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What’s on your CX agenda for 2020?

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

Hyper-personalisation driven by data democratisation

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

Rise of multi-sensory brand experiences

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

Voice search will become a key component of the customer experience

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

Transparency and privacy concerns gain steam

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

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

GUEST BLOG: What role will Chatbots play in 2020? 

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Interesting times are ahead as contact centres cut through the jargon, dispel the myths and embrace new AI technology to serve customers and agents.

Colin Hay at Puzzel takes a closer look at the top three uses for Chatbots… 

This time last year, Gartner predicted that Virtual Customer Assistants (VCAs) or Chatbots will dominate the contact centre industry by 2020. Already, more than half of organisations have invested in the technology for customer service.[i] 

However, despite all the hype and discussion about Chatbots and all things Artificial Intelligence (AI), there is still an element of confusion about their value and a reluctance to adopt this new technology more quickly.

These are interesting times with exciting possibilities on the horizon for Chatbots as organisations explore the options and the opportunities ahead. From accelerating response times for customers to plugging the gaps in agent skills and availability, Chatbots are here to stay but how are they best used?

Three Top Uses for Bots 

Here are three ways to use bots to enhance customer conversations and boost agent performance for improved service.

  1. Direct transactional contact with customers – these are good old-fashioned Chatbots as we know them and their function focuses primarily on the customer. Designed as an efficient and cost-effective addition to any organisation’s self-service offering, they integrate directly into the core contact centre solution to improve first contact with customers and save valuable live agent time. For contact centres which already have existing investments in Chatbots, ready-made connectors allow companies to “Bring their own Bot” and seamlessly link to their contact centre infrastructure.
  2. An all-important triage resource – in many ways, Chatbots are a Chat version of IVR by acting as a smart connector as they transfer customer conversations over to human agents. Chatbots bridge the digital and human worlds by ensuring live agents have all the information they need, at the time of hand-over, to deliver a complete and end-to-end satisfying customer interaction.
  3. Dedicated Virtual Personal Assistants for Agents – the latest application of Chatbots maximises AI learning from the contact centre and other parts of the business to provide agents with the real-time knowledge they need, along with suggested solutions, to solve customer queries. Media archives within the contact centre solution are a perfect place to create a living library of machine learning and historical records of previous Chat interactions. Transcribed voice conversations, full of unstructured data, are transformed into structured data that is easily searchable by text, thanks to the power of AI.A new breed of “bot buddies” will enable advisors to boost their performance at work and deliver exceptional customer experience. Agents can engage with them through speech or text communication while the virtual technology works hard behind the scenes, using inbuilt intelligence to respond to agent enquiries and support staff in real-time.

What role will Chatbots play in 2020?

Some might say that “the jury is still out” in terms of the real role that Chatbots will play in 2020 but one thing is sure they will be a part of customer service. According to Gartner, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more per annum on bots and chatbot creation, than on traditional mobile app development by 2021[ii]. It’s just a question of what part those bots will play in contact centres?

To find out more, Puzzel invites you to join an executive breakfast briefing with the UK Contact Centre Forum on 27th February 2019.

To register or to discover what role Chatbots will play in your contact centre in 2020, click here.

GUEST BLOG: IT and marketers working together will improve CX

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For years, marketers have talked—and written—extensively about the disconnect between marketing and IT. Who should own email lists and sensitive data?

Who should have access to the website CMS? Who should decide which marketing automation platforms to install? These are just a few of the questions that have plagued the marketing/IT debate.

In 2019 however, this debate finally feels like it’s come to a close. According to new research from Episerver, 93 percent of marketers now have the ability to directly edit their company’s website, while 80 percent expect to have complete ownership over their brand’s web presence within the next two years.

Instead of seeing this as a ‘land grab’ from IT, however, 62 percent of marketers say they are simply working collaboratively with their IT departments in order to reduce silos and ensure the best customer experiences. While this is great news for customers, the problem of marketing silos has not gone away for good. Instead, a new debate has started to rage—this time between marketers and the new wave of customer experience (CX) professionals…

This article originally appeared on Digital Marketing Briefing – Click here to continue reading…

GUEST BLOG: Creating an effective Knowledge Base

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By Helen Thain, Content Manager, Adexchange

The mind of a Contact Centre Manager is constantly whirring with ways to reduce agent workload whilst improving customer experience. An impossible task?

I don’t think so. Behind every good agent is a solid and reliable Knowledge Base.

An effective Knowledge Base, to help resolve customers simple and frequently occurring issues more quickly, lies behind the success of multiple channels. Emails, phone calls and chatbot dialogues all rely on a good, comprehensive and well written library of Knowledge Articles and Videos – giving agents exactly what they need at the click of a button.

Not only is the Knowledge Base there to help agents but as consumers we’re becoming increasingly tech-savvy and expect companies to evolve technology to meet the needs of our busy lives. Technology in the customer service industry is developing quickly and, when used effectively, can significantly reduce workload. Customers are more than happy to help themselves – it’s satisfying and painless for them and means fewer calls and emails for agents to handle!

75% of customers see self-service as ‘a convenient way to address customer service issues’ – Nuance Enterprise.

This multi-channel approach gives us plenty of scope to create separate Knowledge Bases for internal and external use.

Knowledge Articles vs. Video Articles

We already know that a great Knowledge Base is going to reduce agent workload and improve Contact Centre performance but what should we be including in this Knowledge Base?

Knowledge Articles are great for giving agents clear and effective answers to any of our customers’ more frequently asked questions. Just copy and paste the sections you need, add a bit of a personal touch and hey presto you’re done! But is that enough?

Did you know ‘the human brain can process video 60,000 times faster than text’? – Psychology Today

This can make a plain, text-based Knowledge Article seem a little behind the times.

A Video Article can take your plain, text-based article and turn it into an efficient and effective tool for both agents and customers.

Professional Video Articles, that last anything from 30 to 90 seconds, give viewers visual journeys with audio prompts (and a soundtrack!) – it’s the Contact Centre equivalent of an Oscar winning movie! Watch them online or on the go on your smart phone. Simple, effective and all absorbed 60,000 times faster than a Knowledge Article equivalent.

What makes a good Knowledge Base?

The dream Knowledge Base will have the perfect mix of classic text-based articles and professional videos. A Video Article is perfect for explaining processes like changing your login details or amending an order but probably won’t work so well when trying to explain why a customer’s order hasn’t arrived yet – that’s where the trusty, text-based Knowledge Article comes to the rescue.

Our Top Tips

  • Keep the Knowledge Articles short – people will lose interest and forget key information if they have to read a long piece of text
  • Use clear and simple layouts – short paragraphs and bullet points will help to highlight key information
  • Keep Video Articles under 2 minutes – any longer and the viewers’ attention will begin to fade
  • Finally, give the content of your Knowledge Base a K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Silly)

Great Knowledge Article content, clear layouts and streamlined Video Articles work together to create an effective Knowledge Base for agents – giving customers a faster, better and more effective response.

The result? An efficient and low-cost Contact Centre delivering exceptional customer service.

Want to know more? Get in touchwith us here at Adexchange to see how we can help improve the performance of your Knowledge Base.