While Customer Experience (CX) touch points occur throughout the organization, the contact center is generally the single most customer-facing line of business. This results in a single function being both the face of the company and the final source in achieving, or not achieving, customer satisfaction.
Adding to this responsibility is the unbounded growth of new social channels, mobile devices and customer expectations. In fact, the only thing not growing is customer patience as customers expect timely and accurate responses whether their requests were made to your contact center or in a social network.
Gartner predicts that in 2012 and 2013, 15 percent of customer service centers will empower their agents to access customer views which includes traditional CRM activity history along with social and external data from sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and other social networks. To facilitate this goal, several CRM software vendors are stepping up their applications with new capabilities that go beyond just tactical features to accommodate functions such as cross-channel and mobile support, and in fact, directly facilitate the more strategic and overarching objective of Customer Experience Management (CXM).
Avaya CX Adds Social, Mobile and Video
Avaya has introduced a suite of new and enhanced products for its Customer Experience Interaction Management portfolio as the next step in the evolution of customer service technology and CXM. The goal is to leverage application software to enable companies to serve more customers through more channels while delivering a streamlined and orchestrated experience for customers, agents and managers. Software automation to support this goal includes new capabilities in mobile, video and social.
Avaya Customer Connections Mobile is a web service which delivers dynamic menus and contextual data to smartphones in order to guide customers through their inquiries and requests. Upon demand, customers can switch channels or request live agent assistance and information already shared is carried through to the next channel. An estimated wait time is displayed if no agent is immediately available, and customers can choose to wait, request a return call or schedule a call for a future time.
Avaya One Touch Video permits customers to easily engage in audio, video and chat during their collaboration. An interaction can be initiated by the customer with a one-click action from a link on a web page or email. Rich media is supported across browsers to enable live communication and a more personal interaction experience. And this technology extends well beyond the contact center, enabling customer purchase, sales and even internal communication processes.
Avaya Social Media Manager has expanded its initial release from about a year ago to include support for additional languages and integration with more social media sites, including YouTube, Google+, Google Alerts and RSS, in addition to Facebook and Twitter which were previously supported. This social media solution includes a social monitoring tool which goes beyond listening for keywords by applying an algorithm that analyzes word strings with characteristics such as occurrence, frequency and intensity in order to detect and deliver sentiment analysis. To also understand reach and aid in prioritization, the software will consider factors such as the number of followers. To make the social data actionable, the system retrieves and routes the social stream data to designated resources for follow-up. Company staff may respond using company alias accounts such as 'Sales' and 'Support' in order to maintain a complete thread for each dialogue, include and append to customer history, and deliver analysis for closed loop reporting.
Interestingly, while social listening tools are typically adopted by the marketing department, Avaya executives note that their customer experience shows 5-10 percent of social comments require a response; but only 1 percent of those require a marketing response while 90 percent of the remaining require a skilled response – most often from contact centers. The remaining social comments are a mix of sale opportunities, career interests, and other general business remarks.
Avaya is clearly one of the CRM and contact center software vendors who has made the transition from multi-channel support (delivering support across multiple channels) to cross-channel support (linking conversations across channels so customers may switch channels during the collaboration). All customer information from the start of the dialogue is carried throughout the entire interaction – from self service through assisted – for a seamless service experience so customers don't have to regurgitate the same information multiple times and agents are empowered with all available facts and records to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Avaya Aligns CX Strategy with Application Software
The Avaya Customer Experience Interaction Management portfolio is a purpose-built software suite to help companies balance objectives for top line revenue and cost reduction while also balancing the growing number of methods, channels and devices available for customer interaction with consumers' decreasing tolerance for untimely responses and unsatisfactory service.
Avaya executives note that customers are looking at CX as differentiator and critical success factor. And the company has responded by positioning itself as an early leader in aligning CX strategy with application software—and not just within the contact center. The Customer Experience Interaction Management suite extends beyond contact centers to include retail, sales and marketing processes and back-office environments, thereby achieving a more holistic solution in creating a differentiated, quality customer experience.
While social listening tools are typically adopted by the marketing department, Avaya executives note that their customer experience shows 5-10% of social comments require a response; but only 1% of those require a marketing response while 90% of the remaining require a skilled response – most often from contact centers.