Call Center Week Report, Part 3
the two days the Expo hall was open at Call Center Week 2015, attendees had the
opportunity to network with contact center professionals from all over the
nation, meet the finalists in the Call Center Week Excellence Awards and attend special functions. One supplier
staged a well-appointed by-invitation only reception in their booth, with
company personnel strategically stationed to prevent those who were not invited
from so much as grabbing a bag of chips as they walked by.
our third report on Call Center Week, CRMXchange spoke with four
suppliers, three of whom were international companies seeking to expand their
reach in the North American market. They had distinct opinions on achieving
customer centricity by creating a consistent cross-channel customer experience,
improving personalization by better understanding the customer journey and
listening to feedback and improving employee engagement via establishing trust,
providing the right technology and offering accessible training.
While many organizations
say they understand the importance of being customer-centric, only a select few have committed to making
it an ongoing business standard. What are the three most critical measures that need to be taken to
integrate a customer-focused approach into a company’s day-to-day activities?
Tim Brannock, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Cameo Global One of the hardest challenges for
businesses today is to create a consistent customer-focused experience while
promoting a memorable brand experience.
Three issues that any large company must consider when
creating a plan for their unified communications include: • Creating a seamless
customer experiences across multiple channels of information • Collecting
customer data in real-time and using it to personalize customer interactions • Tailoring
engagement to the preferences of the customer
Cameo Global’s Cisco Powered products,
with enhanced software applications including
customization options, call
recording, and analytics, help create a seamless omni-channel customer
Professor Levent Arslan, CEO, Sestek One of the most critical measures that
needs to be taken into consideration is putting your customers at the core of
your business.. Putting customers first requires truly understanding them. Organizations that better understand their
customers can provide the right products and services to guarantee an enhanced
customer experience. That is why business leaders need to put themselves in
their customers’ shoes and try to understand their perception. In addition to
demographics, organizations also need to understand the expectations of their
customers. They need to focus on what
customers want and need and design the experience accordingly. Lastly, acting
on customers’ feedback is one of the most crucial points in adopting a
customer-centric approach. It not only demonstrates that your organization
cares about its customers but also drives continuous improvement in products,
services and the experience provided.
Tiago Paiva, CEO, Talkdesk In order to deliver on a customer-focused strategy, companies must align
the people, processes and technology that impact the customer lifecycle.
Customers interact with companies across different touch points (in-store,
online, through social media or the call center), applications (CRM, marketing
automation, ecommerce, etc.) and departments (sales, support, marketing).
Unless there is alignment, connectivity and shared goals across these groups,
applications and points of interaction, companies will be unable to achieve the
goal of a customer-focused approach.
a customer-focused approach requires it to be tied closely to the company’s
strategic goals and board-level initiatives. For example, if a hotel chain’s
top goal is rooms booked per night, the business should be able to show how this
customer-focused approach helps the company achieve that goal by facilitating
the booking process. As long as the customer is seen as fundamental to a
company’s growth and success, they will be at the center of daily activities.
should also prioritize consistency across channels. While social media and
mobile applications are not replacing traditional means of communication such
as phone support, they are changing the types of conversations and expectations.
For example, on any given day, a customer may interact with a company across a
number of different channels, so it needs to be a company priority to provide a
seamless transition, consistent information and superior service on all
Flaminio, Senior Account Executive, Xentrax As brand loyalty
becomes a more challenging aspiration, Customer Effort Score is a critical
metric in promoting loyalty and customer lifetime value. Loyalty today is the result of a company’s
ability to offer customers greater options and flexibility – including the
ability to seamlessly engage with them across multiple channels.
organization’s success will be directly attributable to their ability to
understand their customer’s journey and based upon that understanding, act on
improving the effort customer are required to make in order engage its products
Delivering a superior customer
experience often involves knowing more about the priorities and needs of
individual consumers. What do you see as the key factor in enabling companies
to make their customer interactions more personal?
Tim Brannock Enhanced technology can help enable
personalized customer interactions in several ways. An advanced solution
provider can optimize and customize software for personalized interaction with
their clients. Some of the ways that they can do this is by providing third
party applications in addition to the basic solution sets. One example of how Cameo
Global helps their clients is through our partnership with CafeX, which
delivers real-time video and chat experience via mobile phone.
Levent Arslan Adopting a
personal approach in customer interactions requires seeing each customer as a
unique person, understanding him/her accurately and providing customized
solutions that answer his/her needs. A respectful, empathetic and comprehensive
understanding of the customer enables organizations to make their customer
interactions more personal. Since an interaction is all about communication, it
is important to enable a two-way communication which starts with listening.
Today’s customers are willing to share their thoughts more than ever as a
result of increased social media use. Organizations do not have the luxury of
ignoring any message that comes from their customers. That is why they need to
monitor each interaction carefully and take action accordingly. Voice of the
customer solutions meet this need conveniently by capturing feedback through the
multiple channels that customers cross. By applying in-depth evaluation methods
to the captured interactions, these solutions provide invaluable insights about
customer experience. Companies also benefit from the analytics tools they
include, such as speech analytics, social media analytics, and quality
management and so on. Organizations that use these insights to answer the specific
needs of their customers manage to adopt a personal approach in their customer
Tiago Paiva The most important factor in enabling
companies to make their customer interactions more personal is contextual data
about the individual customer. When customers interact with a brand across
multiple touch points, their data lives in disparate, siloed systems. Support
data may be in Zendesk, purchasing history in SAP, online searches in an
ecommerce system such as Shopify, a lost package in a shipping system. For a
customer to feel that an interaction is personal, they need to feel that the company,
the agent, the sales person all sees the complete picture of who they are,
their preferences and their history with the brand. The only way to achieve
this is to connect the data points by integrating all the applications to
provide a single view of the customer. Imagine calling into a call center, and
by recognizing your number, the technology is able to pull up your order
history, support information, even your online preferences, so the agent can
greet you personally and jump straight into solving your problem. That’s how
companies can deliver a superior customer experience.
Nick Flaminio As we have evolved from the single
neighborhood store --where personal relationships with customers were more
easily practiced-- to regional, national and global organizations. Cultivating personal relationships with
customers necessary to understand their individual needs has become
most cases however, companies already possess the information necessary to
understand their individual customers’ needs.
The challenge is that this information is often vast and hidden
(unstructured). Employing a strong team
of analytics professionals and giving them the tools to mine the information is
What do you consider the two most
important strategies that businesses can leverage to make the most significant
impact and lasting progress on improving employee engagement?
Tim Brannock Companies need to expand their
thinking about what engagement means today and train their leaders to actively
invest in developing customer relationships through their call center. The
shift is from a customer avoidance strategy to a customer attention strategy.
and their employees need tools and methods, such as CloudBlu, with analytic and metric
capabilities that can measure and capture feedback in real-time. Management can
continuously adjust practices and the work environment at a local level.
Levent Arslan First, it is
crucial to provide a positive work environment which makes employees feel good
about coming to work and provides the motivation to sustain them throughout the
day. One of the main elements of such an environment is transparency which is
supported by open and two-way communication. Informing employees about the
decisions made within the organization helps companies to gain their trust and
increase their commitment. Providing various training and development
opportunities for employees is also a sign of a positive working environment
since it shows concern for self-actualization of employees. The second vital strategy
is providing recognition for hard work. In addition to special prizes, verbal
recognition can also increase employee motivation by making them feel valued by
the organization for what they put in which results with higher engagement.
Tiago Paiva Employee engagement is critical to
customer success, since employees who are engaged, challenged and have job
satisfaction better serve the end customer. The two most important strategies are
it easy for your employees to do their jobs well. To make it easier for them to
do their jobs well, they need technology that is intuitive, easy to use and
provides relevant information about the customer.
training and information in a way that works for the employees. Today’s
employee has a “distracted mental state” where not only do they have a shorter
attention span, but there is also more competition for their attention. To
improve employee engagement in this generation, it’s important to serve up the
information they need in a way they can consume. For example, today’s call
center agent would rather learn how to locate the information they need versus
learn and memorize a script. In this new world, it’s important to provide a
wealth of rich information that is easily searchable while interacting with
Nick Flaminio, Xentrax Effective training and providing a
path to career advancement
What differentiates your
service or solution from others available?
Tim Brannock Cameo Global has been a trusted Cisco
partner for over 20 years. We have the ability to implement our solutions and
services worldwide with a reputation for helping our clients create the best
solution for them because we can deploy collaboration via premise, hybrid, and
cloud consumption models.
cloud offering, CloudBlu, is unique in that it is a Cisco Powered solution that
offers voice, contact center, and video capabilities for an enhanced user
experience. Our offering is subscription-based, turnkey, and can be scaled to
fit any business need.
Levent Arslan We produce state-of-the-art
technology solutions as a result of our continuous R&D efforts. Having a
prior role in university-industry collaboration influences our business
approach. We do not produce solutions for the sake of profit. For us, producing a solution that effectively
solves a problem, answers the needs of customers conveniently and makes life
easier are more important than making money. Our team consists of young and
ambitious members who have respectable academic backgrounds. They are working
hard not only to develop new technologies, but also to improve existing ones to
provide an enhanced customer experience. We produce tailor-made solutions that
answer specific needs of each customer which requires knowing our customers
very well. Since we see our customers as our partners we develop strong and sustainable
relationships with them. Thus we have the chance to get continuous feedback
from our customers which results in continuous improvement.
Nick Flaminio, Xentrax Our focus is twofold: specialized and
focused expertise and an emphasis on creating an environment where personalized
relationships with customers can flourish.
What is the primary benefit that
CameoGlobal CloudBlu provides for companies seeking to improve both voice and
Tim Brannock CloudBlu offers an easy, affordable
way for companies looking to move their voice and unified communications
seamlessly to the cloud.
instant, transparent access to new technologies • Enables faster
time-to-benefit • Converts CAPEX to OPEX • Accelerates business strategy and
improves reliability • Available anywhere in the world where a company does
business • Built on a stable, hardened infrastructure • Reduces data center and
real estate costs • Scales from 25 seats to 1000s of seats
In what specific ways
can organizations simplify interactions and improve business efficiency by
deploying Sestek’s speech-enabled Customer Service Automation Solutions?
Levent Arslan Speech-enabled self-service solutions
contribute to an enhanced customer experience by transforming conventional
self-service applications to practical and efficient ones. For example, a call
steering solution which is based on natural language understanding technology
enables users to describe their needs in their own words and be routed to the
right self-service application easily without dealing with complicated menu
mazes of traditional IVR systems. Our call routing solution is completely web-based.
It does not involve complex voice XML grammars. We first make a transcription
and then apply parsing. You can design a dialogue system in a very short amount
of time and have your system up and running. You can also simulate the dialogue
system on the fly and check for errors and test improvements. The
implementation speed for our customers was almost 3 times faster than industry
In what specific ways
can Talkdesk help small and midsize businesses (SMBs) improve call center
functionality without incurring high cost or needing much IT involvement?
Tiago Paiva Talkdesk is ideally suited for
companies that are looking for a flexible and scalable call center solution
without a heavy investment in hardware or software. As one of the most
progressive cloud-based call center solutions, Talkdesk customers need only a
computer, internet connection and headset to set up a world-class call center
operation. Talkdesk provides a full range of enterprise-level call center
features including integrations with business tools and CRM applications. Small
businesses can afford our flexible pricing which is based on the number of
agents a company needs. Large and
mid-size companies can also rest easy, knowing their agents are using a robust
call center solution. Setup is minimal and can be done in minutes with no IT
How do you leverage partnerships to
help you enable your clients to integrate platforms and technologies for
customized Workforce Management and Quality/Performance management solutions?
Nick Flaminio: As in any relationship,
communication between parties is key. Strong communications fosters trust and
trust creates an enduring partnership that results in sustainable win-win
scenarios for all parties.