Remember that old saying, the one about things that sound too good to be true? Sadly, the automated strategic planner simply doesn’t exist. With the pace of change and the proliferation of software tools today, it’s no surprise that we tend to look for the “easy” solution to the tough problems. Increasingly, I’ve seen organization after organization chase the next “magic bullet” solution – only to end up with a collection of disjointed tools that almost work together, but not quite as advertised. Sound familiar?Read More
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When people hear the term “consultant” in a meeting, some laugh. Some cringe. Some might even roll their eyes. I freely admit I used to be one of those people. Maybe it’s the classic problem: “My boss doesn’t want to hear it from me, but when a consultant says the exact same thing, it’s suddenly a brilliant revelation!” Have you ever had that experience? Funny, me too. I guess that makes it all the more ironic that I find myself leading… a consulting practice. So, you might ask aloud, “Why? I thought you said consulting was dead!” The short answer is: it’s all about perspective.
Providing a great customer experience through your contact center goes a long way towards building loyalty to your brand. Satisfying this need takes more than ramping up staffing or adding more automated call systems. Integrating an outbound notification solution into your contact center can create a more dynamic user experience for your customers.Read More
Transformation is defined as “a marked change in form, nature, or appearance; a process by which one figure, expression or function is converted into another.” Businesses are realizing that their approach to customer service and customer engagement needs to be transformed – and in some cases even overhauled – in order to come close to meeting customer expectations.Read More
What does moving your Contact Center to the cloud mean to the customer? Are there benefits? Calling into a contact center is never a favorite task of anyone. We know that a number of us hang up in frustration when we call in and either get put in a queue waiting until an agent is available or even worse, enter into a seemingly endless series of menu choices while trying to solve our issue. Could a move to the cloud alleviate some of the problems in an overwhelmed contact center?Read More
Contact center administrators have two masters to answer to when it comes to maintaining a secure credit card environment: the companies that issue the cards and customers who are rightly nervous about falling victim to credit card fraud or identity theft. Businesses who fail to maintain a secure environment for processing, storing, and transmitting credit card information face severe and lasting consequences. The issuing card companies can not only suspend their privilege to accept their cards, they can also levy monthly fines ranging from $50 to $90 for each card compromised. And since the fines are retroactive, the offending business is on the hook for all the months their customer data was endangered.Read More
Serving customers across numerous channels in contact centers with innovative solutions are readily available. Retail businesses often face a variety of challenges, like high call volumes, massive orders, and aggravated customers, particularly during seasonal surges. To ensure a superior customer experience is delivered, it is imperative to have a strategic plan in place. The goal is to leverage technology so that a seamless, efficient, and enjoyable contact center customer experience can be achieved no matter the channel of communication being used. Here’s a look at some pointers your contact center can utilize to ensure your customers have positive interactions with your brand.
Keeping a call-center running smoothly can be challenging for even the largest enterprises. Customers call in expecting immediate service and engagement for their issues. Contact center agents want support from higher-ups in managing their call queues and getting to critical customer complaints promptly. Incorporating artificial intelligence customer experience solutions can go a long way toward relieving pain points experienced by both groups.
If you have not updated the way that you do business in your Contact Center recently, then you likely are not providing a modern customer experience. Ensuring that you are delivering an experience that your customers need is critical to future growth and satisfaction.
Automation has always been part of the contact center world – and it is getting even bigger with the addition of chatbots. While they are in a basic stage now, as is with all things related to AI, chatbots are getting better the more we use them. Machine learning is different than human learning – it’s only as good as the data we feed it. Chatbots lack natural cognition to challenge inputs such as 2+2 = 5. But over time, patterns are established that make chatbots “intelligent” – smart enough to take on more and more complicated tasks.
Businesses spend millions marketing their products trying to satisfy existing customers and gain new ones. A great Customer Experience is at the top of the list when looking at ways to develop loyalty and shine above competitors. However, all that effort goes to waste when customers feel upset and frustrated when they call into your contact center to resolve an issue – and have to wait and wait to talk to a representative.
One bad customer experience can lead to consumers dropping a business’s services and switching to a rival. Companies can make headway in reducing hangups by employing a callback option in their contact center.
Contact centers must streamline operations in order to remain competitive in the modern business landscape. Artificial intelligence has the ability to do this in ways that a strictly human team simply cannot. Many contact centers that are falling behind with the technology are also falling behind in performance. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that artificial intelligence is used in the modern contact center.
Does your organization currently have a multi-channel customer engagement strategy? How about an omni-channel strategy? Whether you do or don’t, it is important that you understand the difference between the two. Before you can adopt best practices, you have to understand what you’re working with, as well as what you’re working toward. Multi-channel and omni-channel customer engagement help you achieve separate objectives.
Many people believe the difference between the two terms is very subtle. However, once you take a closer look, you’ll quickly notice they are, in fact, two strategies that follow two very distinct paths. Let’s explore their meanings and how they can help you to create seamless interactions with your customers.
It’s that time of year when baseball appears on our television again…Batter Up, Baseball season has begun! But why are we talking about baseball? Well, the management of a sports team, any type of athletes on a team really, is not that different from the management of contact center agents. Remember the Oakland A’s—the major league baseball team that inspired the book and movie Moneyball? They integrated big data analytics into their team strategy and it changed the game as we know it. By leveraging available data, the team manager was able to assess specific players’ values and performances to assemble power-packed lineups for each game. The end result: one of the most influential strategies to hit professional baseball.
As Contact Center managers spin around feverishly trying to keep up with the latest self-service trends, customers are continuing to do what they have always done…pressing zero a bunch of times trying to reach an live person! Although technology is our friend when it comes to our smart phones and talking cars, customers still have a tendency to want to talk to an agent, even for the simplest of tasks.
This seems to hit the banking industry especially hard. A live person telling a person their bank balance is somehow more reassuring than hearing it from an automated voice. But is answering this simple inquiry in this manner an efficient way to conduct your business?
Despite the fact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a household term over the last few years, studies show that there is still a widespread sense of trepidation around the topic. According to a report published by Forbes last month, when consumers were given a list of popular AI services, 41.5% could not give an example of AI that they could trust. Significantly, in verticals that traditionally have the human touch such as financial planning or healthcare, over half of customers say that they do not trust AI to help them out.
We have all experienced that frustration. We’re running out the door and just need to make that quick call to get a simple answer. Only we find that instead, we have entered the never-ending tangle of a Contact Center that wants us to press 1 if this or press 2 if that etc. No, we don’t want to make a choice – we want our answer NOW!
Contact Centers are evolving, just as all businesses are in these days of rapid change. It is important to realize that Customer Experience can be the determining factor that sets one company above another. And figuring out which is the right experience to give can be hard to determine. One individual contacting you might want the situation dealt with instantly, another needs to be pampered so they can feel good about whatever they’re doing.
Millions of dollars have been invested in contact centers to support customers calling to ask questions, get support, purchase or return items – or just grumble. The personal agent-to-customer contact seemed important – until it wasn’t. The frustration of waiting for an agent, the aggravation of being transferred from one department to another, and the annoyance of having to re-tell your situation each time you were forwarded has driven customers to look towards self-service and digital channels for a better solution. Should businesses be directing their contact center dollars differently now?
The nightmare of Target’s data breach during the holiday season a few years ago still haunts businesses today. The aftermath of severe fines, loss of customer trust and a seriously bruised reputation – not to mention the reported $61 million payout – leaves corporate executives shaking in their boots when thinking about their own company’s payment security plans. (http://www.pymnts.com/news/security-and-risk/2016/three-years-after-the-target-data-breach/) PCI Compliance in your contact center is a necessary and required part of doing business when handling credit cards, regardless of the processing method.
Choosing a Voice Vendor: Find the “Just Right” Partner
When searching for voice talent for your IVR it is important to understand the goals and objectives of the project and align those to the right partner. For the best result, it’s essential that you identify a voice provider that knows the contact center and its related technologies. The “too big” and “too little” options will leave you vulnerable.
A Solo Voice Talent – Too Little
Selecting a voice is a subjective process. You either like a voice or you don’t. Some solo voice actors may have a sound you favor so you might think it would be ok to contract directly with that individual. However, remember that you’ll not only be responsible for managing the talent relationship, including the contracts and continuous payments, you’ll also need to figure out the ongoing editing, file formatting, deadlines and delivery. In addition, any personal or professional issues that may arise are your problem.