Iain Sinnott shares his thoughts on the most important CX platform features
Like any good mechanic, a reseller needs more than one tool in their tool kit in order to serve the differing needs of their clients.
Those needs are driven by the industry in which their clients operate, the way their customers want to contact them and the size of their operation. Never has the consultancy sale been more important and offered the chance to deliver so much value.
The key to the consultation is to understand where the money is. Not the money you as a reseller can make, but the value of good customer communications management to your client, and the cost if it is done badly. Then resellers need to ask whether they’re servicing a sales or service team, do they have a capital sales or revenue relationship with customers, is their market competitive (show me one that isn’t)?
“The tools available go beyond the voice, chat and email queue service, albeit they remain increasingly important,” said Iain Sinnott, Sales and Marketing Director of VanillaIP. “We now have an incredible opportunity to use a human touch through the use of virtual meetings within a sales or support desk workflow.”
“I am not a regular member of the live support team but I do occasionally sign in so I can understand the real-life requirements. The other day I took a chat from a client who had a question on the navigation of the self-service portal Uboss where she had forgotten where to look for the specific product configuration menu. I asked if I could get her to jump in a virtual meeting room and she did so with pleasure, two minutes later, with her sharing her screen the question was answered and the call ended with a smile and a wave.”
In a world where almost everyone has got Teams, Webex or Zoom, businesses have the chance not only to offer voice and non-voice routes for clients and prospects but also have the chance to personalize it. The question is if businesses can still afford to have this level of human involvement or will commercial pressures force the introduction of AI bots?
“It goes back to the first step in the process, understanding the money” said Sinnott. “Once that is established, resellers need to then understand the common workflow. Is there a percentage of FAQ traffic that might suggest a BOT is better for the customer and the operations budget?
“The ability to cream off the simple tasks and then focus the human skills on to the interactions where they have the most meaningful effect seems natural, but how do you help establish the knowledge through which such decisions can be made and automation designed?
“Well it may be as simple as enforced disposition codes (outcome tags) for a period of time to identify the simple bot tasks from the more complex requirements and then the deployment of voice and non-voice auto-attendants to split the flow.’
Projects like this should be progressive, not just to achieve the right result but also to reinforce the value the customer derives from your service. After all, in the future your competition will include faceless corporates with extensive product bundles, what they lack however is an intimate knowledge of the customers’ business and a history of valued advice.
The idea of protecting that customer-level advantage brings in one last group of integrated tools to make sure the customer experience has full impact. Sinnott added “CRM integration that shows a customer’s record to the agent has an impact on how the call progresses. Even at the beginning, an agent’s greeting changes from, can I help you, to hello Mr Sinnott, and shortcuts the conversation to the customer’s priority.
“Now you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, so any supervisor will also want call recordings to review staff performance and ensure they are using the technology tools to their advantage. I might even suggest the slickly named Call recording download/listen report is one of the most important elements, allowing management to check that supervisors are reviewing the calls. This all fits together to ensure the CX dividend is delivered and the cost of technology justified”