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ENGAGE FOCUS GROUP SUPPLEMENT WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER HILTON LONDON HEATHROW

ORGANISED BY

SPONSORS


HILTON LONDON HEATHROW Our exclusive Engage Focus groups allow senior individuals working in customer and employee engagement to come together and voice their thoughts and share experiences across a wide range of topics in a structured professional environment. The Engage Focus Groups are designed to offer a platform for like-minded professionals to engage in detailed discussion and ďŹ nd solutions to some of the most pressing issues and challenges facing the industry.

FRIDAY 22 MARCH THURSDAY 26 SEPTEMBER

EngageFocusGroups.com


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EDITORIAL Steve Hurst Editorial Director steve.hurst@ebm.media 01932 506 304 David Craik Editor david.craik@ebm.media 01932 506 300

MARKETING Katie Donaldson Marketing Manager katie.donaldson@ebm.media 01932 506 302 Hannah Mulea Marketing Executive hannah.mulea@ebm.media 01932 302 112

SPONSORSHIP James Cottee Sponsorship Sales Manager james.cottee@ebm.media 01932 506 309 Dominic Stone Sponsorship Sales dominic.stone@ebm.media 01932 506 303 Kimberley Bishop Sponsorship Sales kim.bishop@ebm.media 01932 506 308 Dan Moran Sponsorship Sales dan.moran@ebm.media 01932 506 303

MEMBERSHIP Dan Skinner Delegate Sales dan.skinner@ebm.media 01932 506 307 Jamie Ross Delegate Sales Jamie.ross@ebm.media 01932 506 306

FINANCE Sabrina Clarke Finance Manager finance@ebm.media 01932 500 103 Jenna Pollard Accounts Executive accounts@ebm.media 01932 428 542

MANAGING DIRECTOR Nick Rust nick.rust@ebm.media 01932 506 301

O

ur third Engage Focus Groups event, held at London’s Heathrow Hilton hotel, saw a gathering of like-minded professionals who congregated to engage in detailed discussions and collaborations around some of the most pressing issues and challenges facing our industry.

The Focus Group discussions drilled down into topics including Customer Engagement Transformation; CX Strategies for the Customer Journey; Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; Future of the Contact Centre; and the Evolution of CX Service Design. In a series of three 90 minute discussion sessions delegates considered a wide range of issues and challenges such as The Changing Landscape of Customer Engagement, The Contact Centre of the Future Will Be .., The Future of Customer Service, Applications of Artificial Intelligence, Keys to Effortless Customer Experience and CX Service Design and Evolution or Revolution – How Will Your Business Achieve It? In addition to the sessions our delegates also enjoyed several networking opportunities with their peers during a day designed specifically to encourage discourse and debate. There was also a lively after lunch panel ‘Question Time’ style discussion consisting of our vendor partners, where all of our delegates were in the same room at the same time, and which was expertly chaired by Gerry Brown of Customer Lifeguard. Delegates agreed that the Focus Groups event achieved its overarching aim of allowing them to go back to their organisations armed with the tools, strategies and techniques they needed to deliver long term customer and employee engagement strategies to create and maintain competitive advantage. Steve Hurst, Editorial Director

EngageFocusGroups.com @EngageCustomer #EngageConferences EngageCustomer.com Engage Focus Groups is organised by Engage Business Media Ltd Join EngageCustomer.com (free membership) and receive Latest News and Features, Weekly Newsletter, Invitations to Directors Forums, Conferences, Summits, Webinars, Focus Groups and more. Nicholson House I 41 Thames Street I Weybridge I Surrey I KT13 8JG Company Registration No. 8636460


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THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT Customer engagement is an evolving artform. Technical advances are attempting to keep pace with evolving consumer demands. Identifying today’s challenges and building tomorrow’s infrastructure is a complex process. It’s also one which Netcall approaches in an innovative fashion.


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We recently hosted a series of discussions with customer experience and transformation professionals as part of the Engage Focus Groups event in London. This open forum looked at the various ways of improving consumer experiences. We considered the steps required to overcome challenges in specific companies. Then we weighed the benefits of investment against the costs of doing nothing. Leading UK brands joined our discussions – Sky, GWR, Arnold Clark and Just Eat. Public sector representatives included Northumbrian Water and Kent Fire & Rescue. Charities including Save the Children and Tearfund also attended, sharing insights and opinions. This provided an excellent cross section of professionals to discuss the challenges around improving customer journeys and average response times.

WHEN CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT GOES WRONG Throughout our discussions, we heard examples of poor IT governance and data siloes. One company had twelve document management packages, because of localised decision making. Another multinational business admitted it had 21 different IT systems around the world. A UK public sector agency described having two customer databases. One contained people, while the other stored data on the products they’ve registered. Yet updating one database didn’t update the other. Clients receive a fragmented, inconsistent experience from multiple legacy IT systems. They have different results and experiences, depending on how they get in touch. Even ten year old contact centre systems might be out of date. For instance, social media contact may need separate, siloed software systems. Social media is often managed by marketing teams, not contact centre staff. Customer engagement suffers as a result.

One attendee related a story about customer signatures. For twelve years, every new client had to sign a document three times. It transpired the legal team had insisted on this document in the mid Noughties. Yet the paperwork (hated by staff and customers) was never used. Identifying it as irrelevant and eliminating it made the customer journey simpler and easier. Our delegates also highlighted common mistakes and mindset errors among big businesses. With culture being high on the agenda as a key barrier to successful business change. Average call handling times are a red herring, given the huge disparity in caller needs. Yet there is a cost to doing nothing – often lost market share. Five years ago, cost was a primary factor in brand choice among consumers. Today, ethics is becoming more important than price for many people. Firms perceived as treating staff and suppliers well are gaining a competitive edge

FOLLOW THE LEADER Our delegates talked at length about companies that set new service standards. Amazon has set a benchmark for customer engagement. “We want to be the Amazon of…” is a common ambition at board level. Yet customer expectations extend across different industries, where great service isn’t as easy. Another company praised for exceptional customer engagement was appliance retailer AO. They provide a half-hour delivery window – competitors ask customers to be available all day. AO also sends a text 30 minutes before staff arrive at a customer’s home. Yet its competitors claim these processes are too expensive. It needs a cultural change to share employee schedules with customers, but it’s possible. Having looked at industry benchmarks, our discussions moved on to matching them. One of

the key topics for debate involved IT resources. This can be the biggest barrier to a brand becoming a market leader. By contrast, technological challenges weren’t regarded as a major issue. IT solutions exist for customer facing brands, but implementing them is the hard part. Agents are customer engagement experts, and this should be recognised by management. They have the greatest understanding of how clients feel, and what they need. Companies need to move away from agents doing their job and then going home. They have to become an integral part of the business, helping the firm to grow and develop an effective culture. Managers should view agents as equals with tech staff or accounting personnel. Involving them in key decisions ensures the customer’s voice is heard on major projects. Indeed, it’s often best to start with customer facing teams, and then work back.


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Our purpose is to empower organisations to connect customer journeys and deliver exceptional customer experiences to gain competitive advantage. With a flexible, can-do attitude and powerful solutions we simplify digital transformation, helping businesses to achieve their goals faster and more efficiently. And that’s why our customers love us. So what makes Netcall different? Easy to use, functional, smartly designed tech, which lives on our Low-code platform MATS and integrated customer engagement platform, Liberty. Discover how you can deliver first-class CX and stand out from the crowd. For further information please visit https://www.netcall.com/customer-solutions.

PLANNING A ROUTE TO SUCCESS The end goal for any customer facing business should be a seamless journey. Organisations need to evolve towards this objective, because customer expectations are changing. Processes that used to serve you well may not do so today. Keep track of customer expectations, rather than persisting with existing methods of doing things. All our discussions highlighted the importance of good communication between departments. Data siloes undermine streamlined processes and cost effective IT solutions. A lack of understanding does the same. Everyone agreed staff engagement and customer

satisfaction go hand in hand. Systematic and continuous improvement needs to happen from within. If you’re not fixing internal processes, customer experience standards have a ceiling. Senior management regularly invests in expensive software which isn’t optimal for purpose. Indeed, a report by McKinsey suggests 70 percent of transformation projects fail. Success comes from consulting personnel who’ll use the software on a daily basis. This avoids function creep, wasted expenditure or false dawns. Several attendees also advised against asking for feedback and then ignoring it.

THE FUTURE Finally, we invited our delegates to imagine the contact centre of 2025. Phone enquiries will gradually cede to video chats. SMS use will treble within five years, and chatbots will be another growth area. Yet chatbots struggle with security logins because they can’t handle password reminders. Their use is industry specific, and shouldn’t always be relied on. Our attendees agreed human beings will always have a need for

conversation. Dealing with clients isn’t all about cutting costs. Using more cost-effective solutions doesn’t detract from the need for human interaction. The UK’s 6,000 contact centres will evolve by 2025, but some aspects will remain unchanged. Nothing beats positive and helpful service from proactive contact centre personnel. It's an objective every firm should embrace, regardless of its size or legacy issues.


Th he i racce is g on n to go digital dig it l Discover how you ca an break th he digitall deadlock Drive diffferentiation and d unlock ne ew revenue. ny customer Digitise an experience, through any or any process, channel, fo harnessing g the scale of om across your experts fro business.

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THE EVOLUTION OF CX SERVICE DESIGN Modern customers have high expectations. Their always-on access to information and services, and incredible competition for their attention (and money), is creating a gap between brand promises and service delivery, and this is a problem for CX professionals. Strapped-for-cash customer service might publish some online content for customer self-service and provide a range of agent-assisted service channels, but insights into each customer’s service journey are limited and change is slow while the gap keeps getting bigger. There is, however, hope as expertise and technology combine to create actionable insights. Where these will take CX service design will be the subject of this session as we look at the methods that exist, but are not much used in customer service, and evaluate the new applications and emerging technologies that will change how CX needs are identified, developed and delivered. Sykes has chaired a number of round-table workshops focused on “The Evolution of CX Service Design”. Our goal was to encourage an open debate for attendees to share their experiences, and the CX challenges they face within their organization. Their challenges included: shifting their company’s culture to embrace digital, improving the current self-service experience, moving from traditional call center dependency to online channels, delivering a consistent experience across all touch points, and lastly, serving a wide breadth of customers/personas. The session uncovered a range of topics and provided participants with valuable insights.


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OPTIMIZATION OF CONTENT Online self-service can learn quite a lot from eCommerce, in terms of user search journeys and optimizing content. In this day and age, businesses can not afford to have rigid optimization processes anymore. Companies that want to make an impact must integrate data-driven decisions and use analytics to optimize their digital platform. Channel integration is also becoming increasingly important to ensure the ease and continuity of support care.

FINDABILITY Your partnership with Google is imperative to your business’ success. Many companies believe that their website is at the center of the universe for their customers’ support journey, but the truth is that most users start on Google.

INTRODUCTION Online initiatives make a difference: The better your online support experience is, the more traffic is driven to your website, and the fewer customers call your contact center. But although you’re receiving fewer calls, the remaining incoming calls tend to be more complex in nature. If customers have already invested time, unsuccessfully trying to solve their problem online, frustrations can escalate quickly. There is ample room for improvement with the classic self-help experience as 60% of customers have searched for information on the company website prior to calling a help center, and 35% of customers are still on the website while speaking to a call center agent. With the current status, the biggest room for improvement lies in your online support experience. Conversations around the following topics emerged:

In order to be ranked high in key organic Google search results, it is important to index the pages of your website, optimize content for mobile devices, improve page loading times, and make adjustments with the enduser in mind. By implementing the right technical optimizations, your support page can be displayed as a featured snippet on certain Google search results. With over 80% of users clicking on featured snippets to answer their queries, this can be a very lucrative way to control the customer journey from start to finish. This has proven to be a big win for many of our clients. Paid search has also proven to be an effective tool for reducing call centre costs. One participant noted that their clients had to log in to their account before the self-service journey could begin, and wondered if the importance of optimizing their content for Google was as relevant. Even in this case, effective Google search results are needed to ensure that users are able to find your login page, and are able to locate troubleshooting steps in the event they have difficulties accessing their account (lost password/username issues). Findability and visibility - mastering the search experience is key. It’s also half the battle of achieving an effective self-service strategy.


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CHATBOTS Chatbots are only as good as the content they’re linked to. The rise of chatbots as part of the user selfservice journey is making it increasingly important to ensure that the interactions are simple,

uncomplicated, and linked to robust and effective support content. Any bot that fails to deliver on this experience will likely cause a user to have a negative experience and drop-off of the self-service journey.

PERSONAS How do you deal with many informed, unhappy callers? Break it down into personas. Do not try to solve each persona with the same

process. Instead, focus on a few key personas and develop a self-service solution that is tailored specifically to solving their main call drivers.

FEEDBACK The most valuable feedback comes from knowledgeable call center agents. Listening to calls and harvesting the information for keywords and phrases (data labeling) will allow you to quickly identify the top call drivers. This information can be shared swiftly, through informal channels such as Whatsapp or Slack. In conjunction with monitoring Google search word behavior, we analyze our client’s call center feedback and are able to quickly identify top support issues. Voice searches are also on the rise. Currently, it does not have the

capability to drive down calls, but the future is promising. When calls do come in, the use of shareable deep links can ensure call center agents and customers are looking at the same web page quickly, without having to restart the support process. With effective content, deep links are a great tool for drastically driving down average handling times of calls. Finding the balance between selfservice and connecting users with live agents, at the right time, is key to an effective customer support strategy.

KEY TAKEAWAYS • • • • •

Businesses cannot afford to have rigid optimization processes anymore and should make use of data analytics Google is the best search engine and is important for our collective success Chatbots are only as effective as your knowledge base Continual content optimization is key to a successful SEO strategy Service always comes on the backend of sales


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CX STRATEGIES FOR THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY Industry research demonstrates that customers are easily annoyed when they have to continuously repeat their issues to a number of different customer service representatives. A company with a strong omnichannel strategy is able to store customer information and transfer it among agents so the customer doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to repeat their story more than once.


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Omnichannel Omnichannel is becoming the first priority for brands that want to have an impact. Nowadays 95%of the customers use more than one channel to communicate with companies, and this trend is here to stay. Today clients can communicate using multiple methods such as web, mail, chat, phone, e-mail, text, etc.

Web chat and social media: Brands that want to get ahead of the game, need to provide multiple channels for clients to communicate in the coming year and make customer interaction more convenient for them. Strong growth is expected in web chat and social media customer service interactions, with email and voice volumes still predicted to grow.

Workforce management tools:

Ensure that your customer is under the impression that you have briefed the next agent/department with relevant information surrounding the situation. Customer hate having to repeat themselves many times from the beginning. Agents needs to communicate with each other, and add notes and comments for a warm hand-over when transferring customers to other departments. Subsequence agents needs to acknowledge to the customers that they are aware of the situation, as the customer will feel valued and have less tension and frustration. A motivated agent who can work with some autonomy will take his/her job more responsibility and therefore will be more committed to solve your customer issues. Train you agent to be empathetic and understand your customer emotions, people want to talk to human being not to a script. Provide the right environment: ensure that your agents have has the right knowledge, the right skills, the right tools i.e. fast computers, a user-friendly Agent interface, easy-to-use cloud-based software with customer information at their fingertips, and comfortable headsets, to succeed on the front lines of customer satisfaction. When your customer service reps feel empowered, appreciated, and capable, they’re happier and ready to help your customers. Empower your team to respond to customer issues in ways that make sense and actually achieve the goal of happy customers. Allow your agent to have a 360-degree view of your customer history, preview customer profile, in an omnichannel agent interface. Your customers, agents and reps can shift between channels without losing context. Avoid over-management: Keeping an eye on your service analytics is important, but focusing only on your stats, including average handle rates, won’t give you the entire picture. You absolutely need to stay on top of the numbers, but not at the cost of turning your agents into clockwatching, script-reading automatons. Not only will customers appreciate personalised responses and relaxed call times, but your reps will also feel empowered to do better.

Workforce management tools are becoming critical for call center success in forecasting the demand for your workforce. Employing the correct number of agents is critical, as understaffing increases customer attrition and over-staffing increases costs. By predicting the exact number of agents required, your company will be able to optimise the workforce and costs. According to Gartner, Contact center tools and CRM platforms are increasingly integrating to deliver a high standard of customer engagement. Customer service departments are most effective at generating revenue when they have the right technology i.e. it’s vital to have an integrated CRM system in place that captures relevant information across all communication channels.

Cloud-based call center solutions: In recent times, call center solutions hosted on the cloud i.e. virtual call centers, IVRs, ACD, skill-routing, cloud-hosted dialers have substantially changed the scenario. With the help of these solutions, today’s customer support system has become well equipped and customer-centric. Recently there has been a lot of talk around cloud computing. have led to a more service-based architecture. It is an increasingly popular choice for organizations New generation technology, cloud services, and customer-centric strategies that want to avoid a major up-front investment and appreciate the flexibility and scalability of the cloud-based model.

Silo Mentality: Silo mentality is an attitude that is found in various companies, it occurs when several departments or groups within a company do not wish to share information or knowledge with other employees within the same company. Leaders of successful companies ensure that information flows freely between departments so that knowledge is shared and communication is effective to ensure the motivation of employees stay high and staff turnover is low. Efficient companies promote the sharing of information to allow groups to work together as a team. The lack of cross-departmental communication can negatively impact workflow when information is not passing freely across the company. This can result in departments working with inaccurate and outdated information. Tips for breaking down Silo Mentality: • Create a unified vision of team collaboration. • Silo mentality begins with management. • Work toward common goals using collaboration tools. • Implement collaborative softwares i.e. Omnichannel platform and CRM intergration


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Benefits of Omnichannel Omnichannel for call centers its about taking the client conversation to where they feel the most comfortable and engaging with them there, whether it be voice, email, chat, text, social media, Text, etc. It provides a seamless customer experience from one channel to another to enable the customer to move along their customer journey. What customers want is a fast resolution to their problem, they will contact you via various channels i.e. voice, or social media, email etc. By instinct they use the channel that they are more accustom to based on their generation, culture, or level of urgency. Tips to take into account for a successful omnichannel strategy: Generation and culture: millennials tend to use Social media and instant messages, whereas baby boomers would generally use the phone. So understanding the average generation of your customers is very important when you are strategically planning the touch points of your contact centre. • Level of urgency of the service: If your sector is in healthcare of financial service your customers will expect to talk to an advisor immediately. • Continuous conversation: Consumers expect a conversation that begins on one channel can be continued on another, with all relevant contextual data preserved across channels

Benefits of integrating CX tools into CRM • CRM integration allows to preview customer details, history, and profile. • Improves the customer experience because the support team have better information available to address the issue and manage the interaction with the customer • Helps your advisors to resolve issues more quickly as they have better information to hand. For example, access to sales proposals, orders, invoices, contracts etc. • Reduces the need to input and maintain duplicate data in separate systems • Improves effectiveness between departments as employees have better access to Sales and Support information bi-directionally, i.e., a salesperson can easily check if there are outstanding support issues in advance of a key client meeting, vice versa a support agent can see if a customer is working on a project with the sales team.

Omnichannel engagement platform: Based on several industry surveys we have realized that the majority of companies that are focusing on creating a

greater impact on revenue growth are focusing in implementing an Omnichannel engagement platform and decreasing operational costs, rather than increasing revenue from online sales, which equated to only 6%.

Customer Retention: The new trend is for companies to focus more on customer retention rather than customer acquisition. With existing customers reportedly spending around 67% more than new ones, maintaining loyalty has the power to produce impressive business results. Loyal customers act as brand ambassadors spreading positive feelings about your business to friends and family but why is it that some brands manage to build a merry band of loyal followers who repeatedly go back for more while others just can’t seem to gain customer commitment?

Emotional connection: We believe it’s all a matter of emotional connection –how the overall experience with the brand makes a person feel. It seems obvious – make people feel good and they will come back for more. When an emotional connection is made with an organisation, its customers show commitment by repeatedly choosing that brand over the competition and by spreading the word of their positive experience.

Customer loyalty: Research consistently confirms that companies that work hard to offer an exceptional customer experience, win in the loyalty polls. The retailer that repeatedly scores number one in the world for customer loyalty? Amazon. Even without any physical high street presence or actual face to face interaction with customers, Amazon has successfully secured customer loyalty through unwavering market leading customer experience.


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THE FUTURE OF THE CONTACT CENTRE WILL BEâ&#x20AC;Ś For many during our discussions, the contact centre will have greater importance to businesses and institutions in the future. Their reasoning being that changing consumer expectations, greater attention to customer experience, and the adoption of technology will result in customer support dealing with higher concentrations of complexity and difďŹ culty, and the contact centre being appreciated as a source of intelligence that will help Marketing, Product Development, and Sales departments.


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There are, however, headwinds to be negotiated as the contact centre changes from production line customer service to personalized, and as digital resources become more regularly used, and as the environment changes from classic recruitment, training and operation to accommodate employee needs for greater working flexibility. These will challenge conventional thinking and require that the contact centre redesigns processes and creates easier, more timely access to information for agents to use when helping customers. Looking at key areas in more detail…

GREATER AGILITY IN THE CONTACT CENTRE Tomorrow’s contact centre will have access to insights drawn from data that is analysed much more thoroughly, frequently and quickly. Drawing on this to the benefit of the customer, the business and the team will require changes in how a contact centre functions. Readying the team is not just about

changes to training and access to information but relies on supporting functions adopting insights and changing processes, information and styles from day to day. The pace of change will increase as enabling technology improves access and relevance of insights to be acted upon.

SELF-SERVICE USEFULNESS Giving customers online access to knowledge is not a new thing, however, the usefulness of self-serve content is in question with nearly six out of ten customers having tried to self-serve before reaching out to the contact centre, according to Gartner CEB. Better designed and maintained self-service resources will help avoid unnecessary contacts because customers will self-serve. This will apply to simpler tasks such as a password reset, for example.

Further, contacts where agent-assistance is unavoidable will be easier and quicker to handle, with higher satisfaction ratings, because customers who tried to self-serve come to them better prepared. Good online content will help set expectations at an appropriate level, will guide customers to bring the right information, and will explain why the assisted process is necessary. An example of this might be where a customer wishes to close an account.

PERSONALISED CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer expectations are already high and continue to rise as they have greater access to information online. The power of a more personalised customer service experience isn’t in question. Keeping pace with, and even getting ahead of, customer expectations is seen as key in delivering this. Access to information about the customer, their service journey,

and relevant topics and products will all be necessary in an improved way that does not rely completely on agent skills and experience. And the timing of customer service will be vital as an element of personalisation – not reactive but using data and insights to anticipate customer needs, preferences and next steps.

ADOPTION OF AI AND AUTOMATION There is a lot of hype around the abilities and impact of artificial intelligence and automation. That there are benefits to the use of these technologies is not in question, however, the degree to which they can be used, the return on investment, and the extent to which they are helpful is something of a concern. The contact centre of the future will be much more automation-enabled, with mundane, repetitive tasks assisted by the machine. Agents will be augmented by AI and automation technologies rather than replaced, especially in front-office roles where the customer experience, which must be much more complete, consistent and personal is a key objective. Instead of such technologies “taking over” the role of the human agent they will

• Handle simple requests, meaning that agents will need to deal with more complex and difficult issues • Provide information and recommendations to agents, based on insights drawn from hundreds of thousands similar interactions • Deal with early stages of an interaction where, for example, the identity of a chat customer is verified and the problem area defined before passing the case to an agent • Pull in information from other systems as an interaction unfolds, so that the agent spends time speaking or chatting with the customer instead of silence while they manually search • Many other use cases and assistance areas that improve agent and customer experience


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CHANGING ATTITUDES TO WORK Along with changing customer expectations, contact centres are experiencing changing attitudes to work from current and prospective employees. Over time, and as economic conditions improve, making recruitment and retention of people tougher, this may make the contact centre workplace difficult to sustain in its conventional sense. As businesses try to drive efficiency and more closely match resources to demand, especially in peaky intra-day and intraweek periods, their need for greater employee flexibility will rise. Agents wanting to work hours that suit a particular lifestyle may be reluctant to travel to a

centre for just a few hours, or to travel two or three times in a day to help meet those demand peaks. In any case, contact centre leaders need to have sufficient capacity available during the right periods and must adapt thinking and abilities to accommodate the people that will cover them in front line roles. This may be an opportunity for more agents to be home-based, thus increasing the recruitment pool beyond the typical 30mile radius of a centre and tapping into resources that prefer several shorter work periods during a day or week to accommodate personal needs.

ACCESS TO INTELLIGENCE Companies and institutions are collecting immense amounts of data from customer interactions. Much of this is used to deal with individual needs and provide reports, however, access is not generally simple, and analysis is limited. The cost of processing power and storage is dropping at the same time as machines are growing in terms of

learning and intelligence. This should lead to greater access to useful intelligence for anyone that has a customerfacing and customer experience role. Improvements in performance, accuracy and relevance are the key benefits contact centre leaders will enjoy.

DESIGN FROM THE USER SIDE Most contact centre processes are designed to gather, and handle information needed by the business. Over time, these change to accommodate requests and needs and can become unwieldy, putting customers and agents through hoops while achieving the business objective. Without losing sight of the need of the business to comply with regulation while gathering enough information to help, customer-facing processes should be clear and simple to follow for both agents and customers. Secondary objectives, such as

asking for additional information to support promotional needs, might be accommodated but the process should always have the customer’s primary objective in mind and include “escape” routes where the customer experience starts to suffer because helping them is proving difficult. Similar to self-service usefulness, process design here should deliver benefits in terms of average handle time, customer satisfaction, productivity, first contact resolution and many more areas.

CLOSING COMMENTS There is a very important future for the contact centre. As the place that customers come with their needs and problems, and as a key component in delivery of good customer experience, contact centre agents will not be replaced by technology (bots and AI) as some might fear but will play important roles in serving up personalized customer service. Agile, personal, technologyaugmented, the contact centre of the future will extend customer lifetimes, deliver revenue from service, provide user feedback to product managers and customer experience executives, and become a more important point of customer contact in an increasingly self-serve world.


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2019 EVENTS INCLUDE 13

WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY 2019

FEB 2019

FUTURE OF THE CONTACT CENTRE CONFERENCE

22

ENGAGE FOCUS GROUPS FRIDAY 22 MARCH 2019

04

CUSTOMER ROBOTICS AND AI CONFERENCE

APR 2019

THURSDAY 4 APRIL 2019

10

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT SUMMIT 2019

13

CX MARKETING SUMMIT 2019

JUN 2019

THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2019

11

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TRANSFORMATION CONFERENCE

17

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS CONFERENCE

26

ENGAGE FOCUS GROUPS

30

DIGITAL WORKPLACE DIRECTORS FORUM

JAN 2019

MAR 2019

MAY 2018

JUL 2019

SEP 2019

FRIDAY 10 MAY 2019

THURSDAY 11 JULY 2019

SEP 2019

WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2019

THURSDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2019

11/12

THURSDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2019

NOV 2019

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT SUMMIT 2019 11 & 12 NOVEMBER 2019

BOOK YOUR PLACE 01932 506 300 (press 1)

tickets@ebm.media

EngageFocusGroups.com @EngageCustomer #EngageConferences EngageCustomer.com

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2018 Focus Group Supplement  

Our third Engage Focus Groups event, held at London’s Heathrow Hilton hotel, saw a gathering of like-minded professionals who congregated to...

2018 Focus Group Supplement  

Our third Engage Focus Groups event, held at London’s Heathrow Hilton hotel, saw a gathering of like-minded professionals who congregated to...