Automated voices on customer service lines have become all the range for large consumer-focused enterprises but can resellers utilise such a solution, Craig Walker, VP of Cloud Services for Europe North at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, believes so.
Ask most CEOs and managing directors what the most important key performance indicators are for their company and the Net Promoter Score will almost certainly be on the list.
In a roundtable discussion published in Technology Business Today earlier this year, the consensus was that, service and the handling of customers and potential disasters is more important that the customer or disaster itself; starting with the first interaction.
“Calls can now come through to a desk phone, mobile or PC so that you’re never out of reach for your customers” said Walker
That means that even small businesses can look like a big company. A one man band like a roofer, for example, he can carry on with his job and never miss a call and opportunity to win some business.
This is where the return on investment on that is. Let’s say you miss five calls a week and each could bring you in £10,000 worth of work, you now have a way to capture those calls and potentially win £50,000-a-week worth of business.
But now, any size business they are realising that they can deal with the multitude of enquiries and repeat enquiries simply and easily without doing it manually.
We have a customer in Norway and they thought the would be able to offload 30,000 calls a week from one department just by answering standard questions like ‘what will my TAX code be’ which they estimated the return on investment to be two days of working hours.”
Not missing calls and saving time on menial calls may be a couple of sides of the argument but automation comes with its downsides.
Walker points out that, when dealing with incoming calls, although automation is an effective way of helping callers find the right department, it is not the first choice for everyone.
“You’ve got to handle millennials who you a phone as a primary device, those who can only take calls on their phones, whereas people like me can use a hands-free desk phone and walk around.
The you have people who want to serve themselves on the web and the older generation and impatient people who know what they want and want to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Therefore you’ve got to be flexible in the channels of communications that you offer but also how you take conversations and manage them and detect their sentiment using a bot meaning that if you see someone is going self-serve but can’t find what they want you can jump in and offer a hand or if someone is getting frustrated with a bot you can jump in and talk to them.
It’s no longer a one size fits all, it’s bespoke to the user and your experience won’t necessarily be the same to mine so the goal is to tailor that experience to the client, customer, partner, whoever and make sure their experience fits them. “
As for the internal communications of a company, Walker added that they have seen employees opinion of UCaaS solutions change once they have taken the time to use them.
“Part of it is the resistance to change and that will always happen, the ability to adopt technology isn’t the speed at which we can throw the technology out its how quickly people can manage that change and drive that change.
Once you can get the change adopted, try to take it off them! We have loads of examples where we start off with connectivity and mobilisation of people.
In hospitals, the consultants, you now have a desk phone on your mobile and they can be reached anywhere. The logistics guys and the porters were fully resistant but after three months the consultants want to get rid of it, complaining that they can be reached anywhere and the porters are saying it’s saving them hours.
It’s a complete change and the change management and adoption of change is absolutely critical. When we talk about UC and CPaaS and business processes the hardest part isn’t the sell to the line manager or IT guy, the hardest thing to do is to get it deployed and adopted so the customer gets the ROI.”
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