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Steve Hurst:  Good day, everybody, and welcome to this Engage customer webinar together with our partners Jacada on accelerating customer experience, utilizing digital adoption and NLP, all Natural Language Processing, as people who don't really like acronyms like to call it. So NLP, Natural Language Processing. My name is Steve Hurst, I'm the editorial director at Engage Customer. I'm delighted [00:00:30] to be joined today by Dylon Mills, who's product marketing director from Jacada.

Good morning, Dylon, and I think it's a very early morning where you are in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dylon Mills: It is quite early, but it's perfectly fine.

Steve Hurst: Well, thanks for joining us so early, Dylon, and I hope that you have a good experience on the webinar today. We're certainly looking forward to your presentation. And I know that in your presentation, you're including three case studies on how Jacada have [00:01:00] been working with their customers in the field of accelerating customer experience using digital adoption at NLP.

So welcome today, Dylon, to the webinar. Welcome to the delegates today, as well. Just want to mention a couple of things. The main thing I want to mention is the fact that it's very important for us that you are able to ask questions during Dylon's presentation. There is a green box at the bottom of the screen in front of you today, and please do keep those questions coming in. Any questions we don't answer [00:01:30] during the 45 minutes of this webinar will be answered afterwards. So no questions are wasted. So please do keep them coming in, and I will remind you during the webinar to do that as well.

I'm not gonna say very much more because Dylon's got lots to get through today. Lots of exciting and interesting stuff. Plus, those case studies, and so I will hand it over to you, Dylon.

Dylon Mills: Thank you, Steve. Thank you for having me and thank you everyone for joining and attending today. I hope that I can provide some valuable information [00:02:00] here and provide a little bit of guidance around how Jacada helps our customers accelerate their ability to provide an improved customer experience. So today's session will be focued on that, accelerating your ability to provide an improved customer experience. And how we go about assisting our customers and providing that for their customers.

So just to start things off, to provide a little bit of a background around Jacada. [00:02:30] We've been in the customer service space for a little bit over 25 years now, providing solutions to customers all around the world as you see in this sampling here. Solutions that are focused on improving customer experience along the entire customer journey. And I'll provide a little more detail throughout this presentation around how we do that.

But first off, I'd like to start with discussing a few of the common problems that many of our customers face [00:03:00] today. And I think, or I hope, that you also potentially see these problems. So I'd like to discuss the problems and then also talk about how we go about overcoming some of these problems and providing a great customer experience.

The first one has to do with low adoption of digital self service solutions. So what we're seeing in general is around 82% of interactions today, customer service interactions, [00:03:30] still wind up in the contact center. Customers in overwhelming numbers are still picking up the phone and calling the contact center when assistance is needed. So despite these large investments that organizations have made, and digital self service solutions, like mobile applications, comprehensive FAQs, service portals, despite the major investments, what we're seeing is still the majority of customers today [00:04:00] are winding up in the contact center, wind up calling the contact center when assistance is needed.

And this is a problem because that tends to be the most expensive form of service. Not only for the organization in that they invest time and effort in employing contact center representatives and assisting customer, but also for the customer as well. Investing their time connecting with [00:04:30] a customer service representative when assistance is needed. So the first one has to do with low adoption of digital self-service resources. The second one has to do with poor experiences when a customer connects with a customer service representative.

So a lot of times, the results of this is long call times. The customer is engaged with the customer service representative for just too long. And that is because of many reasons, but mostly because [00:05:00] the customer service representative, or agent, is likely dealing with a number of back office applications and managing these back office applications. And poor processes are in place that the [inaudible 00:05:17] those applications that they're managing. So the customer service representative spends more time focused on managing applications, navigating applications instead of interacting with the customer resulting in long call times, [00:05:30] bringing down the customer experience.

And then finally, following a call, following an interacting with a customer today. A lot of times, there are poor processes in place following a call in the back office that tend to lead to lengthy service times. An example of this, what I mean by this, let's take an example of a customer submitting a mortgage application. [00:06:00] Today, that mortgage application has to arrive on a person's desk. That person reviews the application and does the back office processes to submit that application for acceptance or rejection. Those processes that take place following a call, or after a call, after an interaction with a customer, can be streamlined and proved by implementing automation into those back office processes [00:06:30] so that those processes can take place 24/7, seamlessly and accurately through implementing software robots, as you can think about it.

But getting back to my point here, the third problem that we see is that they're slow, or underperforming, or inefficient back office processes in place today that are really contributing to a poor customer experience in general. So what do we at [00:07:00] Jacada recommend doing to improve upon the customer experience? Well, there are a number of things that you can do along the customer journey that we recommend you consider imparting upon to improve every step along the way. So the first interaction tends to be either by voice or by web. What we've seen, and as I've mentioned before, is that customers are, still [00:07:30] in larger numbers, calling a contact center when service is needed.

So what we recommend to do in this first step is improve the self-service experience as well as drive digital adoption. And I'll speak a little bit more in the upcoming slide about how we do that, how we accomplish that. But as it relates to the first step in the customer journey, you need to consider improving that self service experience so that the customer is more successful [00:08:00] in servicing their needs up front as well as getting more of your customers to adopt and use the digital resources that you've implemented in your customer service organization.

So that's step one, and as I mentioned, I'll speak a little bit more about how we do that, how we accomplish that first step. The second step is when the customer does connect with the customer service representative. What we need to do or what really we need to be focused in is taking [00:08:30] that agent away from the applications, away from managing, imputing information. And make that agent focus more on connecting with the customer, connecting on a human level with the customer instead of navigating and managing those applications.

So again, in the upcoming slides, I'll speak in a little bit more detail about how we recommend you accomplish this. And then lastly, as I mentioned before, those processes that take place after the [00:09:00] fact, after a mortgage application is submitted, we need to streamline those by implementing automation in the back end. All of this combined dramatically increases your ability to provide the customer a much improved customer experience.

So the next slide here is just talking about, in a very high level, how we do this. I won't spend a lot of time on this slide here, but [00:09:30] I want to mention is what we deliver at Jacada is a single platform, a single designer, where you can design these customer interactions, design the interaction from start to finish. And by finish, I mean those processes that take place following an interaction. And deploy that same interaction across the various areas of the customer journey. So you can deploy that interaction into the contact center for the [00:10:00] customer service representative to use to provide them with guidance on what's the next best thing to do when interacting with a customer. As well as that same interaction that you developed within the interact platform can be deployed in the digital self-service side.

So that customer can take those steps within that interaction that you develop from start to finish on their own to complete an interaction seamlessly by themselves. [00:10:30] And then finally, the last part of this is that same interaction that you develop on the interact platform can be implemented on the back end, as well, so following an interaction with a customer. All one designer, easy to develop and deploy, and that's enough on that.

So next, I will talk about a little bit more detail about digital self-service, and what we do at Jacada to increase the adoption of [00:11:00] digital self-service as well as the success that a customer, when utilizing a digital self-service solution, will successfully be able to complete that digital self-service interaction. So the first part of this has to do with IVR. What we recommend, or the first step that we recommend, is to implement a visual [00:11:30] interaction as an alternative to the IVR today. And we refer to this solution as Visual IVR. And what it is is essentially similar steps that you would take in an IVR. However, it's a digital interaction that can be launched seamlessly and contextually when the customer connects via the phone.

So as I mentioned before, a lot of customers are still calling the contact center. What [00:12:00] we recommend to do, is instead of marketing these solutions that you've implemented, like mobile applications and comprehensive websites, FAQs. Instead of marketing these solutions and hoping that your customers will use them, instead, allow the customer while they're on their way to a customer service representative to pivot to that digital interaction. Without needing to download anything. Simply, seamlessly, and easily pivot to [00:12:30] a digital interaction that can much better service their needs.

So I'd like to, in this next slide, just show you and example of what that digital interaction looks like. So a customer, starting from the left and going right, calls a customer service organization because they recently received a large bill, a bill that is much higher than they're used to, much higher than normal. And they wanna know why the bill is higher than normal. So generally, what happens is [00:13:00] the customer immediately, instinctively, reaches out to a customer service representative because in the past, that customer service representative has been able to help them in explaining the bill, assisting them with help with needed, and providing them guidance on the next best action. What to take place at this point. So when a customer pivots to a digital interaction, they're able to see their details of their bills. [00:13:30] All of the details, why their bill is higher than usual, and potentially self-service their interaction all while on their way to a customer service representative.

If they're unable to self-service successfully, then we provide them a contextual connection to the customer service representative. So that the customer service representative not only sees who the customer is, but why they're calling, and what steps need to be taken from here that have already ... What steps haven't been [00:14:00] taken and what steps need to be taken from this point. So to drive digital adoption, one way in doing this is by implementing digital in the channel that the majority of your customers use today.

The second area of driving digital adoption, and driving the success of digital adoption, and driving the success of digital adoption has to do with implementing automated chat bots and Natural Language Processing. So an example [00:14:30] of this, and actually, this happened to me the other day. I was trying to connect my wireless printer to my laptop. And for some reason, I was having issues making the connection. So what do I do? Personally, I went to the company's website, and I started investigating why I was having issues connecting the printer to my laptop. The FAQ page that resulted in my search didn't quite [00:15:00] provide enough information for me to go on to resolve the issue.

But what I noticed was at the bottom of the screen, there was a chat bot. A virtual agent that was recommending I ask it questions. So I did, I started engaging with the virtual agent. I asked the general questions and through Natural Language Processing, the virtual agent was able to understand what I was asking and get me to a process that they have in place, that they've implemented [00:15:30] through this natural language. Through this chat bot that took me through the steps to successfully connect my printer. And we're seeing the trends in this. We're seeing a lot of organizations implement these chat bots.

And also, millennials in general tend to default to some sort of chat interaction so that it's something that they're comfortable with. So by implementing a chat [00:16:00] bot that understands natural language, that can take a customer through steps in a service process, you increase the ability to successfully self service as well as increase the likelihood for the customer to adopt those digital channels. Moving on to the next component, the agent interaction component, I'd like to discuss a little bit around how we improve that interaction between [00:16:30] the customer and the agent. And the first one is collaboration. As I mentioned before, by implementing a digital interaction into the phone call, by introducing digital into the phone call, you now have the ability for the agent to see where the customer's coming from, see who the customer is right up front.

Eliminating the need to make introductions, streamlining the call so that the customer service representative [00:17:00] understands at first point of contact where the customer's coming from and who the customer is. And then provide that ability for the agent to collaborate with the customer moving forward from there. So by implementing the digital interaction into the call and connecting it with the agent, the agent understands more about the customer and can better assist the customer in providing service, by not only who the customer is right up front, but what they're after and where to go [00:17:30] from there.

So that's the first aspect of improving the customer experience when the customer is connected with the agents. The next aspect is desktop unification. So this is an additional service that we provide that is all part of this offering. And that is, as I mentioned before, when agents are faced with dealing with multiple applications, not necessarily knowing where to go from there, [00:18:00] it provides a poor experience to the customer. So what we recommended to do is unify those applications into a single interface that's easy to use for the agents and the agents can from there, know the next best action to take in providing better service to the customer.

And then finally, the last aspect as it relates to agent assistance, is automating some of those processes [00:18:30] that are better fit for a robot. So what I mean by this is automating data entry, automating data reentry. Because a lot of times, when you're speaking with a customer service representative, they're not only imputing the information you're providing to them into one system, but they're having to copy and past that same information into multiple systems. So streamline that data entry as well as copying and processing [00:19:00] into an automated flow within that interaction to greatly improve the customer experience.

And then lastly, the end of it, the end of the customer interaction, the back office processes that take place. So what we recommend to do and what we've done that for many large organizations is automate that process. So automate the acceptance and approval of the mortgage application, as I mentioned before and drive [00:19:30] the processes that take place through automation, through robotic process automation to improve the customer experience in that you're responding to the customer a lot faster. The customer's not having to wait three to five business days to receive a response to that mortgage application.

So next, I'd like to talk about a few case studies. And I think maybe with these, [00:20:00] you'll understand that by doing what I mentioned today, by implementing solutions across the entire customer journey, you can dramatically improve business processes as well as the customer experience, and see financial results, financial benefits from implementing these processes.

Steve Hurst: Yeah, I think, Dylon, [crosstalk 00:20:29] always bring these things to [00:20:30] life, don't they. Yes, it's great to have those as part of your presentation.

Dylon Mills: They do. And before I jump into that, I wanna pause and see if there are any questions that have come in at this point.

Steve Hurst: Well, we've had a question in, which is I think you've actually part answered, but I will ask you of you, Dylon. From Andrew Franklin, business leader E. ON. Thanks for the question, Andrew. Andrew asked how does pivoting to self-service actually happen from when a customer calls a contact center, [00:21:00] how does it appear on their mobile? I think you did cover that partly, but it would be great if you could answer Andrew's question, and see what happens.

Dylon Mills: Absolutely. Great question, and I may have touched upon this, but it is a great question and good to go into a little bit more detail around how that works. So there are a number of ways this can take place. So when a customer calls a customer service representative, or a customer service organization, [00:21:30] what we are able to do on the back end is perform a few things. First of all, a carrier lookup. So we are able to assess so is the carrier, who is the cellular carrier that the customer is calling from as well as the type of device that they're calling from.

And generally, it's some sort of mobile device, iPhone, Android, whatever it may be. And at that time, we have a number of options, depending upon what type of device that they're calling [00:22:00] from. One is, and one of the most popular ways of doing this, is a push notification. So we will send the customer, from the number that they're calling from, a link through a push notification to launch that Visual IVR interaction. And that interaction is all HTML based. There's no need for the customer to download anything. They can launch it quickly, easily, and contextually within the call.

Another option, if we are unable to do some sort of push notification, or [00:22:30] launch the link for the customer, we also provide the option ... We also integrate through SMS. So we can send the link to the customer through SMS. So the customer, if they press one to opt into this visual experience up front, they alternatively can receive the link to launch the Visual IVR interaction through a text message. So there are [00:23:00] a few ways to launch this visual interaction. It just all depends on what type of device and what kind of carrier the customer is calling from.

Steve Hurst: In your experiences then, what's been the customer reaction this? To me, I would find it to be very, very useful and very helpful, and make life easier for me as a customer. What are the customers of your customers saying about this pivoting to self-serve?

Dylon Mills: Great question, [00:23:30] and I think a may go into this in a little bit more detail in this case studies here, as a matter of fact. But actually what we've seen is a fairly positive response. And a lot of it has to do with the current self-service path that exists today. A lot of people view IVR ... I know IVR is a helpful resource for organizations and [inaudible 00:23:55] customers as well as implementing some self-service capabilities with an IVR. [00:24:00] But the problem is, a lot of customers perceive IVR as just a road blocker. So what will happen, a majority of the time, is a customer will either zero out. And then at that point in time, the customer has connected with a customer service representative with no information, no background about who they are or where they came from.

So they see the IVR technology as a road blocker. But with Visual IVR, [00:24:30] what we see is a fairly high level of opt in, and we'll go into a little bit more detail here in the case studies.

Steve Hurst: Okay, so it's unblocking the road then, basically, as far as the customer's concerned? If you use that analogy.

Dylon Mills: Right.

Steve Hurst: Yeah, okay. So, well, that's that question, Andrew from E. ON. I hope Dylon's answered it for you. I'm sure [inaudible 00:24:52] to answer the question. And please do keep those questions coming in, because as I said, at the top of the webinar, any questions we don't get the chance to answer [00:25:00] in the 45 minutes today, we will answer afterwards. So please keep those questions coming in. And back to you, Dylon, on the case studies.

Dylon Mills: Thank you, Steve. So the first case study here has to do with Turk Telekom. I think many of you are familiar with Turk Telekom. If you're not, they are a large telecommunications company located in Turkey. I apologize, slide is not advancing. Just one second.

Steve Hurst: We've [00:25:30] had Turk Telekom present at one of our events in the past, a few years ago. So we know them very well.

Dylon Mills: Perfect. Okay. So they were very interested in improving the customer experience. And after a short investigation, as I mentioned before, what they did identify is that an overwhelming number of their customers were still using the traditional channels. So their customers were either connecting with them [00:26:00] by phone, email, or chat. And even though they implemented a very comprehensive mobile application, the adoption of this mobile application was lacking at the time. They wanted more of their customers to adopt their mobile application. They wanted more of their customers to attempt to service some of these issues that they were having, or some of these questions that they had before connection [00:26:30] with a resource within their customer service organizations.

So they decided to implement Visual IVR. And just some of the results that they saw after implementation was ... And keep in mind that at the time these numbers had been collected, the solution had only been implemented for a number of months. But they received a total of 3.6 million calls following implementation of Visual IVR. [00:27:00] And they found that 50% of their customers, half of their customers calling, would actually opt in to that visual experience.

Steve Hurst: That's a good conversion rate. Yeah.

Dylon Mills: Very good. And as a result of opting into that visual experience, what they found what that, overall, they were able to achieve 75 self-service adoption. So those customers not only calling, but [00:27:30] the other customers that actually did attempt self-service to begin with, they were able to achieve, overall, a 75% self-service adoption rate following the implementation of visual IVR. The cost savings right up front, right immediately following implementation, was around 5% with a projected 10% overall cost savings at year end. And then [00:28:00] self-service itself increased 30%. So the self-service rate, they compared Visual IVR to the traditional IVR solutions that they had in place. And what they found was that self-service, in general, improved or increased 30% over the traditional IVR solutions that they have in place.

And then finally, the last statistic that was collected here was around 81% of the customers [00:28:30] that utilized Visual IVR solution would actually recommend a solution to other customers. They had a positive experience.

Steve Hurst: Very impressive. Yeah.

Dylon Mills: The next one here, I can't mention the name of the company, but I can mention that it's a Fortune 50 software company based in the United States. And they do business business to business, as well as business to consumer markets. [00:29:00] And what they identified, or what they were looking for a solution ... The solution that they were looking for had to do with automating a lot of the services that were provided when a customer would call a retail store. So when a customer would call a retail store, the services that were provided to them at that time by a salesperson at that retail store were [00:29:30] services like Wizmo, where's my order, scheduling an appointment, locating their nearest store. And then inventory, assessing that the inventory that was within that retail location, as well as some troubleshooting aspects, and then activation and renewal. So these were use cases that they wanted to try and automate.

[00:30:00] Because they were finding that a lot of their salespeople, sales representatives within their retail location were spending a lot of time on the phone assisting customers that were calling due to these use cases. So following the implementation, what we found was that, overall, by automating these processes, 99% customer satisfaction. So customers were very happy with this automated [00:30:30] process. Instead of having to wait on hold to connect with a sales representative that was too busy to really answer their question, to service their needs at the time. There was a 99% responding of customer satisfaction following implementation of the automation that was put into place.

And then a 70% reduction in customer effort due to the visual aspects of the ability to navigate through the visual screens. [00:31:00] 11% overall increase in self-service. And this is the big number here. So the organization, overall, following the implementation of our solutions was able to achieve $4.5 million in savings annually. Through the automation, through removing the sales representatives from having to manage a lot of these processes that could be [00:31:30] very simply automated.

Steve Hurst: How long have you been working with the organization for, Dylon? Is that for a few years now?

Dylon Mills: This one is for a few years now. The majority of our implementations are within the United States, but we have started expanding outside of the United States. But this one, I believe we have been working with this one for about three years now.

Steve Hurst: Okay, [00:32:00] yeah. Was a great saving. Yeah.

Dylon Mills: Absolutely. And then just towards the bottom here, a couple things that I wanna mention here is two months implementation. It only took us two months to implement the solution. And then they were able to achieve an ROI within three and a half months. Very fast implementation, very fast ROI.

Steve Hurst: Yeah.

Dylon Mills: And then here are, following the interactions that customers take place in, some of these responses that we received, [00:32:30] some feedback that we received about the new interaction. So finally, this one, another organization that I can't reference the name of, but I can say that it's a Fortune 100 health insurer in the United States. They also had a number of use cases that they wanted to automate. So use cases around finding a doctor, billing. They wanted their customers [00:33:00] calling to have the ability to assess any payments that they have outstanding as well as make a payment on any payments that are outstanding, filing, and also viewing the status of claims. Claims that were submitted to the health insurer. And then also, the ability to not only view their ID card if they don't have their ID card on them through this application, but as well as do other management aspects, like [00:33:30] request a new ID card if needed.

So following implementation of automating these use cases, these are the results that we see. I probably don't need to walk through all of these here, but you can see the use cases.

Steve Hurst: [crosstalk 00:33:52] increase in customer satisfaction and the saving, which is surely the holy grail for all of us working in customer engagement business.

Dylon Mills: [00:34:00] Absolutely.

Steve Hurst: Yeah.

Dylon Mills: I think this is a good time to pause for any other questions.

Steve Hurst: Yeah, we've got one question, actually. It's just a comment, actually, and I noticed it on one of your ... I think it was the first case study on Turk Telekom, you mentioned MPS score, or an MPS related score of 81%. Laura from [inaudible 00:34:28] says that she doesn't think that's the [00:34:30] actual MPS score because it's a percentage rather than actually a rating. Do you remember the slide that we're talking about there, with Turk Telekom and MPS score? 81%.

Dylon Mills: Right. And I think that was a mistake on my part. That actually isn't MPS because MPS would be a rating [crosstalk 00:34:49]

Steve Hurst: But certainly, it sounds like a very high score, whatever it was, anyway.

Dylon Mills: Yes, it is.

Steve Hurst: So hopefully, Laura, that ... I didn't know that myself [00:35:00] actually, but as you can tell from what you said, the Turk Telekom case study, seeing positive results, yeah? Dylon?

Dylon Mills: Okay, yeah.

Steve Hurst: Okay, thank you. Yeah, question from Donna from customer insight management and computer center. Thanks for the question, Donna, how does the solution deal with the call when the user is dialing in from a desk phone rather [00:35:30] than a smart phone?

Dylon Mills: That is a great question, and today, within that carrier lookup, within that device lookup that takes place up front, we are able to identify if, for example, a customer is calling in from a desk phone. So in that particular situation, the visual experience is not offered to the customer that is calling in from a desk phone.

Steve Hurst: Okay.

Dylon Mills: The [00:36:00] customer, at that point, would take the process of following the voice IVR that the organization already has in place.

Steve Hurst: Okay. Thanks for that. Thanks for the question, as well, Donna. A question here from Larry McAteer from Northern Ireland Water. Larry's a project manager there. [inaudible 00:36:22] of protection, is the cloud based in the USA, or the UK, or Europe in terms of their solution?

Dylon Mills: [00:36:30] So that's a great question. We actually work with a number of cloud vendors. Amazon is probably our largest. And that one is US based, but they also have locations globally. The answer to the question is we work with you to identify the best path forward. So it's a cloud based solution, is what you're looking for. We work with the nearby cloud vendor. And [00:37:00] that vendor that is located within whichever region that you're interested in. But we also provide the ability to deploy on premise as well. If you're interested, or have the proper resources available to you, we can also deploy on premise, as well.

Steve Hurst: Okay, thanks for that, Dylon. If we want to get back now, you're close to the end of your presentation. I want to [00:37:30] get back to the presentation and we'll take one or two more questions before we close at 45 past the house.

Dylon Mills: Okay. So the next thing here is just a summary of what I already through. So I won't go through it again. But essentially, what we recommend here is to improve the self service experience, improve the success of that self-service experience as well as try the adoption of those digital resources [00:38:00] that you currently have in place. Drive efficient customer care, so make the agent's life easier by unifying their desktop, by providing guidance, by providing automation. And then finally, implement that back office automation that will allow you to respond to the customer a lot faster, a lot easier. And we provide this ability, the ability to implement all three of these along the customer journey through a single platform, [00:38:30] as I mentioned before.

Designing and developing one interaction from start to finish that can be utilized across the entire journey that the customer partakes in.

Steve Hurst: Okay.

Dylon Mills: With that, we can address more questions, if you would like.

Steve Hurst: Thanks for that. That was great. Great presentation and I learned a lot from it myself. I was interested personally actually by you mentioned most of the implementations, the [00:39:00] ones that we talked about today as US. But you talked also about becoming more involved in other territories, such as Europe, I'm sure. Can you talk a bit about some of those plans to be more active in Europe?

Dylon Mills: So we are fairly active in Europe. We have a number of representatives that focus in that area. Me being [00:39:30] myself, I'm based here in the US, so that's what I'm really familiar with.

Steve Hurst: Yeah.

Dylon Mills: But in the event that you are interested, I can absolutely connect you with a representative with an organization. And speak in much greater detail about that area of focus.

Steve Hurst: So the delegates on the call today would have access to whatever is happening at Jacada. I just wanted to make sure that was okay. And that's great news for our [00:40:00] delegates, I'm sure. Dylon, you've gone through a lot today, and it's a big topic. So the whole area of accelerating customer experience and using this adoption is a big topic. Are there a couple, one or two nuggets, of advice you would give for organizations, to people who are on the call today, how to get started? So there are couple of must do's and a couple of must don'ts, [00:40:30] if you like. I think that would really help our audience in the decision making.

Dylon Mills: Yeah, so what I would say is start small. And focus in on that first area that I spoke about, the digital adoption digital resources. The first point of contact, the first area along the customer journey. Focus in on that particular area and develop out [00:41:00] an implement solution that increased the likelihood that your customers will utilize and successfully utilize those self service resources. The second part of that question, the don't aspects.

Steve Hurst: Yeah, what shouldn't our audience do?

Dylon Mills: So don't start by trying to ... And this goes back to what I just mentioned. Don't start [00:41:30] by trying to implement the full suite. Don't try and implement, what you want to do is focus in on a particular area and make sure that that area that you're focusing in on is comprehensive and complete before moving on to the next section. So don't try and improve the entire customer journey right up front, focus in on a particular area and make sure that that area is well served [00:42:00] before moving onto the next section.

Steve Hurst: Okay, thanks for that. And one of the implementations, one of the cases of implementation in two and a half months. Is that typical or was that particularly fast implementation?

Dylon Mills: So that one in particular was a fairly fast implementation. But what we do see in general is a range from anywhere to about a month to anywhere [00:42:30] from about six to nine months. So all of our implementations fall somewhere in between this range. So about a month or a few weeks to somewhere between six to nine months is where our implementations generally fall in between.

Steve Hurst: Thanks, Dylon. Another question here Chris Reed at BT. Thanks for the question, Chris. Something I'd like to know as well, is there a video anywhere that Chris could view of a digital IVR, [00:43:00] how it works. Do you have that at Jacada?

Dylon Mills: Absolutely. We do. It's available on our website, but I can following this webinar, provide a link to view that video.

Steve Hurst: I think Chris would appreciate that. Yeah.

Dylon Mills: Absolutely. If you're interesting, also on our website, not only a video demonstration of how the solution works, but also you can demo the solution. So we provide a demo center that you can demo the solution and actually [00:43:30] launch an interaction on your mobile device and go through sample use cases associated with just about any industry that are out there. So you can find your industry and perform, or go through sample use cases that will give you a good feeling or understand of just how the solution works and what type of journey your customers will receive in using the solution.

Steve Hurst: Well, that's great news. [00:44:00] And Chris has very kindly included his email address in that question. So I'm sure, Chris, that Dylon, or someone from Jacada will be in touch with you very soon to walk you through that. So it's great that you got that on your website, Dylon. We're almost out of time now. Just moving on to the last slide today. I wanted to thank you, Dylon, again for a great presentation, and also thank Jacada as well for sponsoring today's webinar. [00:44:30] It will be available in about six months after today. So I think there's lots that Dylon went through, so if you want to go back on any of the slides or listen to the webinar again, you're able to do so.

And that will be available on demand for six months from later on today, or tomorrow. I just wanted to, Dylon, you did touch on robotics in your presentation, customer robotics, and I just wanted to draw attention to an event we've got upcoming on November the 29th looking at customer [00:45:00] robotics and AI. We've got some interesting case study presentations at that event, so it'd be great to have some of you attend there. And also, our flagship customer engagement summing on the 13th of November. We're expecting 1,000 plus delegates to attend that event. And again, there is a screen there looking at AI and robotics, and there's lots of stuff at that summit around self-service.

So once again, thanks to you, Dylon, for a great presentation. Any last comments from you, Dylon, before we close?

Dylon Mills: [00:45:30] Just thank you very much for having. Thank you everyone for joining and listening in to the presentation. Hopefully, I was able to provide some valuable information today. And if you would like to learn more, don't hesitate to reach out to me or visit our website to learn more about how Jacada can assist you in providing a much improved customer experience.

Steve Hurst: Thank you, Dylon. And thanks everyone for attending. Goodbye.

Sheri: Hello, everyone. This is Sheri, greenhouse managing, partner of CRMXchange. I'd like to welcome you to today's Tech Tank where we're going to look at demonstrations and we're going to discuss all different sorts of technologies of Breakthrough Innovations. Couple of housekeeping items before we begin: this webcast is being recorded, we'll make sure to send [00:00:30] you a link, usually takes about twenty-four hours for the recording to generate. You will receive both a link that will let you look at the recording, and you're always welcome to share that recording with others in your organization. Right next to that recording will also be a PDF of the slides. If you look at your console, you will see a slide deck, you will see the panelists and you'll see a Q and A. We will have [00:01:00] a Q and A at the end of all of the presentations, but if you have any questions during each of the presentations, go ahead, put those questions in Q and A and yours will be one of the first that we ask. There's also at the very end of the presentations a brief survey will pop up, takes about thirty seconds or so, let us know what you thought of these presentations, any [00:01:30] comments, anything at all that you have.

So, today you're going to hear from three companies, Jacada, NICE and UJET. Each one of our presenters has fifteen minutes to talk about why their solutions will absolutely delight your customers. We're going to be doing screen shares with each of these presenters. The first person that's going to do the presentation is [00:02:00] Karen Dobkovsky Abrahami, product manager for Jacada, leading the Bot Framework Solution. Prior to Jacada, Karen worked in product management positions in leading companies in the high-tech industry. Her expertise includes NLP Technologies, Chatbot Solutions, UI and UX Thinking, and Product Launching. Karen, I'd like to turn this over to you.

Karen: Thank you, Sheri. [00:02:30] Hello, everyone. Do you hear me?

Sheri: Yup, you are coming through loud and clear.

Karen: Okay, great. Today I want to talk mainly about what makes Chatbot exceptional. As Sheri said, I am from Jacada. Jacada is out there since 1990, we are leaders in everything [00:03:00] related to contact centers and improving agent work and customer experience. But, I want to talk mainly about Chatbot and what there is out there. We hear a lot of testimonies about grant failures related to Chatbot. In 2016, [00:03:30] the Chatbot that was made by Microsoft and Twitter, it was shutdown after sixteen hours because she became very racist and developed a vicious self-paranoia. They just shut her down because it was too bad. Likely, I heard about Codi, the virtual assistant [00:04:00] by Telstra that had the worst reviews ever, I think about virtual assistant. So, you could read reviews like “Virtual Moron Idiot” and all kinds of very, very bad reviews by consumers.

Obviously, when we talk about Chatbot, we know that there are a lot of solutions out there that are failing, and we don't want [00:04:30] to be there. We are always asking ourself, "What makes a Chatbot exceptional? What makes it good?" In my opinion, I think that it's not only about the NLP or AI, I think that this is only one aspect. Of course, I'm sure that Microsoft, for example who had Ty have great NLP capabilities and wonderful [00:05:00] AI capabilities, but still they had to shut down the bot. So, when I'm looking on Chatbots that are supposed to be consumer-facing, that are supposed to give answers to consumers. The important question in my view is, "Are they really capable of giving the consumer a resolution? Can they give [00:05:30] him an answer, not only to his question like, "When is your office open?" But, to do actions like a real agent can do. If I look on the solution platform that Jacada had, we have a lot of solutions related to agents and self-service for [00:06:00] consumer. I'm going to focus on the Chatbot solutions that we have.

What do we have that makes a bot exceptional? First, we are taking the approach of being NLP agnostic, I can integrate basically with any NLP engine. We're working with status flow, we're working with what's on Wit.ai. We're working with best of grid, then [00:06:30] we are revving the NLP engine with capabilities of integration and automation to any backhand system, so it can be leveraged across all channels, and can be reused very easily. We have very powerful capabilities of integrations and automating flows of agents, automating even actions on [00:07:00] green screens, that don't have API's. Another thing that we do, the integration and NLP service is rep-ed by business agility capabilities. We have a designer that enables you to do any rich UI elements to the Chatbox, it is low coding, even no coding [00:07:30] that enables the business to have more control on the Chatbot, rather than to rely all the time on the IT team, so I don't need to rely on IT teams to develop, right code, I can use the business team to add more intents, to change the response we want to give to the users, so we empower the business team by using our platform. [00:08:00] The last thing is that everything can be reused.

I built the bot once and I can use it in multiple channels, the logic behind it is the same and I can leverage it to any channel I want to use, whether it's a voice channel, text channel, a chat within a website, or Facebook Messenger. So, [00:08:30] how does it work in high-level? I have an input that can come in either from any text channel or from a voice channel by the end user. This input is moving forward to our bot controller. The bot controller is basically a feature that decides always what's going to be the next step. When I get the input from the user, [00:09:00] it's naturally going to the NLP engine, the NLP engine is giving me back the analysis it has, and then the bot controller decides whether the response from the NLP engine is going back to the end user or maybe I want now to have some kind of business logic to go and check [00:09:30] data from any backhand system, CRM of the organization, maybe the user wanted to update his home address?

The NLP engine understood that was his intent, but now, if I want to update it, I need to integrate with the CRM to give the new address and to make sure that in all channels that were needed to update it, I need update, [00:10:00] and then respond back to the user with a response that says, "Your new address was updated, can I help you with anything else?" So, this is how it works in high-level. I think the best is always just to see what we are doing and I'm going to share with you a demo [00:10:30] that I have created, it's for a travel agency and we have "Joe", let's say. He used the DCM Travel to plan his travel. Today, Joe is in Denver airport with his family returning from a vacation. Since the flight was canceled, [00:11:00] someone from the travel agency just sent him an SMS. I'm going to share with you my phone. [00:11:30] So, let's say I am Michael, or I'm Karen. I got this SMS and the SMS said, they're telling me that there is a problem with my flight and [00:12:00] I need to change my travel, so I click on the link.

Now, I have entered the Chatbot and I am reading the message that I got from DCM Travel, and they are letting me know that my flight was canceled, so I need to find a new [00:12:30] flight. Not only for me, but also for my family. They have already my contacts and all the data they need and they're offering me two flights today and tomorrow. Let's say tomorrow is better for me, I have selected this option and they're saying to me, "I have booked your seat and your family is sitting next to [00:13:00] you. Unfortunately your usual Marriott hotel is booked." They know me, they know my preferences. I can use it, one of our strong capabilities in Jacada is the ability to always work with backhand systems like CRM and to extract a lot of data. Then, I can influence the flow of the user and make it really personalized. Now, they're offering [00:13:30] me to maybe order another hotel, so I see have one in Sunset, I have another option and I select this one. Then, they ask me would you like to book a rental car, obviously I'm in the airport, I need to go to the hotel and tomorrow morning I need to go back to the airport, so I might want to check how much it's [00:14:00] going to cost me.

They know I am with my family, so they offer me a full-size car, I have several options here. They look quite expensive and I want to ask. Sorry, something happened to my phone. [00:14:30] I want to ask, "Is it cheaper to Uber?" So, they're telling me click RideGuru to get an estimated price for Uber or taxis. So, when I click on the RideGuru, it just opens me a new tab [00:15:00] and during the uploading, we're not just opening this website, we're also transferring the relevant information of “what is the origin” and "what is the destination", so the client could get the actual prices. He does not need to do the search by himself, because I was able to send over the data. [00:15:30] I see the options and I don't want to use Lyft and Uber seems a little bit expensive and maybe I want to rent a car after all. Let's say, after I did all of this, I still want to talk with an agent, so " [00:16:00] I want to talk with an agent". Nice! So, I got three types of options. I can have a chat, I can call, I can receive a callback.

I want to select the Chat Now option. Okay, what I'm going [00:16:30] to show you now is this is my phone, this is a chat platform that an agent in call centers see. So, the agent sits there and he has a queue of incoming chat and he sees that he got a new request of a chat, so he clicks on start chat. He's waiting and okay, what [00:17:00] he can see now is the history of conversation with this user, so he knows what the user did. That he booked a flight, that he ordered the hotel, he knows the whole story, he has the context and he can start from there. He doesn't need to ask the user those questions again, he has all the information. The user got [00:17:30] a message, "Okay, one of my human associates will be right with you." Let's say now, I am the agent and I will write the user something, "How can I help you?" And here you can see it on my phone, "How can I help you?" Then I can continue with the user, say something like, "I wanted to know [00:18:00] if you will pay for the hotel?"

This way the agent can continue the chat with the user. So, this is the demo and what I want to show you now is how we do it. [00:18:30] In this demo, I have used Static Flow and NLP Engine. Static Flow is by Google. I have defined all the intents, intents are the user's goals, and all the entities within Static Flow. In a very simple and quick way, I have synced all the data, I have defined [00:19:00] in Static Flow in Interact Platform. How I do it is very simple. I have here, the section of Intelligent Assistant, I have, for example, the DCM Travel. You can see I took the developer token from Static Flow and by clicking this button, I can sync all the data that [00:19:30] I have already defined in Static Flow. Now, when I look in the details, I can see all the intents I have defined in Static Flow that are connected to my business logic flows, so it's very easy to do it. [00:20:00] Now, I want to show you how I define a business logic flow.

Sheri: Karen, excuse me one minute, we're going to need to wrap up and go on to the next couple.

Karen: Okay, I'm wrapping up. Okay, so it's very, very, very easy. I can do it in a very quick way, I can design [00:20:30] any business flow that I want, intent flow for condensation, created a flow, and now I can define what's going to be the next step. I can do Wit.ai elements like form, I can drag in a complex [00:21:00] element like choices, I can obviously redefine the labels, I can select the type of display whether I want it as drop-down or buttons or anything like it. Then, I can test everything here in my simulator, it's a very easy and sleek way. This is it. [00:21:30] So, I hope you succeeded to get a glance at what we do at Jacada. Our goal is to enable the process of fulfillment to be much sleeker, much easier, and to empower all the Chatbot's capabilities.

Sheri: Thank you, Karen. Now, we're going to go on to our next presenter, [00:22:00] Adam Aftergut with NICE is a product manager on the WFO team. Adam has over six years in the enterprise software industry. He is responsible for product marketing strategy and sales enablement in connection with WFO product categories. So, Adam I am now going to pass the ball over to you.

Adam: Excellent, thank you very much Sheri. [00:22:30] Here we go, let's see. Excellent, okay. Well, thanks everyone for joining us today and thank you for that intro Sheri. I'll jump right into this and we'll breeze through a series of slides and views of our product. I think it will be quite engaging for you, so my presentation is about adaptive performance management which is NICE's latest, newly released, and [00:23:00] integrated solution for driving employee performance and engagement in the contact center and in the back office. Today, I'll be showing you a series of views of the product, which contain a lot of leading edge and differentiated technology designed to address the challenges of very dynamic contact center and back office environments.

Before jumping into the key presentation, just a very quick plug here, for the second year in a row, [00:23:30] NICE was designated as the number one leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Workforce Engagement Management. The reason this is relevant to the adapted performance management product is that Workforce Engagement Management is actually Gartner's renamed category for what they had previously called, Workforce Optimization and they brought the word engagement in there as a way to define and emphasize this category as being increasingly [00:24:00] focused on the individual employee and this adaptive performance management product is built to personalize the experience for the employee, in both the contact center and the back office. Now just, laying out a framework for you before I get into views of the product.

I wanted to provide sort of a real world example of how to look at performance management and engagement, really. So, if we take a real world example of a goal that any of us might [00:24:30] have in our personal lives, such as running a marathon, we consider, "How do we set up that goal and how do we pursue that goal?" So, we have the goal which we set and which we can quantify. In this case, a marathon and its distance. We have a variety of metrics that are used to both define that goal and then also to measure our progress towards that goal along the relevant dimensions. Further, we have a series of [00:25:00] resources such as, a treadmill, weights, fresh vegetables that are part of our diet, these are resources that we use to drive those metrics towards the goal.

Then, we have programs which apply the resources in such a way that we optimize the pursuit of that goal. Naturally, we can have any number of goals and you have people with different fitness levels, skill levels, [00:25:30] so any type of performance program would ideally be optimized for the characteristics of the person that's pursuing the given goal. Now, moving on, one more slide before we get into the contact center environment. The way that we extend out this concept is thinking of it in the context of a team, where things get a little more complex.

Here, we're talking about a goal at the collective level where we have people that occupy different roles in the team, [00:26:00] different responsibilities, and so they themselves might have their own unique goals, which when taken together as a team with each individual, the team can drive towards that common goal as you see here. Just laying out again, the metrics, the resources, and the various programs individualize for each member of that team to drive towards the common goal. Now, one more, I think this is the last one before getting into the product. Let's relate this to the contact center [00:26:30] environment or the back office environment. Here, we have different team members who could be focusing on different types of calls.

It's the contact center and you might have different role-types. For instance, an agent and a supervisor naturally would be measured along different metrics, might have a different set of tools to assist them in their daily activities and drive towards their goals, and different programs which bring it all together for them. That's really the framework [00:27:00] and then, in this framework, as you can see at the top of the slide, we're going to show you how we relate the components of the adaptive performance management product to this very real world way of looking at [inaudible 00:27:17] transformation engagement and so forth. So, here we are actually looking at the adaptive performance management goal-setting module.

This would typically be assessed, [00:27:30] say an admin or a director, somebody with permission to define the goals for employees and teams. This is a wizard where you would set up in a very user-friendly manner, highly sophisticated goals, and this is the alignment part of goal-setting where you take that high-level, team-level, or organizational-level goal and it can cascade down to the individual team member. So, [00:28:00] what you're seeing here at the top half of the screen is the parent-level goal, if you will, meaning the high-level goal. What you're seeing at the bottom half of the screen here are these derivative goals which roll up to the high-level goals. We can basically set a goal based on underlying statistics.

What you're seeing is a statistical distribution. You can set a goal at a high-level and then it shows you at the component- [00:28:30] level of those derivative goals, where that particular agent or the team would need to be along those various components in order to achieve that high-level goal. Now, moving on to driving that goal. We're going to go through a variety of resources. First of all, just look here at the metrics, as you can see, this is a very modern looking user interface and adaptive performance management. This is the supervisor's view, [00:29:00] by the way this is a product that's been released, so this is real, this is out there. We just recently released version 2.0 and so, what you're looking at here with the metrics tab being selected, its just high-level metrics, naturally we can get more granular. But you see very user-friendly.

Then, there's a tab on the left hand side you see there called insights where there are being very personalized insights proactively delivered to the supervisor based on what the supervisor needs [00:29:30] to know. We'll see that in just a bit, but we looked at the metrics at a high-level. Now, if the supervisor or manager wants to dig deeper, they can go into a root cause analysis dashboard. This dashboard is powered by our advanced reporting engine and as you can see, for those familiar with advanced reporting products, this is an interactive type of report where you can drill through to different components [00:30:00] for different team members, its an interactive visualization, so you can pretty much drill through and drill across without leaving the single root\cause dashboard page.

Just kind of breezing through here, I should go back here, just another comment is, in the root cause dashboard for any type of KPI, you've got your AHT root cause dashboard, you've got your CSAT root cause dashboard, adherence and so forth. You can directly, [00:30:30] from this root cause analysis, get into actions within the adaptive products, so you can drive coaching, you can drive a knowledge trivia which is an E-learning feature within the product, you can drive group coaching straight out of these- I don't have it in the view right here, but you can click through to initiate coaching or any of those activities, straight out of the root cause page. Here's an example, this is a view from the agent side, if the agent were to receive [00:31:00] a knowledge trivia quiz, so this is an interactive E-learning component as

I mentioned and this could be standalone delivery to the agent as a quiz, or it can be easily integrated into a coaching package, so that the agent is getting coaching and something like this quiz could be used as part of the prep for a coaching session and so forth, so there's a lot of flexibility there with the adaptive product. Then moving forward, we have [00:31:30] in the adaptive performance management product, we have the capabilities to measure the impact of these various activities that are occurring in the product, so we can measure the impact, for instance here of coaching activities, and see whether the coaching activity has driven up a KPI or not and which supervisor seems to be running effective coaching sessions [00:32:00] and on which topics and so forth.

This is just a view of one component of the gamification option within the product, where we have a game of five goals in the product which are often called pursuits. Those are associated with points and then to close the loop on that cycle of incentives for the employee, the employee can redeem the points they earn through these game of five goals, shooting [00:32:30] their goals or prints of completing trivia, which can also be associated with points, so they can redeem those points for prizes or if the employer doesn't want to give out monetary prizes, an employee or an agent could redeem points for say, a privilege like a preferred parking space or jeans day or half day off and what have you. Pretty much, the sky's the limit in terms of what our customer wants to set up in the gamification [00:33:00] market place.

Lastly, here in terms of the cycle of insights and actions that I've just provided a snapshot of today, we can see how this comes full circle where the goal is of course achieved, that is the purpose of the solution and you're seeing here now the insights tab, this is in the director's view, where a personalized insight is delivered to the user, in this [00:33:30] case again, the director who sees that her underling, the supervisor that reports to her, that person's team has achieved their team-level CSAT goal. This brings a full circle, so again, the solution is aligning goals of individuals toward the common objective and then its driving the goal through a variety of very powerful capabilities both on [00:34:00] the reporting side as well on the action-oriented side such as, with the coaching and the trivia and the gamification and so forth. With that, I conclude. As I said, the product is out there and we're certainly very happy to discuss it further with customers who believe this is a fit for them and I'll hand it back to you, Sheri.

Sheri: Thank you, Adam. Now, we are going to go to our final presenter for today Jordan [00:34:30] MacAvoy, VP of marketing for UJET. As VP of marketing, Jordan focuses on demand generation, product marketing, marketing communications, field marketing, and awareness. Prior to joining UJET, he served in executive roles at Funbox, a Forbes net-billion dollar company and Demandforce, which was acquired by Intuit in 2012. So, now I'll turn this over to Jordan.

Jordan: Awesome, thanks Sheri [00:35:00] and thanks everybody for joining today. I'm not going to talk much about myself, since Sheri just gave me a lovely introduction. What I will say is I'm very passionate about how technology can help businesses provide better experiences to their customers and today, we're going to talk about UJET, which is a real-time communications platform and how we're doing just that. I'm going to start with a statement, that customer support is the most intimate form of a brand experience. [00:35:30] Right? You think about the relationships that you have with goods and services and the companies that provide them. You've had really great experiences when it comes to getting customer support and that's probably solidified brand loyalty, you become a much more valuable customer to them.

You probably also had experiences where maybe they'd fallen a little short and it shaped your perception in your view of that company and also your propensity or likelihood to work with them in the future. So, that's [00:36:00] critically important for us to just think about customer support as the tip of the spear when it comes to relationships with customers. The reality is that we have room for improvement here, so sixty-two billion dollars is lost each year due to poor customer service and at UJET, we actually believe that it doesn't need to be that way. Our focus is, "How do we work with the businesses that are our customers to help them provide great customer service and really make that their differentiator.

[00:36:30] The focus for us is, "How can we use technology and how can we marry that with what modern customers are looking for and deliver delightful customer experiences?" We also think about agents and supervisors in this equation and how can we empower them to really solve the problem that customers bring to them in a more timely fashion. Before I jump into get into the product, I want to just throw three core ideas out there when it comes to how you can understand [00:37:00] today's customer. One, we're living in a smartphone era. Two, the on-demand economy is really shaping customer expectations. Three, customers are more empowered than ever to spread the sentiment of their interactions with your business and you need to be very mindful of it because it can be incredibly powerful and it can also create issues.

There are more than three billions smartphones floating around the planet, you can [00:37:30] think about a smartphone as a super computer that lives in your hand. It can do a tremendous amount from a technology perspective and the reality is, is as the ubiquity of smartphones rose, there are more and more households that are becoming cellphone-only households and that becomes their primary device and their primary mode of communication. As you think about how customers are contacting you, you need to be mindful of this macro trend. The second thing I want to bring up [00:38:00] is the on-demand economy. It's here and it's resetting customer expectations for what service level should be. This isn't just for millennials, this is something that is gaining rapid adoption across all demographics, all ages, all geographies.

We're just getting started there, it's a fifty-seven billion dollar market and we're only about ten percent of the way into it. But, think about [00:38:30] your access to the on-demand economy. I have some logos up here, I can do my banking through a banking app, I can get a ride somewhere and get access to transportation through an app, I can get groceries delivered to my house, I can access media. If I have an issue and I need to schedule an appointment with a doctor, I can go on and research and figure out who I think is the best person to solve my needs and I can also schedule an appointment and if after that I need to pick up a prescription, I can actually manage [00:39:00] all of that without ever leaving the palm of my hand.

So, again this has really reset customer expectations for what service-level should be. The last thing I would say is, your customers are empowered and they have a strong and a loud voice when it comes into how they are connecting with the broader world. They have social networks like Facebook, which already has billions and billions of users, where they can tap into their [00:39:30] social graph. We have networks like Twitter, where people are interacting both with their direct connections, as well as a much wider audience. They have review sites where people can go and they can leave their experiences for others to see in a synchronized fashion, and we as companies who serve customers, we really need to think about how the voice of a customer can have a direct and immediate impact on your brand.

It's very important for us to realize that because again, you think about [00:40:00] the customer service experience being that intimate form of a brand experience, well two seconds after that phone call ends or that chat ends, somebody can take that experience and they can publish it out for hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, sometimes even millions of people to see. So, I think that we believe one, support shouldn't be thought of as a cost equation, it needs to be thought of as an experience equation. And two, if you do that there is real business benefits. [00:40:30] Seventy percent of customers say they will be more loyal, forty-two percent will recommend your company to others, forty-nine percent will use you more frequently, and nearly seventy percent will spend more money with you.

There is a great benefit to providing great experiences to your customers. We believe there's a better way to be engaging with your customers, it's called UJET and I'm going to introduce you to UJET. One, UJET is a [00:41:00] real-time communications platform and our goal is to make it as easy as possible for customers and businesses to connect and get problems solved faster. We don't believe there's a one size fits all solution, but we believe we can help customers and the agents that are serving them navigate those waters more effectively. We approach this from a few core principles, one is we have a simple and intuitive interface, two is we want to make it flexible and easy to use, but we also know that reliability should be a guarantee and not an option and [00:41:30] in today's world security should be top of mind for everybody.

We're both SOC 2 and HIPA certified, and our platform delivers best in class return on investment. From a super high-level, we have a cloud-based interface that agents and supervisors engage in, you can connect over voice and chat, through both web, in-app, as well as through traditional phone lines. We have a really robust back in infrastructure with modern APIs [00:42:00] that let you do things like tap into reporting data sources so you can get access to data in real-time. I'm going to jump into our product demo to get started. When you log in, this is what you would see, this is a demo portal. But, again, you get the real-time communications platform and what we're doing is we're trying to make it easier for problems to be solved. We're an enterprise-grade solution, we're cloud-based, [00:42:30] we can serve contact centers with hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of agents, but we were built with today's customer in mind.

We're also built understanding that there are major friction points and pain points with existing solutions today, so again, reliability should be a guarantee, it should not be an option. System compatibility, when you think about all the various systems that you use, we actually have taken a more holistic approach. We want to be a single-solution [00:43:00] that allows you to navigate those different waters when it comes to the customer experience so you can actually consolidate a lot of what you're doing directly into the UJET solution, direct out of the box CRM integrations, its very, very simple and intuitive to use, which I'll show you in a second, so training times can be reduced and again, we're SOC 2 and HIPA certified.

In today's modern environment, thinking about InfoSec and your compliance, it's [00:43:30] a critical function. So, I'm in the dashboard right now, this is what a supervisor or administrator would see. I'm going to show you three things today. I'm going to show you IVR, I'm going to show you a mobile experience, because again, we have our mobile FDK which embeds directly into your mobile application, and I'm going to show you our reporting interface. Just to get started, to get into our IVR queue setup, [00:44:00] I just click on settings, I click on queues, now with one click of a button I can see the existing menu structure, again this is all done in real time, there's no IT person or developer that you to need to call in order to do this.

If I want to add a new item to the queue, I'm going to go in, move this up, and I'm going to add a new item, we'll call it CRMx or CRMxchange, [00:44:30] we're going to call it UJET. When I click done, now when my customers call in, after I assign some agents to it, I'm going to put our sales team on this one. Now, when I assign agents to it, when my customers call in and they select CRMx and UJET, they're going to be directly [00:45:00] routed to our sales team. So, please call in and talk to our sales team, we'll talk a little bit more about that in a second. This is how simple it is to set up a new IVR in queue. Again, no longer do you need an IT person or developer to kind of get in there and help with configuration, it's really intuitive, it's drag and drop, you can get somebody trained on this in minutes, not hours or days.

The next thing I want [00:45:30] to show you, is actually the mobile experience, so let me go back here. So, just to set this up real quick. On the right here, this is actually my cell phone and the way you should imagine this is I'm the customer and I'm calling in to a support organization. On the left here, this is a Zendesk in sent ticketing system and so the support agents on the other side would be using that. [00:46:00] This is the UJET widget that sits inside of there. So, if I open up my phone, I would be inside the app, say my banking app or my online ordering app, I would click "Contact Customer Support", I get into the queue. You'd see that CRMx is inside of the queue. It's something that we added, if you make updates to the queue, it will manifest itself in a real-time update in what the customer [00:46:30] sees.

When I click next, I'll get the sub-menu of UJET and so now as the customer I have three options. I can either chat, I can schedule a call, if I need to get called back at a more convenient time, or I can call now. I'm just going to click call now, and so you see here what the agent would see on their desktop as they see the UJET widget showing the big red button, click the answer, starting the pickup time, [00:47:00] now this starts pulsing because I'm past my FLA, so I'm going to go ahead and answer that, put that on mute. So now, the customer and agent are connected. The cool thing about UJET is we have these things called Smart Actions and Smart Actions allow you to reduce a lot of these friction points that both extend average handle time as well as cause [00:47:30] an inconvenience for the customer, things that make the customer experience much less pleasant.

For example, instead of asking first, last, last four digits of social security, mother's maiden name, and last two addresses, I can simply click get verification, we do facial recognition, you can do thumbprint identification like you do to open up your cell phone. Or you could use the touch pad. Again, these are friction points that just add time [00:48:00] to the call and we believe that we can use technology to solve a pretty standard issue which is, "Why do I have to go through this whole rigamarole of explaining all this stuff multiple times. In this example lets say I received an order from a retailer and I thought the object was damaged. So, the agent can say, "No problem, you know what I'd love. I'd love to just get [00:48:30] a photo from you so I can pass it on to my quality assurance team.

So, they're going to click request a photo, the customer then is going to click take photo, I just took a photo from my cellphone, which you can see on the right side. I'm going to send that along, and here in the agent ticketing system, we can actually see that that photo's come through and I am able [00:49:00] to pass this on to my QA team to show them that, "Hey, the corner of this table actually came through damaged," and then I can tell the customer, "Really sorry about that, we're going to get a new one shipped out to you and I'll also be sending you a return label." Customer says, "Great. Great experience." We're going to click "Done". Now, it's wrap-up time, we're also going to track that in the system, but on the customer's side you can see we're actually capturing [00:49:30] CSAT.

I'm going to say this was a five-star experience, my problem got resolved very quickly, when I submit, the other thing we're doing is we're tying it into social and so, here this customer can actually share the great experience that they had over either Facebook or Twitter, and extend out this great, positive experience to their social network and help with brand building. So, that's the mobile experience. I [00:50:00] have one more thing that i want to show you very quickly, which is our dashboard. So, I want to wrap-up here with the dashboard. This is the hub of your call center operation, it allows you to manage it, and what we provide you is we provide you with real-time access to the data that you need in order to run the operation.

So, you can go through this and you can see how you're performing from a service-level perspective, you can see what wait times look [00:50:30] like, abandon rates, get access to your average CSAT ratings, all sorts of information allow you to identify trends, diagnose issues, we have things in here like our hot issue section, which if you see a spike in a certain queue, you can actually go and assign more agents to that queue to address real-time peaks or challenges that are coming through. The other cool thing and I don't have time to go through this today is many of [00:51:00] these elements are clickable, you can get in and you can get another level of detail on that specific TPI. This information, it's very robust, the greatest part about it is there's no data engineer or sequel queries required to get access to it, it's in real-time, it allows you to act immediately, you're not seeing issues that come up today and you get reports tomorrow that help you identify that there was an issue the day before.

[00:51:30] The other thing is we also have APIs that allow you to get access to data in real-time for either your reporting or your BI tool. So, it's a very robust way for you to actually be able to look at what's going on in your call center or your contact center. Look at it for insight and actually be able to act on what those insights are, in real-time. So, that's a very quick overview of UJET, what I would say is [00:52:00] that's a very small portion of what we do, if those three areas that I focused on looked interesting to you, we would love to talk to you. We do have a case study, which I'll share the link with you on the next slide on one of our customer spot here, which is the number one parking app in the U.S.

We were able to save them fifty percent on their telephony expenses and help them do a great job when it came to call reduction for banning calls, [00:52:30] as well as reduction in training and overhead and permanent charges on the voice side. The URL is available on the screen. If you're interested in talking to somebody at UJET, you can go to GetUJET.com to reach out to us or fill out a contact us form or just email us at [email protected] and we'd love to talk to you about your needs and how we might be able to help.

Sheri: Thank you, Jordan. We have just a couple [00:53:00] of minutes left for maybe a question or so a piece. So, let's see Jordan. While you were talking, somebody put a question in, I'm going to ask each one of you, keep your answers, cause we're short on time, down to a minute each, so this is going to be a little bit challenging, but there's a lot of talk about OMNI channel, how does [00:53:30] UJET help to create that OMNI channel approach to customer support?

Jordan: Yeah, absolutely. So, we have a fundamental which comes from our founder and CEO that the channel should really be dictated by the complexity and the urgency of the query and so, again I said this earlier, we don't believe in a one size fits all approach and that's the reason why we offer a few different options for customers to be able to engage and [00:54:00] interact with the support organization. So, when we think about OMNI channel, we think about, "What's the issue at hand and is that something where a simple chat could help resolve an issue?

Is it something that's not urgent at all and is a fairly general question or maybe they just email in and we integrate directly into the general picketing system for email, or is it something where, 'I had my wallet stolen and I need to get in touch with an agent [00:54:30] at my bank and I need to do that right away and I don't want to have to jump through twenty minutes of hoops.' You know, how can we create an environment where the complexity and the urgency of the query actually gets the customer to resolutions faster?" That's really how our system's been set up, as well as reducing the distance when it comes to sharing of information.

Sheri: Great, thank you. Adam, there was a question that came in when [00:55:00] you were speaking about integration requirements. Do you have any specific integration requirements or data requirements when you're using the adaptive product?

Adam: That's great question, so our product is architected in the beginning to be agnostic with respect to sources of data, so basically, naturally NICE has a pretty broad portfolio of products and we have predefined integrations that really streamline [00:55:30] the integration process when integrating with other NICE products. Certainly, from the outset, the product is architected to take in data from any source system, whether that's speech analytic data, desktop analytic data, data from the ACD, WFM, so on and so forth. Not a problem at all.

Sheri: Okay, thank you. And Karen, does your app and dashboard [00:56:00] integrate with existing ACD systems?

Karen: ACD systems? Just to make sure what you are referring to, to ACD systems?

Sheri: So, if somebody's looking at an ACD or let's say an IVR, if they have other technologies, how easy is it to integrate with your products?

Karen: [00:56:30] It's very easy, we integrate with any IVR vendors out there. We have other solutions that, by definition, integrate with IVR and with check platforms, we have built-in integration with our platform.

Sheri: Okay, and I'd like to ask each one of you, if you're looking [00:57:00] at ruling out these types of solutions, where does somebody start? So, Jordan, where would somebody get started with UJET?

Jordan: In order to get onboard with our platform, is that your question, Sheri?

Sheri: Correct. Yes.

Jordan: Yeah, a simple phone call or a web inquiry. We have a team here of folks who are waiting to talk to you, they can help [00:57:30] understand the requirements for your business and how UJET can help solve what your pain points are. Then, once customers are on board, we have an entire customer success organization that gives them white glove treatment as far as how to make sure that that process is smooth and that we are tying in to their existing business solutions and how they approach things, in order to implement UJET in a way where its most [00:58:00] accretive to their business.

Sheri: And what's the most important you think people should know about UJET?

Jordan: Yeah, I mean I think UJET, we're a real-time communications' system or platform that is taking advantage of modern technology to make it a better experience for customers. I touched on this during the presentation, I think it's critically important for people to understand that today's customers have changed and the way that they communicate, [00:58:30] the way that they interact, the way that they engage with businesses has changed and there's a revenue component to that, because the stronger the relationship is with the customer and the stronger the brand affiliation is with the customer, the better off you will be. And customer support is a critical component of that. It may not have been twenty years ago, but in this day and age, it is the tip of the spear when it comes to how you can deliver a great return on investment in your business.

Sheri: Thank [00:59:00] you. Adam, getting started with your type of solution, what's the best way to, even when you're thinking about what does a company need to do to prepare as well as what do you want everyone to remember about NICE?

Adam: What I'd like you to remember specifically about my product is that updaptive performance manager and solutions is designed in accents to optimize your use [00:59:30] of the resources, meaning the people resources, on the front line, at the management level, exective level, so the solution is architected to help you optimize there both in terms of proficiency and efficiency. In terms of getting started on a practical level, of course you can reach out to me, you can reach out to NICE, in terms of thinking through your approach, I would say you can start with what kind of culture you want to be driving [01:00:00] in your organization. Most companies have an idea, but a lot of companies are in a state of change these days, moving more towards certain KPIs around customer satisfaction and so forth. I would start with those objections and sort of look inward into whether there are any internal processes in place to drive improvement toward those KPIs and that's how we would get the conversation started.

Sheri: Thank you, Adam and [01:00:30] Karen, same question to you.

Karen: Hi, can you repeat the question?

Sheri: Yes, so if somebody wants to get started, what do they need to do, how do they need to prepare to work with Jacada? Just take thirty seconds or so with that and then another thirty seconds on what's the most important thing you would like them to remember about Jacada?

Karen: Okay, first they need to contact us. [01:01:00] I think that they need to identify what is the most painful place when they're interacting with their end-users, with their customers, and we can do a discovery process to identify the problem and match the perfect solution for them. What I would like them to remember is [01:01:30] that we have a great, easy-to-use platform that enables to solve problems. Both, on the self-services for the agent and on the self-serving for the consumer in a way that it is easy and it's like a Lego part, and you can use all the parts in all of the channels.

Sheri: Thank [01:02:00] you so much. So, thank you to Jacada, to NICE, and to UJET for presenting these solutions and the recording will be available in roughly twenty-four hours or so and you will also get a copy of the PDF of the slides with contact information.

Jonty Pearce: Welcome today formally to our webinar. Today's topic is How to Reduce Inbound Call Volumes. Judging by the number of people who've already dialed in and have registered, it certainly seems to be a topic that is resonating with our audience. I'm delighted to welcome two speakers to today's webinar, first of all, to Phil Anderson from The Forum. Phil, you can be sharing some of the [00:00:30] experience of some of your members today.

Phil Anderson: Absolutely, yes. I've put together a few slides around how to reduce inbound calls, but again, all of this is based upon the years of experience that we've got. It's a constant challenge for our members year-on-year. That seems to be what they need to do. So, yes, I will be talking about that. Thank you very much.

Jonty Pearce: Okay. Excellent. I'm delighted to welcome to his first Call Centre Helper webinar Rich Garrett from Jacada. Rich, if you'd like to introduce yourself, your role, and a little bit about what [00:01:00] Jacada does.

Rich Garrett: Thank you. My name is Rich Garrett. I've been in the customer experience and call automation, call deflection contact center space since about 2002. Currently, I am Director of Solutions Consulting in Pre-sales for Jacada. At Jacada, we deliver solutions that accelerate the customer experience in order to drive both self-service improvement, generating cost reduction, as well as improve revenue, and overall deepen the relationship that enterprises have with their customers. [00:01:30] I've put together a few slides today that will hopefully show you how some of the technology we bring to bear can help with those things.

Jonty Pearce: Excellent. Also, if you want to see a replay today, it will be on callcentrehelper.com/recorded-webinars by an hour after we start. If you're not already logged into the chat room, it's a callcentrehelper.com/chat. It is a separate window, so if you open up the chat room, log in, put it [00:02:00] on one side of your screen, put the webinar on the other side. That's what most people tell me they use.

Added advantage to being logged into the chat room is that you can also download the webinar slides from there. So once you're logged in you'll see this little link on the top right-hand side and you can get both Phil and Rich's slides from there. There is added advantage, you can type your tip or question into the bottom of the screen. Use #Tip, [00:02:30] if you have a tip, or, #Question, if you have a question, and we can separate those out.

There is an added advantage, we're running a little prize draw today for this lovely bottle of champagne or if you prefer a box of chocolates [inaudible 00:02:45] we can ship that off instead. I will be picking the winning tip at the end of the webinar and actually have that live before we finish.

We'll just get going, we're asking the question [00:03:00] in the chat room. In a few words, what is your view on chatbots, FAQs, and virtual assistants? We've got some interesting comments coming through. Christy said she saw a great demo of where FAQs can be used with social media to provide an automated response, which is good for consistency but human approval was needed to release it to the customer. It sounds like good example of both the personal touch and [00:03:30] automation.

Craig warns, "Don't try to eat the elephant whole, use data on transactions to ensure your modeling FAQs and chatbots transactions accordingly. Do it continually, constantly manage, and review." So I guess that's always a challenge when stuff doesn't get reviewed. We were talking just before the webinar started about some of the dangers if you're not [00:04:00] reviewing that. You can keep those responses coming into the chat room.

Just going to launch a poll before we get going. I just want to ask the question about, why do you need to reduce call volumes? If you just like to vote, and you can vote on more than one thing, is it cost pressures? Is it because you're struggling to achieve service levels? Is it because you need to improve the customer experience? Is it because you need to move callers to self-service? Or is that you've [00:04:30] got broken processors that you need to fix?

Perhaps you picked the top couple or top three that apply to you. Phil, which one do you expect is likely to come up to top one?

Phil Anderson: I've got a feeling it's going to be cost pressures, at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if struggling to achieve service levels features quite highly as well.

Jonty Pearce: Well, let's have a look at the results. We'll share those up on the screen now. [00:05:00] It looks like the reasons for is actually improving the customer experience is top there. Moving customers to self-service, that's a little surprising for me there.

Rich, what's your view on that?

Rich Garrett: Both of those are surprising to me as well, but heartening to see. Customer experience, I think, is critical for enterprises as they implement technologies to drive cost reductions and improve service levels, and shift callers from [00:05:30] long, costly, laborious interactions to more efficient and intuitive interactions. But it's some interesting results there for sure.

Jonty Pearce: Indeed. Surprisingly, cost pressures come in at number three, struggling to achieve service levels is number four, and the lowest there is the need to fix broken processes. So hopefully, fixing processes is a thing that a lot of people have tried already. I'm just going to pass [00:06:00] the baton now.

Phil, if you'd like to share with us some of your thoughts about what we can be doing to improve or to reduce the number of inbound calls coming into the contact center?

Phil Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much. Yeah, good afternoon everybody. Thank you so much for signing into this webinar this afternoon. Just a quick introduction for myself. My name is Phil Anderson. I am Head of Best Practice at The Forum. Now I am the Program Lead for Professional Planning Forum.

[00:06:30] For those of you who aren't sure, unclear on what the Forum do, we've got three key community, so the: professional planning forum; data, analytics and insights; and quality and customer experience. What we're proud of that we're setting out to achieve is professionalizing these support functions. What we mean by professionalizing, we want to have accreditation for individuals who want standards for the teams and want qualifications. We've got a degree now for each of these key communities with Ulster University. [00:07:00] We also provide training in each of these areas as well. We are a member of organization and our main aim is to acknowledge and recognize the great work that our members are doing and sharing their stories to raise standards in customer operations.

So, yes. Today's webinar, yeah, I was asked by Jonty to put something together around how do we reduce inbound calls. You can see here, with some of the four things that I thought would crop up. I must admit I thought cost might come up a little bit more prominently on that previous poll, because again [00:07:30] it feels like a lot of organizations are under the same annual pressure of doing more with less. Every year it's all about reducing headcount and, again, how's that going to be done? Let's reduce the headcount by reducing the inbound calls and so we won't need as many people.

Second to that becomes customer experience and choice, channel of choice. I think these are the important ones. Again, it's good that they feature quite highly in that poll because, again, from a customer experience, [00:08:00] it's sometimes seen that we wanna remove some of the unnecessary inbound calls. Therefore, we need to find appropriate alternatives so that certain people have a better experience, better interaction with our organization, and hopefully do more with less effort.

Yes, there's an awful lot of elements around choice, channel of choice. I think it's important that we don't force a customer down a channel just because we feel that's more appropriate for us. What I think is important is that we provide options for customers because, yeah, people are doing [00:08:30] things via the mobile phones now and, therefore, they want to be able to do things in different ways than the traditional voice channel.

The other thing that I thought I'd raise on this one is about colleague experience. I think often our people, our foot line advisers who are taking calls know the most. Actually, we don't pull upon their strength enough to say actually, "Can we reduce some of these things by maybe working at process changes?"

Again, for those wanting to improve service levels, I've put this little quote at the bottom here taken from one of our articles around analysis [00:09:00] and understanding of our customer, along with the volatility of our workloads, can help us actually get a better strategy around handling our contacts in the first place. Because actually sometimes it's just poor planning that is causing us to look like we're actually taking more calls than we probably should.

Yeah. I'm gonna have a quick look at four areas here, which for me are four key steps that we need to look at if we want to reduce our inbound calls. The starting point is to know where our calls are coming from. Then, [00:09:30] to ask ourselves what do we want? Because, actually, yeah, you might start moving people to one thing, but actually, that creates a problem. That could actually make things worse for you. So it's really important we understand that sort of scissor effects. Truly understand what are the alternatives and then again, yeah, understand the impact, because again you can be robbing Peter to pay Paul if you make the wrong decisions.

Think of that first question, where are your inbound calls coming from? I can see [00:10:00] there's quite a variety of organizations dialed in today. So there'll be all different types of calls will be coming from different ways, but typically, there will be some sort of cyclical and seasonality involved in there. You'll have different times of the year that'll be busier than others. I think it's important that we understand why that is.

I know many years ago, those in the water industry would find that the annual building was particularly busy. But now as more homes have gone to water meters, actually, that [00:10:30] peak is now spread out amongst the year, so therefore, they don't have that surge in demand. Likewise, another big example of something that happens annually is with UCAS. So every year in August, the third Thursday in August whereby the A level results come out and it's clearing. A number of years ago, I think it's about 2010, 2011 they really got hit and really got caught out with those calls. But since then they've managed that peak better by doing different things and that's controlled the inbound calls, inbound contacts [00:11:00] as it is now. We're using the different channels and, therefore, they're able to deal with that surge in demand.

I think it's really important that we do map out all of those busiest times. Think annually, then take it down to your month as well to find if there's a monthly pattern in there, then look at the weekly profile as well, busiest day of the week, and then take it down to the busiest hour of the day as well, in some instances. Because again, all of these things are gonna help us to be able to plan. So always think of the known knowns. If we know people are going to call and we know when it's going to happen, [00:11:30] we need to do something with it or do we need to take it somewhere else?

Now other reasons people could be calling you are things like regulatory or security and compliance perspective. It could be from a launching of a new product or changing price. Again, this is an interesting one on changing price because you may be changing your costs or sales, also consider your competitors as well because that obviously could impact the market. You've obviously got marketing as well.

There's other external factors like the weather. [00:12:00] Also just think PESTLE as well, in terms of political, economical, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that could influence your business. Then, finally a little point down here at the bottom, we've got confusion. Customers are confused with complexity either with the process or with the literature or within the marketing, or something that's been sent out and customers can't find the answer. Again, too often when customers are in that situation they're still thinking about calling you [00:12:30] because they want an instant reply. Also, it's very important to remember that customers do like to interact with other humans to get these answers.

Again, as a starting point, do really understand where all your inbound calls are coming from. From that, you can then start to say, actually, do we want all of these? Which calls do we want? Which calls do we to stop, that are just completely unnecessary? What are the alternatives? If people are wanting to reach out to us, what are the alternatives for them and how [00:13:00] can we control those?

Let's have a little think about some of those then. Again, process changes are often one of the things that can really support the customer journey. Again, once you'd looked at planning where all your calls come from, then also look at that end-to-end customer journey. When we talk about end-to-end customer journey, we're thinking about actually before the customers even thought of you, okay, how are they understanding how to contact you as a business? How are they getting [00:13:30] first understanding where your brand name is there, if it's sales or service? Then, how easy is it for them to contact you? What is the literature and the information, communication like that that they received or how they know how to interact with you in the future?

Really do map all of that out, from the start of that journey to the end. If there's a renewal cycle in there, how to get repeat business from them? Do think of all of those. Do think all the way across that journey. What happens at the end as well. If at the end, is it easy for them than [00:14:00] to drop? Or actually do you spend as much effort on trying to get rid of a customer because actually they need to close down accounts and speak to multiple departments. So you need to think of the process from an inbound call perspective. You also need to think about the back office as well.

One great example from one of our public service organizations a couple of years ago, who used to typically see calls queuing in their inbound section and take people from the back office to answer the calls in the inbound. Well, actually those calls were being driven because the back office was understaffed. They knew that if their back office service [00:14:30] level reached, exceeded 10 days, people were now calling. That was interdependency. So it's really important to understand processes.

One of the alternatives, again, could be around introducing something like self-serve or introducing different channels. Again, self-serve like IVR can be very, very useful. I know a number of the telephone communications organizations had brought in self-serve for mobile photo op because actually it's very transactional. Customers [00:15:00] wanted to just dial in, pay 10 pound, 15 pound, whatever, and then use their phone again. Very, very simple. There's no need for human interaction in that example.

Other great examples of companies using natural IVR. I know TalkTalk, one of our Innovation Award finalists back in 2014, whereby they use natural language where customers could ring up and just say what was their issue, what was their account details, and then using intelligent information about where their customer CRM system. They understood [00:15:30] what products they already had, so therefore, what could some of the issues be.

Therefore, they would have to give them the right message. Here, let's say, there's an outage in their area, that may be the reason why they're calling. We say no need to go to the area. At the same time, be mindful of things like IVR and websites. They're great when they work. They only add to customer frustration when they've not been reviewed regularly, they're not up-to-date, or they don't provide us the seamless service they require.

[00:16:00] Next thing on here is about predicting our customer behaviors which I think falls into the artificial intelligence piece. But just thinking first about how we can better plan for what our customers are doing. Do we know what those touch points are for when they first contact most? When will they next likely to contact us again? Actually, could we proactively manage that or control it, so therefore, prevent too many inbound calls or too many inbound contacts? So do understand the number of contacts per customer will take.

Yeah. Better planning can support [00:16:30] a reduction in those inbound calls by reducing abandoned calls and repeat calls. Again, taking that one step further.,I think what's going to be really interesting ... It's already started with some organizations, but what we're going to start seeing more is about how artificial intelligence and robotics can really aid that customer journey, and how it really starts to predict those people patterns.

I used the example of Amazon. I think it's an easy example to use because they'd be a lot of Amazon customers, I'm sure listening [00:17:00] here. We have to really know what they do with Amazon. You can then see what things you've been browsing for recently and it even starts flushing up things like, are you ready to purchase this product again?

Now I believe those percentages are quite low and how quick they're getting it. But again, they're going to slowly turn their business is from a buying to a shipping business, to predictive shipping those products, and then you only send back what you don't want, which really just start to turn the customer behavior on its head.

So do think around what the alternatives are. [00:17:30] Don't just jump in thinking, Oh, we need to buy new piece of technology, Oh, we need to introduce new channels. Do think about process customer journey and do think of planning as well.

One of the other things I wanted to talk about was about understanding the impact. Again, we can sometimes get a little excited when it comes about introducing a new piece of technology and the ROI is built on, oh, we're going to reduce number of calls coming in. But actually we really need to understand whether there's gonna be true impact to our customer, our colleagues, and our company.

[00:18:00] Again, I have a couple of examples here about sometimes we want to improve the speed of transaction or interaction because we believe that speed and right first time is gonna improve that customer experience and Net Promoter Score. I think it sounds obvious. It might not do though. We need to be really clear on that. But in doing something like that, that in turn is gonna have a huge impact on the handle time for the calls that can come through to the contact center.

Again, you've got two examples here. One, you could have the dumbling down the role. [00:18:30] Actually, all those good calls that people used to like to take are no longer coming through. You now only got simple, very sort of transactional calls, which again doesn't really give any fulfillment to someone taking those calls. Again, what ends up happening, those people end up leaving so you've now got high attrition than you thought, so now we've got a bigger cost pace to deal with. So you no longer reduce. You may reduce the cost ort improve your cost.

Likewise, if you remove all those simple transactions and, therefore, only complicated calls are going to come in, you end up then with a very [00:19:00] different staffing demographic because, as we all know, low utilization people are gonna cost more. If you've got longer handle times but still got the same service level, people are going to be underutilized because of that random arrival patterns of calls and the variability of those handle times.

Again, these people who now need to know so much information will need additional training and coaching. Again, training programs are going to take longer. That in turn could lead to recruitment being harder [00:19:30] because you now need to find a different type of person you can come in. In terms of competence, it could be much longer.

Again, that sort of scissor effect, I think it can be sometimes called. Actually, it's gonna cost you more because you've not mapped out the true impact in the first instance. Ideally, you're gonna think through all of those. So don't just think about the customer service, which is great if that improves, do think about all those other factors as well. Because what you may decide is actually, though you might want to give 10 out of 10 customer experience, [00:20:00] actually you can only afford eight out of 10 because of the cost to our business and our current infrastructure with our colleagues.

Yes. In sort of summary then, what I think of some of the key things that you need to consider when it comes to reducing inbound call volumes before you go in looking at other of solutions. The first and foremost is to understand how you can plan better. How can you control what you've currently got? How do you understand your customer? Have you got the right [00:20:30] processes in place and the right technology platforms to support that seamless customer journey? Use your people to drive ideas to stop doing the dumb things. Unfortunately, all businesses can be guilty of doing it.

Improve internal processes and improve communication methods with your customer. Once you've done that, you'll get to your baseline. Actually, now where is our baseline? Of course, do we now still need to reduce or does this now open up alternatives for us to provide different channels [00:21:00] of choice? Remember those channels of choice should be led from our customer, not just telling our customer what to do.

Again, we've got a great example. One of our members still uses the fax machine for one of the countries that they deal with because that is the most favorable channel of choice right now. Again, they've got a fax machine in the corner, which you just don't see. Service level 24-hours, you see this sort of paper being printed off every now again. But if that's what the customer wants to do, they need to honor that or they [00:21:30] could lose those customers.

Then, yeah, really consider the impact. Again, what I would strongly recommend is write that problem statements of what is the problem with your current state of calls, then start to understand, actually, what would be a scissor effect if we made the change? Because, ideally, what we're after is that slipstream effects. If we think of the sort of peloton, you know, like a bike at the front, we want that leading the way. So a change in providing maybe a new channel or an alternative way of reducing the calls, [00:22:00] you're providing a slipstream effect, which improves customer service, employee satisfaction, and obviously, business, bottom line, key performance indicators.

Hopefully, I've still got a few minutes, I can share just a couple of other sort of member stories that we've got from this year's Innovation Awards. Legal and General, one of our Innovation Award winners this year. What they did was just harness the ideas from their frontline staff to generate ideas. This in turn improved process [00:22:30] changes which again had a huge reduction in calls. It improved first time resolution. It also improved employee satisfaction. As we all know, happy staff mean happy customers.

Another really interesting case study from Shop Direct. I'm sure people know Shop Direct either through the Littlewoods brand or Very.co.uk. They utilize the insight of their customer. So looking at analytics, looking at actually what that customer was doing in terms of how they use the websites, [00:23:00] even what whereabouts they were looking on a website by using the heat maps to understand how they move their eyes around, how they use the mobile phone and just moving the buttons on mobile phones, for instance, for things like Buy Now. All of those things made for a more seamless customer journey, easier customer journey, and a huge reduction in calls.

Another good example actually is Agon who employed behavioral psychologists, so therefore, their frontline advisors knew [00:23:30] how to deal with different types of inquiries. Because again in some instance, some people needed to have spend longer on a phone call, but actually having one long phone call meant they didn't need to contact again and had a great experience. Again, that influence of ideas reduced calls by 7% overall.

Then, the final one I wanna touch on was, actually our overall winner for this year, which was Three Ireland, a real-time team generated loads of ideas because they could see that their ability to react [00:24:00] to incidences on the day made a huge difference to how they would deal with inbound calls. Again, if there was an incident in an area they would push out appropriate IVR messages or on hold messages. Again, helped reduce calls. But sometimes people needed peace of mind. Again, you've got to take the control, use the data that you have available, really understand your customer, take ideas from your employees, and then understand actually what are the true alternatives that you need.

Just one final slide from [00:24:30] myself is that we've got a conference at the end of this month, one-day conference. We've got the National Planning Conference on the 28th of November. Then, we've got the quality and customer experience and the insight conference on the 29th. Both are in Chesford Grange in the Midlands. Again, hopefully, Jonty will give me the email list at the end that I can send out a little offer to all of you to hopefully come along and experience one of our events, hear from our members, our winners, from our analysts of the year, and team of the year awards, [00:25:00] as well as some interesting workshops, which I think again will help follow on this topic of how to reduce some calls. We've also got some training workshops as well coming up for those who are interested.

Yep. Jonty, hopefully, that was a good little start for you.

Jonty Pearce: Yes, certainly. Thanks for that, Phil. You want to send out onto our post webinar survey when we send that out.

Phil Anderson: Thank you.

Jonty Pearce: Very good takeaways there, I think, Phil. Certainly, I've made a few notes [00:25:30] here. Some of the ones that I particularly liked were sort of understand why people need to contact you, write down the problem statement, what is the problem that is driving the volume of the calls there, and don't forget the channel of choice. Certainly, I'm not gonna advise people go [inaudible 00:25:55]. But I think you're right that people have a preferred channel of choice and [00:26:00] we shouldn't lose sight of the fact people have a problem, they do like to discuss that with other humans, so if that's their choice.

We're going to jump back and we're going to start off with a little poll at the start before we jump into Top Tips and Questions. That poll is: what have you already tried to reduce contact volumes? Have you tried self-service? Have you tried FAQs? Have you [00:26:30] tried improved search functionality on your website? Have you tried using a chatbots or virtual assistants? Or have you tried fixing broken processes? You can vote on more than one element on here.

Rich, we were talking about chatbots earlier. Do you think many people would have tried that?

Rich Garrett: I think that probably though the volume of enterprises that have tried chatbots at this stage are fairly low in terms of a full-fledged [00:27:00] production rollout because of the complexity when you start to get into artificial intelligence and AI and what the reality of that is. I think there's a lot of hype around those terms and this new concept of the chatbot when all you're really trying to do is determine the intent of the customer. I think, my guess is that those are going to be a little bit lower than some of the other lower hanging fruits, to borrow an easy to use metaphor.

Jonty Pearce: Let's have a look here. Sample size, 155. [00:27:30] So 10% of the audience have already tried chatbot or virtual assistant. It's much higher than I would have expected, Sixty-three percent of the audience have tried fixing broken processes. Sixty-one percent self-service. Fifty-one FAQ's and surprisingly quite low is improving search functionality on the website because already thought that if you're trying to get people to self-serve the web would be the place that people might want to go for.

We're gonna have a [00:28:00] look at a number of audience tips now that are coming through. So let's have a look at what's been happening in the chat room. Steve said, "We heavily promote all our different channels of communicating with us equally and do not place any emphasis on one over the other. Most customers when canvassed in focus groups have said they like to use all the channels we offer as each has its own benefits for the customer depending on the time of day, subject matter, et cetera."

On [00:28:30] a similar thing, Gemma has said, "Outline all correspondence methods on customer letters or websites. Particularly, when leaving a voicemail we advise the client of our online chat facility, I guess that's if we've reached you by phone, then you offer that chat facility. I think there's danger though, Phil, on that one. That if you can't, if they're leaving a voicemail, I suppose if you're leaving a voicemail for them, then [00:29:00] you can advise in the chat facility. Do you think that's a good idea?

Rich Garrett: I think it can be a good idea. I'm sure Gemma wouldn't have put that on there if it's not working for them. I think it can definitely work. I can just imagine the dangers of it, not working and creating a lot more frustration. I can imagine someone thinking, "Oh, I'll go and use the chat to type in and to say it," and then the person that receives that chat can't bring up that customer's records, et cetera, and it can create a frustration.

But the principle [00:29:30] of it, absolutely, it should work. So I think in that sort of ideal world. I think it's interesting on actually the first part of that tip as well. Jonty might have mentioned that outline and correspondent methods on customer letters and websites, what you can do. I think there's always that danger if you send a letter out to your customers saying, "Whatever you do, please do not call us." They're gonna go, "Oh, I need to ring them. I've got something on my mind." It's a little bit of mind here, subliminal ringing. So I think you need to be careful how you position all correspondence. Again, I'm sure [inaudible 00:29:58].

Jonty Pearce: [00:30:00] Indeed. Interesting word from Alan. Sounds obvious but within the IVR on wait messages, direct customers to websites or other avenues of self-service. Rich, I think there's a danger though if you're saying on wait messages, why don't you try our website? Often the people only use it because they've looked on the website already.

Rich Garrett: Yeah. I think that, you know, it's certainly important to manage the experience and share with customers, all of the options that are available. But typically, if the [00:30:30] customer is picking up the phone and called, chances are fairly likely that they've attempted self-service on the website. Or they have a perception that self-service on the website or in the mobile app can't help them and so they feel that they need to call.

So in general, I think this is probably important, but may or may not make a substantive difference in the breakdown of contact deflection.

Jonty Pearce: Craig has said, and I think this ties in with Phil's point, "Build a clear and well considered disposition [00:31:00] schema," which I guess is like wrap up codes. "This means you can easily classify inbound queries and understand the best methods and the best channels to manage them." I like that.

Steve said, "Never influence the customers using a particular channel of communication. It's their choice, let them make it. We thrive as a business by giving the customer the option every opportunity." So I guess self-service if you want to increase, the take up self-service is actually [00:31:30] make sure you make self-service as simple as possible for the user. One of the things that we've often found is that making stuff simple for the user actually involves often a very high degree of complexity within the organization. So it might look simple, but there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

Tamzyn has said, "I think the chatbots, FAQs, and virtual assistants will be great for organizations to improve business opportunities. It makes people more self-sufficient [00:32:00] and gives you access to help at anytime from anywhere and not during business hours." Certainly, that's one area, I think, of extending the hours could be very good.

Chris has said, "Use Design Thinking to develop new approaches.

Phil, I've not seen a huge amount on Design Thinking. I've certainly seen a thing of looking at where systems break down, systems thinking. I don't know if Design Thinking is submission Systems [00:32:30] Thinking.

Phil Anderson: I think it is. Now it's not a methodology The Forum use, because we're very much into outcomes and I think sometimes with Design Thinking and System Thinking you end up creating as all silos. I would advocate using many methods. I think that's what's important. You wanna create lots of different contexts. You wanna complete different perspectives so you could compare what would be those overall outcomes. So, yeah. My tip would be don't use one. I think Design Thinking is definitely an appropriate approach sometimes.

Jonty Pearce: [00:33:00] We've got a question from Craig, who said, "How do you cope with the problem of channel hopping? I've talked to a lot of customers about the problem where people initially hit digital channels, can't find their answer and then end up phoning anyway." I guess one of the challenges here is that then all the information about what they were looking through gets lost.

Rich, I guess there's a technological angle behind this.

Rich Garrett: Absolutely. I think there's some very key technological components that [00:33:30] I'll actually try to touch on briefly later. But it's important to ensure that a customer's experience is consistent across any channel so that they don't get used to, well, I always get my answer when I pick up the phone and call, that they get the same experience and the same answer in the same self-service capability when possible across any channel.

It's important also to maintain the customer's context. As I said earlier, we all collect a lot of data about our customers, [00:34:00] including in the moment in their journey and it's important to use that data to inform the next experience, if they do choose to channels in midstream.

Jonty Pearce: Indeed. We've got a couple more quick tips before we move on. Ricci has said, "Aggressive real-time monitoring is also key. If there are any pending calls emails, voicemails, et cetera, this can be informed by a specialist to the agent who is readily available [00:34:30] to handle the query. If not, assign a concierge for it." That looks like kind of a manual core distribution method.

Another one from Steve. I think Steve is looking to winning tip, from the number of tip I get. Our commitment to first contact resolution helps keeping calls down to a manageable level. We see a surge in inbound traffic when we have an influx of new starters due to a lack of process knowledge. We ensure [00:35:00] extra callers are available during these times, as we do live chats and emails to compensate." I guess that's about building two pieces of it: first contact resolution and also building up the process knowledge.

Phil, I think this is really a good one.

Phil Anderson: Yeah, absolutely. I think I did touch on that as one of the conclusions. You've got to think of that time to competency and if there's a lot of complex [00:35:30] things that need to be learned, yes, that can lead to mistakes from agents. It can make it difficult for when they first starts and that call times can be very, very long. So, yeah, you've got to consider that. That's another very good point raised by Steve.

Jonty Pearce: We're going to ask another question in the chat room. That is: what is stopping you from implementing or improving digital self-service? We saw, I think it was about 60% of people have already tried self-service as a way of reducing contact volumes. Certainly, [00:36:00] one of the interesting things we found a while ago is that we asked a question on when did you last change your IVR? I think we had something like 15% of the audience hadn't changed the IVR from the time it was installed. So, quite right.

What is stopping you from implementing or improving digital self-service? We'll come back to your thoughts on that. But just going to pass the baton now across to Rich Garrett from Jacada. [00:36:30] Rich will be looking through a number of different strategies on how to reduce contact volumes and also the role that technology can play within that.

Rich, if you'd like to put the slides up on your screen. You see them there. Go full screen.

Rich Garrett: Thank you very much, Jonty. As I mentioned, at Jacada, we bring [00:37:00] technological solutions to bear to help enterprises drive digital adoption for their customers and use that digital adoption to improve customer experience, but more importantly, to reduce contact volume for all the benefits that that provides. I'll be talking a little bit about that today. I wanted to thank Phil for setting up a lot of great concepts that we actually do very specifically try to address with our solutions and our customers. So if I could touch very briefly on how we and how we see the problem.

[00:37:30] Even though enterprises, as we've discussed and shared top tips and questions and things today, have made several different attempts to improve self-service to reduce call volumes and try and help that overall experience for their customers. There's still by and large a low adoption of self-service. We see in the industry and there are some industry analysts that observe that that upwards of 80% of customer interactions still end up in the contact center for various reasons.

[00:38:00] Companies have tried implementing FAQs, as we've discussed today, but generally, FAQs, very specifically, are information only. They don't provide an actual interaction or a transaction for that consumer to accomplish a task. They may tell them, well, "These are the things that you have to do to go accomplish the task on your own," but they don't actually help them accomplish that task. And then there I think someone pointed out the problem that if they're not refreshed or if they become too unwieldy and complex it becomes difficult for the customer to find that answer.

[00:38:30] Companies have even tried to implement self-service in the website itself, in that experience, guiding customers through accomplishing a task. Very often those are limited and, certainly, sometimes they break for outlying cases and that becomes very difficult.

Companies have implemented chat to try and keep the contacts away or keep calls out of the call center. But very often, as Phil indicated, that creates ancillary effect of driving up contacts that [00:39:00] aren't as useful, aren't as helpful for the customer.

Companies have also implemented VAs. We've talked about this earlier. VA is now, this concept of a chatbot. The challenge that we've seen with virtual assistants and chatbots is that they tend to simply replicate the problem of the other attempts. They're either very information-focused and very difficult, similar to some legacy or non-refreshed IVR experiences. It's very difficult to understand [00:39:30] why your customers changing needs and changing motivations are causing them to reach out to contact you and so the virtual assistant or the chatbot ends up being unable to help them because it's purely informational and it lacks that transactional intelligence and capability.

This is exacerbated, I think, by challenges within the contact center itself. Again, as others have mentioned, different agents, different channels or different skills, [00:40:00] different groups are empowered differently across the experience. If a customer has a specific problem A and they get to a group of agents in chat who aren't empowered to help them with that problem, when they go to the website and they're not empowered in a website space to find that answer, they end up picking up the phone and calling and the agents struggle to resolve that customers contact in the first instance. And maybe that generates even more frustration and repeat calls.

The same thing from a back office process perspective. [00:40:30] I think it was, someone pointed out that if you've got a 10-day lag in your back office processing, then that very specifically ... It must have been Phil, very specifically generates a significant upsurge in inbound contact. So when you have manual processes at each end of the customer interaction in customer service spectrum those all tend to generate increased calls and poor customer experience.

[00:41:00] From a Jacada perspective, we attempt to look at the customer journey from end-to-end and try to resolve automation that delivers self-service and contact deflection, call deflection at each point in that journey.

From a digital self service perspective, we want to utilize solutions for delivering automation in both the web and the voice channels to keep callers in that digital channel and lower average handle time and [00:41:30] drive adoption of mobile assets that the company may have adopted already in trying to implement, but we want to expand the usage and the success of those digital assets. We do this, and I'll explain this very briefly, through implementing visual IVR capabilities, as well as a very advanced intelligent and transactional chatbot capability.

Then moving backwards, we look to implement technological solutions based on lightweight [00:42:00] but very profound integration with backend systems to drive automation and simplify agent processes so that you reduce repeat calls by improving first contact resolution and improving the customer experience, which then helps them engage in that digital self-service solution you've implemented in the first instance.

Finally, from a back-office perspective, again, how can we drive automation to deliver and then expose that automation [00:42:30] rather to the customer in the first instance expanding self-service capability on the web, expanding self-service capability in the app, if you've implemented an app, and in the voice and text channels?

How do we do this from a platform perspective? We have what we call in Jacada interconnect platform. In Jacada, if I could step back in time a little bit, Jacada was founded about 25 years ago and we've [00:43:00] spent most of that time developing an integration middleware layer that allows us to connect very easily and with a lightweight touch to any and all back-end systems, including very old mainframe or green screen type terminals. That then, if we can interact with those systems, allows us to stitch together processes in what we call RPA or bots that drive automation, again, on the back-end to improve customers ability to understand when they've accomplished that task, that that task [00:43:30] is successful.

For example, paying a bill and seeing the immediate results of that bill appear in their website so that they don't have to wait three days and then pick up the phone and call complaining that they haven't seen their balance changed.

We can then take that those bots, that automation and expose them to customers either via a visual IVR experience, shifting them from a voice call to a digital experience that's much more rich and much more robust and drives better self-service and customer experience. As well [00:44:00] as to a chatbot type of experience, utilizing that same logic that's designed from the interactive platform for automating processes and exposing that to a digital visual experience, as well as to a text-based experience by understanding in a natural way, can use it utilizing natural language communication, what a customer's intent is and identifying the best outcome and the best answer for them and getting them the resolution the first time.

Then, [00:44:30] just touching on again real briefly utilizing again that automation and that guidance to help agents resolve the customer's issue the first time to prevent those repeated calls. I'll give a very quick example of what this concept of shifting customers from a voice-based experience to a digital-based experience looks like and why that's important.

Traditional IVRs, as we know, are typically touch-tone. We press buttons, and nobody likes them, and they're very [00:45:00] difficult to use, and they're very coarse-grained in their ability to understand why a customer's reaching out to us. If we can send, the customer an SMS message and have them tap on a link that provides them with a small website, as you'll see on the right-hand side of the screen, something very simple, very intuitive from a user experience perspective.

It allows us to utilize the devices that are ubiquitous that we all have to identify intent, in a very precise way, and allow us to [00:45:30] expose not only net new transactions and processes that we can bring to bear to allow customers to accomplish tasks on their own. But it allows us also to reuse and repurpose the assets that enterprises have already invested in. For example, the knowledge that is valuable in FAQs, these self-service tasks that have been already built and rolled out to the mobile web or to the main desktop website and get customers into a much more robust process end- [00:46:00] to-end, again identifying intent.

For example, seeing their balance, which is very informational but typically what a customer wants to see what their balance is. That doesn't necessarily drive self-service. That drives the next question, well, I know that I see that my bill so high, but perhaps I need to change my plan. Well, rather than pass them to an agent to help them change the plan when they've seen the information or heard the information about their balance as well, let's give them the ability to do that very [00:46:30] simply, very efficiently, and very intuitively on the screen.

And we make sure that the context that we know about the customer's journey, maybe they started online and then had to pick up the phone and call, we can recognize what they've done online and use that to inform a better and more personalized experience in a visual IVR world, in a visual IVR experience. We can already short-circuit a lot of the intent identification processes and get them right to the first step [00:47:00] in resolving what we know is their problem at that point in time.

I'll highlight very quickly, from a technology perspective, we can work with your native app, if you have one already rolled out, so the same type of technology can be exposed within the native app. Or there's not an app required to download, we can work straight with standard smartphone and connective devices.

Touching very briefly on the concept of the chatbot and how we [00:47:30] can take the same application logic in, that's deploy from a visual experience. We can deploy that also in a conversational style because some customers choose to chat or message. We've all seen the proliferation of messaging apps, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, even iMessage that comes standard with the iPhone.

One of our audience here today, I think, mentioned it's critical to allow customers the choice of what channel they choose to interact on. [00:48:00] We, at Jacada, feel very strongly that same thing. It's important to deliver them a consistent experience no matter what channel or what method they choose to communicate with an enterprise on.

So how can we intercept chat requests, contact requests as well, with the bot experience? Utilize a natural language interface to allow a customer to express in their own words and in their own way what they're having a problem with, what they're interested in accomplishing today or learning about, [00:48:30] and guiding them through that process to learn more information to make a change to their plan, to purchase in your product, or to resolve a problem with their service. Once we do that, then we can help the agent resolve the problem, if there's an escalation, which we try to avoid, but we can resolve that problem using the context in the first instance, again, avoiding repeat calls, which keeps the overall contact falling down.

[00:49:00] I think, finally, we've got the ability to expose in a very pass-, or rather a very reactive way, automation and a rich digital experience to callers, when they call in or when they reach out to you on the website. Well, we can also expose that in a very proactive way. If we have an event, say, a service outage or we know that a customer's minutes are about to run out, or that we know that their package is about to be delayed [00:49:30] and we need to reschedule when we need to deliver it.

We can proactively reach out to a customer either, again via the app or via a message that gets them into a digital experience that allows them to solve that issue before it becomes a problem, before the customer sees a difficulty, becomes frustrated and picks up the phone to reach out to call and wants to talk to an agent. We can proactively intercept that issue, resolve the customer before they even know there's [00:50:00] a problem and maintain a very positive relationship, as well as a call deflection.

Very briefly, a little bit about how this works. The interact platform uses a concept of management of this robotic process automation or these bolts. We have very robust business-oriented tools and administrative interfaces that allow business and process owners rather than simply IT programmers and engineers to develop robust experiences [00:50:30] that deliver self-service to customers through rapid, easy integration into back-end systems and existing infrastructure, again, utilizing NLP and cognitive API where you may have it in place or you were able to provide those solutions for you as well.

We use existing content knowledge bases and repositories and expose those solutions, those transactions, and those communication capabilities across all different touch points, whether it be the desktop, [00:51:00] mobile app, mobile device, or messaging services.

Very briefly, looking at different types of case studies and different types of scenarios where this type of digital solution and digital shift in experience to drive contact deflection has been successful in the past. We see across the board anywhere between three to five or upwards of 10 to 15, 10 to 20% in contact reduction by delivering [00:51:30] improved self-service capability, not only through delivering more robust and more frequent transactional capability, but also delivering that transactional capability in a very positive, very rich experience for the customer.

That enables and sends the customer to resolve the problem the first time. But it also encourages the customer to the next time they have an issue or a problem, reuse that self-service channel because it becomes in the end much simpler and much [00:52:00] more efficient for the customer to work with a digital asset rather than sit on the phone and try and navigate through to talk to a human.

We see, not only an initial contact reduction with first contact resolution and better digital self-service but we see an ongoing knock-on effect where in the future callers tend to shift their behavior and shift away from, well, I always know that I get my resolution when I pick up the phone and speak with someone to I'll just do it this way because I know that if I navigate through this visual [00:52:30] experience I can get my problem resolved easily. In fact, I get a better result then I would have if I had to sit around and talk to someone.

We've seen great success with that and certainly at any point in the future I'd be happy to spend more time talking with you about specific cases where we've done this, that may be applicable to your enterprise and industry.

Wrapping up in trying to be efficient as possible. We look to reduced inbound call volumes utilizing [00:53:00] our technology to deliver self-service based on digital experiences and light touch easy integration by 10% or more. Reducing the overall average handle time and processing time for customers and improving that customer experience to drive first contact resolution by 30 seconds or greater. At the end of the day, deliver better self-service experiences to reduce the need for customers to contact you in the first instance. All from one core platform that provides a [00:53:30] business view and focus on reporting and that process and customer experience logic.

That's what I wanted to say today. Hopefully, that was useful for you. I would love to speak with you more in detail about any of these topics. Thank you very much for your time.

Jonty Pearce: Thank you very much for that, Rich. I think some quite key takeaways there, certainly, shift across to digital channels for self-service. I think it's a really key part of it. [00:54:00] I think one of the other takeaways I've put down here is about automating back-end processes with robotic process automation. I think one of the most fascinating points there is that customers will learn what is the best way to get their problem resolved.

Rich Garrett: Yes.

Jonty Pearce: So if your self-service is the best way, they'll use it. If it's the telephone, the customers will use that. So it really is that the channel of a choice will be what the customer believes is their best way of [00:54:30] getting their problem resolved. I think that's a fascinating takeaway when it comes to designing self-service and perhaps something that will help increase.

Let's have a look at what's coming through in the chat room. Lots of stuff going through. Charlotte has said, "Any tips on how to gain the required investment to improve processes, e.g. improved self-service functionality, up-to-date email management systems, et cetera. Has anyone any experience in creating a business [00:55:00] case and successfully convincing management to make the recommended changes?

Rich, I presume you're doing an awful lot of this?

Rich Garrett: That's what I do most cases, is help our clients and partners work up a business case that says, "Look, if we've got this many contact volume, this much contact volume, you can then take that contact volume and break it down into specific type." Someone mentioned it's very important to have accurate disposition status. That is very critical [00:55:30] because it helps you develop the business case. We have contact types A, B, and C. We know that we have the systems in place to automate contact types A, B, and C. If we do that, we can build a funnel of how many we think we can automate at the bottom of that funnel that represents what our cost savings will be. You can then take that cost savings, balance it against the cost of implementing the solution, and show senior management how you can deliver savings with a little bit of spent based on hard numbers rather than I think this would happen.

Jonty Pearce: I can do a little bit of [00:56:00] a plug for Call Centre Helper now. If you've noticed on the front page, we've got our contact center manifesto which says: don't do anything in your contact center until you've done your 10 things. Number eight here is write the business case.

Rich Garrett: Perfect.

Jonty Pearce: We've got a whole range of different experts who gave their advice. One of which is look at something called customer lifetime value. We've got a link to that in the chat room.

Another audience tip, " [00:56:30] Always educate your customer on the available avenues of obtaining information. If people aren't aware, they cannot adapt self-service."

Phil, I think that's quite an interesting one, keeping people aware.

Phil Anderson: Absolutely, yeah. I think it comes down to that marketing communication and ultimately understanding. Do your customers truly understand your business on those methods? Yeah. You don't have web chats certainly on some of the time because it's never gonna form the pattern of play for people to use it. If you've got it, use it, have it open all the time [00:57:00] and create those routines.

But, yeah, I think it's really important, that communication understanding. You take your time on that so people know how to contact the quickest way, easiest way, et cetera.

Jonty Pearce: Nerys says, "Hold a workshop with frontline agents to review your disposition or outcome codes, sometimes known as wrap-up codes, which will be one of the ways you will statistically determine your call types instantly. That's also very good for building your business case. Look at the codes, consider the consistency of use, think about how much [00:57:30] are being focused in on training, continually assess if they are reflective of why customers are calling."

Robert said, "We found a high number of follow-up calls from client call centers we've taken over." So it sounds like an outsourcer. "We have been successful by sending clients to a unique URL link to their issue log that is updated continually. This allows customers to monitor progress when they wish, which seems to make them more relaxed, especially as they can see that [00:58:00] a matter is progressing." I think certainly that's a good one, of keeping customers informed in terms of progress.

Steve says, "Educating the customer on every call they make into us helps cut down than the customers need to call us unduly. We reduce call volumes in this way by challenging each member of the team to educate the customer along the way. But always ensure it's relevant."

We've got time for one more tip. "Understand what [00:58:30] drives repeat contacts and use training and process improvements to reduce repeated calls."

Rich, I guess that repeat contact resolution, so first contact resolution, reducing repeat contacts is quite a key strategy.

Rich Garrett: This is it. If customers are contacting you in large volumes about a specific issue or a set of related issues, then let's find a way to automate that issue to empower customers to help themselves. Let's utilize an understanding [00:59:00] of disposition codes, of chat transcripts to understand what those problems are and resolve them.

Jonty Pearce: We've almost reached top of the hour. If you could fill in our post-webinar survey and see if we've done the first webinar resolution for you. It's only four questions long. If you'd like a demonstration of the Jacada software as part of that survey, if you'd like to fill in that box. We've got a replay available later on this afternoon. Finally, just going [00:59:30] to share with you the winning tip, which actually was one by Steve. I think it's probably the best one. "Our commitment to FCR keeping calls to a managing level and also training people on process knowledge."

We're going to be back next Thursday looking at how technology can improve the contact center. I'd just like to say thank you very much to Phil from The Forum. Thank you, Phil.

Phil Anderson: No problem at all. [01:00:00] Thank you.

Jonty Pearce: Thanks to Rich from Jacada. Thank you for joining us.

Rich Garrett: Thank you all very much.

Jonty Pearce: Thank you to everyone in the audience. We'll see you all again next Thursday. Thank you then. Bye bye, all. Bye bye.

Jonty Pearce: To formally welcome everyone to the webinar, this week we're going to be looking at how to boost agent productivity and contact center efficiency. Fascinating top there and there's many ways of measuring that and we'll be looking at that in a short while. So, delighted to introduce back to you Martin Jukes for it's been about 18 months since you've been on our webinar programs. We're delighted to be able to get a slot back in your back in your days. Welcome back. [00:00:30] And you're going to be looking at productivity and efficiency in a different way from the classic work hard approach.

Martin Jukes: I hope so. I hope I'm able to bring something new. Although some of it may just be reinforcing things that people forget because working in contact centers is a very busy life as you know.

Jonty Pearce: Indeed, and welcome to Graeme Gilovitz for Jacada. This is your first webinar with us and we've networked with Jicarda over the years. So, welcome. You'll be looking [00:01:00] at the role technology plays in the [crosstalk 00:01:02]

Graeme Gilovitz: Absolutely. There's one thing that you can do more in the one-to-one on the personal side working with your agents, but it really needs to be coupled with technology to really drive home those better efficiencies. As you said earlier, it doesn't matter what your MPS or your [inaudible 00:01:20] scores are, there's always more that you can obtain. Especially when the war really now is on the customer service side. So we're trying out a few of the touch technologies [00:01:30] people should be looking at evaluating in the next few months.

Jonty Pearce: Excellent. Well, if you want to watch a replay and I know a number of you do like to share these with your Management Team, particularly on product 15 efficiency and how to look at that could be quite valuable. That's going to be available later on this afternoon callcentrehelp.com/recorded-webinars. We're going to be carrying on the discussion this week in our chat room and callcentrehelper.com/chat just put in your first [00:02:00] name, last name and email and quite useful if you put the windows up side by side perhaps the chat room on one side, the webinar screen on the other and just another advantage for being in the chat room is you can download the webinar slides. Just follow this link here and you can download Martin and Graeme's slides.

Another advantage to being in the chatroom. As ever, if you want to ask a question use # Question and we'll put those to our panel of experts. [00:02:30] You can also ask the question of the rest of the audience and the audience quite happy to for us to promote you answer each other's questions. And # Tip for a tip and you can either a bottle of champagne or a box of chocolates is the bottle of champagne. We can't keep the chocolates in the office very long so we have to ship those straight at from Godiva.

Or if it's difficult to ship then we sometimes send out an Amazon gift card, so [00:03:00] really your choice depending on the channel. And we're asking the question in the chat room, "Is Customer Satisfaction getting better or worse in your organization? If you have an answer that just in few words is it getting better or worse in your organization. Just while you're typing that in I'm going to start off a poll, and that is, How do you measure efficiency in your organization? This is select all that apply. Is it average handling time you use? [00:03:30] Is it handled on first touch or resolution rates? Is it cost per transaction? What used to be called first contact resolution. Is it cost per transaction? Is it looking at things like occupancy or utilization? Or is it looking at things like total sales volume? And if you got another measure of efficiency that is not on this least, if you'd perhaps like to put that into the chat room and we'll have a look at some of those in a short while.

Let's have a look at the results we've got coming in and I'm just gonna close the poll. [00:04:00] Here we have a sample size of 67 and looks like the most popular one here is average handling time as a measure of efficiency, followed by occupancy, followed by the handle on first touch at 39%. 31% say it's total slots, sales volume and only 22% cost per transaction. Surprising number her saying average handling time. [00:04:30] Martin, have you seen any difference in that over the years, do you think?

Martin Jukes: I think that's a number of organizations try and reduce average handling time, and I think it very much depends on the service or what you're trying to achieve as an organization. Because I do see in some situations average handling time being cut at the detriment of the contact to the outcome of that contact. It's just something to be aware of really. A shorter average handling time doesn't necessarily mean it's more [00:05:00] efficient.

Jonty Pearce: No, indeed. And I think that's some of the things that Martin, you're going to be talking through in your presentation. Let's just have a quick look at is customer service satisfaction getting better or worse in your organization? Jane says, oh that's the question. Let's have a look through, "There are a lot of changes and the culture is very diversified and a lot of challenges that culture is very diversified." [00:05:30] Liz said, "We were just able to start to measure customer satisfaction last year. We've been concentrating heavily on increasing our scores in the email channel specifically." Cause I know customer satisfaction does vary by channel. So, Martin, any thoughts on customer satisfaction over email?

Martin Jukes: I think that email is a channel that's probably evolved without a great deal of consideration. I see lots of people [00:06:00] having training for their team on how to handle a telephone call, but I don't necessarily see the same level of training as regards to emails. You could make an assumption there that's customer satisfaction may not be as high with emails.

Jonty Pearce: Okay, well that's a very good time to hand across to you Martin and you can take us through your whole thoughts on the hallway to approach efficiency, productivity and how you keep customer satisfaction up while you're doing that. So [inaudible 00:06:29] we'll [00:06:30] pass across to you and if you'd like to take us through slides up and take us through your presentation.

Martin Jukes: Yes, thank you Jonty. Hopefully that should be streaming up, coming up in a second.

Jonty Pearce: We can see your screen, but it's not full screen yet.

Martin Jukes: Okay, there we go. There we go.

Jonty Pearce: Excellent.

Martin Jukes: Right, so, yes. Good afternoon everybody, I'm [00:07:00] sorry about that. I hope that's not going to keep happening. Yes, my name is Martin Jukes and I'm here to talk to you this afternoon about boosting agent productivity and contact centre efficiency. And I thought what I'd start with would be having a look at what is agent productivity? Because I think people get very confused between productivity and utilization. So, I've put a little bit of my definition of what they are, so starting with productivity. I believe this is the output from an agent while they're working. What they actually produce in the time they're [00:07:30] working. This is very much within their control and as regards to how productive they are. The time when they're engaged in transactions. As we go towards utilization, I think that's more of a management responsibility, to make sure that staff are utilized effectively. And I see utilization as being the amount of time that an agent is productive during their working day.

It's quite difference, it's a couple of quite significant differences there. I think the theme of what I'm going to talk about today is actually around [00:08:00] making sure you've got the right people with the right skills and the right attitude in the right place at the right time. So, that comes across very much around looking at productivity and utilization. When I first started thinking about, when Jonty first asked me to start thinking about today, I thought well, agent productivity. Let's just go back and see what to motivate agents, which has a significant impact on their productivity. [00:08:30] First of all, I had a look and we sort of been doing working in contact centers for over 20 years now. We've got a real theme of what people are saying. What advisors are saying.

And the number one complaint that advisors have is, they get frustrated at their inability to deal with customers inquiries. It may well be they haven't go the tools for the job or they haven't got the information or the services correct, but they get very frustrated wit their inability to deal with those inquiries. [00:09:00] The second one is having inefficient processes. This may well be the overall business process or it may well be something about the process for them getting information. But certainly this holds significant impact and again, another cause of major frustration. The third one is poorly performing systems. I'm going to talk about systems in a little detail, but Graeme's going to talk in more detail later on about that.

From my perspective some of the impact of systems [00:09:30] poor performance would be manifested in things like poor response times from systems and being very slow, being unreliable, or crashing. And then it moves on to them not having the information or integration or the connectivity that they need to able to be effective. The fourth one is not being listened to. I believe that advisors are really important in the terms of service improvement, because they have enormous experience of what's going on and how it impacts them. [00:10:00] I think it's really important to be able to listen to them and advisors have told me frequently that they say they are not being listened to and they raise issues and they're just really ignored and not taken into account.

And finally, the lack of feedback. Advisors are people and agents are people that come to work, they want to try and do a good job. It's important to know if they're doing a good job or not. And for some people that may well be giving them good feedback for the people. It may well be giving them some poor feedback, [00:10:30] but it's how to make sure they understand where they are and what's expected of them. In terms of looking at how to increase productivity, I think there's three main areas that can be taken into account. I think it's enabling the agents, supporting the agents, and then managing the agents. So three separate areas that I've broken down to look at a little more detail. If I first of all look at enabling the agents, it's about making sure [00:11:00] that they've got the right tools to be able to do the job. And tools mean different things to different people. I've given some ideas here.

So we're talking about training. So have to have the right training, first of all to be able to understand the process. Do they understand the products or the services they're dealing with. Do they understand the technology they're using, and then do they have the right training in terms of the customer service skills they need to be able to do that job? Do they have the knowledge. Is the knowledge available for them to be able to do [00:11:30] their job effectively? We may pick up some knowledge in training, but a lot of the knowledge that I talk to is system based information that they may need to have access to, to be able to deal with inquiry. If I haven't got that, it's a real disabler. Are the processes effective? Again, do the processes really support the front line staff in dealing with those inquiries or are they there for the benefit of the organization? The organizations processes.

And finally, they systems. Are the systems [00:12:00] suitable and adequate? Are they giving the information? Are they performing at the right level, the right speed? And are they effective again in enabling the advisor to do their job? The secondary is supporting the agent. A number of areas with support. First of all induction. And just by coincidence, I did see an article yesterday, I think I may have posted on social media, around how Disney really felt that they were getting a benefit of giving [00:12:30] people, their new starters, a really thorough induction. When I read the article, it really brought some truth to me because it talked about how the first part of the induction was very much focused on the brand and what it is that they were trying to deliver as Disney. And I think many organizations don't necessarily provide that support to agents. So they're working in a vacuum, where they're trying to do a job, they don't understand the bigger picture.

One to ones. I think one to ones are the most important things that team leaders can do to support their [00:13:00] agents. Really, I can't emphasize enough how much I believe that makes a real difference both to the overall performance but also the individual perception of their work. I think the one to ones should really be [inaudible 00:13:14] two way feedback. So, it's not just about giving feedback to the agents about their performance. It's understanding where they're struggling, why they're struggling and what their recommendations are in how they would like to change things in the future? And this starts to involve them in improving the processes [00:13:30] and continual improvements to programs. I think that there's two people that really have a big impact in giving that feedback as to how the process is, and that's the customer and then the front line agent. So we do see quite a lot of organizations involve customers. Spend a lot of time and effort talking to customers but they don't talk to their own people to understand what's happening at the front line.

And finally, the encouragement. I think it's really important to be able to encourage agents [00:14:00] and advisors in terms of motivating them, rewarding them for good behavior, good performance, and generally making it an environment that's encouraging for them to do a good job. The third elements that I want to focus on is management. And the first, again, this breaks down into three different areas. The first is measuring. Measuring performance, measuring productivity. This may well be looking at the examples of the poll today, that [00:14:30] which people use most effectively to measure efficiency. I just did a couple there. But I think it's also important to measure the quality of services as well as the quantity.

Measuring the quantity isolation, doesn't necessarily give you good productivity or good efficiency. Because without the right outcome or the right output, it may be really inefficient or unproductive. Finally, measuring is really helpful in terms of identifying trends. If we're looking at an individual agent, [00:15:00] are they having a bad day? Is it a slow week? Are they struggling with something, or is part of a much bigger problem where they need some extra support or training or whatever? The secondary, sharing. Most people measure, some people share. So it's about communicating performance both at an individual level to individual agents, but also at a team level. So that the whole team can see where their performance is. And they feel part [00:15:30] of that team and responsible for that service. Start to own in the performance. So where I said, some people will measure, some people will share.

The third area is where the majority of people that I come across really struggle, which is in acting. They don't know how to intervene and manage when they see poor performance, and I think it's really important for agents to have that intervention. So they know at an early stage where they're performing poorly. It's about using the data. So there's a lot of data available [00:16:00] but it needs to be used, and used as evidence. And be able to inform and present this situation to the agent. And then developing improvement plans. What do we need to do to relieve this pressure? What do we need to do to improve your performance? Moving on to improving contact centre efficiency. What does efficiency mean to you? That's the first question I'd normally ask. And how do you measure it? Again, we've talked about a few different areas of measure that could be used. [00:16:30] All very relevant, all fit, so we've got some there in terms of utilization for it to contact resolution, etc. All area valid, but what I would remind people about is that targets drive behaviors. It's making sure you understand what' important for your organization.

I would use an example of doing a comparison between a sales organisation, a sales contact centre and a customer service centre. Where sales, the important things may well be the amount [00:17:00] of revenue or income that you can generate. Where customer service may well be resolving issues to the customer satisfaction. I think it's important to be able to determine the measures and understand the concepts that they're being applied in. Going back to those we looked at on the previous slide. Looking at those, are they appropriate to you? And if they are, what do they need to balance against? In terms of how to improve efficiency, I think there's a number of management information tools available. Some are a lot easier to use than others, [00:17:30] but most contact centers now have a basic level of information. Real time management is really important. It's about being aware of what's happening now. I think for may people that I come across, they have a look and they look at 9:00 in the morning and yes based performance. And it's just too late then. They can't change it.

If your looking at management information in real time, you can see what's happening at 2:00 and you can perhaps fix it by quarter past 2:00. Adherence to schedules, and I'm talking about the little [00:18:00] things that make a difference. I would refer to something called the peril of one. Which I think Jonty has told me was on a very early webinar. It's about making sure that people log on when they're supposed to log on. Log off when they're supposed to log off and operate the shift plan that is put in place. People spend a lot of time managing shift patterns, making sure they're there ... Got the right people in the right place. But then they don't necessarily manage people in terms of making sure they [00:18:30] adhere to those schedules. One of things that we do when we go to look at a poorly performing contact centre, one of the first things we do is sit down and look at real time information and see which people are adhering to schedule, which ones aren't.

Which people are performing well. Which one's aren't. And exactly getting a good feel of what's going on. And normally we're able to make huge differences from doing that.

Jonty Pearce: What we'll do Graeme is we'll put a link to the Power of One webinar in the chat room and we'll put it on the [00:19:00] post webinar page as well.

Martin Jukes: Okay, thanks Jonty. I believe it's about efficiency is about active management which is both being proactive and reactive. So looking forwards but also looking at the now and combining the two. Finally, the most important point, and I will repeat this on numerous occasions, but understanding the detail. Looking at the data to getting to understand it. For some people looking at the data initially for the first time can be quite confusing. [00:19:30] It's about getting to understand what it really means and what it's really saying to you. And I would add a word of warning there. It doesn't always say, it's not always saying what it appears on the first viewing. It's about looking at the detail and understanding it.

I think the major thrust of what I was saying in terms of efficiency is aligning the resources to the demands, to the customer demands. When a customers contacting you and what time, what day, and how much resource [00:20:00] do you need to be able to manage that? I've just given it a sample chart of a typical call management profile we tend to use the term call demand, because that's where it originated from but the demand still exists and you have a similar profile for a chat or for email. Although with email it may be less demanding in terms of the response times for it. But it's about looking at detail and making sure you understand it, and tracking it as it changes. For some clients we go [00:20:30] in and do this on annual basis and every time it's changed a little bit. When I talk to clients about why it's changed, they're really not aware of it, which is a little disappointing. But I would like to sort of see companies, our clients looking at a little more detail at what the changes are and why they're changing.

It's about analyzing historical information and identifying trends. It has to be about how to predict and forecast future trends. So what's happened in the past, are we a seasonal organisation? Do we have season [00:21:00] shifts? And what's going to happen in the future? And then being able to predict what the demand will be and then able to improve the efficiency. Making sure you're matched. Once again, it's all about understanding the detail. I then start thinking about multiple channels. And how organizations know. The majority of organizations are for service or sales across multiple channels. I've just listed four there as an initial example. [00:21:30] The point I want to try and make is that it's obviously going to be more efficient to train staff. Not all staff, but some staff in multiple channels and then be able to blend them across those channels. It may well be that at [inaudible 00:21:43] to the telephone, people can be picking up email work. It may well be that chats increase at a different time to telephone calls.

Being able to blend the different interactions across the different channels is definitely going to be more efficient. I think, again, looking at the [00:22:00] individual agents, a productive agent really does have an impact on efficiency. Really does support efficiency. Talked a little bit about processes. I think it's important to look at processes in detail, because inefficient processes are a real high cost to the business. And frustrating for both front line staff and customers. I would recommend having a look at the most infrequent inquiry types and mapping them out. And then taking a look and saying [00:22:30] with a real critical eye, are they efficient? Could they be automated? Is this a self service opportunity? Is there a better way? Do we need to do it like this, and if so why do we need to do it like this? Doing that analysis really does start to sharpen the focus and reducing process time can make a big different with regards to efficiency.

But I also think that as well as the time scales, we need to focus on quality. Poor quality is also really inefficient. [00:23:00] I just want to focus a little bit on the customer experience because I'm just showing a picture there of an academic journal that was compiled a number of years ago, but is still very relevant in today's age. Talked about customer experience and the links with profitability. What profitability really comes about through efficiency. And this academic journal, the university in England some years ago, talked about how there was a definite line between improving the customer experience and improving [00:23:30] profitability as an efficiency. And the reason it does that is because empathic transactions are more efficient because they increase the trust between the customer and the organization. By built relationship they help to get to the issues faster, so a customer that trusts you will tell you more. It increases first time resolution and increases loyalty. Customers will come back and they'll come back and they'll come back, which is what you particularly want in a sales environment and in customer service [00:24:00] environments.

So I hope that gives you a little bit of something to think about. There's obviously lots more information that we could've talked about so trying to keep it quite brief. In summary, I would say let's focus on the detail, understand the detail and understand whether we're efficient and if now, why we're inefficient? Use the data. Lots of data available. It may not be perfect but it's a good starting point. Ask for the right starting point. Start with the facts. [00:24:30] Enable support and manage your agents, and really help them to be more productive. Think carefully about targets, because they can impact negatively on efficiency. So, if I talked about average handling time again, try to reduce that can actually have a negative consequence. Productivity is about the outcomes and output, so it's not just about how much we can do, it's about what the output and outcomes of those interactions [00:25:00] are.

Having poor outcomes, poor outputs is just inefficient. And finally, don't forget the quality. There's a quality is what really makes the difference to customers.

Jonty Pearce: Well, thank you very much indeed for that Martin. I think some great food for thought in there. Certainly a few point I think are very valid. Agents get very frustrated if they can't answer a customer inquiry, so we need to look at what may be holding that back. I think there's [00:25:30] some very good points about making feedback into a two way process. We involve front line advisors in problem solving and I think a very good point there about good empathy does increase efficiency. Some great things there. We're going to jump down onto a poll, and one of the points that Martin looked at. Just want to ask the question of the audience, is a shorter interaction more efficient? [00:26:00] Is a shorter phone call more efficient than the longer call? Just have to put your answers in there, so the answers very simple. Yes, no or maybe. Just have a look in here. Be quite interesting to see the results and particularly in view, I think 73% of people are looking at average handling time as a measure of efficiency. So we'll just share the results here.

[00:26:30] And I think this, not prefaced by the number of maybe's, but I think ... I'm quite surprised that 25% have said no, and only 9% have said yes. Graeme, this almost points to a measure like average handling time is being the wrong one to look at.

Graeme Gilovitz: I have to agree with that. And it's something that was been a bit of a misnomer in my opinion, is that everyone's-

Speaker 4: [crosstalk 00:26:54] at the moment. Martin what are your thoughts on [00:27:00] the interaction?

Martin Jukes: Yeah, I think I'm a little surprised at the number of maybe's, but that's probably because that's the right answer. Yes, I think it's about the outcomes and the outputs.

Jonty Pearce: Hey Graeme, I think you were talking.

Speaker 4: Right, unfortunately Graeme, I don't seem to not be able to hear-

Graeme Gilovitz: Can you hear me now?

Jonty Pearce: I can certainly hear you Graeme. I [crosstalk 00:27:21]

Speaker 4: Hopefully we'll be able to sort it in a minute.

Jonty Pearce: Okay, I think we're all back online now, so Graeme [00:27:30] you were just talking.

Graeme Gilovitz: I was just saying, it's a bit of misnomer because whenever I was talking about using self service channels everyone thought that average handling time should go down, and I think this is actually the counter intuitive understanding is that if you're using self service channels and people are able to actually complete a self service session, those people that do need to actually connect to an agent should have a high complexity of inquirial problem, or that needs solving. [00:28:00] Therefore, you would actually see that AHT in those calls would actually go up. But the quality of those calls would probably be of a high nature. And that's why I think that the AHT versus whether or not they should be coming through and if that's the metric is actually a little bit skewed.

Jonty Pearce: Indeed. So we're going to look at some top tips and questions from the audience for a lot of interaction happening in the chat room. We'll have a look at the [00:28:30] first tip on the similar topic from Paul says, "Focusing on only lowering average handling time pressures agents to not worry about the quality of the contact but the length of the contact. Instead you should be focusing on individual training." And in a very similar vein, Jayne says, "We try to focus on the customer experience vs average handling time to move towards first contact resolutions. The calls may be longer but this reduces call backs from our customers." I guess Martin [00:29:00] that ties in very much with your point there.

Martin Jukes: Yes, definitely.

Jonty Pearce: We've got a question in from Agnieszka which is, "What is the best way to measure first contact resolution rates?" Martin, I've heard a lot of talk regarding first contact resolution, I think often it's not so much the first contact resolution is necessary the challenge, it's actually reducing repeat contacts. [00:29:30] Do you think repeat contact are probably the best way to do it?

Martin Jukes: I think it is a way of doing. I think every organization is slightly different in terms of how'd we recommend measuring it. And it depends on what systems they've got. How they use their systems. But I certainly think repeat callers is a good way of measuring efficiency.

Jonty Pearce: Okay, and Lisa has actually answered this question in the chat room. "We measure first contact resolution with post interaction surveys that are emailed to customers." [00:30:00] Graeme I don't know if you have any thoughts on this. The issue is that we have risen via email, is that they're getting our survey but our answers are going to junk. That sounds like there may be a setting on the server that's not quite right in terms of-

Graeme Gilovitz: What I find interesting Jonty, is that people have written first call resolution and you're talking about first contact resolution. I think there's a bit of difference there, because it starts ... Today there are so many channels available, I have someone start on a chat or [00:30:30] self serve and then be forced to move to call. That's not really a first contact resolution. It might be a first call resolution but the customer is actually working their interaction down and may have each of those channels may have an impact. That's where we've really got to be careful is looking at those interactions by channel, not necessarily as a first call.

Jonty Pearce: We've had a tip in from Rose. It says, "We have a think tank. It's a platform for our employees to feedback or provide ideas on how to improve processes [00:31:00] and an employee forum for day-to-day ideas on how can improve their working life." Who better to tell us to improve efficiency and productivity than the agents yourselves. I think Martin you've made a point about making feedback a two way process. Your thoughts on that?

Martin Jukes: Yes, definitely. I think that's really good to hear from Rose, there. I think that's something that we certainly support and again where we go to polling when forming the organization. One of the things we need always introduce is [00:31:30] some sort of forum to be able to get that input from front line advisors. They know how it is.

Jonty Pearce: I think it's also having the problems to get the advisors involved in the solution. Because that's actually, in a lot of think tank, suggestion boxes it's pretty easy to put up what the problems are. But actually getting ownership in taking those around the organization to get solved can be a lot harder. Here's a question from Jayne. She says, "Across the globe how do you train the customer service [00:32:00] representative for somebody that doesn't have a strong background in customer service?" I guess this varies from location to location. Don't know if anyone has any thoughts on that?

Martin Jukes: I that's certainly from my perspective something about an attitude and not everybody is right to be in a customer service environment. I certainly that first of all it's making sure you've got the right people that they're going to be able to deliver that service that's [00:32:30] it's worth investing in the training for. Then making sure that they're capable of doing it. That doesn't necessarily mean that they've worked in this environment before to delivering customer service, it's really about their general attitude to life and their competencies. And making sure they would be able to do the role in the future.

Jonty Pearce: Interesting. So let's have a look at tips. I'm sorry, Graeme.

Graeme Gilovitz: I was just going to say you [00:33:00] also need to be aware of who your end customer is from a geographical point of view. Because where you may be hiring may be quite different than the end customer and they need to understand that you need to pair that relationship and those cultural identity together so that they work. I know in Germany, they're very different from the UK and they very much rely on information and the way that they interact is a lot more formal. If it's even possible to be more formal than the UK. But, it is. [00:33:30] So you need to make sure you have the right agents paired with the culture of the customers.

Jonty Pearce: With that comes tip in from Laura. It says, "Focusing on each team member with one to one catch up to make sure they're all clear on processes." Let me feedback one to ones was an item Martin discussed. Okay, here's tip from Luis, he says, "Keep your survey response high by regularly refreshing your questions and keeping the short." [00:34:00] And there as another comment on this that Christopher said, "Strange but true. This morning I was contacted by a market research company for market feedback on my experience with an insurance company. After answering the questions, the last question was, If I close my eyes how would the company compare to my vision of the perfect insurance company. I told them the question could not be answered so the agent canceled the interview. This then is logged as a fault, as a fail, when in fact the agent was highly efficient. Because of the rigidity of [00:34:30] the survey it reflects as failed and therefore not efficient. So agents are often efficient, the process is isn't." Martin, process was one of the key ones you discussed.

Martin Jukes: Yes, I think that's a really good example there from Christopher. I think it's about understanding exactly what's happening and making sure that [00:35:00] when we're measuring performance that we're taking all our specs into account. Some agents may have fear to be inefficient or unproductive when actually it's processes. All their knowledge of the process is that's really the issue.

Jonty Pearce: Okay, we've got a question from Marcus about how we grade call quality. Marcus says, "What's the best method to use while grading call quality. What techniques should be used to identify trends with regards to the overall customer [00:35:30] service in a call center." Certainly, I see a lot of different systems around in terms of call quality. Grading ranging from anything from a percentage score, a pass/fail, a traffic light score. What are your thoughts on that?

Graeme Gilovitz: Look, there's a multiple independence to sales call, inbound/outbound or service, but I think that some companies use colors like, [00:36:00] hot, cold, red, green or orange. I was using a grading like that or a percentage. I think it's really depends on what environment you're in and what actually is easily identifiable to the agent as to what actions need to be taken. At one point giving a score to something that doesn't actually translate into an action. Because, you can have these milestones but if it's not clear to the agents what needs to be done afterwards or during the time of that call, then it's just a waste of time.

Jonty Pearce: [00:36:30] And Martin, percentage of calls are quite difficult unless you've got very good calibration, because different boxes apply to different call types.

Martin Jukes: So too, I think the important thing is around looking at what it is you really want to measure. What is the ideal call? What are the composite parts to the ideal call? Or contacts, so again, we need to [inaudible 00:36:53] the channels as well. And making sure those individual characteristics ... So for example, the call out meaning the call closure. [00:37:00] They're all included in that analysis of that, that transaction to be able to score them effectively.

Jonty Pearce: Excellent. Well before we move on to Graeme's presentation, Graeme's going to be looking into technology, but we're going to ask the question. What technologies are you looking at to deploy, to increase productivity? So it's just like you to vote those options. So you're looking to deploy live chat? Are you looking to deploy chat box, or intelligent [00:37:30] assistance? You're looking to put in agent assistance software? [inaudible 00:37:36] knowledge base. Are you looking at call diversion software? What types of things are you looking to put in your contact center to increase productivity? Select to vote on that now. We'll have a look at the answers coming up. Any thoughts Graeme, on what you think will to come up?

Graeme Gilovitz: I would have thought [00:38:00] at the moment a lot of people are looking at chat box or intelligence assistance just because there's so much hype around it and but on the other hand we hand know that it hasn't been successful. You wouldn't see a lot in my opinion on a lot of capital expenditure sort of things like desktops. Front agent desktops but maybe even in the agent guidance would be something that would be quite large a percentage.

Jonty Pearce: Well, let's have a look at the answers. It looks like 55% of people have said knowledge base, which is [00:38:30] certainly a key one that you've probably got right before you can look at things like chat box. 43% on looking to deploy live chat, followed by agent assistance software at 40%. So it looks like helping agents is certainly a key one. 28% chat box and 21% call diversion software. Graeme, it's probably a good time now to hand the baton across here. If you'd like to take us through [00:39:00] your ideas of ways that technology can help to make the call center more productive in that.

Graeme Gilovitz: Wonderful. Thank you. Are you able to see my screen? All good?

Jonty Pearce: We can indeed.

Graeme Gilovitz: Wonderful. Well then, thank you very much. What I'm going to be talking about today is really following on from what Martin had spoken about earlier and there's actually several points that he raised during his presentation that you'll see continuing as a theme in what we're going to talk about today? Before we really get into the crucks of it, I really just want to say that now [00:39:30] is probably the best time that contact centers have ever been in, in terms of position to really maximize the usage of technology.

Simply because there's so many out there and the cost has been so prohibitive in the past, that is no longer the situation. So there is really is no reason why a contact centre shouldn't be event testing some of these softwares and really having a go rather then saying, this is too expensive and I'll wait until it becomes cheaper. The time is actually now, okay. [00:40:00] Look there are a range of ways that companies are trying to increase efficiencies and there is the assisted side, which is really working with the agent and the secondary side which is talking about self service.

We're not going to focus on the self service but obviously it has a direct impact on the agents. Very simply, if you look at the statistics, I think there's about [inaudible 00:40:23] said, something like 60% of customers, all customers end up in your contact centre despite the fact that you actually [00:40:30] have self service tools. The more that you can actually provide tools to help your agents, the better way that they will be to actually answer these questions. What's really imperative today is because of the amount of software out there if you want to get greater efficiencies past the first deployment then you want to really looking at how you can automate the deployment from one particular software solution into your back end. If you have to keep doing it every time you deploy [00:41:00] a solution, you're not really going to get that economies of scale, okay.

Something came up that I thought was very interesting, I think it was one of your ... I think it was Chris, mentioned it in one of the tips and also Martin is that agents are still far too reliant on processes rather than the customer interaction. So what companies need to be really doing is focusing how they can empower the agent to really focus on the customer by removing those obstacles such as increasing automation [00:41:30] of mundane and repetitive tasks. To me, before I got into this industry, I remembered thinking when I was talking to a [inaudible 00:41:39] in Australia. The problem I had that the gentleman said to me, the CFO said to me, "Sir, do you mind if I put you on hold a minute while I speak to the manager?" And naively I thought that was what he was doing when in reality that person was actually toggling between screens trying to navigate through many applications and understand what my situation was and what the person could [00:42:00] actually do.

Now, unfortunately this is still the reality in a lot of contact centers today and as Martin pointed out, the less empathetic the transaction, the relationship. The greater the chance the customer will probably walk away, okay. The benefits are very clear about why you should be boosting agent productivity in contact center efficiencies. It does not matter who I've spoken to in the past, but all the executives have said, they can't sugar coat it. The reality is that the key [00:42:30] objective is to reduce operational costs while improving customer experience. It doesn't get any simpler than that. Now, that's a really big thing to achieve but yet there are many levers that one can actually pull to try and obtain that. If you go back to that other slide, there are multiple solutions out there in the marketplace. And some of these key metrics might be reducing AHT as people have said. It could be giving a consolidated view of the customer. Increasing automation and also things like streamlining agent training [00:43:00] to help minimize attrition.

We won't go too much into self service because maybe that's for another discussion. One of the solutions that's available and has been around for many years, but again isn't being utilized enough is the idea of a unified agent desktop. Too many of the contact centers see this environment which means that an agent has to sign in to multiple applications, they need to learn how to use them and they also know which process. So in this particular situation I have to get out 1, number [00:43:30] 3, number 4, number 2 in order to complete something. When if you had a single layer like this, a unified agent desktop, you can see everything in one particular screen. And in today's market I guess, you can get these very much customizable to the point where it's not just customizable by a company but also by agent.

So as Martin was explaining earlier you might train an agent in one area such as the phone but then another one in live chat. They don't need to have access [00:44:00] to all of these channels on their view. If you couple that with something like agent desktop automation that also helps to relieve the agent of having to do those mundane and repetitive tasks and take them away from focusing on the customer. And this should be done in the background and if you have to explain this very simply it's taking out the clicks and the mouse movement in the background so they can actually focus on the interaction. And that has very simple consequences from a business increase in [00:44:30] the speed of the service reducing AHT, reducing the after call work if it's automation. Also in increases the accuracy instead of having to copy and paste between different screens or mainly running it in multiple screens. You're going to reduce those errors.

And of course all this results in improved customer experience. If you were to deploy these sort of solutions this is probably the ... What I would expect a company to sort of see as the results. This isn't particular one customer, [00:45:00] this is sort of the general thing that people should do looking at. So you should be seeing around a 50% decrease in your escalation of calls from first to second level support. You should see a 30% increase in your FCR. We're not talking about a 30% FCR rate, which would be about at 30% increase. And about a 20% reduction in you AHT. Again it depends on the complexity of what you're talking about. I really want to spend a moment to talk about these numbers of 30% reduction in agent training time.

[00:45:30] And again this comes back to something that Martin was speaking about earlier. Training and onboarding of new agents is complex but from a systems, from a [inaudible 00:45:39] perspective, and then when you throw in there customer expectations of the agent, you can understand why turnover in the industry is relatively high. I think that when were talking recently, Jonty, you said it was the latest statistic showed about 30% of agents turn over every year. Which has a very significant impact on the bottom line. If [00:46:00] you can give them the tools to speed up that training, their confidence to start dealing with customers, the sooner they can actually be adding to the bottom line.

And if you come back to that one slide that Martin had that showed about the blended agents, it talks about email, phone, social media and I think there's one more.

Martin Jukes: Chat.

Graeme Gilovitz: More chat. Top, thank you for helping me out. That is all about workforce management and load. The more that you [00:46:30] can assist those agents, they spend more time in that blended area, the more efficiency you're going to get out of your agents. And that brings us to one of the easiest and I think this correlates to one of the polling questions about agent guidance. Now agent guidance used to have a really bad stigma about it because the words that people used to talk about was agent scripting. And scripting was very static, it wasn't real time and it had a really bad notion of I'm just reading a sheet of paper. Whereas with technology [00:47:00] available it's not like that at all. It's all about now an interactive and intuitive guide so agents know what to say and when to say it, okay.

A good example of this would be McDonald's is a good example of the scripted way, you've ordered a burger, "Would you like fries with that?. They know exactly what to say and it's they say it to every single person. Whereas if you and Jonty were going online or talking to someone on the phone and said, "Listen, I want to buy that punching bag." A bit out of frustration, they might [00:47:30] have statistics to show that 80% of people call in two weeks time and say "Oh, I actually need to buy some boxing gloves." "So listen if you buy it now I can actually give you free delivery and a 20% discount. So that's real time information available to that customer at the right time. Should lead to an increase conversion of sales in some cases we've seen 2-3% or increase customer satisfaction because they know that you're looking after their interest long term.

This third point, I think is really one of the most important [00:48:00] points and it came up also in what Martin was talking about. The whole aim of increasing efficiency should be at the hands of the contact center operational specialist. No longer should you be reliant on IT. Traditionally, you would take a ticket with IT, and they would come back and say to you, "Listen, we have to do an assessment, how long it's going to take and we'll come back with a cost." In some extent that would dictate whether or not you would be able to make those changes [00:48:30] and by the time you actually get an answer for this real time was months ago.

The whole point it that today's technologies are all real time based and if you can have it in a way that allows business owned and IT governed and you have drop and drag technology on those solutions, the more those people in the know, which are your agents and your operational specialists can drive those. Just to give you an idea I'm [inaudible 00:48:57] person you'll ever meet. I explain to [00:49:00] people that I know that my car has six wheels in it. So, Jonty, maybe if someone could be the first to answer that we should give them some chocolates. If you're a little more technical than I am then you'll be able to pick up a lot of these softwares significantly faster.

The benefits speak for themselves. So one we won't go too much into them, the fact that you'll see X will go up, the lack of needing to repeat customer information which is a major frustration and improvements on FTR's [00:49:30] and call back later. From a business perspective again, we talked about reducing agents training time. We've seen some companies either a UK telco that we work with, we're seeing them drop their onboarding from five weeks to two and a half weeks. Now when you consider you might have hundreds of agents starting every year, the significance of that bottom line impact is absolutely huge. One thing that resonates really well with people who work in very [00:50:00] sophisticated and highly regulated industries such as banking and finance and insurance, will find that they're also very worried about disclaimers and the like.

So knowing that they've gone through the right process and kicked that off will also cover themselves in case of an issue later on. Lastly, and I think this is one of the things that hasn't been spoken about enough when we talk about technologies. The industry is bot crazy and has been for some time. As I said earlier the reality is that bots [00:50:30] on customer facing interaction have not met the customer experience levels at all. So people have been a little bit shy of it. What people haven't been looking at is their little relative, which is the agent personal assistant and this is actually working side by side doing the processing, the automation and processing in the background to allow the agents to actually come up with a live answer in real time.

We liken it to a diesel helper [00:51:00] that's sitting side by side you. And it talked with things like immediacy of responses able to search through databases in the background to get answers that would otherwise take a long time. And in a way it's like having a supervisor sitting next to you. Now, I think that the best way and a good way to really explain this further is Jonty, is actually introduce my friend Bob. If you wouldn't mind making some introductions that would be great. [00:51:30] So, Jonty, I think that video really drives homes that idea of making automating the really mundane and repetitive tasks that allow the agent to really focus on the customer. The more that we can empower those customers, the agents rather to do that interaction and really focus on the empathy, the greater the service that we can provide and you'll see the scores go up which ultimately leads to better lying bottom line [00:52:00] revenues.

Jonty Pearce: Excellent. Well, thank you very much for that Graeme. Some real food for thought there. Certainly some key advice. Look to improve the agent desktop, don't get held back by IT, look at deploying technologies where the business can improve it yourself. And Graeme, your point about six wheels, certainly it got me stumped. Louis is come up with a theory which is that it's four wheels, [00:52:30] plus a spare wheel, plus the steering wheel. I don't know if that's the answer you're looking for.

Graeme Gilovitz: That's five and the sixth one is, in your hand.

Jonty Pearce: Four wheels. Yes, steering wheel, a spare wheel and four wheels. I think Louis got that.

Graeme Gilovitz: That's it.

Jonty Pearce: Well done, Louis. That certainly had me stumped. We've got time, and certainly if anyone wants a demonstration of Bob, the Agent Assistant software, if you'd like to leave that in the chat room when we leave the webinar. So let's now look at some top tips and questions [00:53:00] from the audience. We've got a few questions that have come through. Jonathan has said, "With regards to multi-skilling agents to respond to multi-channels, should you implement or identify anything at recruitment or concentrate on in-house training?" Martin, I don't know if you've got any thoughts on this.

Martin Jukes: I think I understand the question, Jonathan. I would always recommend having in-house training. And the reason being you want to be able to train [00:53:30] in your brand values and your standards. Although somebody may well be coming with certain skills, you want to be able to make sure those skills are appropriately applied to your organization and to present your brand.

Jonty Pearce: Next one, Graeme, I don't know if you have any thoughts.

Graeme Gilovitz: I absolutely agree with that. I guess if you've got a leader or someone who has gone through it, they generally know the best tips on how to train someone because you can have a manual or an external person [00:54:00] talk to you about how to use that software but unless you again, it comes down to that front line experience, that's the most valuable.

Jonty Pearce: And I guess the other thing is not all people are going to be suited for multi-channel. Some people are great at chatting, we certainly probably have more than our share of dyslexic people who've got into what they thought was a call center because they could chat to people as long as they could do some basic data entry that would be fine. Suddenly expecting them to know grammar and spelling and things such as that, may not [00:54:30] be suitable for them. And if we put them in that role we may find they leave and move on. I think it almost start with volunteers before you do that. That's how you enforce that. Let's have a look at another question coming through.

This is one from Christina. Christina says, "What do you think should be the benchmark efficiency rate to use for talk time verus idle wait time percentage for an advisor?" Martin, I've got some thoughts [00:55:00] on this. Do you have any ideas?

Martin Jukes: Yes, again. I think it's quite an individual thing. If you were to say talk time versus idle wait time, if you were to say somewhere between 65-75% percent then that would have been considered appropriate. But do think it depends very much on what the content of each inquiry is around and the complexity of it. I suppose the impact that it has [00:55:30] on the advisor. If it's a very simple inquiry then perhaps you could increase those. But if it's a more sensitive inquiry then maybe you need to reduce it.

Jonty Pearce: Certainly I think some of the things here is that percentage rate is often governed by the amount of traffic you've got on the system and your service levels. If you want to keep service levels specifically if call volumes are low then that will be naturally low and that's not a bad problem. One thing we see in a lot of people doing airline calculations [00:56:00] is they don't factor in a maximum occupancy. Certainly that really shouldn't go above really much over 85% or less. It's very transactional centered. Possibly 90%. If you try and push it higher than that what you actually find is that you'll get agent burn out and you'll get that occupancy and so the availability will be maximum occupancy will be reflected in longer [00:56:30] average handling times as people get more burnt out will take longer to handle. Unfortunately that's all the time we've got for today. If you'd like to fill in the survey when you leave the webinar today, it's only four questions long.

And if you'd like a demonstration of Bob the Bot the agent assist software please fill that in the post webinar survey. If you would like to get a copy of the slides of course, callcentrehelper.com/recorded-webinars. Let's have a look at [00:57:00] the winning tip today and that was the tip we mentioned earlier from Jayne that said "Try to focus on the customer experience versus average handling time to increase first contact resolution. The calls may be longer but the reduces customer call backs." So we'll be more productive in the long run. We're going to be back in three weeks time when we're looking at our 200th webinar, "How to be world class at customer service." I'd like to thank our two speakers. Thank you Martin Jukes for joining us today.

Martin Jukes: Thank you very [00:57:30] much Jonty. Very enjoyable.

Jonty Pearce: And thank you to Graeme Gilovitz for joining us as well. Thank you very much Graeme.

Graeme Gilovitz: No problems. I hope I get a call back like Martin did.

Jonty Pearce: Indeed. And thanks very much and enjoy your Easter break and we'll see you back in three weeks time. Thank you, then. Bye bye.

Lee Judge: Good day everyone. I'm your host, Lee Judge, and welcome to today's webinar entitled What Makes An Exceptional Chat Bot, a question and answer webinar brought to you by Jacada. As a note, [inaudible 00:00:11] the privacy of our attendees, only your name will appear in the attendee window.

Today's webinar as you mentioned is an interactive webinar designed to answer your questions about customer service chat bot. The questions feature today have been submitted by you, the attendees, during registration. Also our Q& [00:00:30] A; window is open on your WebEx screen so please feel free at any time to type additional questions in that Q&A window during the event.

Today we will discuss questions around chat bot, virtual customer assistance, and artificial intelligence solutions. Many of the questions have already been reviewed by our panelists and they have already had a chance to prepare some thoughts to share with you today. So let's introduce our panel.

Our presenters today are Nicolas De Kouchkovsky, an intelligent assistance [00:01:00] and chat bot market specialist as well as former CMO at Genesis. Also we have Kumaran Shanmuhan, vice president solutions at Jacada, as well sitting in for Dylon Mills whose wife's about to have a baby right now, I think, we have Michael Hastings, senior solutions consultant here at Jacada.

So starting with Nicolas, gentlemen please further introduce yourselves.

Nicolas D.: Yeah. Thanks Lee. I'm a consultant and [inaudible 00:01:28] CMO. I work with [00:01:30] startups and b2b software companies. I focus on technology to communicate with customers, to engage them. Like you mention, I'm a veteran of the customer service industry. I spent 13 years at Genesis at different capacities. Last but not least, I'm the author with Opus Research, the intelligence assistance and smart bot market landscape. So we created the first [00:02:00] version three years ago. It's now in its fourth edition and it's particularly relevant to today's topic. Thanks.

Lee Judge: Thank you. Michael?

Michael H.: Sure. Thanks Lee. My background is in self-service and customer experience as well. I've spent about eight to nine years at EarthLink which is the internet service provider here in the US when I was managing their self service activities as well as alternative care channels. Then from there I moved to … Also I spent time at [00:02:30] a few different technology providers including working on things such as omni-channel file contact center, social media customer care and then I've moved on to Jacada specializing in primarily self service activities here.

Kumaran S.: Hello everyone. I'm Kumaran Shanmuhan. I'm responsible for solutions at Jacada. It's a pleasure to have your time today. We're really looking forward to answering your questions and can't wait to get started.

Lee Judge: All right. [00:03:00] Well thank you gentlemen. Before we begin I'll mention one more time for those who have just logged in. [inaudible 00:03:05] the privacy of our attendees only your name will appear in the attendee window. So, let's begin. Here's our first question of the day. We'll go to this one. How have chat bot changed over the last few years and how will they change in the future? Nicolas?

Nicolas D.: Yeah, thanks. If we look back in the mirror there's really three technologies that reach the kind [00:03:30] of the maturity tipping points, and the other enable this new form of BOTS. First is NLP&U, natural language processing and understanding. What those technology maturity has done is, it has started to make machine to human interaction much more conversational.

Second chat bot like the name suggest started on the web in the chat channel. [00:04:00] The second set of technology that have matured is other channels. First and foremost is messaging and messaging really created a new way of interacting on the customers term that can be leveraging the mobile, the smartphone of people without requiring any type of mobile application. Second this voice. Progress in the field of machine learning has made [00:04:30] transcription of voice back and forth between text much closer to the way we speak.

So the coming of those new channels together is the second technology that has kind of reaches tipping point. Last but not least, although from a technology standpoint it was existing before the ability to actually barge in a human and escalate seamlessly a bot [00:05:00] to a human as maybe the chat bot completely different. So these are the three technologies that have been there for a while but they kind of matured lately to reach this maturity enabling today what we call virtual assistants.

Now if we look forward, there's still a lot of progress that needs to be made in particular in terms of conversational interactions. The second thing that we see happening is an evolution of [00:05:30] bots. Historically brought to focus on providing back information and what we see now is bots starting to complete to fulfill the interaction the customers, becoming a little more transactional if I may use that term.

The third key trend that we see happening is deeper personalization. So personalization is coming in the form of getting context for the inquiry, for example, what was the navigation on the website before [00:06:00] starting the conversation with the bots. What is the customer context, what is the sentiment, all those information can be used to actually provide deeper personalization of the conversation.

Fourth is analytics. There's already a lot of analytics, but we see that this growing demand for analytics that addresses two key issues. First, what type of analytics can help meet the process to [00:06:30] make the bot better much more interactive. Two, how can we learn from interaction, how can we learn and identify the knowledge gaps to perfect the bot. Finally, this probably which is the most forward looking forward type of technologies what I call orchestration. Opus Research has coined the term of medibot.

[00:07:00] The vision is that all the time in the attraction we will have multiple bots, we will have human working all together in a kind of collaborative manner, and we need a layer to orchestrate this conversation so that you seamlessly pass the customer from one bot to another, from one bot back and forth with the human. So these are the technologies that I see the most active as we speak in terms of evolution.

Lee Judge: [00:07:30] Excellent. Gentleman, anything you want to add to that?

Kumaran S.: No.

Lee Judge: Great. All right thanks for that answer, Nicolas. Let's go to our next question, it's also on you it looks like. What is the most common mistake made when deploying a chat bot for customer service?

Nicolas D.: Well that's the hard one. I wish that was only one. So, I'd like actually to point to … I'd like to spin them more as four key success factors and the flip side of [00:08:00] the coin is mistakes that are unfortunately often made. The first is a project approach. Bots require an iterative almost in agile approach. You start small, you learn, and as you learn you're perfect a bot and you broaden the scope of what the bot can do.

What I unfortunately see a lot is company, and with a good intent, minimizing risks, [00:08:30] adopting a traditional kind of waterfall project approach. That is not the right way to approach it. Second, and there's no priority order by the way between all those points, is the second issue is not setting the proper customer expectations. There's two critical expectations that needs to be set. Number one is what it is a customer can expect from the bot. Second, [00:09:00] for what type of interaction or what type of inquiries the bot is best suited.

We live in a multi-channel environment, customers do expect to have the option of all the channels. But at the same time, they are expecting that companies will direct them for given inquiry questions or requests to the channel that would be best to complete quickly their requests. So those two expectations [00:09:30] are really, really critical. This issue is, or third mistake I should say, is not offering a frictionless what I call a frictionless fall back to human.

Regardless of all the care you can do bots sometimes ripped or are enabled to provide the right answer. What at the beginning looks like a great experience can very rapidly become a frustrating one. So the way to cope with that [00:10:00] is to permanently offer a fallback and access to a human. Last but not least, the issue under estimating the amounts of data and knowledge that is required. A bot needs to be trained. A bot needs to be fed with knowledge, with data and that is very open and unfortunately an area that is completely underestimated by customers in their project.

[00:10:30] So, [inaudible 00:10:32] approach setting up customer expectation, always providing seamless access to human, and making sure you properly assess the need for data and knowledge are the four key success factors that I would recommend.

Lee Judge: All right. Excellent. Our next question here is … Oh, it's time for poll. All right. So, let's launch a poll [00:11:00] question here and see what is on the mind of some of our attendees. Let see, the poll is open now. You should see a poll on your screen. If you don't, look for a poll icon the top right corner -- is that where it's at -- of your screen. Make sure you can see the poll on the screen.

So while you're completing the poll, let's go to confirmation off screen. We have a poll up? Okay. While the poll is running … I'll see you. Great, [00:11:30] great numbers coming in. That goes to our next question and return to the poll after we discuss the next question. So this one's on you Kumaran. The question that we got submitted to us is how are chat bots able to automate complex customer service interactions.

Kumaran S.: Sure, it's a great question. We also need to answer it in terms of what can be done and what should be done. So from the best practice perspective, [00:12:00] the general guidance is that you want to start with the simple interactions. But obviously there's a lot of complexity in your business so you would want to automate complex interactions as long as you can do it well.

So when we look at the complex interactions, there again, we can look at complex interactions that should be automated and those that are better handled by humans. Perhaps it's a high value attraction, perhaps it's a high consideration interaction. [00:12:30] So now when we look at those complex interactions which are I would say in relatively low value or those that you would want to automate without really providing for differentiated human experience with.

The first thing you want to do, again, talking in theory, anything that is complicated what do you do? You break it down into simple pieces, smaller pieces, and then you try to automate those pieces. In practice let's look at an example. So let's say that [00:13:00] as a consumer I want my money back. Maybe there is a charge on my credit card I want to dispute or maybe I got product that I ordered, I received, it's damage. I want a refund and perhaps I'm not within the your exchange policies and there is some anxiety on my part, there is some money involved, that's complexity.

So when we look at the whole experience, it might seem [00:13:30] complicated but when we break it down into simpler pieces, there is a part where you need to get information from the customer. There is a part where somebody in your business is going to make the decision using some discretion whether they want to issue the refund or how they want to manage the dispute. Then there is a part where you want to keep the customer up to date with what's going on with the resolution process.

So as we talk through this, there are very specific places [00:14:00] in this total experience where you want a human to be involved, which is really the part where the human discretion is involved. All those other areas could be delegated to a bot. It could be a bot that is talking to you to collect information in a friendly manner while recognizing your sentiment and accommodating that part of the journey. Likewise you can have a bot that keeps you posted on what needs to happen next. [00:14:30] And, the part that is left to discussion is left to discretion a human can do it.

So there are different ways in which we can kind of break complexity down and find opportunities for automation while improving the experience and in reducing the total effort the customer needs to put in.

Lee Judge: Okay. Thank you Kumaran. So we're going to briefly look at the results from our poll to see what our results were here. Let's see, should be on your screen. Let's see if I can get on my [00:15:00] screen so you can discuss that. Can we verify that attendee can see the poll? We're not seeing it over here. Okay, let's see. I'm not seeing our results. Okay, thank you for letting us know so you see them.

Well, let's see …

Kumaran S.: A secret ballot.

Lee Judge: It's definitely secret ballot. Tim, you can see the answers and we can't see the answers yet. Let's see. Maybe do you have them there? [00:15:30] Can you please show those to us so we can discuss it? Just show us the laptop because we can't see them over here.

Kumaran S.: You need the individual results? Is that …

Lee Judge: I just want to see poll results. We'll just look on this computer over here.

Nicolas D.: What we see, Nicolas here, is a majority are using it for frequently asked questions and the other topics a kind of way lower between 5% to 50%. [00:16:00] I think it's reflection that the right thing is happening, people are starting small and expanding. I want to go back to and expand a bit on what Kumaran was sharing with us. I'm actually a believer that bots will become more specialized.

So, we spoke about informational bots. We start to see transactional bots that are able to actually accomplish something, interact with the system to fulfill the interaction that the requests from [00:16:30] the customers. We start to see as well response or answer bots, I don't think that an established terminology, that are helping address more specific complicated questions or the kind of a customer support scenario.

We see bots that are focused on providing suggestions to agents. So and I'm sure there will be other mini categories emerging. So back to the question, what should I do to deal with complex problems? As you break down the problem, as [00:17:00] recommended by Kumaran, you want a segment and focus the class of problem to the specialized bot that will do the best job at it.

Second that this ties back to what we discussed in terms of orchestration, you will have over time a layer that will strengthen the customer and be able to dispatch complex inquiry to right towards [00:17:30] the right bot. Third point and that would be my conclusion on this one is at the end of the day, bots are here to work together with human. In a perfect world you want to offload the simple, mundane, repetitive questions to bots and free up time of your agent to deal with the more complex part.

So one way to look at that at the problem is actually to free up time of your [00:18:00] agent and direct more complex interactions to agents, to humans.

Lee Judge: Excellent. Before we go to the next question, we have questions still coming in also on the Q&A window. So our panelists can see those questions. We'll try to jump [inaudible 00:18:14] if we can. We have a lot of questions to cover today. So, guys you can see the screen. If you want to grab one, please interrupt me and grab one. For now let's go to the next question.

Nicolas, the question submitted was what are one of the most successful methodologies for connecting bots to [00:18:30] the ecosystem of data sources used in contact center environments?

Nicolas D.: So I'm not aware of specific methodologies, I mean, specific to bots. What I see is that there's actually in terms of integration a slew of new integration techniques that were brought by the cloud and that can and should be leveraged in the case of bot deployment. I would say back to start small [00:19:00] and grow that if you can start deploying the bot with literally integration you should definitely do it and add the integration as you expand the scope of the bots.

What I like to do in terms of integration is to look at the various types of integration. So, firstly the conversation context. So, in the case of for example a chat bot on the web you want to be able to retrieve [00:19:30] the navigation that took place on the web prior to starting the interaction with the bot. It's also the customer context. So it's typically in a CRM application. In some cases you might need to identify the customers potentially to authenticate the customers.

We spoke about the transition from just informational bots to transactional bots, so that will require [00:20:00] to connect the bots to an application to complete the customer service request. Last but not least, you want to make sure that you're able to pass the context between the bots and humans or between several bots if you use several bots to make sure that from a customer perspective the interaction is really, the conversation is really seamless.

Now, I know why I took the question. But I also know that [00:20:30] integration has been a historical area focus for Jacada. So, probably Kumaran you want to elaborate a bit on my answer.

Kumaran S.: Yeah, I think you made very good points there Nicolas. I would suggest that going back to the surveys, it looks like many of our audience members have implemented bots for frequently asked questions. So first place [00:21:00] first opportunity would be to personalize those FAQs using integration, using customer data, be from your CRM systems, your channels of engagement so that you are providing richer personalized answers.

Then taking that one step further, you may already have various service capabilities for which you have web services, so that would be the next step to bring them that type of integration in so that you can provide more transactional capabilities. [00:21:30] If you push the envelope further, there is also robotic process automation that I'm sure is happening in some of your contact centers where you have bots that are responsible for performing individual tasks so that humans don't have to be involved.

So, again, there is an opportunity to bring those RPA bots integrated that into these chat bots which are providing the front end customer experience, thereby slowly and gradually you can [00:22:00] increase the degree of automation across the operation.

Michael H.: The RPA bots can be very useful in scenarios where a web service doesn't exist. For example, maybe the backend system or the old green screen system where that doesn't play well or doesn't play nice with modern web technologies and the RPA bot can act in replacement of the web service.

Lee Judge: Okay. Let's grab our next question here. How is customer service improved using intelligent assistants?

Nicolas D.: So, [00:22:30] I like to look at the impact from two perspective; one the customer and second the business. From the customer standpoint, I would start with the ability with a bot to address a well-known expectation for the customers convenience and speed. The second thing ties back to the fact that bot growingly and messaging are kind of woven together. A messaging [00:23:00] interaction, the type of interaction is actually great from a customer perspective. You don't have to wait.

If you think about it, you always give back their time to customers, it maintains context. In the case digital text type interaction it's extremely precise. Finally when you take a step back and if you look at the true assistant that has conversational [00:23:30] abilities and number two that never gets in the way of reaching out to a person, you've got the two element to provide a great experience. So, the experience impact on the customer side is one way to look at the overall business impact.

From the company standpoint, I’ll start by saying that I want to acknowledge that even if all companies have a focus on improving customer [00:24:00] experience, customer service organizations they still have to improve productivity to reduce their cost. So, it's very challenging for them. What you find is that the bots and assistants provide those organization with a way to reduce cost without impacting the experience. So this is one of those few technologies that allows to [00:24:30] kill two birds with one stone.

The bot of course by virtue of being self-service is going to free up some cycles of your agents. But when you look at the big picture, you will also be able from a business standpoint to apply those cycles to important interactions. Be them complex ones, be them high value or high impact interactions. So, bot gives you the [00:25:00] opportunity to revisit how cycles of your most precious resources people are going to be outdated. Finally, and again it's a little bit forward-looking, but we've seen a continued increase of method of communication channels.

We live in a connected world and the challenge for many organization is [inaudible 00:25:23] for customer service to offer assistance at any time on any channel. So [00:25:30] for many organization, this scaling is extremely hard. When you think about it, a bot is always here can start to pick up the questions and manage this presence across channel and over time.

Lee Judge: Okay. Do you want to elaborate on that some-

Michael H.: Sure. I completely agree. Great points there. Experiences has taught me and my belief based on those experiences is that [00:26:00] cost reduction and a high quality customer experience do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. It's not one or the other, you can have both. I think intelligent assistants are perfect technology to provide for that. So, one, it allows you to meet customers where they are in the channel of their choice and provide a quick low-effort customer experience in a cost-effective manner for the business. It's win-win for everyone.

Lee Judge: All right. Let's see what our next question here is. [00:26:30] This question we have here is what is the best way to implement chat bot or VCA into the IVR that is seamless to customers.

Kumaran S.: So again another interesting question. Although they're talking about chat bot, Nicolas made the point that it doesn't necessarily have to be …

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