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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. 

Excelien has a long-established relationship working with RingCentral delivering UCaaS and CCaaS solutions within the finance industry. We’ve helped organisations consolidate global telecom estates to a single platform, revolutionise their contact centre and boost productivity and efficiency with RingCentral.

We look at how Fintech startups, as well as established banking, accounting, and insurance companies, rely on RingCentral to help them with the challenge of balancing cost, regulations, and confidentiality in a fast, ever-changing digital world. Excelien with RingCentral discusses how an all-in-one secure communications and collaboration platform gives organisations the opportunity to deliver a top-tier personalised experience while making significant budget savings.

Join this webinar on July 22nd at 10 am (BST) to discover why RingCentral is a secure, compliant, and unified communications solution built for financial services.

What will be covered?

– Drive user productivity and efficiency gains
– Consolidation of business communications into one single app
– Customise with market-leading integrations with your existing technologies
– Increase customer engagement and satisfaction
– Deliver competitive, quality customer service
– The highest level of security for financial data

Sign up here!

 

Excelien continues growing its vendor community partnering with Talkdesk, an enterprise cloud contact centre (CCaaS) that empowers companies to make customer experience their competitive advantage.

The partnership held the solution to the common problems our clients have endured. The ease of integrations, reducing costs, decreasing ramp-up time for the agent, improving employee satisfaction and having a platform that is straightforward to manage and doesn’t require specialists to operate. Talkdesk has already established a name within the CCaaS market with clients such as Tandem Bank, TAP Air Portugal, Trivago and IBM.

The challenge is that most contact centre technology out there today can’t meet these modern customer needs. Most were built 20+ years ago, before the digital revolution. These systems operate as channel silos, with little or no integration to CRM or other systems. They are inflexible, hard to adapt to the everchanging business needs and expensive to maintain. These systems lack innovation, so adopting new technology like AI is virtually impossible. And this isn’t just a problem with on-premises systems, its also an issue with first-generation cloud solutions.

Ease of Integrations

The fact we’re in an era where innovative collaboration and productivity tools are growing faster than ever, to be able to meet the demand for integrations quickly and easily is what IT teams need.

Gone are the days of getting in developers to create APIs, with Talkdesk AppConnect you’re able to extend capabilities with push-button integrations with over 100+ partners. AppConnect is recognised by Gartner as the industry’s first app marketplace for the contact centre.

AppConnect gives you the flexibility to test the integrations for 30 days for free, and then co-term with the monthly payments. The apps require no long-term commitment and plans can be modified, upgraded or cancelled at any time.

Reducing Costs

Understanding Cost Avoidance vs. Cost Reduction is the message we want our clients to understand. If the main focus is on what you’re paying now, you’ll be likely to be in a scenario of you get what you pay for, and potentially at risk not being able to scale for future growth.

With Talkdesk, we see that it addresses cost reduction in further areas such as automation through IVR and AI, agent attrition and missed call opportunities which helps your business build up more profit over time. We also look at how we can reduce operational costs, and unaccounted costs such as efficiency, self-service adoption, integration workflows, and disaster preparedness.

It’s about thinking long term.

The Stats Speak the Truth

In the world of sales, if you’re referred to someone or recommended a product you’re 72% more likely to purchase it. Talkdesk has some great accolades having the most and best reviews with Gartner, G2Crowd and Salesforce AppExchange

And being recognised by their clients as well as Gartner has resulted in Talkdesk to enter the Leader quadrant for the Contact Centre as a Service Magic Quadrant. Talkdesk is one of only three vendors appearing in both the North American quadrant and Western Europe Contact Center as a Service Magic Quadrant making Talkdesk an exceptional option for companies requiring an end to end solution for contact centres globally. Talkdesk is the most recent vendor to be in the leadership quadrant and the fastest company ever to make it into the leadership quadrant.

 

Improving Customer Experience

On average there are 7 stages of transition through the customer experience life cycle, and we look at how Talkdesk manages these, and how it minimises customer effort, boost customer satisfaction, maximise resources and ultimately generate revenue.

 

1 – Method of Communication

Customers are not the same as 10 years ago, they’ve shifted from how they traditionally got in contact, they expect to be able to contact you via IM, Whatsapp, Socials and some just don’t want to chase and want the company to contact them back at a convenient time.

Talkdesk provides access through all these contact channels whether its Web, Mobile, Social, Email, Visual/Video or Live Chat.

2 – CRM Integration

Customers expect a personal experience, and to do so, CRM integrations need to present context to the agent and contact centres with real-time information about customers, empowering your agent to have more intelligent and seamless conversations.

Whether that identification is their account number, email address or number, it can help quickly identify and address the customer, allowing more profound insights into what the call might be, and promptly personalise the callers information.

 

3 – IVR & Self-Service

We all have shortcuts to get around the IVR, such pressing 5 “if you’re planning to leave the service” (which would usually get answered quicker!). Talkdesk empowers the customer to use self-service and cut costs by freeing up agents.

As customers call in, the IVR can quickly distinguish customers needs and have them directed to specific agents. This frees up unnecessary time trying to guide the customer to the correct agent, the customer can speak to some who specialises in their topic. If a customer just needs to know their balance on an account or when a bill is due – that’s something an IVR can handle.

4 -Intelligent, Skills-Based Routing

Talkdesk wants to deliver exception customer experience, but how?

We connect the customer with the best available agents based on their skills, reducing interaction time, improving the quality of service and reducing re-queues. There is also the ability to provide real-time information to the customer about their wait time, queue position and options to opt for callbacks. The intelligent mapping of calls can prioritise high valued or high-risk accounts, getting them to agents as quickly as possible

5 – Efficiency Tools

Talkdesk generates efficiency for common tasks with tools like disposition codes or preview dialers, these can conserve time and improve agent utilisation and productivity.

Preview dialers allow outbound reps to have context prior to calling, and power dialers can decrease the time it takes to place calls and leave messages and can move seamlessly onto their next conversation.

Disposition codes help complete everyday tasks to help improve agent productivity by decreasing after-call work and allowing these to be easily indexed within the Talkdesk reporting.

6 – Reporting & Analytics

The Talkdesk dashboard allows you to gain real-time visibility and administration with real-time reporting and advanced analytics. Instead of worrying about code to building out your metrics, you have simple click functionality to create instantaneous dashboards to proactively run your contact centre, leveraging BI to uncover insights and optimise your team.

7 – Workforce Engagement

Beyond the dashboard and reporting, you want to engage your staff wherever the agents are located, whether they’re remote, based in different time zones or part-time during the busy periods such as Christmas. Talkdesk allows you to create the right balance between cost and service-level management. Talkdesk provides tools to forecast contact volume, schedule contact centre staff based on workload and plan for future events.

Talkdesk can evaluate & benchmark agent performance, which means they can adequately reward or promote agents with accurate depictions of their performance. To help with that, they can ensure compliance with call & screen recording.

 

Talkdesk for the Future

Excelien see Talkdesk as the future of contact centre services with the speed of innovation which Talkdesk is developing, being cloud-native, AI deeply embedded within the platform, an industry-unique App Ecosystem and agile development of new capabilities – it leaps ahead over its competitors.

And for our clients, Talkdesk is Customer-Experience obsessed, with one of the only vendors to deliver a 100% uptime SLA, achieve 98% CSAT rating from their customers and over 134% net retention.

Our cloud advisory team at Excelien are experienced in deploying a range of contact centre rollouts through every step of the journey, and our consultants can navigate you to see how Talkdesk can increase productivity, manage costs and move to a futureproofed solution.