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Zoom was one of the most common words used in 2019. For many some older generations maybe the new MSN, the uptake wasn’t just businesses allowing users to continue WFH but consumers having access and meeting friends and family online.

Excelien is excited to have Zoom now part of our portfolio of vendors. We see Zoom as an easy-to-use, dependable and innovative platform for video-first unified communication, which also delivers phone, meetings, webinars and team chat.

The advisory services work with several vendors and continually analyse these but, Zoom is architected different, it’s the only platform which was built with video as its root foundation, this at its core is why customers like Walmart, Uber and Hubspot rely on this the reliability and scalability, not only that; Zoom also have a customer footprint in over 94% of countries around the world!

The common association with Zoom is video, which is true, but the video-first communications platform also offers:

Zoom has, and will continue to mould the way enterprise organisations globally communicate and connect. Zoom comprises all the tools you need into one simple platform – from 1:1 meetings to meeting rooms to large broadcasted webinars. It’s a seamless experience on desktop, mobile and conference rooms. With Zoom, companies have seen an 85% increase in video usage and VOIP six times more than traditional telephony – so people join fast and are more productive, and companies save money.

If you’ve come straight to this page, you may have missed how we work, Excelien has partnered with Zoom on an advisory partnership; this means, you have free access to our pre-sales team, consultants and 0% margin pricing.

  • What’s the most important priority to you with video collaboration?
  • What would you like to accomplish with Zoom, drive sales, expand the market or more?
  • What features are you currently using in your existing solution? What are some specific features you require but do not now have?
  • What do you do for IM and Presence today?
  • What are you using for voice today – on-prem vs PBX?

Excelien have a range of experts experienced in delivering Zoom, speak to one of the consultants and understand how we can help you in your journey.

 

The time is now to change the contact centre vision.

When you think call centre, it’s usually not good – PPI, Have you had a crash recently that wasn’t your fault – this still happens but think contact centres, what comes to mind? If it’s the BBC programme, then we need to change your mindset. The industry is one of the largest with a market size of £3bn and employing around 1.3 million in the UK – it’s a big deal.  

The journey from call centre to contact centre

We want to say historically (but it is still the case today) that the vision of a typical call centre is a floor lined with agents wall to wall, floor to floor taking calls all day – these days are gone, and technology along with the world has moved on thanks to the ‘contact centre’. Similar to how mobiles have moved from briefcases to smartphones, we now see the contact centre as more than a machine that churns out sales and services, to becoming an integral and intelligent asset with a broader range of business roles.

The output has moved from being a simple sales function to, enabling better and personalised customer experience, more accessible and in-depth reporting and a catalogue of integrations. These are the critical components of omnichannel customer service for any organisation, allowing customers to contact a company, through whatever method is best suited to them.

Digital transformation has accelerated with technology; the contact centre is no different, it’s been enhanced with features from skill-based routing, social media integrations, CRM integrations, automated sales training, AI predicting trends and workforce management. Contact centres have moved on from data-driven to analytic driven processes, delivering an unparallel service through a more personalised customer experience.

Along came COVID

COVID changed all industries, especially contact centres, where the environment was in large open plan offices, employees working with close proximities of each other, meant that these were high-risk areas, vulnerable to COVID. In the UK, we remember when the lockdown was enforced on BBC in the evening, and overnight, offices were forced to shut down, and contact centres were in the same position.

Many of these weren’t ready, working from home wasn’t viable, PCI compliance wasn’t possible, reporting wasn’t possible, softphone wasn’t possible, system access wasn’t possible and so on…some just weren’t ready.

Disaster recovery is a contingency plan, and strategies are usually in place to ensure, businesses can continue as usual should the office not. Contact Centres struggled. With a massive surge in demand from internet shopping, economic changes and business changes, the cracks began to show and were clearly visible. Homebase should have had a boom in business turned off contact centre services, retailers not being able to take payments because of PCI not being available to WFH staff, Virgin Media contacting their 5.5 million broadband customers to ask them not to call.

Excelien knows it’s time to change and adapt, and continually adapt with the best contact centre technology to enhance the services you deliver, the outcomes your business produces and how you help your customers. With digital transformation across all industries and the ability to have what you want almost in an instant, customers now expect a certain level of service, so whether you’re a small retailer, a large bank, insurance firm – customer experience is a priority.

Customers build the company and are more critical than ever in the climate we’re in, contact centres need be a significant component of an enhanced customer service offering for your company, empowering consumers to communicate with you in a meaningful way, in the channel of their preference.

Tomorrow is the future, but the time is now. 

It’s still not clear waters yet.

We’re not out of the woods yet.

COVID forced a change predicted years from now in buying and selling behaviour. Consumers are moving online as their primary way of shopping and how a business manages its customers is more important than ever. We don’t particularly like to focus on doom and gloom. Still, the conversation of COVID and Christmas is already being debating, and with the various systems being thrown around whether its Tier, Circuit Breaker or regional/national lockdown, the ability to sail this one calmly is a priority.

COVID has forced a change in buying and selling behaviour. Consumers are buying more online and with the most crucial shopping season for retailers on the horizon, how businesses deal with their customers is more important than ever. The “Will COVID steal Christmas” debate is already on. Throw in the potential of another national lockdown and the ability to weather the storm and come out the other side really is blown wide open.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

The time came, and it will continually come in which businesses need to adapt and embrace all that’s on offer from contact centres. Not solely from a disaster recovery perspective but where they can supercharge customer experience, gain more insights into buying trends and potentially save money.

Excelien is your advisory partner for contact centre technology industrywide, if you would like to speak to one of our experienced experts to understand the market, please talk to us today.

Excelien is your consultative partner for contact centre technology, if you would like to know more, please speak to one of our experts today. 

We genuinely hope that you and your co-workers remain safe and healthy during these unprecedented circumstances. As a leading advisory organisation, we have worked side by side with our eco-system of vendors within the network services and cloud communications space, alongside Masergy we have a created a unique offering to accelerate your virtual workforce strategy further. We have created a short-term offer with a minimum 3-month commitment, and available for immediate response to build a productive and secure remote workforce for your global company.

VPN Offer: Fast and Fully-Managed Remote Connectivity

Require secure connectivity over the public internet to enable your workforce? Masergy Networking as a Service (NaaS) Virtual Private Networking (VPN) offers a turnkey solution for securely connecting remote workers to your corporate WAN. Entrust Masergy for fast and fully-managed connectivity.

  • Get bulk VPN connections spun up within 24 hours
  • Employees can use their home internet securely by connecting directly into Masergy’s software-defined network for high-performance application delivery.
  • A global team supporting 24/7 network performance monitoring

Unified Communications Offer: Empower Remote Workers

Companies want a seamless transition from office to home and maintain the productivity of the workforce while working at home. Masergy’s remote collaboration solutions support your team to stay productive wherever they are and on any device. To collaborate effectively, your workforce needs a seamless experience and the same resources and communication options they have in the office. Masergy makes it easy for you to deliver a work-from-home business model.

  • Masergy’s Remote Productivity Suite includes face-to-face meetings over video, softphone, presence, chat, and even desktop sharing
  • UCaaS technologies are embedded into Masergy’s software-defined network, so users get high-performance application delivery

Cloud Contact Center Quick Deploy Offer: Enable Remote Agents

Ramp up remote agents in just one week using Masergy’s Quick Deploy Offer. Powered by Cisco Webex Contact Center, this solution cost-effectively implements critical cloud-based services to facilitate the world-class experience today’s customers have come to expect.

This offer includes:

  • Rapid installation that typically occurs in five business days from order to live service
  • A FREE softphone or you can continue using your existing end-points
  • Tiered service options for standard and premium agents
  • VoIP, PSTN, and fully managed services with 24/7 network performance monitoring
  • Free toll/local number access and PSTN call, respectively for the first 90 days

 

Our cloud advisory team at Excelien are experienced in a range of Unified Communications and Contact Centre rollouts. Please speak to one of our cloud consultants today to see how we can increase productivity, manage costs and move to a futureproofed solution, whether temporary or permanent.

 

 

 

 

 

Excelien will be hosting one-to-one advisory sessions at #ContactCentre Expo, get a first-hand look at how companies are taking their customer experience to the next level by investing in and leveraging the productive capabilities of omnichannel marketing and automation.

We will have our consultants at hand to understand your goals and requirements, on which we’ll deliver an overview of the Contact Centre market. We currently work with 30+ contact centre providers, and we aim to ensure we connect you with you those who will meet and exceed expectations.

We support companies of all sizes to achieve their goals in Digital Transformation programmes, maximising value and minimising risk. We aim to deliver Digital Transformation Goals by empowering powerful collaboration and interaction throughout your company, allowing you to provide to your staff, partners, contractors and customers become more connected.

We’ll also throw in a £10 Costa voucher for each attendee!

If you’d like to arrange a advisory session on the day, fill in the below and we’ll be in touch with available sessions.

Register Today!

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We commissioned a survey of over 2,000 consumers within the UK to understand what challenges people encountered when attempting to chat to a company on the phone and discovered that one in five people who call a company doesn’t actually get through.

 

Even worse is that 35% of the consumers surveyed that didn’t get through to someone were prospective buyers seeking information on products, attempting to create an account or make a purchase. Companies are consequently squandering a large number of inbound inquiries from potential customers who have gone out their way to call them directly.

Adopting Technology To Enhance Customer Service

Now it is not an industry secret make sure someone picks up the phone when a customer calls! We understand it can be difficult for assistants in a busy office or a hectic contact centre, but ensuring you have the appropriate technology in place can mitigate that pain. With the right technology, you can route calls to the first qualified person who can answer to the inquiry, regardless of the agents located whether they’re based at home, a remote office, a different country or even continent. 

However, the study also reports this:

  • When consumers do get through to someone and experience lousy customer service companies jeopardise losing them to a competitor, more commonly than not, more often than not, when they’re on the phone.
  • One in eight states they have begun researching for competing products or companies online while on a call, and a tenth has posted live on social media to label a company during a poorly managed call. The problem is more common amongst people aged 25-34.
  • Over a quarter have gone online while on a call to find competitors or complain.

You Only Get One Shot, Make a Great Impression

It’s crucial companies make a great first impression, and there’s only one chance and beginning that journey on the wrong foot can diminish any customer relationship for good. This is the primary reason it’s imperative to ensure each interaction counts. When customers are quickly steered to a suitably proficient agent who is qualified to manage their call stops them from being passed around to multiple agents and ultimately, getting frustrated. When customers are frustrated, they’re more inclined to switch to your competitor.

As Excelien continues to grow its vendor eco-system becoming working with 8×8 as one of its fasting growing partners. 8×8 has offered a solution to all shapes of companies from SMB to Enterprise, from finance to legal to public and globally across 100+ countries. 8×8 can deliver unified communication services as well as contact centre rather than piecing various platforms together, eliminating silos and managed from a single UI. We look further into our partner 8×8.

8×8 is remodelling the future of business communications as a leading Software-as-a-Service provider of voice, video, chat, contact centre and enterprise-class API solutions driven by one global cloud communications platform.

 

8×8 is recognised industry-wide by experts such as Frost & Sullivan for “Innovation in CCaaS and UCaaS”, IDC for as a significant player for CCaaS and UCaaS, Gartner as Magic Quadrant Leader for eight years consecutively and verified by Tolly as the provider with the highest call quality at 4.2. The accolades carry on with recognition from Deloitte, Silicon Valley Top 150, IHS, Infonetics Research and Forbes.

8×8 enables workforces worldwide to connect individuals and teams so they can collaborate faster and work smarter. Real-time analytics and intelligence provide businesses unique insights across all interactions and channels so they can delight end-customers and accelerate their business.

8×8’s hosted UCaaS and CCaaS solution enables businesses to swiftly, efficiently and reliably migrate telephone systems to the cloud. Unifying communications in the cloud on 8×8’s global communications platform, you can enhance customer satisfaction and external and internal collaboration regardless of location.

8×8 removes information silos to reveal vital, real-time intelligence across all clouds, applications and devices to increase individual and team productivity, customer experience and business performance.

8×8 has security and compliance at the forefront, ensuring it’s a fitting solution across all verticals from finance to the public sector to legal. 8×8 has 15 data centres globally, and both data sovereignty and GDPR compliant. 8×8 also offers voice recording and storage functionality to help MiFID II regulated customers meet their regulatory obligations.

8×8 guarantees high reliability and business continuity by delivering its cloud-based communications through the use of secure, fully redundant data centres. SSAE 16 certified, these top-tier data centres are placed in geographically diverse locations around the world. More than a million users rely on the 8×8 to reduce complexity and cost, accelerate high performance and enhance customer experiences.

Our cloud advisory team at Excelien are experienced in a range of Unified Communications and Contact Centre rollouts. Please speak to one of our cloud consultants today to see how we can increase productivity, manage costs and move to a futureproofed solution.

 

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has never been higher with current spend more than $35.7 billion in 2019 and predicted to more than double by 2022 to $79.2 billion. 

Excelien looks into how AI will make an impact in 2020 in the Contact Centre space, looking into growing trends and future predictions.

Increasing your AI-focused workforce 

Organisations that embraced AI and ML ahead of their competitors will be in a prime position. They will have their data sets in place and skills within the workforce to a point where they can begin to drive the results out at scale.

Research by McKinsey illustrates that up to 58% of companies have implemented at least one AI capability into a process or commodity in at least one function or business unit, an increase of 47% in 2018.

The importance of AI and ML will change from cost minimisation exercises and operational productivity to focusing more on growth projects.

AI and ML will continue to deliver automation and operational efficiencies, though 2020 is set for companies to deploy AI in ways that support business advancement.

Chatbots increasing the bottom line and helping agents

Automating suggestions of relevant products and service resolutions to the agents at the pace of the conversation is the most common way that chatbots are being used more productively in contact centres.

Chatbots are known as the most common form of AI. There are more uses for AI within Contact Centre and as AI matures and continues to embed into more technologies such as self-service, interactive voice responses (IVRs) and analytics systems, the more data, AI and ML will have to grow.

AI is continuously growing in the contact centre signifying a shift from a “nice to have” to a technology meriting of substantial investment.

The silo mentality – The “unknown” reason for poor customer service

In the common contact centre, silos will exist at the individual agent level, team level, senior level and across the business, with each level having little or no idea what’s occurring beyond the immediate co-workers.

AI solutions will rapidly develop, and particular silos of data inside the contact centre will be consolidated with data sources across the business to produce more precise and improved results.

Customer-focused businesses will realise that this adaptability and integration with a broader spectrum of AI solutions can be a vital key to their success and retention of customers.

Contact Centres will combine their knowledge alongside AI

When customers call into the call centre, customers expect to have answers – and with AI they won’t have to. AI has a significant function in assembling the collected data pool within the organisation to deliver results faster and more efficiently.

Moving into 2020, we’ll frequently recognise AI connect the data gaps among cloud-based communication solutions and contact centres, enabling consumers to receive and benefit from the information of various departments within a business in real-time.

It includes the conception of virtual assistants and the use of video applications to enhance the outcomes and promptness of customer experiences.

Enhance your data with better management

When we think of AI now, attention is drawn commonly to self-driving smart cars, Apple’s Siri or Amazon Echo, but 2020 will see a greater focus on AI and how organisations utilise its most expensive commodity, data.

Using AI and ML, businesses can gain more profound insights into their data give logical clarity and direction to make more informed decisions. 

Ultimately, guiding the business into the future, faster and quicker.

In summary, the journey for AI has only just begun for many organisations; however, to reap the rewards, organisations will need to look at significant investments and not the short-term goals. In 2020, there will be an increased need for data engineers to meet the AI and ML demand for an evergrowing market.