Cloud Contact Centers
A cloud-based, fully functional, multi-channel capable contact center offers the advantages of greater flexibility and scalability, improving the overall customer experience, and can be an economically smart choice. This is especially true for enterprises without the structure to maintain an on-premise contact center. Voice, email, text, social media, and web access are possible virtually anywhere with a cloud contact center.
Customers are using digital channels to connect with businesses more frequently, which means enterprises need to be able to meet this increasing demand with flexibility and reliability. If your business needs to modernize its customer communications but doesn’t have the up-front capital to invest in a physical contact center, a cloud contact center can provide the capabilities that you need to stay on top of your customer relations. Some benefits of a Cloud Contact Center include operational expense instead of capital investment, higher ROI, improved efficiencies, increased flexibility and allows you to scale easily.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
It can be tough to run a premise based contact center. You already know the contact center is the face and voice of your company. Your customers and prospects decide to work with your company based upon interactions with your service reps. But so often the C-Level makes cost-cutting decisions about the contact center without consulting with the contact center leader. You’re always having to support the crazy promises made by sales and marketing! But suppose for a moment that by moving a contact center to the cloud it could drastically supercharge the quality of the customer experience. Fast growing organizations are finding that the future of the customer experience is with CCaaS. Contact Center As A Service is a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows contact center leaders to utilize a third party software and hardware. Learn more by checking out our video.
On-Premise Contact Center Solutions
Though cloud-based contact centers have become increasingly popular because of their lower costs and easy deployment, on-premise contact center solutions still hold a large portion of the contact center industry. There are a few reasons why some companies choose on-premise solutions over cloud options. We want you to do what’s right for your business, so here’s what you should know about this contact center option.
While they are more expensive to maintain and less flexible when it comes to scaling a business, on-premise contact centers do have a few advantages—and if you’re worried about maintenance, control, and reliability, on-premise might be the best option for you.
The essence of on-premise contact centers is in the name. They are contact centers that you keep on your business’s premises. As the owner of this type of contact center, you are responsible for staffing and managing the operations of the contact center as well as updating the system hardware and software. Cloud-based contact centers take care of all these responsibilities for you, but not every business needs that kind of support. In fact, some businesses choose on-premise contact center solutions because they want to maintain more control. As the manager, you get to choose your team, when updates are completed, and you don’t have to rely on someone else’s reliability to keep things running.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
Unified Communications as a Service refers to a software as a service model where providers deliver different telecom or communications software applications or services, generally over the global IP network. Some CCaaS providers also come with their communications for the business side of the house and some don’t. If your back office requires communications as well you will also require a UCaaS component for business communications. Not all UCaaS providers are created equal. Some include web collaboration suites, some don’t. Some are tightly integrated with their ACD and CCaaS offerings, and some are independent systems that don’t seamlessly interoperate. Vesuvitas can help you to navigate the options and configure an optimal solution for your business.
Contact Center Industry Trends and Best Practices
Workforce Engagement Management (WEM/WFM/WFO )
Any company that intends to boost their employee engagement would benefit, but WEM is becoming highly valuable to organizations with large employee groups that have the same/similar skill set such as contact centers. Operations like these frequently struggle to control and maintain the desired level of interaction with their employees.
Delivering high quality customer support is essential to creating a strong brand recognition. The advantages are clear for companies to concentrate their efforts on providing superior customer services. With much more info flowing via a contact center in one day than any other region of the company, it’s vital to record these customer connections and evaluate agent and customer interactions to optimize performance and improve service levels.
Speech analytics is in the forefront of their corporate drive to generate intelligence obtained from Big Data that is actionable in real life as input to making decisions. Speech analytics provides the capacity to produce meaningful voice information and interaction tendencies to assist businesses improve services, reduce costs, and increase earnings in their contact centers and across their business.
Initially called audio-mining, where audio files have been converted into text to allow searches of particular phrases or words, speech analytics today entails comprehensive searches based on phonetics together with the capacity to detect specific emotions expressed onto a telephone call in addition to telephony trends, including hold times, quiet spots, or representatives speaking over a caller. With innovative technologies such as real-time language analytics, psychological analytics and AI, contact centers can provide better customer experiences.
Recent research suggests that address analytics in call centers pays for itself in anywhere from 3 months to less than 1 year. So it is not surprising that companies are quickly and enthusiastically embracing speech analytics. In reality, the marketplace has increased from a mere 24 clients in 2003 to over 3.5 million in 2015–approximately 20 percent of companies that have contact centers. And adoption is growing as technology improves, with as much as 36 percent of companies which don’t utilize language analytics stating that they intend to execute it in the not too distant future.
The value of AI in contact centers is twofold. To begin with, it could seamlessly give clients the ideal information that they require at the ideal time by providing self-service possibilities, eliminating the need for a call to customer service. Secondly, AI has the capability to provide customer support agents more info to help them manage the complex problems that self-service can’t solve.
Though the majority of us are acquainted with robots that enable customers to solve their problems through private channels, we’re also seeing telephony changes with AI to support organizations and assist customer support representatives cope with a broader variety of consumer problems.
AI applications have been developed that will listen to calls and decode their influence on the client , like how the problem was solved, whether the client’s loyalty will rise in the future as a consequence of the telephone, and what could have been completed to help smooth the scenario in the event the client becomes angry.
Whether you are managing an inbound or outbound contact center, the interactions between your agents and your clients is an essential key to business success. As a result of machine learning algorithms, companies can handle those customer-facing minutes better.
Machine learning algorithms are also helping clients get to the ideal agent in a shorter period of time (and alleviating much of the frustration along the way) by intelligently routing calls according to their profile to the ideal agent with the proper knowledge and skill-level. This, then, reduces call duration, repeat calls or call abandonment rates by upset callers. On-screen prompts using machine learning diagnoses of callers’ moods, or other signs, will also allow contact center agents to effectively deal with customer inquiries or problems and lowers the requirement for clients to make frequently bothersome repeat calls into the business.
Machine Learning to identify the ideal time to call may be utilized in call centers for both sales teams to reach prospects and debt collection agents to reach debtors.
IVR - Interactive Voice Response
IVR sprang up out of a business need to automate customer interactions. Now intelligent self-service has developed into an art form. Self-service can be done via phone, Virtual Assistants, Web, Chat and many other channels. Just within the Voice channel, however, there are best practices to consider around Touch Tone (DTMF), Speech Recognition, Natural Language based on containment goals that also have to be balanced with customer satisfaction.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Contact center customer relationship management (CRM) is a contact center software solution that provides agents with access to account info and history with the goal to extend a real-time, personalized customer experience across all channels, including voice, internet and social.
These days, many organizations fail to efficiently incorporate their CRM programs with contact center operations. Without integration, significant data saved in the CRM–such as customer preferences and information on previous interactions–can’t be used to enhance customer experience.
ACD - Automatic Communication Distribution
Formerly known as “Automatic Call Distribution”, Automatic Communication Distribution, or ACD, now actually refers to all of the different channels that can be utilized by a customer to reach an agent including chat, email, fax voice etc. It’s not just for voice anymore. ACD systems are usually utilized in contact centers that handle a large volume of inbound calls and other forms of communication. The main aim of an ACD is to distribute incoming communications to contact center representatives or personnel with particular skills according to call types.
Multi-channel vs. Omni-channel Contact Centers
Based on study by Aberdeen, employers who employ an omnichannel customer experience reach a 91% higher year-over-year growth in client retention compared to organizations that do not provide an omnichannel experience. With persuasive statistics like this, it sure sounds like supplying an omnichannel encounter ought to be a top priority for companies. And yet, it is not that easy.
Why is it challenging? If your company is engaging with clients on multiple channels, such as email and inbound phone calls, are you offering an omnichannel client experience, or can it be an multichannel encounter?
Businesses that connect with clients inside their contact center via multiple channels, including email, social networking, internet chat, and phone, can be thought to have a multichannel contact center. But simply because a client can connect with your contact center via multiple channels doesn’t mean that their expertise is seamless.
An agent who connects with a client by phone might have no information about that client’s previous interactions via a different channel. Frequently in a multichannel contact center, channels are siloed — agents have no access to information about prior client interactions from other channels.
An omnichannel contact center is not necessarily working on all possible channels of communication which exist, however it implies that each of the channels it will use are integrated to present a seamless customer experience.
For example, a customer might be browsing a organization’s website and also ask a few questions through the site’s chat function. After chatting with an agent, the client may move on but return to the website one week afterwards. This time, the client chooses the click-to-call choice to be given a call back from an agent. After the agent calls the client, the agent can see a log of their client’s previous chat dialog, in addition to information concerning the client’s visits to the business website including the products or services they’re interested in. The client does not need to tell their story over again –the agent can simply jump in and assist the client to have a fantastic experience.
Inside this omnichannel contact center example, when the client has contact with the organization later on, through email, in-app messaging, SMS, or another channel, the agent will pick up the client’s interaction from where it left off last time. This amount of continuity is the thing that sets omnichannel communications apart from multichannel communications. Omnichannel contact centers provide agents with the information they will need to provide genuinely top-notch, personalized client support.
If you aren’t yet utilizing chat, you’ve got great reasons to check into this channel today. Clients are becoming busier and chat is one of their preferred agent-assisted customer support mechanisms. What’s more, web chat continues to experience strong growth with an ever increasing number of contact centers using this channel, in addition to according to a growing share of contact center interactions when chat is offered. Quite simply: more clients are using chat to connect with more businesses.
Collaborative browsing (also referred to as co-browsing) is a software-enabled technique which enables someone within a contact center to interact with a client using the client’s Internet browser to demonstrate how to do something. For example, a client having trouble placing an order can call a customer support representative who might then show the client how to use the checkout pages as though the client were utilizing their own mouse and keyboard. Collaborative browsing may consist of email, fax, regular phone, and chat.
Mobile Text Messaging
With mobile text messaging, it is possible to give clients features such as automated responses to text codes. You can enable time-saving features like text-to-queue, allowing customers to enter a callback queue without dialing in. You can send automatic follow-up surveys when they are most likely to respond.
SMS is most powerful as a call center channel when using multiple channels such as voice and email. Pre-configure message templates assigned to agents to help with consistency and quicker response times. Agents and sales people may initiate text messages to clients from your CRM or from a telephone number.
Social Media Interaction
Rather than assigning social media responses to a different department, many call centers are using social networking as yet another — and useful — customer support tool. Clients, as it happens, are reacting positively.
Studies demonstrate that one out of every 3 clients prefers social media over using the phone for customer service. When handled well, customer loyalty increases.
66 percent of customers state they are prepared to change brands if they do not feel they are receiving good service. Combine phone support with a direct DM (direct message) on Twitter, and even the crankiest client is likely to soften a little.
Prove that you are listening and paying attention, and clients will take note.
As a business, you own a contact center and you reply to emails, but how well do you handle them? For many businesses, Internet Mail or Outlook will be the software of choice. While these work well for your office email, you will find too many constraints and drawbacks to using them effectively in a contact center. They’re simply not efficient. Let us take a look at your email systems and processes and recommend a solution that can scale.
Agents are not machines. A powerful incentive program and clear objectives do not provide them with the motivation that they need. Gamification in client support comes into play when incentives cannot, by producing daily micro-events that induce focus and engagement. Drive workers to better client satisfaction by demonstrating them their KPIs — CSAT, AHT and FCR. KPIs give workers real time feedback and invite them to adjust their behavior when required.
Analytics is now becoming more widely utilized, and is particularly beneficial in keeping clients who call contact centers happy, according to a report by Ernst and Young. Text analytics is presently being utilized to evaluate consumer surveys, emails, tweets and transcripts. Considering text analytics can help decrease customer attrition and improve targeting of clients to help your bottom line. Through call center analytics, businesses can identify the customers most willing to make purchases.
Desktop Process Analytics
Desktop process analytics works together with current customer service programs and monitors worker activities to offer guidance for completing jobs correctly. They also track how workers use and interact with their tools. As consumer interactions expand into omni-channel communications such as email, chat, video and social networking, communications analytics and recordings have to follow. Specifically, desktop analytics in contact centers are crucial for quality control, compliance with government regulations, and overall efficacy. Video recordings supply a 360-degree perspective of customer service. Synchronous replay of recorded calls in conjunction with video recorded actions helps pinpoint procedural bottlenecks, strengthens or rejects manager evaluations, and empowers an omni-channel strategy to guarantee satisfied clients. Additionally, complex desktop analytics solution supplies online tracking in near real time to rapidly contact dissatisfied customers before they cancel.
Contact center performance management is the continuing process of communicating between a manager and a worker that happens during the entire year, with the objective of attaining the strategic aims of the company (hr.berkeley.edu). Obviously, although that definition sums up the soul of operations management, there are lots of moving parts, and also a much more formal breakdown of these components to maintaining a stable workforce than simply contact center management applications:
- Planning and setting expectations
- Continually tracking performance
- Clearing roadblocks
- Scoring performance
- Rewarding performance
- Correcting inferior performance
And, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (opm.org), a manager has mastered contact center performance management when the following has been achieved:
- The manager has created an environment in which workers have the best chance to achieve their full potential
- Workers are trained and possess the skills necessary for present and future positions
- Workers are included in decision making affecting their roles
- Communications are happening in the beginning, during and at the conclusion of every evaluation cycle
- Workers are recognized for a job well done
- Workers are assisted when falling below expectations and are held responsible for poor performance
- Employee surveys are used to confirm supervisors’ proficiency
- Worker’s goals are attained
- Ultimately: Realistic targets are attained
The most important thing you can do as a contact center manager is to coach your team. Research shows that regular, targeted guidance increases employee satisfaction, participation, and performance. And, it produces a culture of confidence company-wide.
However, according to a study from Interact, 37 percent of managers say they are uncomfortable giving feedback, along with 69% who confessed to being uneasy communicating with their workers in general.
Without feedback, your agents are losing the opportunity to improve in their abilities and performance. And you are missing out from receiving valuable feedback courses, too. For assistance with tackling the contact center coaching and learning challenge, contact us today.
Learning Management System (LMS)
A recent Gallop survey suggested that only 29 percent of call centre employees are actively engaged in their jobs.
The majority of the anxieties call centers face begins with onboarding. For agents, the onboarding process probably starts with an extremely simplistic and impartial learning management system (LMS). This, together with average lack of challenge in call centers, leaves agents feeling unfulfilled and thoroughly unmotivated. As call center supervisors seek every opportunity to drive a greater ROI per representative –far too frequently they’re ignoring that the majority of processes are leaving their agents working inefficiently. At VesuvITas, we understand what is necessary to create an engaged agent workforce, and how to setup an LMS that works. Contact us today to find out how.
Contact Center Technology Is Complex...Don't Go It Alone.
At VesuvITas, we specialize in understanding your contact center business requirements, navigating the complexities of technology options and bringing trusted partners to the table who can deliver on time and on budget with service that will represent your brand with confidence. Click to see some of our technology partners.