategic decisions; increasing profitability; improving quality and performance; HR management; maximising efficiency and agent optimisation; and new media and the customer of the future. Each ‘pain point’ is allocated its own section, and solutions to solving each issue – with analysis of the primary research data – are provided.   

 

Access the full report here