Call Center Week Winter
“Humanizing the Customer Experience” is Theme
of New Orleans Event
The first onsite event of the 2017 contact
center educational calendar, Call Center Week Winter, took place at the Sheraton
New Orleans in New Orleans, LA from January 17-20, attended by professionals
representing a broad spectrum of organizations of all sizes and business
The theme of the event - humanizing the customer experience - reflected the need for
agility in addressing the ambiguous needs of consumers. While people now prefer
to find answers themselves via their smart phone or online, when they do choose
to communicate, they expect interactions to be quick, personalized and on their
channel of choice. The program examined the conundrum of how companies can both
automate and personalize at the same time.
The first day of the program was devoted to a series of Conference
Workshops. The main Conference was on Wednesday and Thursday, featuring keynote
addresses by Debbi Fields, Founder and “chief cookie lover” of the cookie
company, as well as a look at the Ritz-Carlton’s Premier Service Techniques by
Jim Oliver, Speaking Ambassador on Cultural Change for the hotel chain. The
focus was on updated strategies to enhance the customer experience, making the
most of technological tools such as AI, analytics and knowledge management, as
well as techniques to reduce customer effort.
The Expo Hall was open
the same days as the main Conference, featuring more than 30 suppliers covering
a variety of solution areas. CRMXchange had Q&As with selected vendors to
discuss their specific applications.
does Cogito Dialog combine scientific research, artificial intelligence and machine
learning to provide real-time behavioral guidance to agents in financial
service and insurance companies?
Cogito applies behavioral
science through artificial intelligence to enable more productive phone
conversations. It is the first solution to perform instant voice analysis,
apply sophisticated analytical models, and visually guide phone professional
speaking behavior in real time. In leveraging key data from the human voice,
Cogito Dialog is able to analyze and process signals through behavioral models
and predict positive or negative outcomes based on insights from each
interaction between a company and its customers. This allows businesses to
effectively measure and improve the quality of their customer interactions,
their employees’ emotional skill sets and provide real-time feedback to elevate
agent performance and optimize the value of every phone conversation.
For many agents, taking up to 30 calls a day is
the norm. A tired agent may fail to identify increasing tension or agitation in
a customer’s voice and adjust accordingly. Unlike traditional speech analytics
tools that attempt to select words people speak for post-call reporting,
Cogito’s voice analysis software detects many behavioral signals in a person’s
voice and can alert the agent to this change in behavior, whether it’s their
first call of the day or last. With this guidance, the agent can then adjust
their speaking style to build rapport, express empathy and improve the outcome
of the interaction.
what ways does the solution both monitor
agent performance and assess customer experience during in-progress calls?
In addition to analyzing speaking behaviors to
provide real-time conversation guidance for agents, Cogito Dialog delivers insights
and objective feedback on agents’ interactions with customers for their
supervisors. The software evaluates hundreds of advanced speaking behaviors
such as mimicry, consistency, tone, and tenseness. Cogito provides instant
insight into customer behaviors, and early indicators of mounting frustration
or conversely, willingness to make a purchase. Dialog provides in-call alerts
to agents letting them know when they are speaking too much or too quickly,
sounding apathetic, or are slow to respond, among other alerts. Through
advanced behavioral analysis the solution automatically produces an objective
real-time experience score for every call, which is a measure of the customer’s
overall perception. Through this insight, contact center leaders have a tool
that will help measure and improve “soft skills” as well as providing a
comprehensive view into each customer’s satisfaction for every phone call.
you briefly explain the concepts behind emotional and conversational
Emotional intelligence consists of two separate
components: The first is an individual’s capacity for identifying and
understanding their own emotions and those of the people around them: the
second is their ability to use this information to guide thinking and behavior.
The ability to harness emotional information can be a key factor in individual
and organizational success. Conversational intelligence provides insight into
how each conversation unfolds between an agent and a customer so agents and
management can see and address patterns of behavior to make it a better call
for the agent and the customer. Conversational intelligence can highlight areas
where an agent has managed to build excellent rapport vs. areas in the
conversation where their speaking can be adjusted for better outcomes.
are some of the tangible benefits that a company can expect as a result of
deploying Cogito Dialog?
It produces a real-time experience score for
every call, which is a measure of the customer’s overall perception of the interaction.
The application also highlights calls in which supervisors may choose to
intervene to save the agent or help the customer. Supervisors are able to
listen to live conversations and view agents’ workspace for additional context.
The solution improves customer satisfaction, reduces both customer and agent
churn, helps increase wallet share and provides management faster more
comprehensive insights that help them make better business decisions.
As an example, healthcare company Humana, one
of the companies leveraging Cogito, has seen a 28% improvement in customer
satisfaction since implementing the technology, as well as a 63% increase in
employee engagement during phone conversations. Cogito is helping businesses
boost net promoter score, improve issue resolution and increase employee
does your Bots Platform-as-a -Service (PaaS) use machine learning to understand
the intent and maintain the context of customer conversations to suggest
The Kore Bots Platform has a dual-pronged
approach to natural language and intelligence, and it starts with the bot
communication itself. Kore’s NL engine is designed to process the words of an
utterance individually, rather than as one whole utterance as in machine
learning-only models. That means synonyms and idiomatic variations of commands
can be understood by the chatbot, and if it doesn’t immediately recognize the
intent, it can prompt a user for more info. In an ML-only model, the bot would
simply fail to interpret.
Since this NL approach involves Fundamental
Meaning (intent recognition) and Machine Learning, Kore can cover more
contextual gaps from a customer’s responses because we’re both processing the
language and storing data. The storing data component contributes to the bot’s
For example, if a customer travels from Orlando
to Atlanta monthly for work and has booked at the same hotel three months in a
row, it could ask if they wanted to automate that task going forward. The
solution is using the data the customer has given it to recognize patterns and
become more useful.
enables your Bot Builder to help companies create customized bots or allow them
to implement appropriate ones from your Bot Store?
Bot Builder provides a consistent methodology and process for building
chatbots, but within each individual step there’s a great deal of flexibility
for enterprise developers to create bots that are unique in what they do, how
they communicate, and how and where they’re used.
also have complete control over a bot’s NL training. They can use Kore’s unique
NL engine to make a bot instantly conversational by defining a few basic
synonyms for tasks and field data, which the bot will use to understand the
intent of a user’s input. They can choose the channels they want users to be
able to access the bot – anything from Slack, Facebook Messenger and SMS to
Email, websites and mobile apps. And before and after deployment, they can
manage bot lifecycles through robust testing. Conflict resolution is quick, and
visibility into how the bot is being used is clear.
what ways do bots improve employee engagement and give agents more time to
respond to complex inquiries?
Bots can be especially useful in alleviating
the burden of work in a number of ways:
- Onboarding –
Virtual assistance with typical HR questions helps acclimate employees faster,
with more ease, and through a unified process. Employees can ask the same
question multiple times without frustrating the bot.
flexibility – Employees don’t need to wait for someone with more experience
within a given system to help them. Users can perform tasks immediately with
less confusion or time erosion
flexibility – Account managers on the go can enter tasks into CRM systems vs.
logging into an app or computer at the airport. Bots also keep context from one
channel to another.
- Level 1 tasks –
Bots move talented staff from routine, mundane tasks to more interesting work.
- Less screen time
– Time is saved through faster processes, faster navigation, and less time
spent toggling between apps, logins, screens, etc.
can companies achieve rapid ROI by implementing Kore’s Bot solutions?
The ROI potential depends on the use case for
the bot, but there are some across-the-board factors we know help reduce costs
development cycles – Bots are much quicker to develop and update since they
don’t rely on a graphical user interface and grow more useful via machine
- Scalability - Bots
can always be enhanced and improved by adding or removing tasks, tweaking NL,
and adding more data via machine learning.
engagement - Conversational bots can respond to user requests and preferences. From
a retail perspective, engaged customers are 90% more likely to make frequent
purchases, spend 300% more annually, and are 7x more likely to respond to promo
- Upfront planning
- Kore partners directly with companies prior to implementation to help with
everything from determining the best use cases, the best channels to deploy a
bot to maximize adoption, the way the bot will communicate with users to fit
brand style, and testing and rollout.
does your intelligent automation and messaging solution identify and analyze
keywords from customer inquiries and route them to dedicated chatbots for rapid
Our Smart Messaging Platform uses the power of
artificial intelligence and chatbots in combination with live agents to deliver
a well-rounded customer experience. The chatbots work as frontline customer
service agents - resolving the majority of inquiries that are repetitive. For
any inquiries that fall outside the bots’ capabilities or require a more
nuanced approach, the conversation is transferred to a live agent in waiting.
This combination of bots and live agents allows businesses to resolve customer
issues faster and more effectively.
enables your custom-built chatbots to accurately respond to repetitive customer
requests to help businesses save time and money?
The majority of customer
inquiries require the same, repetitive answers from customer service agents. By
deploying our chatbots to field these repetitive inquiries, businesses can
automate a vast majority of customer service issues - reducing labor costs and
improving the overall experience.
you explain how your Smart Messaging can better connect businesses to
At the core of our solution is
a patented Smart Messaging Platform enabling brands to take advantage of
personalized messaging. Our solution empowers business process automation with
chatbots and AI to deliver an on-demand, always-on customer experience that is
fast, intuitive and seamless.
In addition, the Smart
Messaging platform enables transactions via messaging, allowing customers to
easily process payments, submit claims, schedule appointments, and transfer and
store critical files (e.g. billing statements or medical records).
All of this is supported
within a secure messaging framework that adheres to strict privacy and
compliance standards across multiple industries.
do you transition complex issues that fall outside of a chatbot’s capabilities
to live agents to create a seamless, uninterrupted conversation?
Our chatbots use a proprietary
technology to reroute customer conversation. If the conversation between a bot
and customer isn’t flowing as intended and the bot detects negative sentiment,
the conversation is rerouted to a live agent who can more acutely address their
you briefly explain the concepts behind Least Cost Routing as a Service
We provide businesses with a
smarter, faster, and more affordable way to route large call volumes. thinQ delivers
higher quality call routing with optimal pricing on an easy-to-manage cloud
platform. Our turnkey solution gives companies access to more than 40 major
domestic and international carriers for outbound service and enables them to choose
which ones are best suited to connect them with their customers. Many organizations
are locked into agreements with carriers, enabling the carriers to dictate the
terms. Partnering with thinQ helps companies to disrupt the monopoly that
carriers have over their customers. It’s fully hosted and offered for free on a
test basis, so businesses can discover the value of only paying for calls they place
in the system
Over the past year, we have
also successfully initiated Least Cost Routing for inbound toll-free calls. The
platform continuously analyzes a business’ toll-free call traffic in real time,
and then optimizes the route for each call across every number and network. For
years, providers have been charging a flat rate above and beyond the cost of
each toll-free call. With
thinQ, companies can put carriers in competition with one another and find the
cheapest route for their calls.
does your solution enable companies to control such factors as route, carrier,
and voice quality?
The software guides them to
the lowest cost carrier, whether it’s ATT Level 3 or CenturyLink or a number of
others. Our customers can turn a carrier on or off at their discretion. First,
they can connect in one-click to all carriers, then use thinQ as a proxy
to route traffic on the shortest possible path from the carrier network to their
network. Because thinQ only inserts itself into the signaling path, this keeps
quality high and risk of problems low. Since there is no one-size-fits-all
solution to voice calling, the approach is tailored to the needs of specific organizations. The
LCR technology adapts to individual requirements, products, clients, traffic
patterns, and a host of other variables. Businesses can also access a full suite
of business intelligence tools to monitor usage, spend, averages, spikes,
traffic patterns, and possible fraud.
is CNAM and how does it enable developers to integrate Caller ID into
applications and phone systems?
CNAM is an acronym which stands for Caller
It can be used to display the calling party's
name alongside the phone number, to help users easily identify a caller. By
adding thinQ’s REST API into a code, companies can get their caller ID data
immediately in a format of their choice. This
allows them to prevent scammers from masking their identity by
cross-referencing the name field with the caller ID database. There are no
minimum commitments and businesses will only pay for services that they use.
What differentiates your
solution from others available in the market?
thinQ LCR is a cloud-based solution for accessing and
controlling carriers that also enables organizations to review valuable data
analysis of network performance. At this point, we offer the exclusive
capability to provide Least Cost Routing for inbound toll-free calls.