Is Aspect on the Road to CCaaS Success?
A deep dive into Aspect’s CCaaS portfolio
Aspect’s tag line is “Call Centre Solutions for Best Customer Engagement”. However, with the contact centre industry – and contact centre customers – demanding more and more on a regular basis, a call centre solution is no longer enough to enable the best customer engagement. I looked at Aspect’s revised CCaaS portfolio to see how what they are doing to further empower business to drive customer experience outside of a simple call centre experience.
Aspect’s CCaaS catalogue is now made up of five core solutions: Customer Engagement Platform, Workforce Optimisation, Call Centre, Self-Service and Fraud Detection.
Customer Engagement Platform
Aspect Via is the flagship CCaaS product. The Via in the name clearly indicates that this contact centre product allows your business to process transactions via the medium of their choosing. Aspect has been quick to recognise that different customers prefer to contact a business in different ways.
Understanding your customers’ customer is the most important factor to consider when buying new contact centre software. So, ensuring all channels are covered makes that decision easy.
Aspect Via supports the following channels:
- Web Chat
- Social Media
Just as important offering the channels to customers, Aspect Via combines these in an omni-channel manner. This means when a customer calls in, the agent also has access to previous web chat sessions or SMS interactions. The customer experience becomes more streamlined and productivity levels are improved for the contact centre, the customer interaction and the caller.
The Customer Engagement Platform also caters for self-service for proactive users that prefer to seek information themselves rather than wait for an available agent. For example, millennials often opt for self-service options as I now. Whilst writing this post, I am on hold for a call and a web chat, so I have sought the information myself via the self-service FAQ sections.
So, if your customer base is predominantly made up of tech savvy millennials that don’t want to wait on hold, they will likely choose your self-service options on your website. By combining self-service and a plethora of communication channels, the Aspect omni-channel offering looks more up to date than ever.
Outside of functionality and customer interactions, a large part of contact centre planning revolves around planning resource and reacting to spikes in inbound volumes. This is where workforce optimisation solutions come into their own.
To plan front and back office resource, contact centres now recognise that data is available to do this job for the contact centre manager. Rather than make an educated guess for headcount at any given time of the day, the data available from historic call volumes can best predict how many agents are required.
When infrequent call patterns occur, workforce optimisation solutions can also react in real-time to overflow teams or pull in resource from other teams with relevant skills. Aspect now offers workforce optimisation as a standalone product or a bolt onto their CCaaS offering. This further enhances the “one back to pat” quality that customers are looking for when shopping for new contact centre software.
Aspect’s workforce optimisation suite includes:
- Workforce scheduling and adherence – forecasting resource and measuring agent adherence
- Quality monitoring – call recording tools to measure quality as well as adherence
- Quality analytics – scoring mechanisms with built in voice analytics to make quality management more efficient
- Performance measurement – utilising available data to highlight areas of excellence and challenges
- Speech analytics – takes quality management a level further by introducing a rich repository of actionable insights that fuel individual, team and operation-wide performance improvements
The original call centre product lives on in the Aspect portfolio but has received a considerable revamp too. Now, a powerful cloud contact centre, the Aspect Call Centre can now be purchased as an as-a-Service model. The products still showcase ACD functionality but also benefits from self-service options, contact routing and skills based routing. Once a call is wrapped up, post call survey functionality gathers feedback on how the call went for continual improvement.
Bolted onto the voice experience is now a multichannel contact centre. Voice, email, web chat, IM, SMS and social channels are available via the Aspect Call Centre. At the push of a button, agents can also enable video conversations with colleagues or clients via web or mobile.
Furthermore, existing business applications can be enhanced by integrating the Aspect Call Centre with them. Supported CRM integrations include:
- Oracle Siebel
Aspect also provides inbound self-service functionality via chatbots, interactive voice response and Interactive Text Response (ITR) as well as digital self-service with seamless transfer functionality to an agent.
Practice What You Preach
I contacted Aspect to triple check that these are available standalone but didn’t get a firm response. Some contact centres don’t require full omni-channel functionality. Therefore, the allure of consuming a chatbots or self service option is great. As I reached out to Aspect via email and web chat, it was alarming to receive no response via either channel.
Either they are not using their own omni-channel contact centre functionality or they are showcasing it in a poor manner.
Aspect is well established in providing call centre products to industries like financial services, healthcare and retail. They are supported by extensive partner and developer communities to bring these services to market. In order to succeed in the CCaaS market, any vendor must be flexible in terms of deployment and functionality and constantly innovating.
Aspect’s recently revised CCaaS portfolio demonstrates that it is possible for an old school call centre provider to turn their offering into an up to date, market challenging proposition.
However, their lack of response left me wanting. In the end, I resulted to a good old-fashioned phone call – but I shouldn’t have needed to. The automated message read that it was looking for my number and knew who I was – I have never called Aspect before, so this was alarming.
Whilst the functionality on offer has put Aspect back on the CCaaS map, consuming this functionality is rather tricky. I have left a voicemail (I know, right) but am yet to hear anything back.