11 January 2018

Why do you need omnichannel agents?

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

Nearly every contact center uses more than one channel to provide services to customers.

Many modern contact centers even deliver services through three or more channels. If you aren’t delivering services on the channels that your customers use the most, you are missing opportunities to connect with them on a daily basis. The contact center provides organizations with the ability to unify customer experience across channels, but how can you ensure that your agents are also providing a unified experience?

Omnichannel agents

Enabling your agents to use all contact center channels is the key to unifying customer experience. Providing your agents with the ability to use all contact channels ensures that customers receive the same experience regardless of what channel they are using. Many customers use multiple channels to interact with organizations, so having the ability to obtain the same information and the same level of service across channels is crucial.

Omnichannel efficiency

Enabling agents for all contact channels means a significant increase in efficiency. Having agents handling multiple contact types means that no agent sits idle when the volume for a specific channel is low. If the contact center is not receiving many emails, this means that the agent can still handle voice calls while volumes are low. This means less idle time for agents, shorter wait times for customers, and a unification of contact channels.

Getting up to speed

Many contact centers have agents that handle specific contact channels, but are not trained to handle other types. For example, a voice agent may not be trained for social media interactions, or an IM agent may not be trained to handle voice calls. This training barrier can present a major issue in contact centers that handle a number of contact types.

ice Contact Center helps organizations overcome this. ice handles voice calls, emails and IMs in the same format they are received in. However, all other contact types take advantage of these three channels for agent handling purposes. For example, social media messages are handled by agents as IMs, as are SMS messages. Social media posts are handled by agents as emails. Any contact type in ice is handled as voice, IM or email. This provides a unique opportunity to organizations, as they can train omnichannel agents, simply by training them on three contact types.

To learn more about maximizing your organization’s efficiency by leveraging omnichannel agents, request a demo here: ice contact center demo.

05 January 2018

3 augmented reality applications for the contact center

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Technology

Many years ago, augmented reality, or AR for short, was viewed as a signal that humanity had reached “the future.” Society has fantasized for decades about what augmented reality would look like and how it would be used. An excellent example of this was Terminator’s augmented reality vision in Terminator 2. We envisioned a world where detailed information about the world around us could be displayed in an instant.

Now that we live in a world where augmented reality is a real thing, what does that look like? Some of the obvious answers are all around us. Millions of people have downloaded and played mobile games such as Pokémon Go, that layer a virtual world on top of the real one. Games such as these leverage real-life landmarks and activities to provide an immersive gaming experience that straddles the line between fantasy and reality.

Games aren’t the only modern application for augmented reality. The recently unveiled Magic Leap One brings with it the potential for a number of groundbreaking new uses for the technology. In this article, CMO features a handful of exciting ways that businesses have used augmented reality article, CMO features a handful of exciting ways that businesses have used augmented reality. These examples make it clear that augmented reality has uses in advertising, product design, retail and more. Now let’s look at some ways AR can enhance the contact center experience.

18 December 2017

Contiguous communication: real-time channel switching

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center

Contiguous: sharing a common border; next or together in sequence.

Contiguous communication is the fabric that holds together the contact center of the future. It provides the contact center with the ability to unify the customer experience across any device, media format and channel. Contiguous communication enables agents and customers alike to switch between modalities and media formats in an instant.

In this biweekly blog series, we will present the capabilities and features made possible by contiguous communication. First, we want to discuss the ability to switch modalities in an instant.

Contiguous communication enables the linkage of customer profiles across channels. This enables customers to switch channels while continuing to interact with the same agent on the same contact. Switching channels in real time is a crucial feature for customers that may be on the go, or lose access to a specific channel. For example, a customer using instant messaging may need to get in the car and drive, so they no longer have access to the instant messaging channel. Contiguous communication enables the customer to switch from instant messaging to a phone call in real time, so that they can continue the conversation without interrupting their daily activities.

The objective of contiguous communication is to make the customer experience feel natural and effortless. In a digital world, your business no longer competes only with your competitors. You are competing with the customer experience provided by device manufacturers, application developers and any other business-customer touchpoint. Customers have a short attention span, and if their experience is not effortless, they will become frustrated and give up.

Contiguous communication helps your organization make leaps ahead in customer experience. If you want to provide exceptional experiences that set you apart from competitors, you need the power of contiguous communication in your contact center. To learn more, contact us here.

11 December 2017

IoT: Smart Homes and the Contact Center

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications, Technology

It’s no secret that the world’s biggest companies want their smart devices in every household, worldwide. With the release of the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the upcoming Apple HomePod, it will soon be as normal to have a smart speaker in your home as it is to have a smartphone in your pocket. Consumers and businesses alike can benefit from the use of these devices, but how does a business effectively integrate smart speakers into their business processes?

IoT in the Contact Center

We have known for some time that IoT is shaking up the role of the contact center.

Contact centers are adapting their operations to accommodate smart homes, smart cities and smart buildings. IoT nodes offer powerful data sources, and the interconnected nature of these devices provides a large-scale, holistic view of IoT networks. Feeding these data sources into contact centers gives businesses a unique opportunity to optimize their operations and report on key systems. Now, as consumer IoT devices become ubiquitous, a new opportunity arises for businesses.

06 November 2017

ice Mobile SDK: The Mobile Customer Journey

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, ComputerTalk, Technology

The power of mobile communications comes from the ability to interact anytime, anywhere. In a mobile-first world, your customers expect help when and where it is needed. The most effective way to meet this need is by integrating the contact center into your mobile app.

The contact center is the most powerful customer experience engine. Using intelligent routing and integrations, the contact center enables contextual interactions with your customers, saving time and frustration for contact center agents and customers. What if you could use your mobile application to enhance your interactions with customers? What if your customers could connect with you anytime, anywhere? How would that experience benefit your customer and your business? Watch this video to find out:


In this video, we see the insurance company leveraging a number of features made available through mobile contact center integration.

Mobile device functionality: Leveraging the capabilities of the mobile device can be extremely powerful. The insurance company can learn the exact location of the accident, view photos of the collision and move the conversation across media channels, using the power of the mobile device.

Cost and time efficiency: The insurer saves money and time in a number of ways here. The claim is processed more quickly because everything is filed electronically and instantly. The company doesn’t have to send a representative to audit the accident or the files. Furthermore, the company creates a happy, mobile-first customer that will be more likely to interact with them in the future.

Mobile context: The insurance company already has context about the user’s profile and history via their customer account. Further, the company can track the user’s progress within the app and prompt a conversation when necessary. The agent will know what pages the user viewed before beginning the conversation, allowing them to resolve issues more efficiently. You can even use context to proactively start a conversation using push notifications or popups within the app.

Here is an example of proactive engagement: Jack is in a car accident, and in his panicked state, he can’t find the “File a Claim” button in his mobile app. He is searching through several pages in the app, and the app detects that he has scrolled through several pages without clicking any buttons. The app then prompts him with a “Contact Us” pop up.

These are only a handful of benefits delivered via mobile and the contact center. Each business can gain unique advantages using this type of integration.

Getting Started

If you are interested in delivering a mobile experience to your customers via the contact center, we can help. The ice Mobile SDK is available to organizations that are prepared to take a mobile-first approach to customer experience. Whether or not you already have a mobile app for your customers, the SDK is able to integrate the contact center directly into any Android or iOS app. To learn more, you can contact us here: http://www.computer-talk.com/en/request-demo

If you would like to learn more about mobile communications and get a sneak peek of the ice Mobile SDK, sign up for our upcoming webinar here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4103189764553141762

 

02 August 2017

Embedding communications in mobile applications

Written by Christopher Liko, Posted in Contact Center, Unified Communications

Think about how much time you spend on mobile devices through the day. For many people, the answer is “a lot,” but the actual number might be more than you think. One study showed that the average U.S. consumer spends 5 hours per day on mobile devices1. Because of this, the mobile experience is becoming increasingly natural to consumers, with mobile apps dominating their focus. In fact, 92% of users’ time on mobile is spent within apps1. Consumers are so familiar with their mobile devices that switching to another platform feels unnatural- even having to switch to a mobile browser is an unusual experience, as mobile browsers only occupy 8% of mobile activity1.

As consumers use mobile devices more frequently, they expect to be able to do everything on mobile that can be done on desktop devices. While smartphone ownership experiences a massive uptick, desktop/laptop device ownership is beginning to slow2. With this shift, businesses need to be focused on mobile to provide an optimal customer experience. What does it mean to be mobile-focused? The answer is not so simple. Below, we will outline the three stages of mobile integration. The depth of this integration often corresponds with your customers’ adoption of your mobile application.