STOP You’re doing it all wrong

How many of us have used a chatbot on a website when we felt it might be quicker than waiting in the call queue, or in some cases where you just could NOT find a phone number anywhere to call!?

But it was an unmitigated disaster!

The BOT was more of a NOT as it didn’t seem to understand what you were asking for!

Next stop was SOCIAL MEDIA- RIGHT. Facebook and Twitter, and this time a very different experience. But still shocking. You’ve reached the corporate marketing team and they can’t help you with your query, but instead suggest you use the website (doh), or call the Contact Centre.

So far, you’ve got absolutely nowhere and your patience is dwindling….

Thankfully there are genuinely joined up and intelligent solutions available and the “no code” cloud offering from Koopid can be set up, and built in a few days. Critically ALL CHANNELS are orchestrated for a single uninterrupted conversation INCLUDING real agents and with chat persistence.

No more repetition

No more, please dial this number

No more “The Computer Says No”

It’s time to transform your customer experience journeys and remove the barriers to customer intimacy

Go on, ask me to show you, and I’ll be delighted

Automation, bots and more

We have all experienced web chatbots havent we? How was your experience?

The thing about automation and Digital Channel engagement, is that it needs to be well thought out and implemented carefully – too often it seems like a knee-jerk reaction and tactically deployed and siloed from other customer-facing areas of the business. For example, a twitter account, or Facebook account are set up and the marketing teams engage with customers driving news, promotions and the like, but when customers reach in through that “window” for help, they are left frustrated and alienated because the social team are “unable to help”…. never a good look is it.

A much better solution is to create a unified engagement experience – built on a “universal engagement” platform that allows an experience to be created once and deployed on any digital channel available, allowing customers to choose their route into your business, and to always receive the same high quality conversations – including self-serving where appropriate. So whether this is WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram or SMS, the experience can easily be deployed.

Not stranded

When the self-service attempts fail – and they will on occasions, because the customer might be after something you had yet to consider they might need, your customer needs to be carefully handed over from automation, to a human agent ALONG WITH THE CONVERSATION TO THAT POINT, so they do not feel frustrated, abandoned or marginalised.

Imagine the response from a customer when the agent engages and knows, not only who they are, but also understand their journey to that point.

Contact Centres – YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK, GOODBYE

Contact Centres – YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK, GOODBYE

Change or die is the message here. Progress means change is inevitable, yet we often see reluctance from business in this regard.

Changing gradually, is more of an evolutionary path and generally means a less bumpy and more controlled transition.

Change for the sake of change is questionable, however, change because your customers are demanding it is smart and clearly demonstrates customer-centric behaviours. It says “we are listening, and we are implementing the services you’re telling us are important to you”

A business’s inability to evolve generally results in frustrated customers, and ultimately customer defections.

It does increasingly feel like businesses make it difficult for you to contact them, doesn’t it, and although many of them are embracing digital channels like social media to broadcast their marketing messages. Ironically, this opens up new channels for customers and, yet those same organisations have so far failed to embrace the two-way nature of the communication that it enables. Broadly speaking, this is because these have become siloes that are unconnected, and unregulated, and staffed by unprepared team members.

There is no excuse for this, because the technology to rapidly deploy a connected omni-channel solution is available today. And to meet customers on their chosen channel without needing to rip and replace existing investment can be in place within days.

Artificial intelligence is now, successfully replacing contact centre agents

Contact centre leaders have for some time been evolving from their original call centres, (handling just phone calls) Into multi-channel and ultimately Omnichannel solutions, whereby customers can arrive on any channel and enjoy a continuous conversation wherever the engagement takes them.

For some contact centre operations, this has meant an extremely slow evolution, due in some part to the often significant investments required, but also the time taken for full deployment, and user adoption schedules can be lengthy.

This delay in moving to digital-first contact centres often causes frustration to customers as increasingly they (customers) are choosing to make contact using their conveniently located smartphones, and want to use one of the common messaging apps.

Typically this means starting on a digital channel – such as:

  • Webchat
  • Chatbots
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook messaging,

Etc.,

and escalating to a voice call with a human being where circumstances dictate.

Serving customers on their channels of choice is a critical Customer Experience “moment of truth”, and ensures that focus is on them rather than us.

This transition certainly needs managing with care, as the last thing customers want, is repetitive questioning after they have authenticated or explained the reason for calling on the digital channels.

All of this conversation MUST remain with the caller just like it would on an SMS chat on your smartphone.

This is what we expect from any technology offering chat today, and anything less than this is UNACCEPTABLE.

To learn how Koopid.ai delivers this capability without a rip and replace strategy – click here

Pinch punch its September 1st!!

The latest in my Punch Punch series of posts, where I attempt to describe what’s going on under the Covid crisis using my finely honed poetry skills, 

😜
Pinch punch, it's September 1st
Covid 19 has made the workforce dispersed
 
Working remotely is now the new way
But for many they're excited for the office return day
 
Life's been a bit different for a large part of the year
And I've read that we're all drinking more beer
 
Social distancing continues to be followed
And facemasks are being bought by the load
 
We're yearning for our cancelled events to reopen
Going to concerts that evoke our emotion
 
Business as usual is no longer the case
We're meeting by video and not face to face
 
Communication tools have become more critical
As they're bridging the gap to replace the physical
 
As we increasingly use our digital options
Business must accelerate their adoption
 
Meeting customers the way they want to engage
Before you send them into a rage
 
Don't make us queue for hours and hours
Give us the tools and self service powers
 
We don't need to wait to get something done
We want to do it ourselves whilst on the run
 
When you make it easy, we're as pleased as can be
Calling is ok but but it's not always for me
 
WhatsApp and other asynch channels are a boon
They save me holding and queuing and feeling like a buffoon.
 
It's easy to do with software in the cloud
No rip and replace need to be allowed

And It's ready in hours rather than weeks
The solution is exactly what everyone seeks

Make the move now, don't get left behind
Your customers will appreciate you're that way inclined

Koopid AI is leading the surge
And they're poised and ready for when you get the urge

AI. Pinch punch it’s the first of July

I was thinking about the new month on Friday and always have a race to be the first to say “pinch punch”, especially with my cousin, and I begin to start dreaming about this in context of the current Coronavirus crisis and here’s the result. I hope you like it.

Update .. Added video here https://bit.ly/Trust-Pinch-punch

Pinch punch it’s the 1st of may
The days are flying by, dissolving away

Covid-19 has kept us locked down
And sadly for many they’re wearing a frown

The frustrations are plenty, reaching out for response
Call volumes are soaring, cant meet their wants.

Staff are furloughed, unable to work
They’re being sent home but not to shirk

The questions keep coming, but nobody is there
Automation could help but it’s relatively rare.

Businesses struggling with too few staff
The calls go unanswered, are they having a laugh

Wait times growing lengthy running to hours
We just need something processed to feel empowered

First choice is the smartphone to connect and reach out
But it’s hard to feel valued when you mess us about.

Your site says no contact, you’re all in turmoil
You’re not on your own, we are all going to boil

Nobody is winning, we are all coming last
We need you to help us and please do it fast

Instead of a human perhaps use AI
To automate process with a robotic guy

And when it’s all over, we would embrace IT
Mundane to the robot for access and speed,
And human to human, as its best, we’d accede

How Koopid.Ai are disrupting the Contact Centre space

Here’s a short video explainer for Koopid.ai – and we’re exhibiting at the Call and Contact Centre Expo at the Excel on March 18th and 19th, so please come and say hello and learn more. This could be what your customers have been waiting for.

Want to chat? Then call us on 0800 999 1882 or mail me graham@koopid.ai

Thanks for reading and hope to connect soon- or to see the solution in action – click here

Accreditation – A burden or a blessing

Vendor accreditation programmes – who are they really for?

1. Customers?
2. Channel partners?
3. Vendors?
4. All three?

Why does a customer care if their supplier is accredited by the vendor of the product, solution or service?
Why does a channel partner care whether they are Bronze, Silver, or Gold certified?
Why does the vendor need to create training and certification material, courses, tests etc?

It all sounds a lot of work, so why does anyone bother?

There must be some significant value in order to motivate everyone to care enough to get engaged – so what is it?

Customers are what this is all about! Customers require good advice from well informed representatives from the channel community and the channel community cannot rely on the resources of the vendor at every engagement they have, so the channel partners need to become equally well informed – This requires training and testing, which is great for the vendor, because they end up with well informed channel partners representing them and provides the scale required to develop more market coverage. In addition, an accreditation programme usually has a volume\revenue related metric, which rewards the successful sales partner – more of a value component than a quality component and an often thorny topic for engineering heavy partners with lots of skills but not too many new sales. Customers are usually able to see for themselves what partner accreditations are for channels and select based on a value\quality blend. In reality most customers want to know they will be well looked after rather than well sold to.
For the vendor, an accreditation programme provides a sense for channel partner commitment levels and focus on their portfolio, and training enables current knowledge to be maintained and product knowledge to be broadly well ingrained. The more a channel partner commits to one vendor programme, the less time and resources they will have for competing offers – stands to reason. So vendors see this as an important dynamic for developing partner commitments. Ultimately this enables scale and quality delivery for the customers and commitment for the vendor, with the reseller having the ability to wrap services and complementary products to their solution.

How agile is your business?

What factors affect the agility of a business? Is it the simple case that if you are running a small business, then you are agile?
I don’t believe so, as there are other really critical factors that mean that a larger business can also be agile whereas a smaller business can also be slow and unresponsive.

For example, in order to be agile, a business needs to be able to make decisions rapidly and have an environment where staff are empowered. The culture needs to be one that focusses on the customer as their purpose, rather than the customer as an inconvenience and an interruption and a source of frustration. Believe me when I say that I have experienced senior business leaders speaking about their customers in very negative terms, and bemoaning their approach to suppliers.
Ownership of issues is also a factor that is critical in ensuring your business can be agile or not. Large or small, having simple processes that ensure that the business does not simply rely on people passing emails to each other and responding in a timely fashion, is critical. A customer with a requirement is only interested in a partnership with another organisation able to understand them and an ability to execute.
So in summary the following are necessary to enable your business to operate with agility:

> Customer focus
> Empowerment
> Decision making
> Process – simple and effective.
> Ownership

And an agile business, like a successful sports team, needs a high degree of collaboration and teamwork focus.