A Valentine’s story of Unified Voice and Digital Channels in the Contact Centre as a Service world.

Contact Centre | A Valentine’s story of Unified Voice and Digital Channels

Once upon a time, in the faraway land of CCaaS, Alex (the client) was enjoying goods and services offered by retailers and e-retailers across the country and beyond. He often needed to get in touch with the brands’ call centres, to talk to Nicola, Jack or Susan, who answered his requests by phone or e-mail… but their relationship was complicated… and with the rise of new communication channels – like chat or social networks – it was only likely to get worse. Alerted to this problem, CX Cupid, Master of Customer Delight, took the decision – on Valentine’s day – to give the brands an omnichannel customer interaction management platform, with smart routing to help them create a stable, rewarding and long lasting relationship: discover how it worked!

Whether it is to check availability of a honeymoon location, to ask for the delivery time of a bunch of roses, or to complain about a giant heart cushion that arrived damaged, Alex often needs to contact Nicola, Jack and Susan, or other customer service agents from different nationalities, with different abilities and skills, in his favourite brands’ customer relationship departments.

The relationship is not easy, even if both sides are trying hard… Alex, as a client, has a high level of expectation and has difficulty dealing with the frustration created by the pain points he encounters (1). He feels that he is not taken seriously in this relationship. He constantly has to repeat information when transferred from one agent to another. The experience across different channels is inconsistent, there  is clearly a lack of personalisation and he has to wait too long to get an acceptable answer (if he gets one at all!). These irritants lead to a general feeling of dissatisfaction and Alex thinks he deserves more respect… This is the kind of feeling that can lead a relationship to fall apart…

Nicola, Jack and Susan are worried because they try their best, but they have too many tools to open and monitor to handle the relationship… They are used to dealing with voice and e-mails, and now the complexity has increased again, as Alex is also trying to contact them via Chat, Facebook Messenger, or even complaining directly on Twitter… so now everyone knows how complicated the situation between them is …

This morning, Alex was particularly eager to contact the customer service, but all the lines were busy… when he finally managed to speak to someone, the person had no clue of who he was and what his previous requests were… The person was not aware that he had already sent an e-mail and repeated his issue in a chat a few days ago… He was very disappointed… He is longing for a seamless experience, looking for true love from the brand, as we all do…

Nicola, Jack & Susan were also stressed out. They don’t want to fail in their mission to keep their clients happy and feel that they have let Alex down. They know he could quickly call another company if he is disappointed – Alex is like all other clients, loyalty and faithfulness are not his strong points to say the least.

Feeling that the relationship was endangered – all indicators were in the red (Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS), First Response Time, Customer Retention Rate are plunging…) – CX Cupid decided to create an optimised platform, combining voice and digital channels in a single unified tool, called Akio.cx, with a full history of all contacts the client has already had with the brand. He also set-up the ACD (Automatic Call Distribution), a sort of smart routing love potion, to direct the interactions in an intelligent manner and to heal the broken hearts (yes it does!) on Valentine’s day.

The ACD is complementary to the Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), which enables the first level of routing. This smart dispatch tool connects the right person, with the relevant skills, at the right time. The ACD is linked to the connected agents: it enables the management of excess calls, the dispatch of inbound and outbounds calls (for campaigns) and, in the omnichannel Akio.cx platform, it also dispatches all interactions on digital channels (e-mail, chat, social networks…). By default the ACD already gives priority to “hot” channels, like phone calls and live chat conversations, and defines equity amongst agents in terms of workload.

To leverage the attachment level, CX Cupid and the team of customer service experts decided to go beyond the initial configuration, taking advantage of all the possibilities offered by the tool:

  • Initial, advanced and semantic routing – which enables the qualification and dispatch of requests on all channels for optimised workforce management.
  • Defined priorities depending on the type of request (Customer care, technical support, …), and the workload of the team or the skills required (one queue to look for a crush you had in the tube, one for complex requests that need to be dealt with by a dedicated expert, one queue for specific love dialects from beyond the borders).

And they added a unique personalisation criteria called “the preferred agent” that takes into account the history of the relationship between the customer and the brand and dispatches the interaction, if the person is available and has the right skills for the request, to the agent who interacted with the customer the previous time.

Personalisation, proactivity, and availability… CX Cupid knows that these three elements are the secret to happy relationships, as well as esteem and appreciation. He thinks about how the customers feel and is aware that empowering the agents is key to making the relationship work. Nicola, Jack and Susan have access to tailor-made dashboards to measure their activity, channel per channel. Their manager can re-allocate skills on specific queues in real-time with the “re-skilling module” in order to maximise the efficiency and availability of the agents. In a multi-site configuration, the ACD also gives autonomy to the local manager, who can visualise the activity of other call centres and offer or ask for help and make choices about the resources dedicated to each channel.

In order to increase the power of the ACD, the functionality also includes other charms: different wrap-up times adapted to each channel, at an operational level, and at a reporting level the activity data of the tool feeds detailed statistics that can be analysed to make the best decisions in terms of training needs, recruitment or organisation (team planning with identification of peaks in activity).

Since this valentine’s day, in this faraway land, love is in the air… All requests are handled in a timely and efficient manner. The unification of voice and digital channels in an easy-to-use platform has given everyone real enthusiasm, and clients and call centre agents value the fluid relationship they have managed to create. The NPS score is on the up, as are other key indicators of efficiency, and the analysis of customer feedback shows a real appreciation of the omnichannel relationship with the customer service departments.

In this faraway country, just like at home, customer experience optimisation is an on-going challenge. Here and now, the AKIO team provides state of the art technology to simplify agents’ work by unifying voice and digital interactions, in a robust and reliable platform where interactions are routed in an optimal manner!

1 – « When they must wait too long for a response or resolution, they quickly and easily become frustrated. And that can pose great threat to a business. » – 2019 global customer service insights – A PEGA RESEARCH REPORT – U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan, and Australia