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NICE

NICE CX Excellence Awards 2020 – Winners revealed

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

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.

How gamification increases employee productivity in the contact centre

960 640 Noa Shlomo

By Noa Shlomo, Product Manager, NICE

With more employees working from home than ever before, contact center leaders have had to rethink how they maintain business as usual and continue driving toward organizational goals. In this new environment, gamification has emerged as a critical way of ensuring employee productivity and engagement.

Contact center employees who made an overnight transition to working from home face a number of roadblocks to their usual ways of working. New distractions, such as children, pets and other family members who are in the home during the workday, vie for employees’ attention. And while in the past employees might have simply walked over to a co-worker’s or supervisor’s desk to ask a question, share an update or ask how they’re doing, those interactions aren’t possible anymore. There’s no opportunity for impromptu watercooler conversations or catchup time over a cup of coffee. Every communication and meeting must be scheduled ahead of time, and when communication becomes difficult, people tend to avoid it.

That can leave workers disconnected from their peers and the organization’s goals and vision; according to a study from Workplace by Facebook, only 14% of remote employees feel connected to headquarters and the leadership team. Workers who feel disconnected from their workplace are typically less engaged and therefore less productive. Organizations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity in addition to lower absenteeism and turnover, Gallup has found. 

How contact centers are leveraging gamification

Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. It’s similar to  when you wear a Fitbit or Apple Watch; gathering those points or receiving a digital reward when meeting a step goal or other activity target and is motivating.  In the contact center, gamification involves using activities and processes with game elements, such as pursuits, quests,  and other gaming exercises, with usually multiple levels and potentialy some collaboration elements , that can come with point and rewards, to help employees  solve problems or increase their capabilities.

Studies have found that gamification drives intrinsic motivation and feelings of autonomy and competency among employees. In addition, 83% of employees surveyed in a recent report said that gamification makes them feel more motivated, and 61% who had not received gamified training said they feel bored and unproductive.

Gamification drives employee productivity and engagement in four key ways:

  • Interactive activities are broken down into levels that address specific KPIs and keep employees concentrated and task-driven. Typically, gamified elements are split into smaller objectives that feel achievable, which is an important element of training given employees’ new, distraction-filled work environments. Employees earn badges or rewards as they complete tasks, and incremental work improvements help them feel mastery of key skills.
  • With many employees being onboarded remotely, it can be a struggle to ensure that they’re learning the most crucial skills for their positions. Game elements like targeted trivia sessions allow contact centers to track how new and existing employees are improving and provide additional training as needed. The sessions can be designed in a way that allows managers and supervisors to target the areas employees need to focus on most. It’s also great for existing employees to learn new materials or processes.
  • When employees reach an gamification objective or answer trivia questions correctly, they can earn points that can be used to make purchases in a rewards marketplace. The more they participate in gamified training, the more points they earn to purchase fun perks. Supervisors can track improvements toward targeted KPIs along the way. The leader boards and badges, that are earned, also create a competitive spirit among the teams and peers, further motivating individuals to successfully complete the activities.
  • Completing work in a fun and captivating way helps employees set aside distractions at home. Gamification increases engagement, which Gallup found leads to a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity.

Each of these benefits contributes to more productive employees and adds substantial value to contact centers’ bottom line. A productive and engaged employee can contribute as much as $9,880 in additional value annually over a less productive, less engaged employee. Lack of performance and engagement, also contributes to the fact, that on average, most contact centers face 40% turnover.  In a contact center with 2,000 employees, for example, reduced engagement and productivity could cost as much as $3.2 million each year.

Everybody wins with gamification

By adding gamification to a contact center’s repertoire of training and engagement programs, contact centers can achieve higher levels of productivity and empower remote employees to engage with work in a fun and rewarding way. Read this whitepaper to see how you can leverage gamification to coach at-home agents effectively.

RPA: A key factor driving success in the COVID-19 era  

960 640 Catherine Gurwitz

By Catherine Gurwitz (pictured), Product Marketing Manager, NICE

Organizations around the world are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to become more agile and efficient in the face of increased demand and rapidly changing environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. While call centers become increasingly aware of the necessity of a remote workforce, organizations are realizing the benefits of automation.

Leveraging RPA for COVID-19 challenges

Industries like healthcare, financial services and the public sector have rapidly mobilized resources to help people cope with the financial, health and practical challenges of life during a pandemic. But along with the growing volumes of service queries they face during the COVID-19 crisis, these organizations have been asked to allow their employees to work from home where possible.

The sudden need to accommodate remote work has put contact centers under enormous pressure. At this trying time, it is more important than ever to provide responsive, personalized and compassionate customer service. But providing a consistent customer experience in a distributed working environment can be challenging.

The pressures of responding to customers who may be anxious or ill can be overwhelming for remote employees used to working in a structured corporate environment. There are also the challenges of rapidly scaling up for demand and ensuring continuance in case employees cannot work because they fall ill or need to self-isolate.

RPA and COVID-19

Many organizations are turning to software robots for assistance. Robotic process automation (RPA) in the back-office and virtual assistants (attended automation) on employees desktops are helping enterprises to keep pace with growing service demands, support colleagues working from home, and ensure business continuity during these challenging times.

For companies wrestling with the challenges of COVID-19, RPA offers wide-ranging benefits. Every organization has clerical, time-consuming tasks that demand accuracy and speed, but don’t require decision-making to accomplish. Companies that have needed to downscale or even shut down normal contact center and back-office operations will have experienced a backlog in service requests such as changes of address or new account applications, for instance. Unattended robots are a perfect fit for tasks like those, which involve searching, cutting and pasting, updating the same data in multiple places, moving data around, and collating simple and repetitive items. Unattended bots, running on servers in the backend, can perform just about any rule-based work by interacting with applications.

With the escalating call volumes and back-office backlogs companies face due to COVID-19, unattended robots can power through high volumes of many admin driven tasks, such as: address changes, refund claims, orders, generation of customer letters and other tasks without any manual intervention required.  Everyone wins in this scenario: the customer gets a convenient experience and a quick response, employees can focus on complex, more personal interactions rather than on tedious manual work, and the company benefits from optimized efficiency and productivity.

Attended Automation, RPA and COVID-19 efficiencies

In the context of COVID-19, RPA really comes into its own when it is combined with an attended automation solution. Attended and unattended solutions working together can help organizations scale up and improve responsiveness at a time when contact centers are under enormous pressure because physical channels are closed for business.

At this time, employees may be facing a growing pile of paperwork and manual data capture requirements as national lockdowns begin to ease. An attended bot can help them catch up with the backlog. But it also improves engagement by helping them work efficiently to help each customer and freeing them from tedious work which machines can handle better.

Attended automation solutions can also capture data from scanned claim forms or faxes by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and then update back-office systems with the new data. The employee does not need to expend energy on this type of tedious, low-value task, allowing them to get more done and to focus on the human side rather than on data capture.

One common frustration for customer service employees is the requirement to cut and paste customer information from one system to another, or even to recapture data that exists in one corporate system in a different application. An attended automation solution can auto-populate forms in a blink of an eye, then allow the agent to add or change details as necessary, in real-time.

Attended automation is also a boon when front office employees need to work across multiple applications and systems. It can streamline laborious processes such as collecting data from numerous disparate systems and present it all in a single view for the agent. It can also perform real-time calculations for the agent and present a view of summarized customer data.

Challenges of remote work and automation

Since many employees are working remotely due to COVID-19, they are unable to turn directly to colleagues or supervisors for help and support. Virtual assistants have a valuable potential role to play in supporting remote employees – keeping them engaged, informed and connected. They can also prompt employees to follow company guidelines, policies and procedures – all in real-time.

This helps the organization to ensure regulatory compliance and maintain consistency of the customer experience. When a company changes processes or policies, the employee virtual assistant can help to quickly align staff to any changes. It can also enable front- line agents to speak in a coherent voice by providing them with contextually relevant guidance scripts in real-time.

When there are both attended and unattended process bots at work, in the event of a process exception or error, an attended bot can refer a request to a human worker for intervention when it cannot complete a task. The human worker can then ‘collaborate’ with their attended bot to resolve a process error or complication, in real-time. The automated flow can then resume without any downtime.

Succeeding with attended automation and RPA in the COVID era

Quickly getting to grips with attended automation and RPA, during this unpredictable and turbulent time can better equip call centers, agents and end customers to better adjust to this new reality and achieve success.  For more information on how to empower your remote workforce to click here.

How AI and automation help contact centers be agile in the COVID-19 era

960 640 Paul Chance

By Paul Chance, NICE

As widespread shutdowns went into effect, contact centers had to make an overnight shift to remote work – a significant undertaking in an industry that has historically relied on physical office spaces to bring together and manage the agents who are critical to solving customers’ needs. Agents and contact center leaders, many of whom were taking their organizations remote for the first time ever, learned and adapted on the go.

Now, with many organizations starting to make plans for reopening and thinking about how they can adapt to a multitude of different in-office or remote work scenarios, it has become clear that new strategies and technology tools are needed to help contact centers stay agile.  There’s a lot of uncertainty about the future, and contact centers must put the right solutions in place to be able to react swiftly as business conditions change.

In this environment, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are making nimbleness a reality for contact centers by helping leaders adapt scheduling, planning, hiring, forecasting and intraday management to in-the-moment changes.

AI-driven workforce management enables more accurate decision-making

When AI is embedded into workforce management, contact center leaders gain tools that can accurately predict outcomes in a wide range of scenarios and take much of guesswork and time out of lengthy planning and research needs.

  • Long-term and “what-if” planning. With so much in flux today, determining the right staffing levels needed to meet specific KPIs is particularly challenging. AI makes it easy to incorporate a multitude of variables and specific business requirements into long-term planning and empowers contact centers to problem-solve between staffing requirements and performance gaps. Its meticulous predictions increase long-term forecasting accuracy by 6 to 10%.
  • Hiring the right agents. The lack of face-to-face interaction right now adds a new layer to hiring – how can contact centers make sure they’re choosing the right people? With AI embedded in workforce management, contact centers can use voice analysis to objectively assesses candidates’ aptitude, engagement and performance and determine which candidates are likely to be high-value employees.
  • Forecast accurately and effectively. Forecasting typically takes substantial research and knowledge of the contact center as well as deep expertise in numerous forecasting methods. AI-driven workforce management enables managers to focus their efforts on higher-value tasks by assessing which forecasting methods will be the most accurate in a given situation, pinpointing unseen patterns in data and automatically adjusting to new circumstances – ultimately increasing accuracy and efficiency.
  • Simulate real-world scenarios. The downstream impacts of staffing decisions are incredibly difficult to predict manually, but AI and machine learning can demonstrate exactly how changes to on-hand agent skills, call prioritization, routing and other variables impact service levels.

Automation makes real-time contact center schedule changes possible

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, customer demand can change in an instant – and so can the available pool of agents. Automation empowers contact centers to simulate impacts on KPIs throughout the day and several weeks into the future, after the schedule is published. It enables automatic adjustments to meet customer demand without overstaffing or understaffing.    

  • Fix staffing gaps. As staffing needs change throughout the day, automation within workforce management solutions identifies variances that lead to overstaffing and understaffing. It then brings staffing in line with contact center business needs by automatically offering agents shift swaps, voluntary time off, extra hours and more – but only when changes will benefit the business. There’s no need for heavy monitoring or intervention by a manager.
  • Increase agent engagement. Automation enables contact centers to eliminate some of agents’ biggest frustrations, such as missed shift or overtime opportunities, a lack of flexibility in their schedules and slow approval for schedule change requests. This increases agent engagement, a top driver of productivity, which is essential right now given the distractions agents face at home. 

Whether a contact center is fully remote, working from the office or some blend of the two, the ability to adapt quickly is essential right now – and AI and automation make it possible to do so with workforce management. Learn more about how technologies are empowering contact center agility right now in our ebook on Leveraging AI and Intelligent Automation in the WFM Suite.

For more information please click here.

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.

NICE release special home working solution in response to COVID-19

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By NICE inContact

We live in a world where the only constant is change.  As we experience together the COVID 19 global pandemic and its impacts on our daily lives, the necessity of being able to adapt is very clear. In addition to the massive strains on the healthcare systems around the globe, the business world we live in is also severely impacted.  With the disruption of supply chains resulting in shortages of goods, to the current and impending layoffs of employees around the globe, the world we live in is changing at a faster pace that anyone could expect. This makes the Financial Crisis of 2009 look minor in comparison, as people are concerned about both their financial and physical well-being.

These changes hold true for contact centers given the critical role they play in business. As the front line to customers, they too need to adjust to our new reality.  Customer demands on agents are higher than ever but the safety of the contact center agents is also critical given the nature of the crisis.  How does one balance customer demands with the new reality of “social distancing”?  The roles of governments also come into play where some have restricted or eliminated freedom of movement which causes agents to be unable to get to the office. This results in businesses not being able to provide the services and support that customers expect.  Lost revenues and customers, and potentially the total closure of the business itself are inevitable for those without a plan to quickly adjust to this new reality.

Some businesses failed to have strong business continuity plans, but there are others that were preparing for any eventuality.  This includes preparing their contact center agents to work from home leveraging a cloud based technology.  Understanding how to manage the human resource elements from hiring to performance management is also a critical part of the plan.  Here are just a few best practices you should focus on when moving your contact center agents to work from home.

NICE inContact are offering CXone@home to help companies transition in 48 hours their contact center agents to a home-based work environment, at no cost for 45 days.

Choose the Right Cloud Solution
A full suite of AI and Analytics driven applications from compliance, workforce and performance management to automation.

Equip Workers with the Tools They Need to Succeed
Remote contact center workers and supervisors need the same access to applications and tools as they do when in the office.

Ensure You Transition the Right Existing People to be Remote Agents
Employees need to be self-motivated, resourceful, mindful of the importance of confidentiality (with customer data) as well as technically oriented.

Make Experts Readily Available
Employees need ready access to the companies knowledge bank of information in real time.  This should include things like attended robotic process automation.

Utilize Tools and Reporting to Track Agent Activity, Goals, and Metrics
Allow managers to effectively monitor teams remotely through things like call monitoring and recording as we as deliver effective performance management.

Optimize Skill Development with Distance and AI Driven Personalized Learning
Using distance learning or eLearning technologies to certify agents on new campaigns or products.

The crisis we are now facing should cause many of those in the contact center industry to rethink the way they do business.  Now is the time to move your contact center to the cloud to weather the storm we are currently in and be ready for those yet to come because we will always live in a world of constant change.

Learn more about CXone@home here. https://get.niceincontact.com/cxoneathome

Millennials and Gen Zs ‘driving digital-first customer experience’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The third annual 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark has detailed how understanding younger generations’ use of and expectations around next-generation solutions like artificial intelligence (AI) and digital channels are fundamental to building exceptional, best-in-class customer experiences.

As Millennials and Generation Z become dominant consumer groups, with Generation Z purchasing already reaching an estimated $100 billion according to research conducted by Barkley, their comfort level and familiarity with multiple digital channels including social messaging and chatbots means organizations, no matter their size, must provide digital-first omnichannel experiences to meet consumer expectations and effectively compete in the experience economy.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Almost 60% of Generation Z and Millennials have used private social messaging for customer service. In contrast, 38% of Gen X, 19% of Baby Boomers and 16% of Silent Generation have done so.The majority of Generation Z and Millennials also want companies to allow them to interact with customer service using private social messaging apps (72% and 69%, respectively).
  • Consumers are using AI more and feeling more positive about chatbots over time.Half of all consumers have used AI for any purpose (50%), compared to 2018 (45%). This can be attributed to a significant increase in the use of an automated assistant/chatbot online (34%, up from 25% in 2018). Generation Z and Millennials are more likely to agree that chatbots make it easier and quicker for their issues to get resolved, and are also the most likely of all generations to have used all forms of AI for any purpose, as well as for customer service.
  • Half of consumers who start with AI are transferred to a live agent, and age is a significant factor when it comes to AI and the importance of the human touch. While chatbot usage and performance are improving – and preferences and attitudes are changing – most consumers want to be informed if they are using a chatbot (92%) and 91% of all consumers prefer a live agent. However, this preference follows a downward trend generationally: 98% of the Silent Generation, 96% of Baby Boomers, 91% of Generation X, 86% of Millennials and 83% of Generation Z say they prefer a live agent.
  • Seamless digital-first omnichannel experiences are vital to positive customer experiences.Most consumers (93%) want seamless omnichannel experiences, and yet they are increasingly giving companies a poor rating on seamlessly switching between channels – 73% give companies a poor rating, up from 67% in 2018. This is especially important for meeting and exceeding the expectations of Millennials and Generation Z, who are the most likely to have experienced omnichannel customer service (16% and 21%, respectively).

“Understanding the nuances of what consumers expect, and how they actually engage with brands via a myriad of digital channels, and integrating these in-demand channels seamlessly to deliver digital-first omnichannel experiences, is key to sustainable growth,” said Paul Jarman, NICE inContact CEO. “The NICE inContact CX Benchmark looks beyond education around demographic customer service trends and gets to the root of what makes new channel options attractive. Millennials and Generation Z are bellwethers of what consumers expect and are increasingly likely to recommend a company on social media based on personal experiences – the influence they wield is tremendous.”

Click here to read the full report.

80% of business leaders say Robotic Process Automation improves customer service

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

NICE has revealed insights from a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting that shows the connection between improved customer service and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The findings indicated that 80 percent of business leaders surveyed felt RPA is important in making customer service teams more efficient.

RPA is not only a key component of a broader digital transformation, but 88 percent of respondents also consider it a cost mitigation strategy, while 72 percent reported looking at RPA as an enabler of customer self-service in emerging channels.

NICE asserts the findings testify to the strategic importance of embracing technologies that drive true and full digital transformations for enterprises while empowering employees to improve performance and automating increasing levels of processes at varied complexities.

This survey-based research study highlights the rapid growth of the RPA market and indicates that deployments are still the tip of the iceberg, stating: “According to Forrester’s research, RPA’s growth will continue, with global spending on RPA services in 2019 set to exceed $5 billion – and $12 billion by 2023.”

The research brings to light that 78 percent of business leaders are willing to leverage digital workers or robots for routine tasks while human contact center agents take on more strategic roles. Additionally, almost half (49 percent) of employees surveyed said RPA has removed all or some of the mundane tasks and helped them focus better on their work. These statistics indicate that RPA technology increase employee engagement and enable improved levels of customer service delivery, thus boosting brand differentiation in today’s customer experience-driven era.

Additionally, the study also noted that 47 percent of employee respondents stated they sometimes or often forget a step in the process. This directly ties into 41 percent of managers and employees reporting that the reduction of manual errors is one of the top three impacts of RPA on the employee’s job. Both these findings indicate RPA also improves service quality.

Barry Cooper, President, NICE Enterprise Product Group, said: “We welcome the insights from Forrester’s research which validate the market movements towards intelligent Robotic Desktop Automation solutions that sit at the heart of an organization’s digital transformation. NICE’s vision of bringing automation to the people is more relevant than ever to this dynamic high growth market. We look forward to expanding our partnership with organizations that want to empower their employees and drive their business to new heights of customer satisfaction and efficiency.”

Cloud tech delivers ‘18% more customer satisfaction’

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The findings of the 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark has shown that companies with all of their contact center technology in the cloud report 18 percent higher customer satisfaction (CSAT) based on service experience compared to companies with on-premises contact center technology.

Furthermore, at 40 per cent, a significant portion of companies are very likely to invest in four or more channels to improve the customer service experience.

The 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark gauges the attitudes of businesses and consumers in key areas of customer experience.

The latest report on the business wave of the study provides insights on contact center technology investment plans amidst changing customer needs, and points to the need for businesses to move beyond multichannel offerings and create true seamless omnichannel customer experiences powered by a complete cloud customer experience platform.

The study polled contact center leaders in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.  

Key findings:

  • Organizations with all of their contact center technology in the cloud report superior customer experience outcomes. Companies using cloud contact center technology report 18 percent higher CSAT as well as 36 percent higher likelihood to recommend their company from customers based on service experience, compared to companies with on-premises contact center technology.
  • Channels investment plans are significant. Forty percent of companies are very likely to invest in four or more channelsto improve the customer service experience in the coming year. Further, those who are very likely to invest in four or more channels who also have all their contact center technology in the cloud or are planning to move to the cloud are more likely than those with on-premises contact center technology to now offer eight of the 11 channels covered in the study, including communicating with customers on social media, online chat, SMS / text, video chat, IVR, mobile apps, chatbots, and service via a home electronic virtual assistant device.
  • Despite customer demand, investment plans for omnichannel functionality are lacking. Overwhelmingly, customers expect seamless omnichannel functionality when interacting with businesses, by a rate of 91 percent. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of businesses are likely to invest in new services that allow channels of communication to work together seamlessly. Consumer use of and preference for digital channels is on the rise. In the US from 2017 to 2018, chat use tripled, and text grew tenfold; preference for these channels grew 36 percent and 71 percent respectively.
  • Almost half of global organizations see a need for more agent-assisted resources. While customer reliance on self-service channels has spiked, increasing from 17 percent to 31 percent in the United States (based on the 2018 CX benchmark) 49 percent of businesses globally expect they will need more agent-assisted resources in the coming year. Among these businesses, 61 percent say the need is due to an increase in the number of customers interacting with agents.

Paul Jarman, NICE in Contact CEO, said: “From social media messaging, to text, to chatbots, the customer relationship takes place across a wide and diverse range of channels in addition to voice. As more customers embrace multiple digital channels to communicate and engage, it becomes increasingly important for businesses to be able to quickly adopt and integrate digital channels into a seamless omnichannel customer experience.

“The NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark not only shows that contact centers are moving to the cloud, but that those who are in the cloud, and those that plan to invest in customer experience, provide superior customer experiences. Leading organizations of all sizes can stay agile and ahead of customer expectations by leveraging a complete, unified and intelligent cloud contact center platform, to deliver quick, effortless interactions – anywhere.”

NICE inContact surveyed more than 900 contact center decision makers in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. The report presents global findings from the business wave of the research and provides insights on contact center leaders’ technology investment plans and contact center goals and metrics.

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

Image by rawpixel from Pixabay

NICE partners with Atos to drive digital transformations

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Cloud contact centre software platform NICE inContact has partnered with French digital transformation specialist Atos, which currently operates in 73 countries and employs over 110,000 members of staff. 

The partnership will see the creation of NICE inContact CXone, a solution for Contact Center as a Service and bring CXone to the company’s installed base of hundreds of thousands of contact centre agents across the globe as well as new customers.

CXone will be integrated with Circuit and sold by Atos under the name Cloud Contact Center – powered by CXone, to deliver one unified, digital-first omnichannel cloud customer experience platform, and complements the OpenScape Contact Center solution which Atos will continue to offer for on-premise and hosted requirements.

“Contact centre organisations of all sizes around the world are moving to the cloud to power immersive and engaging customer experiences that drive down costs while building loyalty, advocacy and wallet share,” said Paul Jarman, NICE inContact CEO. 

“Our partnership with Atos demonstrates NICE inContact’s accelerated international expansion. We’re delighted to work together to bring the benefits of the cloud to thousands of agents and customers.”

Commenting on the partnership, Simon Skellon, Chief Sales Officer for Atos’ UCC division, said: “For many customers, the move to cloud is a central element of their digital transformation strategy and by offering them NICE inContact’s world-class cloud platform underpinned by Atos’ proven leadership in Workplace Services, they have the perfect opportunity to migrate to a true digital first omnichannel customer experience — whether served directly by Atos, or via a member of our extensive partner community.”

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