Tag: contact center

Managing Today’s Disruptions for Future Growth: Conversational AI for Customer Care | Webinar

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As businesses across industries adapt to the next normal, digital channels are becoming the preferred, or in some cases the only, way of providing customer support for products and services. While many contact centers are simply unable to handle the increased volume of requests and inquiries with their existing workforce and technologies, some enterprises are already rethinking what customer service stands for. Many are turning to sophisticated Digital Employees, also known as, Interactive Virtual Agents (IVA,) enabled with conversational AI and secure backend integrations to deliver customer service in a scalable and cost-efficient way, without jeopardizing quality.

On this webinar, Everest Group’s Skand Bhargava, a featured guest speaker, joins Jonathan Crane from IPSoft, who are the manufacturers of a market-leading digital employee, Amelia, to discuss how IVA and conversational AI can elevate contact center operations. Also joining them will be Gonzalo Gomez Cid from Telefónica who will be sharing his company’s experience in implementing conversational AI in contact centers.

When

May 28th, 2020, 10 AM ET

Presenters

Skand Bhargava
Practice Director
Everest Group

Jonathan Crane
Chief Commercial Officer
IPSoft

Gonzalo Gomez Cid
Global Contact Center Director
Telefonica

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Using Technology to Assess Contact Center Agents’ Language Skills | Blog

Do you know anyone who hasn’t had a frustrating experience because the contact center rep they interacted with didn’t speak their native language? We didn’t think so.

The truth is that while enterprises have multiple business reasons for establishing their contact centers in offshore locations in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, the reps’ language and communication skills often have a negative impact on the overall customer and brand experience.

And although many companies have developed their own solutions to assess candidates’ language capabilities, they’re plagued with multiple challenges, including:

  • Resource intensive: Developing language assessment solutions takes considerable time and resources. They need to be thoughtfully designed, particularly around the local nuances of the markets where they are being leveraged. This can escalate the development budget and timelines, and put an additional burden on L&D teams.
  • Lack of standardization: Most language assessment tests are developed by in-house experts in a specific region. This approach can be detrimental to organizations with operations in multiple geographies, because it lacks consistency across regions, and can leave gaps in the evaluation criteria.
  • Involvement of human judgment: Because humans are responsible for evaluating candidates, a lot of subjectivity comes into play. And human bias, whether intentional or not, can greatly reduce transparency in the candidate selection process.
  • Maintenance issues: The real value of these solutions depends on their ability to test candidates for unprepared scenarios. But regularly updating the assessment materials to keep the content fresh and reflect changing requirements further strains internal resources.

Third-party vendors’ technology-based solutions can help

Commercial language and communication assessment solutions have been around for years. But innovative vendors – such as Pearson, an established player in this market, and Emmersion Learning, which incorporates the latest AI technology into its solution – are increasingly leveraging a combination of linguistic methodologies, technical automation, and advanced statistical processes to deliver a scalable assessment that can predict speaking, listening, and responding proficiency.

For instance, technology-driven solutions may test candidates’ “language chunking” ability, which means their ability to group chunks of semantic meaning. This concept is similar to techniques that are commonly used for memorizing numbers. By linking numbers to concepts, a person can be successful in retaining large sequences of digits in working memory. Without conceptual awareness, memorization is hard.

During an assessment, through automation and AI, the candidate may be asked to repeat sentences of increasing complexity. Success in this exercise relies on the candidate’s ability to memorize complex sentences, which can only be done when they can chunk for meaning. A candidate’s mastery of an exercise to repeat sentences of increasing complexity is a great predictor of the candidate’s language proficiency.

Organizations that embrace technology-based solutions for language assessments can anticipate multiple benefits: reduced costs, decreased hiring cycle times, improved quality of hires, better role placement, freed time to devote to value-add initiatives, and improved customer experience and satisfaction. Ultimately, it’s a triple win for the organization, its candidates, and its customers.

Industry Research : Pinoy Contact Center Workers Shift to Mid-high Skilled Jobs Faster than Global | In the News

The domestic contact center, which accounts the biggest share in the local IT-BPM industry, has successfully managed to shift quickly into the mid- and high-skilled jobs from low-end tasks as new technologies in automation and artificial intelligence are replacing old jobs, a new research revealed.

Uligan noted that the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry annual revenue has reached $27.1 billion of which the contact center segment keeps a bigger slice of the pie — accounting for an annual revenue of $14.6 billion (P759.2 billion) and employing more than 890,000 call center professionals nationwide. Overall, the Philippines accounts for about 18 percent of the estimated $83 billion global revenue by think tank The Everest Group.

Read more in Contact Centre World

Five Ways to Reduce Contact Center Costs with Automation and Chatbots | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Everest Group’s recent research revealed that successful adoption of RPA and chatbots in contact centers can reduce the total cost of contact center operations by 11-16 percent. Yet, very few enterprises have achieved these levels of automation-driven cost reduction in their contact center operations. Why? Technology is just one piece of the puzzle. In order to unlock the true benefits of automation solutions in your contact center, you also need to focus on organizational readiness, effective change management, and better governance mechanisms.

Five ways to reduce contact center costs with RPA & chatbots


Analyze and select the right processes for automation

Enterprises should start by identifying the contact center processes that are most suitable for automation. To achieve breakeven in quick time, it’s best to start by automating highly repetitive and less complex business processes with RPA. For example, a process wherein agents spend exorbitant amounts of time navigating through multiple systems and applications to fetch the required information is ideal to automate with RPA.

Re-engineer business processes before automation

Automating business processes that aren’t standardized or simplified can result in more exceptions. But optimizing them before automating them, with IT and operations jointly looking at them through the RPA lens, can greatly reduce exceptions. Learnings from best-in-class RPA implementers also suggest that business process re-engineering is a significant step to realizing the strategic objectives of RPA adoption.

Build winning partnerships

Building a partner ecosystem with leading RPA technology vendors and/or system integrators that offer best-in-breed automation platforms and specialized domain expertise is crucial to achieving successful RPA adoption. Doing so can help enterprises save time and effort at every stage of RPA adoption, which eventually manifests in effective cost savings.

Make a quick transition from pilots to large-scale deployments

Enterprises that achieve significant financial impact and rapid return on their RPA investments quickly scale-up from the pilot stage to large-scale deployments. To move fast successfully, it’s important to foresee challenges ahead while in the pilot stage, and begin mitigation efforts earlier. Enterprises can also follow an agile implementation approach, which could enable their RPA deployments to quickly and flexibly adapt to changes in business requirements or underlying applications.

Integrate RPA with chatbots to achieve incremental cost reduction

Once RPA has delivered some quick wins, enterprises can deploy chatbots alongside RPA to realize incremental cost savings. For example, chatbots can resolve less complex customer queries more quickly when RPA bots fetch the necessary information and relevant insights from multiple systems and applications. Enterprises should envision building a digital workforce with both RPA and chatbots in their contact centers to achieve long-term benefits that can extend well beyond the incremental cost savings.

Adoption of best practices for contact center automation can help enterprises achieve tangible business outcomes. And the returns can be quick: our latest research shows 9-15 months with RPA, and 18-24 months with chatbots adoption.

To learn more about how you can build a successful business case for automation adoption in your contact center, check out Everest Group’s recently released report: The Business Case for RPA and Chatbots in Contact Centers.” And, please feel free to share your automation adoption experiences in contact centers with us: Katrina Menzigian ([email protected]) and Jayapriya K ([email protected])

Race is on in digital customer experience | In the News

By now it is abundantly clear that meeting and exceeding customer expectations is or should be the ultimate objective of digitizing the business of banking.

The buzzword that’s no longer a buzzword but has become an imperative for survival is “customer experience.”

Recent Everest Group research suggests that the traditional approaches and scope of services that have defined contact center outsourcing in the past are rapidly evolving into a new set of buyer expectations and service provider capabilities more appropriately considered customer experience services.

Driving this evolution, the researchers say, are evolving customer expectations, changing buyer focus, and service provider challenges.  “We see traditional contact center outsourcing approaches evolving quite rapidly to those focused on delivering customer experience services,” says Katrina Menzigian, vice-president at Everest Group. “This is apparent in the rise of consulting and co-innovation engagement models, the adoption of sophisticated digital services to enable omnichannel customer engagement, and pricing constructs based on tangible business outcomes.”

Read more in Banking Exchange

CX and the Philippines: An Evolving Value Proposition | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

For the last several years, the Philippines’ value proposition as the leading contact center delivery location has been availability of a large workforce with good language skills and high empathy, at very competitive costs. But to remain the top contact center destination, it will need to evolve its value proposition from customer service delivery to CX delivery.

This is because CX has emerged as a top priority for firms to build a loyal customer base in today’s digital age in which end-consumers are seeking a seamless, quality, personalized experience across channels. To support clients in this quest to deliver a superior customer experience, the contact center industry is transforming from an arbitrage-first to experience-first model. Everest Group research shows that the key to delivering the CX of the future is optimizing a blend of talent and technology.

The primary technology enablers

  • Fortify analytics solutions – Contact centers are blessed with access to a wealth of high-quality data. Customer analytics can help them provide personalized services and real-time support for query resolutions. Operational analytics will allow them to monitor processes, predict future demand, and optimize service elements to achieve the best outcomes.
  • Embrace automation solutions – The first step is using self-service offerings to manage simple queries, followed by leveraging rule-based chatbots and smart IVRs to manage high-volume transactional tasks for maximum automation impact on contact center operations.
  • Focus on delivering omni-channel experience – Delivering a consistent, seamless customer experience requires an integrated view of the customer across all channels. With a more case-driven approach, each interaction that the customer has with the organization feels like part of an ongoing conversation and relationship.

The key talent enablers

While technology advancement will help prepare the groundwork for CX delivery, talent enablers are equally important to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Build the right talent strategy – As contact centers adopt technology on a wider scale, the role their agents play will evolve to focus more on domain and technology expertise. Thus, recruitment and training programs must align to identifying new talent with the right skills, and strengthening existing agent capabilities and knowledge.
  • Rationalize KPIs/metrics – To measure agent performance, contact centers will have to establish metrics and KPIs that focus on digital enablement, business outcomes, and impact on the customer experience.

If you’re currently associated with a contact center in the Philippines, or are considering outsourcing contact center operations to the Philippines, we invite you to join us at the Contact Center Association of the Philippines’ annual conference at Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Boracay Island, Philippines on October 11 and 12. The Contact Islands conference, at which my colleagues Karthik H and Katrina Menzigian will be featured speakers, will focus on the evolving nature of CX, and how the Philippines is matching the pace of the global industry-wide disruption.

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