Magazine article CRM Magazine

3 Cutting-Edge Contact Center Innovations You're Probably Not Using (but Should Be!)

Magazine article CRM Magazine

3 Cutting-Edge Contact Center Innovations You're Probably Not Using (but Should Be!)

Article excerpt

2016 has already been a banner year for technology advancements. In the spring, SpaceX landed the Falcon 9 first stage on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean successfully --three times in a row in a seven-week period. Over the summer the world was introduced to the augmented reality frenzy of Pokemon Go. Innovation is not solely reserved for rocket ships and smartphone apps. In effort to improve customer and agent experiences, trendsetting companies have taken advantage of the following contact center innovations:

SMARTER CHATBOTS--POWERED BY NLU

Text messaging is the most widely and frequently used smartphone app. In fact, Pew Research Center reported last year that 97% of Americans text at least once a day. And, Informate Mobile Intelligence found that Americans send five times as many text messages compared to phone calls. Using the channels customers use to communicate with each other can help to improve the customer experience.

This year, savvy companies focused on providing superior customer experiences, rolled out chatbots powered by applications like Interactive Text Response (ITR) using Natural Language Understanding (NLU). These technologies enable people to engage in personalized, conversational text interactions with an automated system. Users simply ask a question and get an answer. This is a powerful aspect of the customer experience.

The customer experience strategy behind ITR can also be applied to messaging apps like Facebook Messenger. In July 2016, Facebook Messenger counted 1 billion monthly active users--that's more than 13% of the world's population. As a customer service tool, Facebook Messenger has the potential to significantly improve brand engagement, service and support levels as well as strengthen the voice of the customer. Messenger can even be used to deliver automated, proactive notifications and announcements with the potential for two-way chatbot dialogues.

MULTI-CHANNEL BECOMES OMNICHANNEL WITH CONTEXT CONTINUITY

In the past, moving between self-service channels or from self-service to live service could be a source of frustration for customers. Research conducted by Aspect found that 89% of consumers said they were annoyed when then had to repeat themselves about the same issue.

The same way browser cookies remember items placed in an online shopping cart or internet browsing history, "context cookies" preserve data collected throughout the customer journey for better, more efficient service when switching between self-service channels or when moving to an agent for human assistance. …

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