The following is an excerpt from Telecom Reseller Podcast’s “UJET and Telarus for Strategic Global Partnership,” featuring Vasili Triant, COO of UJET, and Brandon Knight, VP of Business Development for CCaaS at Telarus. You can listen to the full episode here.
Finding the right cloud contact center partnership can be tricky, especially because so many providers claim to be the solution to all your customer support woes. In reality, the market is crowded with players who all do roughly the same thing and, unfortunately, have the same issues when it comes to scaling their product, keeping data secure, and living up to the promises they make to their customers.
In this podcast episode, UJET COO Vasili Triant explains common issues he sees in the CCaaS market, and offers advice on how to address them.
Issue #1: Agent interfaces are too similar and not providing enough support
According to Vasili Triant, COO of UJET, it isn’t enough to simply move premise-based systems into the cloud, but most applications’ services end there, making the agent experience somewhat better, but leaving the customer experience largely the same.
“The kind of message that’s been out there for a long time is ‘a happy agent will make a happy customer, so bring all these wonderful applications to the agent.’ Everybody has these agent interfaces, and they all look the same nowadays,” he said.
Customers are reaching out via agent interfaces for support or service, and they’re finding that not only is everybody doing the same thing 99% of the time, but the process is frustrating and involves too many steps.
Issue #2: The customer experience is filled with redundancy
With many contact center applications on the market, a customer has to authenticate their order via an IVR just to be asked to supply the same information to an agent, clarify which order they’re having an issue with, and verify their order number on top of that.
“You’re sitting in the IVR on hold, going like, ‘Why am I doing this? Why have I authenticated twice? Why am I pressing 1 for English and 2 for Spanish?’” Triant said.
This redundancy slows down the resolution time and creates a lot of friction for customers and agents. By the time they’ve heard the customer service rep ask “how may I help you,” they may already be exhausted with the whole process.
Issue #3: Contact centers aren’t incorporating intelligence
Perhaps the biggest challenge contact center leaders face is that they don’t have intelligence built into interactions that would make the customer experience more efficient.
A person can go online and search for something like an Adidas shoe, and they’ll almost immediately find ads for that shoe popping up on their Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or on other websites they visit, Triant said. Algorithms and artificial intelligence are meeting customers in effective ways at different points along their journey in the online space, but for many contact center applications, that intelligence simply isn’t there.
Issue #4: The customer experience is too monolithic and impersonal
Automation solves a lot of the pain points that businesses lacking bandwidth face, but it still has its challenges, namely the challenge of approaching customers like a human, rather than a robot.
When businesses rely on subpar contact center automation, the customer experience can lose the personal touch that might separate it from that of other businesses. Customers want the brands they interact with to know who they are, and if they’ve already interacted with a brand, they don’t want to have to re-authenticate or restate their query every time they call or message into that business. Being transferred from one agent to the next is also a point of frustration.
“Some automation is good, but at the same time, we just want more information paths,” Triant said.
How to solve these common CCaaS issues
Contact cloud technology should not only make agents’ work more efficient, but it should also incorporate intelligence to change the customer experience for the better. The issues it should (and can) immediately address are long wait times, quick information dissemination, and quick and effective resolutions. Tools exist in the CCaaS space to provide solutions.
Immediate and intelligent context
When a customer has already looked at a website or a mobile app for solutions and found nothing helpful, intelligent contact center technology like UJET.cx can allow that customer to call into a business and be greeted by an agent who has followed their whole journey.
“Some of those applications that we’ve built essentially capture data from where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing and allow that to pass through to the agent and essentially change the process,” Triant said.
This data can tell an agent what a customer has ordered recently, it can show them, for example, that the customer’s been on an FAQ or Knowledge Base page for four minutes, and it can show them that that customer has searched for ‘how to make a return.’ With this data, agents immediately start with all the context they need to provide effective and quick support.
Intelligent call center technology can use geolocation to inform customer service and it can also deduce a caller’s native language so that they don’t have to go through the extra steps of authenticating their native language via an IVR.
Diverse and consolidated communication channels
Intelligent contact centers allow customers to contact agents via SMS, chat, phone, email, or live voice, and they consolidate all of those modalities in one place for the user, reducing hold time and costs for businesses.
“It literally keeps you all in-app...there’s technically no telephony cost associated with it, and that’s one of the gotchas of some of the big providers marketing out there, this whole per-minute cost. You can eliminate up to 30% of those costs while actually improving the customer experience for the user,” Triant said.
Video and image communication
Solving customer queries becomes an even quicker process with smart call center features that allow customers to send images of their issue before they even speak with an agent.
“You could take a picture of the item being shipped wrong or damaged and send it through and make that conversation essentially contextual to bypass all the information that you’re trying to share over just a voice conversation. You can make it contextual in and of itself. It makes it easier,” Triant said.
More expansive communication options, intelligent automation, and immediate context work together to eliminate wait times, give agents the data they need to jump right to a solution, and decrease the time a customer spends on the phone trying to find a resolution, and these solutions are very accessible.
“The crazy part about all of this is the information is already there,” said Brandon Knight, VP of Business Development for CCaaS at Telarus. “Up until now, it just hasn’t been effectively used amongst the communication process. It’s used in the sales process, and it’s used by retail and commerce companies. But to take it a step further and use that information to create a better customer experience in a support realm, I think is definitely a huge step forward.”
Ultimately, intelligent contact centers work for every side of the customer experience by prioritizing consumer needs.
For more solutions to your most common customer service issues, listen to the full episode of Telecom Reseller.