Omnichannel Reality

In this blog we will cover the real needs of modern omnichannel contact centers.

We discuss going beyond multi-channel routing and call options and into omnichannel conversational analysis, real-time data strategies, post interaction actions summary and quality and performance capabilities.

This is part three of a five-part blog series looking at how AI, speech analytics and conversational computing is changing the processes, efficiency and CX / C-Sat metrics within many organizations around the world.

  • Part one covered “do you think you are digital?” This highlights the gaps in more than 50 per cent of customer interactions.
  • Part two covered the issues relating to whether humans have the technologies to support them in an increasingly challenging customer interaction function.
  • Part four covers how these speech technologies are helping to transform sales and service functions and leadership.
  • Part five concludes on the future vision for speech analytics and conversational computing.

In this blog there are two areas I would like to expand on. The human-to-human omnichannel dynamic, and the human-to-automated conversation service.

Let us start with H2H.

“Your next call will connect in three seconds”

Wow. Agent pressure to listen, understand and digest in real time is becoming a significant pressure point. We have released options to our customers to get information, request services, or make transactions across multiple channels. We all now openly use our apps, IVRs, websites, forms, chat sessions and send emails and, in most cases, this is well received by the consumer as it means we can do what we want without needing to talk in real time, or on someone else’s availability. We are truly in the world of NOW.

Recent surveys have identified that, on average, the human customer interaction point is now managing around 60 per cent of total channel interactions (40 per cent having been automated / self-service enabled). This naturally differs from industry to industry, but in just about every industry when the call matters the need for excellence amplifies. Interactions that matter are critical moments that directly influence CX / C-Sat, customer retention, acquisition and revenue. They include situations relating to complaints, key client requests, big sales movements, complex transactions or compliance requirements and so on. When the call matters, real time is best, but the agent has a lot to process and this impacts quality of service.

  • What did the customer say in the voice channel yesterday / last week?
  • What did the customer write in the chatbot earlier today?
  • What product updates have been released internally recently?
  • What is going on externally (live feed news / Bloomberg etc)?

And the list goes on.

Our key resources have to absorb not only the content of previous or recent interactions, but also the context, sentiment, importance and relevance across all channels – and all in the nano-seconds before connection. This is practically impossible for the human being.

Our teams need help. They need a mechanism to pre-brief them in the three seconds before the call. A pre-briefing that considers all historical communications, transactions and across all channels. Not just that there was a call, email or chat session, but the context of the communication, the sentiment and perhaps the sales stage or service/ support stage based on language used in the previous calls or written communications.

And the H2D conundrum is probably even more critical as in many cases the interaction content is invisible. We may be getting transactional data, but not the context, content or sentiment. At best we record these transactions (voice response, chatbot or email) but few digitally digest the content.

Therefore, in parallel, there is also a need to monitor the automated channels for “moments” – these may be moments of frustration, potential complaint or, more positively, perhaps moment of imminent sale. These are moments where AI technology can analyze the communication and conversation, detecting the trajectory of the call, and relate this to the customer profile, product complexity, CX impact and revenue / cost implications. These are digital conversation moments that, ideally, would be best escalated to a real-time channel, whether voice, video or chat, to be handled optimally. Let’s face it, we humans are pretty amazing. The computers are not taking over just yet.

See you at the next blog “Transform your sales hit rate, quality of execution and highlight the forecast ‘gamers’”