Trends and Realities of Successful Organizations (Blog Series)
Contact centers, using AI and UCaaS, drive better customer service perceptions, agent performance and improve overall outcomes
In our last blog, we explored how successful companies outperform customer expectations by leveraging video – a communications channel that customers have come to prefer. This blog will provide some insight into the way successful companies are using AI and UC to improve their customer experience (CX) and to drive operational efficiencies across their organizations.
Blog #3 of 4: Customer-facing agents. Back office support. Subject matter experts. Accessible NOW!
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Unified Communications (UC or UCaaS) are becoming integral to every contact center, with different benefits from each. How best to ensure the knowledge hidden within your organization is readily available to better serve your customers and prospects? By making sure that everyone can easily, and effectively communicate with each other.
AI – Finds What’s Been Overlooked
With objective data analysis, better decisions can be made on how to best allocate resources, optimize services, or improve ineffective support process. AI can quickly determine where the service gaps are and propose approaches that have the highest probability of resolving these issues in real-time.
Per Metrigy’s* most recent study, 71.6% of successful organizations surveyed are using, or are planning to use, AI technologies as part of their 2021 CX initiatives. Let’s look at the four most notable ones:
- Intelligent Routing (32.9% planned, 46.5% now) can prioritize high value customers, track their ’customer journey’, and assess their issues versus globally reported ones. Then it can identify the appropriately skilled expert (SME’s) to route the call to, while also determining their availability, ensuring that customers are provided the best possible support. This reduces unsuccessful transfers, time in queue and average handle times (AHT).
- Personalization (25.8% planned, 52.9% now) where everyone is treated differently, yet appropriately, depending on who they are, and where they are within their ‘customer journey’. Examples include:
- Customers – benefit from quick identification and automated verification/ validation, a relevant welcome greeting, while being proactively provided with both order and account updates, as a starting point.
- New Prospects – hear a standard greeting, and are provided product news flashes, promos, and helpful suggestions to ensure their experience is a positive one.
- Returning Prospects – hear a welcome-back greeting, proactively offered help based on their last visit queries/self-service path taken, and easily accessible live agent support.
- Chatbots for Customers (31.0% planned, 46.5% now) easily handle common situations. By providing quick access to standardized responses, customers can minimize their downtime, dealing with their problem when it’s most convenient for them, minimizing the need for live agent transfers. This works even better when also integrated with a knowledge base, providing customers with quick reference guides or solution templates. Chatbots simplify and optimize issue resolution.
- Agent Analytics (28.4% planned, 48.4% now) with dispersed contact centers and remote agents becoming the norm, providing timely agent support is one of the most significant hurdles for supervisors. Real-time agent analytics improve the ability to track agent response times and KPI’s. Proactive and targeted notifications engage the right SME’s and supervisors or back office support as needed. Graphical agent/supervisor dashboards help share knowledge and gamification increases overall agent performance.
Keep an Eye on These Three Emerging Areas
AI will become more prevalent in 2021. But the investment in, and expected growth rates of, these 3 specific areas are expected to overshadow all the others.
These areas provide increased flexibility and ‘voice of the customer’ related insight, they can also deliver significant competitive advantages.
- Predictive Analysis (43.9 planned, 34.2% now) undertakes proactive, real-time analysis of the caller’s history, product purchases, issues reported, relative to general support issues. Assessed against the organization’s interactions, it determines the cause of the underlying issues and suggests alternatives for development. When deployed with more advanced capabilities, solutions can be proposed in real-time on a case by case basis.
- Sentiment Analysis (38.7% planned, 36.8% now) leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) and can extract a more comprehensive understanding of what the customer is actually saying with appropriate context, by identifying frustration, anger, or resignation which can indicate an intent to cancel orders or terminate the relationship.
- AI-Enabled Self Service (34.8% planned, 38.7% now) provides the customer with the ability to resolve their own issues (generally 40% prefer this approach) using a combination of IVR, chatbots, smart routing and knowledge bases. If desired, the call flow can be routed to live agent support. Integration with the CRM further enhances the process by providing complete customer information, reducing the frustration of repeated requests for basic information every time a customer interacts with the organization.
Integrating UC with the CC – Delivers the Comms via Microsoft Teams!
The Metrigy survey [see Blog#1 for more info] illustrated that successful organizations use AI and UC technologies to accelerate innovation. Doing so improves their customer experience (CX) projects by delivering AI developed insights via instantaneous communications (voice, video, social media with/without documents) to the right person, at the right time, on whatever device they prefer.
With over 93% of the Fortune 100™ already using Microsoft Teams as their UC platform of choice, (effectively leveraging Microsoft’s control of the desktop) along with 50K+ SMB organizations implementing Teams UC daily, successful organizations will continue to see the benefits of enhancing their communication capabilities across their organizations – and with their customers.
Increasing Revenue Generation by Closing Deals Faster (52.8% increase versus 43.8% without)
- Connecting with Subject Matter Experts regardless of where they may be. Easily find an available employee with the right expertise simply by viewing presence status and clicking on their icon to bring them into the call… no second guessing required.
- Integrating with the Back-Office ensuring customer account issues or project related complications can be dealt with in real-time, significantly increases overall satisfaction and reduces frustration to help quickly close the deal.
Increasing Operational Efficiency by Connecting Resources Faster (31.3% increase versus 22.3% without)
- Remote Agent/Supervisor Collaboration enhanced by enabling supervisors to manage their agents, easily share resources or collaborate using 1:1 or 1: many video conferencing and communications.
- Overall Resource Access improved with intelligent routing using presence status, skills/expertise profiles along with identifying which channel they are available on, further improves overall responsiveness and reduces time-wasting delays.
The evidence is irrefutable. Metrigy’s research proves it.
AI and UC are transforming innovative organizations into successful industry leaders.
Adopting these technologies and constantly refining how they are used to deliver improved customer experiences, will empower your organization to deliver the customer experience (CX) that exceeds customer expectations.
Do It Now to transform your contact center from a cost-center into a powerful revenue generator.
Next blog in this series, coming February 18th
Key Actionable Insights from the Webinar
Throughout the course of this blog series, we’ve explored how successful companies think differently. By leveraging advanced technologies, organizations can successfully meet the ever-changing needs of customers while preparing for the future… simultaneously improving their customer’s experience with industry-leading efficiency.
In this series, we’ve explored how successful companies think differently. Find out more by registering for our upcoming webinar:
*Metrigy Research – defining the “Success Group”
Their most recent research “Customer Engagement Transformation: 2020-21 Research Study” was undertaken in August – October of 2020, and reflects key learnings from their transformation accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. They asked participants for their before-and-after business metrics on revenue, cost, customer ratings, and/or agent productivity for projects that use artificial intelligence (AI) or AI-enabled analytics to improve customer engagement. Those able to, provided detailed information on projects that they completed and had measured their success.
See our Issues Paper for more information.