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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. 

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.

 

 

We work with over 150+ vendors and partners, continually in contact with them. Rather than selling the technology, we looked into how they’ve adapted and what they see as the latest trends.

 

Our partner network says COVID-19 has changed their organisation focus, with some hitting their yearly targets within two months – some having their technology consumption go from 1.5m users to 10m within 21 days – others adapting and creating short-term offerings to plug the hole which they anticipate.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic initially frightened shareholders, investors, vendors and solution providers’ plans for 2020 in the cloud technology market. However, soon after, technology priorities shifted as their prospects and customers faced the pandemic’s force of either group to remote and work from home scenarios or suspending operations entirely.

After enduring weeks of pandemic situations and understanding the beginnings of what a recovery will look like, solution providers are starting to recognise the short-term technology demands of the prospects and customers. According to research by The 2112 Group, these are what solution providers say are the top 5 technologies for the remainder of 2020.

5. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)

Companies understand that their operations will cease if they cannot have access to their data and IT resources.   Nevertheless, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) services are gaining revived recognition in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are reevaluating their business continuity plans and resources as they identified gaps in their capabilities during the shift to decreased operations and remote workforces.

 

 

4. Networking

Though basic infrastructure and network may not be the most riveting technology, yet one-quarter (26%) of solution providers claim switching and routing will continue to be an essential product set. Businesses are reevaluating their network capacity demand to account for the shifting use cases as a consequence of the pandemic. Many companies anticipate reconfiguring their networks to support more remote connections and reduced latency for cloud-based applications.

 

 

3. Communications and Collaboration

Before the pandemic, Zoom established itself as one of the popular kids of the cloud-based video conferencing platforms. With Microsoft Teams physically distanced, Zoom with its minimal subscription and free offering sprinted on ahead overnight. Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx, and Google Meet observed growth in demand and utilisation. Every video conferencing, collaboration, and unified communications service is witnessing growth as businesses look to empower their new work from home contact centre and aiding the workforce to keep connected during social distancing. As we all look to the recovery period, many think working from home will become the new norm and permanent for many people, shaping communications and collaboration as a red-hot commodity for the foreseeable future.

 

2. Cloud Infrastructure Services

The cloud is earning its keep throughout the pandemic. Each company reluctant around migrating their infrastructure to the cloud – in both hosted or hybrid configurations – discovered promptly through their pandemic encounter the need of having access to data and resources. While the economy took a high in the first quarter as spending came to a sudden halt, cloud service providers witnessed considerable increases in their sales and consumption.

 

 

 

 

1. Security

For the past couple of years, Security technologies are always high on the agenda and demand as the threat of hackers is everywhere, and growing government regulations enforce data protection. The pandemic exposed new problems with IT security: An uneven distribution. As businesses moved to a work from home strategy, they soon realised that their security standards weren’t up to the job. People leaving the office were now using home PCs with consumer operating systems, inadequate security software, and poorly secured WiFi networks. Security technologies – especially managed security services – is witnessing growing demand as business reinforce their data protection measures to account for their distributed workforces.

 

 

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. 

Research from the leading cloud-based telephony providers finds six in ten (59%) consumers have stopped shopping with a retailer due to poor customer service in-store, on the phone, or online.

The most common issue is that queries are not being solved quickly enough. Consumers are continually experiencing being “passed around the houses” and having to re-explain the problem multiple times, the majority have had to speak to three different people on average to solve just one query, and some have talked to as many as 12.

The relationship with the consumer has been rapidly evolving for several years. It is essential to offer a personal service when communicating with customers to increase confidence and instil trust.

Sustaining quality during the customer journey is a vital part of protecting your brand, building loyalty and generating repeat sales, so this commitment needs be mirrored within the contact centre environment and underpin all customer service processes.

Cloud-based contact centres are serving a growing number of retailers to boost capacity and improve functionality without having to invest in expensive infrastructure costs. You can have real-time visibility and control of contact centre operations to guarantee that the necessary performance is delivered and maintained.

Excelien works with the leading contact centre cloud-based solutions to help businesses transform their customer and employee experience. With one system of engagement for voice, video, collaboration and contact centre using one system of intelligence which can utilise AI, voice analysis, CRM integrations and more. The platform can determine which agent is best-suited to answer an inbound call based on a comprehensive range of parameters. It ensures any query is acknowledged and resolved promptly and to the satisfaction of the customer. Added functionality, such as the SMS tool, empowers retailers to enhance customer communication with proactive marketing alerts, reminders and confirmations.

Businesses can now address the connection between online and in-store, resolving queries quickly, getting a human response and answering questions the first time. Contact Centre allows companies to communicate faster and smart to exceed the speed of customer expectations.

Get in touch with Excelien for more information on our market analysis for Contact Centre.