During my time working with contact center teams I have noticed a trend of organizations focusing on solving single issues in their business operations. It often feels like the “one issue voter”. Vendors come in and claim to have innovative approaches to solving things like intelligent knowledge base, chat, SMS or even old school technologies like intelligent IVR. The problem is, many of these things can end up being a band-aid on top of major issues below the surface. They don’t really solve the root cause or core issue. They only focus on what they can see at the surface.
This type of approach will make your business feel like a dog chasing a squirrel. Often times management teams will read articles evangelizing the next big innovative tool or shiny object, and then the team is off to the races. They start looking at a myriad of solutions that look similar but they never really find that “all-in-one” tool that meets all of their perceived needs. The reality is, regardless of the solution a company purchases, nothing will be perfect without significant customization. Even then, no technology should be brought in to fix broken organizational processes.
OmniLegion’s approach to customer experience is to understand the entire workflow. This includes the process from before you talk to the customer until they have exited the system. To simplify this vision, we’ve created four definitional buckets; Deflect, Optimize, Automate and Analyze. The key within this methodology is to reduce the load on your contact center and look at the process holistically.
What does this look like?
I know it may be a little counter intuitive to try and not talk to your consumer when they have a problem with your product but this is today’s reality. Consumers don’t want to talk to you, they just want whatever they purchased from you to work. And, if there is an issue, they want to solve it without wasting any more time than they have to. This is where self-service alternatives need to be in place. Sure, this can mean placing “how to’s” on your website, but they need to be easily accessed and understood. This is usually not the case.
Chat has been a channel for years in contact centers with chatbots starting to take a front seat to issue resolution more recently. Amazon Connect also announced chat and chatbots as a channel last year. This isn’t surprising given many of the chatbot companies are built on AWS.
Gartner came out with study that determined 20-50% of service desk issues were related to simple things like resetting passwords and unlocking computers. If you add in other A+B=C type inquiries such as “what’s my balance”, “what’s my payoff amount” or simple solutions that can be searched and found in a Knowledge Based we believe that you can deflect more than 50% of your service desk issues using chatbots.
You can also do this using your Intelligent Voice Response (IVR) system to deflect customers back to chat using SMS if the resolution makes more sense using text. IVR’s have always excelled at simple tasks, but tend to annoy demanding customers that just want to speak to a real person as soon as possible.
The great thing about chat is customers can solve issues while multitasking. As soon as they have to get on the phone, they have to give their undivided attention to the problem at hand. This is engineered friction in the system that can be avoided.
We handle these issues inside of AWS using Amazon Connect, Lex, Kendra and Polly. Amazon’s chat solution is inexpensive and works on a usage-based model. OmniLegion has built a chat UI to simplify deploying chat on your website called ChatBox. You can literally have a chatbot up and running on your website in minutes. By orchestrating your conversations with Amazon Connect you can deploy complex multi-step conversational chatbots with little to no code. If this is not something you want to build for yourself, OmniLegion can help integrate this across your systems and processes.
If you’re looking for commercial off the shelf solution then we recommend a product called HelpShift. Straight out of Silicon Valley, HelpShift is a company that made its mark in the gaming industry and comes with some great out of the box features at a fairly affordable price.
If your customer travels all the way through your system and still needs assistance it’s time to optimize your platform. Expert Systems are going to be the hot topic over the next couple years with their ability to enable your agents with a real-time next best action. There are currently many AI companies attempting this as an add-on solution. This is also where Salesforce’s Einstein AI is coming to the table with a solution included in its new offering Service Cloud Voice, powered by Amazon Connect.
These solutions will evolve significantly over the next few years but the idea is they will give you real-time intelligence. These solutions will:
- Provide consistency in your customer service
- Reduce the training time needed for your newer agents
- Accelerate mean time to resolution
We have one partner in Utah, Airin, that has an AI solution based on a 1970’s CIA algorithm that can be purpose built for any solution.
OmniLegion is also building a solution inside of Amazon Connect that can give you a full single pane of glass that shows you real-time transcription, sentiment analysis and an expert system to do real-time next best action. This will be available by the end of the summer.
On your solution journey don’t forget to look at your operations from beginning to end, including post call work, for different processes that can be automated. OmniLegion employs a team of full stack developers that can work with your team to identify where this can happen and build the custom applications to reduce the load on your agents. This technology can take things off of your worker’s plates like post call emails and documentation. These are custom built applications based on your needs.
- Reduce application switching and clicks
- Eliminated repeat requests
- Minimize post-call work
Why does this matter? Customer experience has surpassed price and product as the key brand differentiator. This means it is more important than ever for companies to get their call centers operating efficiently. In addition, satisfied customers contribute 2.6x more revenue to the company because positive experiences create loyal customers. Achieve an optimal, automated process and you will drive significantly more revenue.
Just think about how much data is collected across your operation. One hundred percent of your product and support decisions should use more than just twenty percent of your data, but eighty percent of your data is messy and hard to use. So, decisions are made using the same old 20%. We should all be exploring service tickets, community feeds, and chat logs like never before to evolve our processes and solutions and create friction-less customer experiences.
Just imagine if you could take all pre call, in call and post call data and incorporate other things like Salesforce Service Cloud or any other CRM/ITSM data and identify where your real problems are in your operational system.
This means you will need to start using data in a different way by leveraging unstructured data. You would now be able to use every case comment, conversation and email to better understand your customer. You would know top concerns and requests every day and adapt on the fly. If you augment your analytics, you will discover product and service friction that are causing you to lose customers. Things like engagement, sentiment analysis and top opportunities would not slip through the cracks.
We came across a Utah-based company called HaloSight that is doing this within Salesforce Service Cloud. The power of the data is changing the way executives work within their operation. HaloSight is coming out of Beta here soon but we plan on incorporating their solution into our end-to-end offering.
If you don’t look at your contact center issues as an entire solution, you’ll just end up solving one issue and never get to the root of the problem. Yes, that one solution may help you at that time but other problems will surface and you’ll never get ahead. You need to evaluate each phase of your operation and look at where problems are surfacing and dive deep into those areas. You can do this in phases but you need to have an overall end-to-end vision so you don’t miss out on important areas that could change how your organization functions going forward. We can approach this using Amazon Connect or other partners that we bring to the table. CCaaS solutions are great but you have to remember to break down your process into our key areas of Deflect, Optimize, Automate and Analyze and you won’t just purchase a technology, you’ll build a long lasting solution.