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2017 Call Center Week Preview

CRMXchange

Presented By: CRMXchange



Call Center Week Preview:

The theme of this year’s 2017 Call Center Week is Strengthening the Contact Center Foundation. The event organizer, IQPC, is an international producer of numerous multi-industry events. CRMXchange spoke with several of the two-hundred event sponsors to gain insights on their perspectives into the factors that are driving such developments.     

nextcaller.june2017

Next Caller provides businesses with a technology that provides new levels of real-time customer intelligence by enabling them to “meet” the person behind a phone number. Tim Prugar, Director of Customer Success for Next Caller, sees the growing demand for personalization as a driving force. “Foremost, to personalize the experience, the company must have the ability to identify the caller. We help companies get past the most friction-filled moments of a call; the first 30 seconds where instead of collaborating to solve a problem, they are merely collecting mundane yet necessary information. This creates the impression with the customer that you don’t know them and that they are a stranger to your business.”  

Next Caller allows brands to look beyond the number in order to build an experience that is tailored to their wants and needs as a customer. “Having the information makes it possible to make every interaction a seamless one filled with warmth and welcoming,” noted Prugar. Next Caller is an API, no hardware, no software solution which allows them to be extremely nimble. They operate on a per-call pricing model. It allows companies to know more than traditional caller IDs. When a call comes in to a Next Caller partner, it triggers an API call that provides a complete profile in near real time.  Beyond simple name and address, the information includes demographics such as: age, gender, social media profile, household income and more. The contact center agent has all this data at hand before they pick up the phone. This contributes to improved metrics such as average handle time reduced by 30 seconds to a minute per call. Although AHT is no longer as critical an issue as it once was, having the information available provides up to an 18% increase in NPS. “Leveraging data in this fashion gives callers the feeling that the company listened to them, worked hard to solve their problem and genuinely values them as customers,” said Prugar. The information also helps companies to improve their omnichannel offerings when customers reach out through a different channel.  One of the key elements in the solution is an advanced algorithm for data triangulation that allows it to decide which data source is most appropriate. “The demographic data helps companies truly see who their target audience is and build a replicable model of their ideal customer,” he noted. “We help in this process through support and partnerships.”

Next Caller has a strong presence in financial service and with large retailers who handle a high volume of sales and service calls.   

 

vox.june2017

VOX Network Solutions VOX provides consultation, systems integration engineering and acts as a reseller of technology solutions, to support and enable contact centers to work more productively and efficiently. They also offer a user adoption channel called the VOX Learning Institute. They see contact centers as a constantly evolving environment with access to more experienced people, more powerful and flexible technologies, higher level of insights from big data, and the pressure of staying ahead of global competitors.  It is their belief that adopting and implementing a new perspective for the customer journey is critical to supporting an organization’s strategic business goals, and necessary to provide the next-generation engagement experience that today’s customers demand.

Chanley Geveshausen, Director of Customer Engagement Solutions for VOX, focuses on their Customer Engagement Practice. “We went through the paradox of going from the voice channel to multi-media; fax in the initial stages, email, chat and text. The impetus was to open up communication channels and multi-channel had been the buzzword for a long time. The next piece was to provide a seamless experience regardless of where they are to make service consistent. What we call ‘the omnichannel paradigm’ is connecting that customer -- once they’ve chosen the mode -- to an intimate experience, using their data and their preferences to provide fulfillment using the best-case ROI. Intimacy is really what’s missed. It’s more than just using cookies from web visits. If the company has connected to the customer, what else can they do for them?” he said. “The viewpoint has completely shifted.  Rather than think about the company and how they communicate OUT to their customers, the focus now is IN, how the customer wants to engage with the organization…anytime, anywhere, on any device. Companies need to take advantage of the standardization of open database platform to obtain and more importantly, regularly update customer preferences. It’s about meeting customer expectations, making sure that their journey is quick, simple and provides immediate results.   

 

techsee.june2017

 

TechSee is reimagining telephone-based technical support for consumers and enterprises with Intelligent Visual Support.  The technology leverages the ubiquity of smartphones, the visual simplicity of Augmented Reality technologies, and the automating power of artificial intelligence (AI). This combination enables enterprises to deliver a fundamentally new way of providing technical support to their customers. The Israel-based company’s patent-pending technology combines AI with deep machine learning, proprietary algorithms and Big Data to deliver a scalable, cognitive system that grows increasingly smarter after each customer support interaction. TechSee empowers technical support teams across the globe to execute visually interactive remote diagnoses and resolutions of both simple and complex problems.

Eitan Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO of TechSee, believes that communicating via mobile has become a universal and ongoing customer preference. In today’s environment, businesses must optimize their use of the channel, particularly in situations where customer frustration runs high. “All services must be provisioned to be available on a 24/7 basis on mobile,” he said.” Until now, mobile has been good for shopping, not so good for providing help. It’s very hard for a customer to describe even the simplest technical issue on a voice call. In fact, in a recent survey, a considerable proportion of respondents said they would rather clean their bathroom than call tech support.”

TechSee allows customers to use their smartphones to show, not tell agents their problem; they can provide a visual with a single tap, no downloads necessary. The agent and customer can interact via a live virtual channel to provide step-by-step guidance using augmented reality and annotations. TechSee’s clients can experience 20% gains in first contact resolution (FCR) with a corresponding 20% reduction in the need to dispatch technicians as well as 12% lower average handle times and up to 40% improvement in NPS.

According to Cohen, “Customer service is labor intensive. In support situations, there’s often no effective way to scale up without offering a visual solution.” Beyond that, the TechSee platform also makes a difference in not wasting agents’ time who are compelled to solve the same set of rote problems over and over.  The SaaS’s visual AI capabilities “teach” it to respond to such situations, such as synching a remote, making it quicker and easier to resolve them. “The agent needs to control the experience,” said Cohen. “Having this type of solution makes both sides happy and eliminates the frustration that comes from not being able to understand each other.” TechSee believes the IoT revolution is upon us and ultimately hopes to be inside each smart device. Use cases include communication and broadband cable digital services. 

 

 

comm100.june2017

Comm100 is a global provider of enterprise-level customer service and communication solutions. They focus on every detail in the customer communication experience and strive to help clients achieve optimal results. The live chat specialist recently expanded their offerings to include audio and video chat, enabling businesses and their customers to talk over chat at any time. The added application offers a more personal form of communication, speeds up resolution time, and can improve the customer experience by improving satisfaction rates as well as contribute to increased sales.

“Adding the option of audio or video chat allows a greater interchange of more information,” said Kaye Chapman, Customer Experience and Training Consultant for Comm100. “With video chat, agents can conduct face-to-face interactions and get cues from the body language of the customer with whom they are interacting. This helps to enable a more personalized experience. It’s also nice for the customer, creating a more positive, friendly situation. While chatting is great, there are times when customers just want to talk about their issues, get several quick answers to a series of questions, or to address a complicated issue that would take too long to type out.”

Audio & Video Chat in Comm100 Live Chat is browser based. Customers or agents can request to have an audio or video chat using a simple click. There are no need for downloads or plugins. It allows text messages to be exchanged while on an audio or video call (like a Skype call).

The company is currently offering a 15-day free trial to their client base. Subsequently, the cost for the service will be $9 per month per agent. Chapman noted that there was a great deal of interest, particularly in businesses such as healthcare, where a face-to-conversation would be more efficient. Comm100 provides its clients with the ability to route an incoming chat request to the right agent, saving the time of transferring a chat and improving customers’ chat experience. The solution also allows screen sharing and co-browsing.

Comm100 is also launching a chatbot that offers conversational experience to field repetitive questions. Its chatbot is programmed to use its database knowledge to provide appropriate responses. Powered by machine learning, the more it’s interacted with, the smarter it gets. Over time, responses become more precise.

Chapman began her career as a call center representative and remembers the conversations that brought tears to her eyes as well as the ones that made her laugh. She observed that while the skills of agents have evolved over the past few years, the development of video chat could set in motion additional changes such as the possible need for dress codes and grooming standards for video chats, depending on the culture of the individual companies that deploy it.

Comm100 is also committed to providing comprehensive reporting. “It’s not possible to achieve continuous improvement or meet customer expectations without it,” said Chapman. “An enterprise company without solid reporting is basically providing customer service blindfolded.” Their reporting enables businesses to determine chat volume by the number of messages received over a designated time period, giving them a clearer understanding of demand and helping them to determine proper staffing levels.

 

 

quig.june2017

Quiq traces its origins to RightNow Technologies, an Oracle aquisition. They claim to be the only supplier focused on delivering messaging on an enterprise scale. Founder and CEO Mike Myer, VP of Engineering, Co-Founder Bill O’Neill and CMO Dani Wanderer, spent their formative years at RightNow …in fact Myer was one of its first seven employees. They consider themselves a “young and seasoned” group of customer service professionals and in the less than two years, they’ve built what they believe to be the leading text/SMS, Facebook, and Kik messaging solution allowing customers to connect with companies the same way they communicate with their friends.  “Messaging is now most people’s preferred form of communications…including myself. The last thing people want to do these days is call customer service,” said Myer. “I came to the conclusion that there was a need to help people to easily text or message the agents of the companies with which they do business.” 

Myer believes that as millennials become more influential decision makers, the move toward b-to-c messaging will accelerate.  As he sees it, within the next three to five years, the majority of inquiries that come into contact centers will be based on some form of messaging, making it the dominant channel.

The company was started in October 2015. While Quiq sells to both the SMB and large organizations, Myer intentionally built the Quiq messaging platform to meet the needs of enterprise organizations. As Myer’s sees it, their differentiating factor is being perhaps the only supplier building a messaging solution designed to meet the scaling needs of the enterprise. “Because messaging is an asynchronous form of communication, agents will be engaging in a higher number of interactions than on any other channel,” said Myers. When there are hundreds or thousands of agents, companies need to be aware that they are being responding to messages in a timely manner. How does a business apply the traditional concepts for routing, queuing, manager observation and metrics to this new asynchronous channel?”  The solution coaches agents to respond at the same level of engagement that the customer is displaying. It incorporates a conversation list feature that helps agents determine the response priority, and can automatically detect overload and reroute the conversation to another agent when necessary. “It allows agents to respond at the cadence of the customer as opposed to the cadence of the company,” he said.

The interface of Quiq Messaging is designed to handle a number of simultaneous conversations. It can be purchased as a stand-alone customer channel or companies can take advantage of one of its pre-built CRM integrations, including Oracle, Zendesk, and Salesforce or use open APIs to use with existing systems.