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Call center performance

5 Ways to Improve Efficiency of Your Call Center Operations

You may wonder who resorts to a call center for grievance redressal when you can contact companies via email, texting, social media, and web chats. But, the reality is different. Studies indicated that more than 50% of the customers with queries still prefer phone calls to reach out to customer care agents as they feel that they are heard patiently and given solutions quickly.

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Call Experience

The Significance of a Smooth Customer Call Experience

Phone calls are most likely the first point of contact for your customers. These interactions count a lot as they can make or break your reputation in the market. Smooth conversations have great chances of conversions. By smooth we mean, a conversation that flows back and forth naturally and fulfils the objective of a call where both the parties have been heard and understood clearly.

 

Phone calls are a vital part of your customer success operation. Every interaction that your support team has with your customers gives them insight into what kind of company you are. No matter how well versed or soft-spoken your sales or support teams may be in offering a healthy customer experience, there’s always a scope for improvement. Keeping this in mind, let’s unveil the role phone calls play in ensuring a great customer experience, why they make for an essential part of your customer support, and how to improve your overall phone experience.

 

How Crucial is the Role of Phone Calls in the Customer Experience

 

The time that your customer support and sales team devote to phone calls with your customers shapes the overall customer experience. Let’s dig deeper into the definition of the phone experience. The Phone experience involves each and every call and interaction that your customers experience with your business throughout their journey from the first call to the most recent interaction overall. In short, the phone experience is what your customers perceive about your brand image after talking to your customer support representative.

 

The simplest way to enhance your phone experience is by moving to a cloud-based phone system. It enables you to integrate diverse communication channels such as email, instant messaging, and chat with your phone systems so that you can reach out to your customers in their preferred communication modes.

 

Studies indicate that more than 50% of the customers prefer to reach out to customer care executives by phone to resolve their queries if the matter is urgent. This is the perfect opportunity to add one more happy customer to your list of testimonials by offering a seamless phone experience to your customers. Most of the time, these customers turn into loyal customers, and you get business through these word-of-mouth recommendations.

 

What Makes for a Good Phone Experience?

 

It is apparent that your customer support teams need to have good business phone etiquettes to handle the toughest calls like a breeze. They need to be soft-spoken and polite at all times. However, there are more ways to serve your customers better. One of those ways is to empathize with them and respond according to the way they think, feel, and behave. With the right technology and workflows, you can deliver exceptional customer experiences every time and set the stage for generating higher revenues as customers tend to pay more for great customer service.

 

Quick Ways to Improve Your Overall Phone Experience

Inbound and outbound calls are a platform through which your call center can build lasting impressions on your customers. Staying in touch with your customers allows you to build long and healthy relations. Ensuring improving overall phone experience is a first step towards securing growth for your company.

 

Here’s what you need to do to improve your phone as well as customer experience:

 

  1. Empower your sales and support representatives with the right call center solutions to offer personalized customer experiences in addition to training your support representative with the right calling strategies..
  2. Identify your target customers and understand why your product or services are crucial to them.
  3. Switch to a cloud-based phone system to monitor your call center’s performance by leveraging dashboard analytics.
  4. Set up call metrics like first call resolution, average call length, conversion rate, wait times, average wait times, average speed of answer, etc. Feel free to add new metrics that will help evaluate customer experience better.
  5. You can use CRM integrations to merge all customer information into a single piece of information.
  6. Adhere to best practices for conducting call center training.
  7. Ensure your customer support representatives are highly trained in a variety of technical and soft skills.
  8. Never miss an opportunity to strengthen customer relationships by continually working on it. You can try setting up a workflow for outbound calling even when your customers are not reaching you. The best way to achieve this is by offering them sales promotions and product information about the products that they’ve expressed interest in the past.
  9. Always ensure that you are training your customer support representatives to take feedback from your customers during calls and timely convey their comments to the center managers. Your work shouldn’t stop here; you should also implement changes as per customer feedback.

 

Additional ways to Improve the Customer Phone Experience

 

  1. Add the power of industry-leading call center software that supports software integrations for customer support
  2. Use call recording feature to analyze calls and identify issues
  3. Train call centers on live calls by using call listening/whispering features
  4. Analyze calls with transcription software and get valuable insight
  5. Explore omni channel communication capability of call center software
  6. Use sales software to reduce the sales funnel
  7. Get instant customer feedback by using automated surveys

 

Ultimately, choosing the right call center software can help your sales and support teams to enhance their customer call handling experience. Call center software offers them the right tools to improve their conversation skills and overall phone experience. As far as the right call center solution choice is concerned, then there’s no match to the benefits that Cloud based call center solutions bring to your business. 

 

One pro tip before we end, always ask your support representatives to ask their customers if they need assistance on anything before ending the call. These small gestures go a long way in not only changing their perception of your company but also increasing the likelihood of them telling their friends about your company.

 

Call center solutions

Why Should You Ideally Use Cloud Call Center Software

Is your call center still running on legacy on premise call center software and technology? Are you not able to add new channels of communication like SMS or Facebook Messenger or instantly update your IVR phone menu?  Is your communication technology working against you? Do you feel the pain of your communication systems impediments? If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then you need to optimize your existing IT ecosystem and migrate to a technology that ensures seamless customer experience by exceeding their expectations.

Today, with the adoption of cloud technology picking up pace, businesses are realizing the potential benefits of switching to cloud based call centers in their particular industry. If you are still maintaining your critical customer data using an on-premise software system, you are missing out and need to replace it with a cloud based call center software. To overcome the lacunae of paralized on-premise solutions, your business needs to take the leap towards a more reliable, cost effective, convenient, and responsive call center provider.

Organisations are choosing cloud based call centers to fulfill their changing business goals. Some of the top few reasons that contribute to the success of cloud call centers include improved profitability, better security, flexibility in business operations, scalability, integrations, real time monitoring, speed of deployment etc. In this blog, we will briefly discuss a few of the reasons to choose cloud call center software for your business. Before moving further, let’s just understand the meaning of cloud call center software.

 

What is Cloud Call Center Software?

 

Cloud call center software serves as a central platform that handles all your inbound and outbound telephony operations of your business. Key features include:

  • Servers and software hosted in a cloud data center
  • Telephony is available over the internet
  • Campaign, contact, lead and support workflows are fully integrated with telephony
  • The whole stack is browser based and your callers can work from anywhere

These features mean that you don’t worry about mixing and matching various phone systems and CRM systems and manage all this software on-premises. You focus on running your process; from calling, routing, reporting, and measuring call center agent performance, all of it on your web based cloud contact center software.

You can easily install, maintain, upgrade, and integrate it with your favorite business tools. And the best part is that you can do all this in no time and at minimal cost. It offers you more control and visibility to manage your business operations.

A special note – Cloud Call Centers are now evolving into what are known as Cloud Contact Centers.

The main difference between a call center and a contact center is the ability to interact with your customers and prospects via multiple channels on one platform. Channels such as SMS, WhatsApp, Email, Web Tracking, Web Page Posts, Social Media etc.

 

Top 5 Reasons To Use Cloud Call Center Software

 

Scalability

 

Cloud call center software enables you to scale up or down with fluctuating business needs. This simply means that you can easily add agents without investing heavily on new hardware systems when your demand goes up, and you don’t have wasted hardware resources when demand goes down.

Additionally you can also be scalable as you can have agents work remotely. You do not have to plan office space for peak usage which happens once in a while, you can design for a normal load and allow peak staff to overflow to work from home. Read on to know more about the scalability and business continuity benefits of cloud computing.

 

Feature Rich and Easy Integrations

 

Most legacy call center software required a mix and match approach of integrating telephony with CRM’s, ticketing systems, lead management systems and other custom developed software. A Cloud Call Center Solution of today must provide all this functionality within to allow you and your agents to start working from day one without struggling with having to find all these in different solutions. The Cloud Call Center must have great telephony and great features so that you can make it work for your business in your way, rather than having to bend to the workflows that are built into the system.

When the feature set of the Cloud Call Center doesn’t quite match your needs, it should expose APIs and pre-set integrations so that you can reduce data exchange and data discrepancy issues. This way, your call center agents will be able to have more meaningful and quality customer interactions, and enable managers to monitor agent performance which in turn will lead to high productivity levels.

 

Remote Agents Work Better with Remote Monitoring

 

With cloud call center software, you can work from anywhere, and at any time. The flexibility of working remotely comes along with cloud call center software. They not only allow call center agents to work from remote locations but also enable supervisors to track performance and monitor overall business operations. When you use cloud call center software, your call center managers are able to:

  • Live monitor agents that are logged in, on call or on break
  • Listen, whisper or barge into live calls so you can ensure that agents are sending the right messages with the right tone
  • Track performance of agents with great reports that show exactly what they did in detail and in summary. These reports should allow you to listen to call recordings for historical purposes
  • Track queues and capacity of agents against the workload of queues for inbound calls

Enable Omni-Channel Communication

 

If you are considering investing in a cloud call center software, opt for the one that has provision for adding communication channels. Doing this will allow you to offer a preferred communication channel to your customer. For instance, initially you may start with call, email, and chat but later might feel the need of adding other social platforms like Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and Google’s business messages, and Facebook to meet your growing customer’s communication needs. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to buy an omnichannel software that strengthens your communication relationships with your customers.

Quick Updates & Faster Implementation

 

Legacy call center software takes time to implement and deploy as it is installed on the local server. Staying abreast with the latest upgrades and innovations is difficult and expensive too. On the other hand, setting up cloud-based call center solutions is much faster as you can access the software online. It means you can get your call center up and running quickly, and your call center agents can make calls and have conversations across diverse digital platforms. You can make this implementation process smooth by taking the help of vendors that sell cloud-based call center software. They offer implementation services that will make implementation simplified and pain-free for you.

The Bottom Line

 

Cloud based call center solutions add convenience, operational efficiency, and great functionality to your call center business. With the best of breed software powered by cloud technology, you can easily drive up the efficiency of all operations at your call center.

In order to stay abreast with the technological advancement in communication channels, you need to embrace the power of cloud call center solutions to  not only cater to your customer’s present needs but meeting their future requirements as well.

Key Benefits of Switching to a Cloud Based Call Center Solution

 

The adoption of cloud-based call center solutions amongst today’s organizations is gaining quick momentum, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic. With ever evolving business dynamics and growing customer expectations, your business needs to migrate to a technology that can efficiently optimize your IT ecosystem and ensure uninterrupted customer service while still allowing you to save on hardware setup overheads.

To combat the limitations of flexible business models and changing customer behaviours, businesses are taking the leap towards more responsive and reliable cloud based contact center operations. Cloud call center solutions are perfect for both small and medium enterprises planning to expand their business operations with minimal investment on call center technology infrastructure.

Cloud Based Call Center solutions are a network based service wherein a provider owns and operates call center technology remotely for businesses. These cloud based platforms offer tools and functionalities that enable your business to build seamless customer relationships by enhancing customer interaction and driving customer satisfaction. 

If you wish to create profitable customer engagement by reducing operational cost and streamlining technology to benefit your customers, your organizational plan needs to incorporate cloud based call center solutions.

 

Benefits of Cloud Based Call Center Solutions

 

Cloud Computing is Flexible and Scalable

 

Cloud call center solutions offer flexibility and scalability to businesses of all sizes. They enable you to change with the changing needs of your business. For instance, you might consider hiring seasonal agents during the peak season and thus, require additional licenses. But, once the season gets over, you might again consider reducing the agent licenses that can be easily done with one click from cloud call center software unlike on-premise solutions that require you to jump some hoops to turn it around in time.

 

Speed of Deployment

 

In case of cloud based call center solutions, your agents just require a good speed internet connection and a laptop to get started. On the other hand, on premise call centers need heavy infrastructure, equipment and leasing/purchasing land to place your servers. If you choose the right and reliable call center vendor, you are free to choose the suitable deployment option i.e, cloud based or hybrid depending on your varying business goals and needs.

 

Business Continuity No Matter What

 

The year 2019 has reminded us that life is unpredictable. COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we used to live, work, and play. Businesses that earlier were reluctant to work from home have been working remotely since the deadly disease outbreak. Thanks to the Cloud contact solution providers for making this transition smooth and easy!

With cloud call center solutions by your side, you can ensure business continuity despite extreme weather conditions and natural disasters with no to minimal down time. These cloud based software solutions are particularly helpful for small and medium enterprises that lack requisite resources and expertise to manage everything on site while still ensuring a sound customer experience.

 

Holistic Integrations

 

Contact centers generally depend on multiple software systems like customer relationship management, helpdesk tickets, and call script generators. It can be overwhelming to integrate data from these systems to your conventional call center system. With cloud based software you get the benefit of one click integration along with dozens of leading business tools. Thus , cloud based call center solutions ensure reduction in data redundancy and maximised productivity and efficiency. Under a holistic integration system, you can easily access multiple systems from a single location, boosting your data driven decision making power.

 

Increased Productivity and Reduced Operational Cost

 

Cloud based contact centers enable agents to work with a single integrated dashboard that helps them to make effective decisions reducing turnover. Apart from increasing productivity, one of the vital goals of any profit making business is to reduce operational costs and increase return on investment. Cloud computing fulfills all of these purposes by significantly cutting down the expenditure you incur on hardware and other infrastructural requirements. Also, with cloud based call center solutions you only pay for what you use, that’s the benefit of a subscription model.

Real Time Data Visibility

 

Performance tracking is one of the biggest challenges that you face when your agents are working from different locations. Advanced call center software solutions allow you to monitor the customer interaction quality by barging, or whispering on a live call. This way you can help agents to improvise their task and evaluate their performance. The supervisors can also monitor real time call center metrics through live dashboards such as the number of agents available, the call volume, customers in the queue, and more. Along with live dashboards, the supervisors are also outfitted with contact center reports and all the requisite information needed to make valuable decisions with virtual agents.

 

Conclusion

 

You need to adopt cloud call center technology to stay ahead of competitive clutter. Cloud-based call center solutions offer a high level of agility, availability, and transformational capabilities. As a result, you will experience higher uptime, reduced customer issues, and better ROI. What matters the most for organizations is choosing the right cloud
call center solution provider to achieve your business goals.

 

VoIP Phones and the Science Behind Them

You must have heard about VoIP but probably aren’t aware about its wonderful capabilities of transforming a standard internet connection into a way to place calls for free. This revolutionary technology has the potential to replace traditional phone telephony as it allows you to bypass the phone company and its charges completely.

Chances are high that you are already making VoIP calls when you are placing long distance calls. VoIP is the same protocol that enables you to make calls over the internet like WhatsApp or Hangout. Being the experts, we at Aavaz, consider it our responsibility to educate you about all the ins and outs of VoIP phone systems and how the underlying technology behind VoIP works.

Understanding VoIP

 

Voice over Internet Protocol refers to the standards that facilitate the transmission of voice and multimedia content using an internet connection. It enables users to place calls without using any telephone service, which means there’s no need to run any extra copper wires if you have internet access.

VoIP has by far outpaced traditional telephony in terms of flexibility and calling features for one minimal cost. People use VoIP as it saves money on infrastructure and on calling charges. You can use it to make high definition phone calls and use features like call recording, customer caller ID, and Voicemail to email that can’t be found on regular phone services. With VoIP, you can either work from home or telecommute to the office. It is a good option for people who work remotely as it gives them a number of options to hold meetings or communicate with each other.

Working Methodology of VoIP Phone Systems

 

Voice over IP works by converting your voice from audio signals into digital signals. It is then compressed and sent over Ethernet or Wi-Fi. On the receiving end, the digital data is uncompressed into the sound that you get to hear from the speakerphone on the handset. VoIP service provider arranges the call between the participants. If you are making calls using an internet connection and not a regular mobile or landline network, you’re using a VoIP phone system. As long as you have high-speed internet connectivity, you can take advantage of VoIP phone systems.

If you plan to include a VoIP phone system in your business, you need to fulfill VoIP phone system requirements that typically ask for a reliable internet connection such as cable, DSL, or fiber from an ISP, a SIP phone, a softphone, and an Analog telephone adapter to place calls over VoIP.

One of the best benefits of using VoIP phone systems is that your data is stored securely in the cloud since VoIP runs over the internet. You can even manage this system through an online dashboard which allows you to add new phone numbers, and do call forwarding.

VoIP phones don’t need a fixed setup all you need is a high speed internet connection and you are good to manage your calls on the go.

Types of VoIP Telephones

 

There are two kinds of VoIP telephones, hardware-based and software-based.

A hardware-based VoIP phone looks similar to a traditional cordless phone or hard-wired phone and has the same physical features, like a microphone, speaker, touchpad, and a caller ID display. You will also find call conferencing, voicemail, and call transfer facilities in VoIP phones.

Software-based VoIP phones, commonly known as Softphones, are installed on a mobile device or your computer. Their user interface looks similar to a handset with a touchpad having a caller ID display. You can connect a headset to your mobile device or computer to make calls.

Why Does Your Business Need a VoIP-based Phone System over Landline?

  1. Cost Effectiveness

     VoIP is commonly a more cost effective solution because it does not require additional unpromised hardware. You can use the devices you already own. Using VoIP phone systems, you can avoid paying an excessive price for traditional phone services. VoIP uses internet protocols and packets instead of copper wires. It offers an easy way out to save on exorbitant rental costs linked with PSTN phone calls. If you are eager to know more about the benefits of low cost telephone systems, learn about how the Aavax PBX system can benefit your business.

  2. Reliability

    VoIP is more reliable because this service itself exists in the cloud rather than a single piece of hardware in the office.

  3. Mobility

    VoIP makes for an ideal option for businesses to stay connected when their employees are working remotely. The requirement for VoIP is just having internet access and not using a specific phone in a single location.

  4. Feature Rich

    Apart from cost savings, a vast library of VoIP phone features is another motivational factor for companies to switch to VoIP. You get unlimited calling, online faxing facility, auto attendant, call queues, dedicated conference lines, HD voice quality, Smartphone apps, Voicemail-to-Email, CRM Integrations, text messaging, and more.

  5. Boosts Agent Knowledge and Productivity

    You can connect VoIP telephony to your other cloud-based technologies. Businesses are taking advantage of Unified communications solutions, including sales, customer management, chat, and email tools. With VoIP connectivity, you can do better tracking, make informed conversations, and ultimately get a productive workforce.

The Bottom Line

 

The benefits of using VoIP phones are enormous. If you are looking for a cost-effective and higher-quality sound-based phone system with added features like call recording, custom caller ID, and queues, then VoIP phones are the perfect fit for you. VoIP phones reduce network infrastructure costs by removing circuit-switched networks for voice and help organizations operate on a single data and voice network. The best part about adding a VoIP phone system to your business is that it eliminates your team’s need to use multiple applications to communicate with one another successfully.

Why Cloud Telephony Is Critical for Your Business

If you’re still relying on clunky on-premise business communication products, you must consider upgrading to cloud based software solutions. Many small and large businesses have already made a logical switch from their old hardware-based phone systems to cloud based communication solutions. When your hardware-based phone systems crash, you are left with no other choice but to wait for your service provider to visit business premises and fix the issue. This may eat up your several hours and money, for that matter. With a Cloud telephony service contract, you can easily make changes and repair your phone system remotely without wasting much time.

Understanding Cloud Telephony?

 

Cloud telephony is a virtually hosted system that converts a regular business phone system into a business phone system stored on the cloud. Every single call that your business receives gets routed via Cloud Servers. You can store all the critical data like customer databases on the cloud, which you can access by a mobile or a web browser anytime you want. A cloud based phone system enables you to make customer calls through a web browser or a mobile app. You can easily manage both inbound and outbound calls with your customers through it.

How does Cloud Telephony work?

 

Cloud telephony offers a quick and easy way of communicating with your customers. The process works simply:

  1. You dial the desired phone number, and then you wait for the service provider to handle the call routing.
  2. Your voice signals get converted into data packets and transferred through your internet connection.
  3. You can connect with your caller through phone or computer and kick start a productive call.

Benefits of Cloud Telephony to Small Businesses

Cost Savings

 

Cloud telephony enables you to save not only your precious time but also money. Unlike its modern counterpart, the traditional landline phone system involves expensive hardware, installation, and maintenance costs. Also, cloud telephony systems don’t take up your office space as everything stays safe in one place i.e.on your employee’s laptop. With a cloud-based telephony system, there’s nothing like long-term fixed deals. It’s all about flexible payment schedules. Therefore, the nature of the agreement of cloud-based phone systems is flexible and requires no unexpected or additional costs.

Resilient & Reliable Phone Service

 

Disaster recovery is easy with cloud telephony systems. You can stay calm even if a natural calamity hits your area, as all your business information is safe and secure on cloud storage. Additionally, you can also access your business information from any other device at any point in time. In contrast, your traditional desk phone systems and office desktops are highly likely to be affected by a natural disaster.

Minimum Downtime

 

What’s worse than your phone system going down and you cannot make important calls to the customers, especially if you are into the business of providing phone support to your customers? Possibly, nothing!

When you use a Cloud telephony system, you are sure that you will get the maximum up-time available. If there’s anything wrong with your system in the Cloud, you can take the help of your service provider to get it up and running in no time.

Allow Scalability of business Operations

 

The nature of modern-day business is dynamic as any new need can arise anytime. For instance, SaaS products remain relevant if they offer quick customizations and updates; else, they become waste. That’s not the case with cloud telephony solutions.

They are highly customizable and scalable. Whether you are considering adding new people to the cloud telephony account or thinking of adding new customized features for making your CRM integration go smooth, cloud telephony covers it all.

Constant Updates

 

When you move all your business communication systems to cloud telephony, you end with the possibility of the service getting old-fashioned with time. With a properly hosted cloud-based phone solution, all the innovations occurring in the technology domain related to your business get updated in your particular communication system. This saves your time and efforts of constantly manually updating your business phone system and allows you to focus on other core business areas.

Mobility & Flexibility

 

Suppose you are waiting for a prominent call from a customer, so you can finally crack a crucial deal. With a landline phone system, the waiting time is unpredictable, and you can’t stay back in the office to take the call. In the case of cloud telephony, you are free to leave the office and get the task done from anywhere. You can have your dinner and still make a deal as you have instant access to your business contacts.

Integrated Business Communication Systems

 

Cloud telephony solutions seamlessly integrate with your business communication systems and workflows.such integration not only your team’s work pipelines but also ensures smooth workflow from a larger perspective. These streamlined workflows allow you to access every detail in a single interface.This way, your team will be able to work efficiently and deliver exceptional results in less time.

Better handling of business Communication

 

With traditional desk phones, you are not able to keep track of your comprehensive business communications. You don’t have the record of client conversations, making it difficult for you to manage information flowing inwards and outwards. The call recording feature of cloud telephony gives you complete control of your overall business communications. It gives you the record of everything; you can use call recording for reference or issue redressal at any point (if required).

Highly Efficient Sales and Support

 

The Auto Dialer feature of cloud telephony enables you to make calls, leave voicemails, eliminating the need of a support agent to be involved in any part of this process. Additionally, there’s a feature to add end call disposition notes, making the manual work of support agents almost zero as they can now get quick notes of the call’s outcome. Therefore, you are highly likely to experience a boost in productivity and efficiency in your customer support team. If you’re still perplexed about whether to make a big move of switching to cloud call center technology or not, you need to further explore the key benefits of switching to cloud call center solution.

Conclusion

 

Cost savings, increased reliability, convenience, and scalability are key reasons that make businesses switch to cloud telephony systems. Now that you already know about the cloud telephony concept and the benefits it has to offer to your business, there’s just one thing left for you to do: Migration of your business telephone system to cloud telephony.

 

Ceos desk

From CEO’s Desk

Longer reads that outline the vision of customer interactions in what they are today, how they are evolving and and how they need to be.

 

 


 

The Why and How of achieving truly Unified and Multi-Channel Communication

Everyone is talking about being able to communicate with your customers in an omni or multi-channel world. A lot of you are probably doing multi-channel already (Albeit in a less than efficient manner)…

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We ate our own dog food

I bet you’ve all read plenty of articles (Like this one) about measuring each and everything in your marketing plans. Get your top of funnel metrics in place, so you can identify which channels work…

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Media


Customer Experience: A tandem bike run by Sales, Marketing, and Customer Support team

Customer experience, in layman terms, is the impression you leave on your consumers after the rendering of your services. The image formed in the minds of the customers of a brand depends on the quality of exchange they had with the company and the outcome of the same.

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Is customer more important than the product?

Customer Experience is the impression left behind by a brand as a result of its communication with the consumers. It is the perception of a company in an individual’s mind, which could be negative or positive. A part of customer experience is the customer support provided by a brand.

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Warning signs that indicate it’s time to get unified in your multi-channel customer service approach

Look around and you will understand how the way of interaction between customers and the companies is changing. There was a time when customers had only one channel to contact the companies…

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“The way to customer’s heart is through good personalized customer service.”

Don’t just read the articles that tell you how to reel in customers. Put the tips in to practice by performing A/B tests on multiple channels and find the right one to nurture your leads towards conversion…

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Why keeping a personal touch with your customers is important for business growth

Content may be the king of marketing, but customers are the citizens. Regardless of the system of governance a nation follows, be it democracy or monarchy, there is no doubt about the vital role citizens play…

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we ate our own dog food

WE ATE OUR OWN DOG FOOD

April 29, 2019
No Comments

 

The promised land

 

I bet you’ve all read plenty of articles (Like this one) about measuring each and everything in your marketing plans. Get your top of funnel metrics in place, so you can identify which channels work, so you can do some A/B testing and allocate resources to the most effective channels. Follow that up with articles (Like this one) which tell you to make your sales people aware of the the message that brought them the lead, to run sales like a process, to nurture the lead with emails, SMSs, follow up calls till you’ve lead them to closed lost or the more preferable a closed won status. And have you read articles (Like this one) that tell you that the cost of retaining a customer is much higher than the cost of acquiring a customer. Paying attention to customer success metrics, being responsive…

 

The reality

 

ВОТ ТУТ ТЕКСТ СО ССЫЛКОЙ

 

list of casino games

 

I had read them too, my team had read them. We were in the business and we had a phone solution that handled voice really well, but then we needed to get a Sales or Lead Management system that connected with the website to give us tracking on our potential customers till the form fill so we knew what they were looking for. Then we needed to get a separate chat system as the channel had gained a lot of popularity in removing the friction from customers reaching out to us. Then we got another ticketing system for customer service. Not to forget the our own phone system for actually following up on the leads to qualify them, and then receiving inbound calls to turn them into leads, and the agents calling customers for the sales process. Support folks needed to be able to make and receive calls as well.

 

The stringing together and costs and time

 

We got every system we needed. Then we spent the time to trying to link them up, and sync the contacts and push conversations we’ve had from one system to another. Needless to say it took up a lot of time identifying all the systems we needed. Figuring out how to link them together and even more time trying to get the reports that would have given us any meaningful insights into the 3 customer touchpoints with the company. What was even more frustrating was that the support team never had a clear picture how the customer came to be, and they were’nt able to send over information back to the sales team when the customer needed an upgrade without logging into  another system. The sales team was passing pieces of paper to the support team letting them know what the customers main points were for onboarding.

 

CRM alternative

 

Why get specialized tools for each small task. You might ask, can’t a CRM do all the things. Short answer – yes, but no. CRM’s out of the box are more like an Operating System. You get Windows 10, but you can’t get productive on it till you customize it, and then install the programs which are known as plugins. The plugins are needed for the communications channels. Unlike the a normal OS though with programs, a CRM’s plugins must all work well together. After all they are all working on the same common contacts and workflows that you’re building. I have seen companies recruit CRM Managers because it is such a big task. Plugins are constantly breaking, they need upgrading, or conflicting with one another. Worse still, the CRM which could be cloud hosted now upgrades to a new version. Guess what you now have to make sure all the plugins are still working. We know all this because we do make plugins for enabling channels in CRM’s and we know how those changes and upgrades affect companies.

 

We thought about it

 

We were extremely frustrated with the actual outcome of all our efforts. We looked at the problem and all the solutions and noticed that all of the solutions have to go build out so many things that are basically the same. They need to build some kind of contact database system. They need a way to import contacts (Super painful), create agents, give permissions, build API’s, create reports and bunch of other things that are exactly the same. On top of that they build the key functions, email, tracking, chat, sales workflow, support workflow, social media interactions and the list goes on. Most of them offer some overlapping functionality. But none of them really offer it all, they never took the time to look at it holistically.

 

Conversation first but in context

 

Here we had a relative advantage – we were always conversation first. We sat down and looked at all these other tools and saw that they were process first or data first or something else. We realized that if you automatically enable and capture the conversation then all the problems can be solved, provided you record the right metrics from each conversation. The other thing about conversations is the context. You can have a conversation that starts on the phone, continues on to the SMS, then onto email and then back to the phone. We had to be able to capture that context. Which we did. We spent a whole year and thousands of man hours in perfecting that. The context makes it easy for our agents to continue fluid and meaningful conversations, by looking at past conversations in one place. The conversations allowed us to look at our customer holistically.

 

We won’t sell it till we love it

 

We had an early version of the system ready mid to late 2018. We started using it internally immediately. We said let’s focus on removing each one of the external systems one by one till we’re running on our own platform exclusively. It took us some time but we did. As we did we started seeing the results. The whole company was smiling. It gave us purpose because we could see what was happening and it gave us goose bumps. We’ve were very clear that we won’t sell it to our customers till we weren’t happy with it. We’ve since then slowly started upgrading our existing customers and have received increasing positive feedback. We’re ready to let you try it, because we know you’ll love it.

 

What we have now – Just a taste

 

I’m just going to write a few lines here for improvements in each of the areas. There are in depth blogs coming for each of the areas that will spell out the wins. None of these would have been possible without being multi-channel and truly unified. One system, one login for all communications.

 

Marketing

 

We now know and can tell where a lead came from, the channel, the source and whether or not it was qualified and whether or not it converted into a customer. In 1 report.

 

We can tell if our sales reps called the prospect within 5 minutes of the lead coming in from any channel.

 

Sales

 

The agents know how the customer got to us. Which pages they visited on the website, when they filled out the form. How many times they’ve visited the site again while the sales process is ongoing. They can send pre-packaged emails, make calls, send texts and all these channels allow them to be gentle but persistent without being too intrusive. They increase the number of touch points and make the customer feel more comfortable.

 

Hands off and Onboarding

 

Sales people no longer log into or walk a piece of paper over to the customer success team. They can create an onboarding request from within the system. The success team has full visibility into all the conversations that the customer has had from cradle till date. This allows them be much more fluent and the customers can feel the difference.

 

Support or Customer Success

 

There is never a case where the agent does not know what has been happening with a customer. They have access to all calls, emails, previous tickets, sales information and more. Allowing them to be efficient and in many cases even allowing them to suggest to the sales team that the customer may benefit from additional features available.

 

We love it, but we’re not done yet

 

We absolutely love how things are starting to work. It is giving us the insights that we’ve only ever dreamt of. We’re reaching the promised land. Now that we’re using it every day we want even more. We’ve become greedy. The framework that we’ve put in place is allowing us to add more channels, automate more, get more insights than ever before. The agents are never wondering how this contact got here. They love the system. We think you will love it too….The best is yet to come, and we’d like to you to be on that journey with us.

 

The why and how of achieving truly unified and multi channel communication

THE WHY AND HOW OF ACHIEVING TRULY UNIFIED AND MULTI-CHANNEL COMMUNICATION

April 29, 2019
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Everyone is talking about being able to communicate with your customers in an omni or multi-channel world. A lot of you are probably doing multi-channel already (Albeit in a less than efficient manner). All this has come about due to the truly multi-channel world that we live in. The evolution from in-person face to face then to voice contact via phone calls, to email, to web, to web chat, to social media, to SMS and other messaging platforms. Add to this the customers evolution who now not only expects to be able to reach out to you via the most convenient channel, but also then expects that you and your agent knows exactly who they are and deliver customized and tailored service as a base standard of service.

 

The days of of the call center are gone and we are now looking at the contact center. This contact center must be able to hold conversations (A key theme) across channels, and across the customers life cycle.

 

This series of blogs is going to explore the promised land of why this is necessary and how you can go about achieving this. But before ping into how, it is first important to establish the why.

 

Why?

 

Customers are spoiled for choice. Doesn’t matter how big or small you are. Whether you’re a recognized or brand or not. There are enough choices available to your existing or potential customer. In a study done by a company 94% of customers are willing to switch if they don’t get good customer service and 84% feel that good customer service means that they should be able to reach you in any channel they feel is most comfortable to them.

 

But you don’t need studies to tell you this. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows that brands can be created and destroyed by customers on social media. They like they say good things about you, they don’t they say bad things. You need to be able to respond to them on social media, and more importantly before they get to the point of commenting on social media (unless it’s good things of course).

 

Let’s look at the typical customer journey from cradle to grave. Awareness….So much of it is out of your control, but what is under your control, you have a …what is very strongly under your control is their interactions at the most critical points, becoming a customer, and staying a customer. And these points are controlled directly with human interactions that people in your company have with them. Customer Journey, Customer Success, Service.

 

Here’s what typically happens in those scenarios. Your marketing team is using several different marketing tools to reach out to your customers. Each marketing tool is good for 1 channel. Email blasts from mail chimp, social media from hubspot, XYZ for web tracking. If you’re lucky and have spent a lot of time, somehow when one of these customers responds to you, you’ve captured it in your CRM…and trust me that requires a lot of work to get right because of the coordination between your web team, your sales team, the crm people, the integrators and 15 other people. That’s not the end. Now that someone has managed to reach you, your qualification or sales team has to reach out to them. They reach out by sending a personal email, or maybe a drip marketing system you’ve got in place or some plugin you’ve added to your CRM, creating yet another break in the traceability of your marketing efforts. Now they make a call, and MANUALLY are supposed to enter details into your CRM or lead tracking system. As managers we know how painful that is to sales people and how quickly all you’re doing is chasing up on people not following process that you’ve spent so much time defining. Let’s fast forward and hope that the prospect has converted to a customer, and now is requesting support from some you. Your ticketing system and thus agents have no idea what the original customer success parameter was for this customer. Customer has to spend all the time in explaining what they want and how they want it. To top it all off….let’s say that you’ve reached the promised land of getting visibility from cradle to date or grave for a customer and all your touch points. You’ve now created a system that is extremely hard to manage, requires a lot of thought for any changes and is extremely brittle, so when you’re facing a forced upgrade from your phone system vendor a 5 person team and countless hours have to be dedicated to make that change happen.

 

You’re focusing on spending time on building systems and not on customers.

 

Tools should not be a hindrance to great customer service. Tools should not be a hindrance to managers and to agents. You can have the best intentioned managers and agents with great training, but if you give them a hammer instead of a drill they’re not going to be successful in making your customer and you successful.

 

We have studied this problem thoroughly for many years and have taken the view that your traditional CRM is a hammer. Because it was designed when communications were not as varied and integrating even voice was extremely difficult and expensive. CRM’s have a data first approach and suffer from getting people to enter data from communications that are the actual key to making sales and support interactions successful. Aavaz has taken a Communication first approach. With this approach the data is automatically captured as all communications are happening through the CRM and thus data is being captured by default. Now your people are adding flesh to the communications data, and not the meta data like when it happened, what was the outcome. In fact because that is being captured automatically, your agents are now compelled into adding (efficiently) the colour that is really helping the customer and your business.

 

DIAGRAM

 

We said let’s do a true tool and in that communications first approach we discovered that it was all about your conversation with your customers that makes things work. Conversations that are great in todays world require a multi-channel approach with the ability to create a context for the various conversations that you have with your customers over time. We know that contact with your customers is where the rubber meets the road. Good contact works, let’s not be afraid of it, let’s encourage it from our customers.

 

This series describes our journey to our product that is working for us. I know we’re supposed to write this in a neutral way, but I can’t be neutral on what we’ve built and am eager to share the problems, the insights and the solution that we’ve come up with. The solution truly gives me goose bumps.

 

This series will give you insights into:

 

* Our journey, and how we ate our own dog food

* Truly integrated marketing, digital and traditional

* Sales as the key pivot point in setting up your customers success

* Support that makes customers happy and coming back for more (Upselling, remarketing)

* And The Unified Difference – It doesn’t work if it’s not unified