Contact centers, using AI and UCaaS, drive better customer service perceptions, agent performance and improve overall outcomes. Here’s how to do the right thing, right now.
In our last blog, we saw the significant advantages that successful companies* achieved when using AI and UC – both on a standalone basis, but with even more success when they combined them. This blog will provide an overview of the key findings from the recent Enghouse Interactive and Metrigy webinar and show where these insights should be applied in your organization to improve the customer experience (CX) and to drive operational efficiencies.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Unified Communications (UC or UCaaS), and Video have become so pervasive in all aspects of our daily lives, it’s almost surprising that we still need to talk about the need for and advantages of using these technologies in order to meet your customers’ needs…and hopefully exceed their expectations. But hope should not be part of the conversation. Specific intent and conscious planning should be the foundation that brings your organization forwards with the technologies needed to ensure its ongoing viability.
The pandemic made that reality painfully obvious. To everyone.
How Best to Engage with Customers and Prospects
Add the channels your customers demand and expect. Voice is the default and is still very useful. But customers expect the same communications choices as they use in their personal lives. Make sure your organization offers them. Channel choices drive engagement.
With the pandemic having forced organizations to increase deployments of remote agents, video has become a baseline communications channel. It increases engagement between all parties. As with any face-to-face meeting, video simplifies the confirmation and validation of identity, accelerates process flows, and reduces delays in getting things done. Avoid it at your peril.
Increase agent capabilities to increase customer engagement. Providing agents with simple access to complete customer account information is imperative, as is ensuring that all customer comments are used to make the right decisions on how best to help them. Ensure appropriate data is gathered, and available at every step of the conversation to minimize the need to repeat or explain – again and again. Data Drives Customer Satisfaction.
Technology Winners – Today and Tomorrow
Integrating UC and CC increases internal operational efficiency by ensuring communications flows are smooth, quick, and consistent within the contact center and across departments, along with providing relevant performance metrics. Make life simple for everyone.
Being able to immediately engage with Finance or Accounting, or to pull in an expert from anywhere within the organization, increases the probability of getting the order or resolving an issue efficiently. Simplify to increase customer satisfaction.
Integration used to be a nightmare… enough so that most IT organizations discouraged the adoption of next-gen capabilities. Using the Cloud has transformed that situation. Cloud increases interoperability, simplifies integration, and reduces or eliminates data conversion. Cloud is now the Optimal Choice. Use It.
Microsoft Teams is the UC/CC combination of choice. They own the desktop. Working against that reality is do-able. But is it advisable? Enough said.
See, Hear and Analyze What You’ve Been Missing
Become customer-centric: understanding the Customer Journey by capturing and analyzing what the customer says, what they infer, the sentiments expressed, the choices made – at every touchpoint, both past and current – provides the insight needed to improve the customer experience for each customer. And for all customers, over time.
Providing the customer with the option of helping themselves, makes them happier and reduces issues and costs. There are 3 technologies to consider adding to your customer experience environment: AI-enabled Self-Service, Sentiment Analysis, and Predictive Analytics.
They can be stand-alone but work best when used together. Once again, capturing and analyzing data makes all the difference. Look past the obvious to see the reality.
Analysis – real-time and historical – provides a detailed understanding of what works, why it works, and how the customer perceives it. But, MOST importantly, it identifies what doesn’t work, causes frustration or dissatisfaction and the reason(s) why. This then helps identify what to avoid (process, flow, scripting, data, tools, offers). By using that data with predictive analytics, better approaches, more suitable products, offers or solutions can be developed to address those shortcomings. The most powerful predictive analytics applications can even propose alternative solutions in real-time. Consider the possibilities – from the customer perspective. And from yours. It can become YOUR Competitive Advantage.
Access our Infographic for more insights into successful organizations
Leveraging the Key Findings to Develop YOUR Blueprint for Success!
As identified throughout the webinar and this blog series, we’ve identified the areas where organizations achieving success are focusing their efforts. The following recommendations are based on the extensive real-world metrics provided by the leading companies.
1. Focusing on customer satisfaction should be among the organization’s top 3 priorities. It’s an investment that drives both tangible and intangible benefits for customers and the organization.
2.Prioritize CX transformation initiatives successful companies ensure that CX projects have executive leadership commitment and support. For 2021, 79.6% of successful companies have completed CX projects, have them underway, and/or are planning at least one.
3.Increased spending for CX-related technologies is imperative. Successful companies spend an average of 4% of revenue on CX technologies versus only 1.7% for all other companies.
4.Validate project assumptions and measure before-and-after figures for every CX transformation initiative. Areas to measure include revenue, operational costs, customer ratings, and agent/employee efficiency.
5.Deploy AI by just starting with an AI project. The resulting customer insight will then drive more interest in other capabilities. Organizational needs should drive the type of AI, but AI helps generate new revenue, cut costs, improve customer satisfaction, and boost agent productivity. Most common AI deployments in the success group: Intelligent Virtual Assistants, predictive analytics, transcription, and AI-enabled routing.
6.Integrate UC and collaboration with the contact center platform. Doing so enables agents to better collaborate with each other, the rest of the company and with customers. Microsoft Teams provides the most accessible and intuitive interface and facilitates the extension of the same benefits across the contact center – this is even more beneficial when deploying remote agents.
Adopting these technologies and constantly refining how they are used will empower your organization to deliver the customer experience (CX) that exceeds customer expectations.