The very strength of Genesys Telecommunications Labs impressive suite of Customer Interaction Management software is its malleability. It’s very weakness is its impressive malleability! Well, at least in the wrong hands a simple task like updating a business strategy to change the way something is routed or managed can wreak havoc on an active mission critical contact centre if those changes are not conducted carefully and with full visibility on the expected change and its impact on the rest of the configuration environment. All too often we see solutions that have thousands of routing strategies in them? Why? The risk of adapting an existing one is deemed HIGHER than adding a net-new one! However, Anana’s clients require a live, instant and ready capability way to change the way their contact centre operates in real time and often those changes need to be made by operational staff with no administrative skills or even without access to the Configuration and Management Environment (CME). With Genesys Administrator Extension and its plug-in architecture Anana has been able to create a new dashboard or “Business Routing Interface” that accomplishes two key tasks;
- It allows our customers to make instant and immediate changes to a mission critical contact centre operation on the fly
- To be able to do so whilst completely shielded from unhappy accidents; or knock on impact of making changes in the configuration that directly conflict with other presets or business strategies that are active or pre-purposed for later use
In past solutions Anana has built web based business routing interfaces using the Genesys Platform SDK and has exposed limited area’s of the business configuration through this web based solution. Whilst this has been fine for simple tasks like changing IVR prompts on the fly; or updating the opening or closing hours of specific contact centers or departments therein it has remained a rather limited scope of operational changes. A balance always had to be sought between the amount of professional services required to create these operations dashboards versus the perceived need for these changes to be made by the business at any event during its lifetime. These could be to handle emergency outages; change the IVR to tell all callers the fire-alarm has sounded and all staff have temporarily left the building; to changes in the priority or classification and capacity of interactions themselves. It’s nigh on impossible to plan for all events; meaning a lot of potential scenarios for in service changes, deletions, additions and moves to to the configuration were handled as high-priority changes. Even with the best will and intent in the world it is difficult to rally technical resources to make the changes and test them fast enough to be of use.
Genesys Administrator Extension (version at time of press is 8.1.301.02) allows Anana; through its inherent architecture to build a clean, safe and supportable Business User Interface to make ‘in business changes’ to the strategies, skills, teams, roles, media, channels and business factors’ (and many other factors) whilst at the same time catering to all the myriad of options and dependencies that may be raised by any intended change.
To login; the business users are provided with a login ID and password as part of our deployment. Using these credentials they will see relevant aspects of the Business Routing Interface according to their role (skills) or departmental responsibility.
For the purposes of this article I am going to model logging in, and making changes to the opening hours of a particular Inbound Voice Queue.
I login by pointing my browser at the URL for this purpose.
You notice that there are no complex arguments for PORT, APPLICATION, HOST etc! It’s a simple login challenge.
On logging in I am met by a simple, business understandable layout for my key operational area’s of interest.
It is entirely configurable whether or not this logged in user see’s the main menu’s. Many users may only see the options for the Business Routing Interface. In this case you see a ROOT based login; that has exposed Anana’s own operational management areas as well as those areas typically reserved for specific client end users. Yes, in this case this is a solution design for an Anana client that requires Anana to do much of the operational management of the Genesys based solution.
If I click on any of the panel area’s a drop-down menu appears holding the relevant options against my login credentials;
Each of these menu items takes me to an area of the plug-in to administer that particular feature. Let’s assume that I want to change the queues on the solution. I selected the option for “Queue Overview” which will take me to the dashboard where I can, at a single glance, see the status of every queue defined in the working solution; and for each queue its current relationships in the configuration. For example;
Descriptive Nomenclature for the interface above;
- CE = Customer Experience. Has one been defined? Is it active for this queue?
- DC = Disposition Code. Have disposition codes for Interaction Workspace been defined for this media type and queue?
- OT = Opening Times. Have opening and closing times been defined for this queue?
- REP = Have reporting requirements been established and set up for this queue?
- SD = Special Days? Have any been setup for this queue, for example, for a National Holiday or other one-off event?
- SVY = Have surveys been configured for this queue and to what extent should they be active?
- TGT = Which teams, groups or skills should this queue target? Have you defined any over-spill?
- WHI = Have any whispers been set up for this queue?
- SLA = What Service Levels have been defined for this queue?
- EH = Have any special eMail Headers been defined to dynamically route email based on ‘classification’?
- DK = Have any dynamic keywords been defined to route on this queue based on a keyword in its subject, body, tweet, content or posted contents?
- AM = Have any alerts been mapped to this queue that should be injected into the customer/contact interaction history?
The red boxes immediately show the user any prerequisite routing measures that require configuration. In other words we have an “at a glance” view to the viability of our overall contact centre routing strategy! Please don’t worry too much about the different measures we’ve explored in this business routing interface; they are peculiar to a specific client needs and may not map to those types of measures that you may use. It does however give you a powerful sense of the flexibility in this interface! Anana has defined what the prerequisites are in the rules for what is ALLOWED and what is NOT ALLOWED. By exposing the deep internals of Genesys Administrator and the Configuration and Management Environment (CME) through a rules driven interface we can prevent the accidental change of a business attribute by any uninformed or less skilled user.
Let’s say for example, that I want to change the parameter associated with the whisper transfers on the primary inbound voice queue. Dead easy! I click on the queue; this spawns the popout for ALL BUSINESS ATTRIBUTES and I then go on to select WHISPER. I can quickly select from drop-downs or search masks the relevant business configuration I need. As you can see; I can apply any allowed attribute at any time. In other words; the plug-in Anana has created is simply creating different “slices and dices” of the underlying configuration in a controlled and rule-driven manner. All dependencies and options for each media type (channel) have been predetermined.
Changing opening hours on a queue is a 3 step process and is IMMEDIATELY live! There’s no danger of selecting options that compete with or contradict another business parameter up or downstream.
Different areas of the interface lend themselves to different tasks and operational considerations. The interfaces presented to users is tuned to their underlying role and departmental interest and is self-populating. Uploading new prompts for the IVR is a 3 click process! Defining their use in the customer experience is a 3 click experience. Oh, and the additional reporting building blocks are automatically updated! Live!
With its modular plug-in Anana stays in lockstep with the design principles of Genesys Administrator Extension. Anana also prevents the need of building a totally customized web portal or intranet portal to achieve the same or even similar ends. Anana may concentrate its effort solely on exposing the required business attributes and role elements in the interface from Genesys itself.
Business users get a simple interface which is immune from accidental and unintended business user changes that have knock on impacts in the solution as a whole. A user concerned only with the keywords or headers used to intelligently route emails to the correct team members can concentrate solely on that task.
It’s a perfect marriage made between the two underlying conflicts in complex solutions for customer interaction management. How do we keep the live operation flexible, nimble, light on its feet whilst at the same time ensuring mission critical service availability without interruption? How may my business take control of the operational parameters at runtime without requiring time-consuming and somewhat frustrating internal or external ‘change request management’?
Anana’s plug-in for GAX is perhaps a step in the right direction!
The role of Genesys in Social Media Solutions is changing
For the better I hasten to add!
“Oh, what a journey!” The twisting fate of digital strategy and engagement for the modern brand is evolving almost faster than we can keep up!
When Anana first started deploying mission critical Genesys Social Media solutions with Genesys Interaction Workspace 8.1.x we did so very much with a focus on the base principle of;
“The Contact Center boasts the largest and most heavily resourced talent pool to engage in social communications with the customer base of a brand”
Our first deployments were driven very much by the realisation of our clients that a manifest digital strategy in Marketing, Sales and Online was going to create pressure for engagement beyond the capabilities of these departments to cope with traditional engagement tooling. In simple terms, the more successful a brands ‘air-cover’ and momentum on social platforms, let’s say for example, as the result of a successful product launch then the more likely it is for the engaged customer base to respond / retaliate / question / comment / congratulate etc.
Here’s an example. A mobile operator enjoys a Facebook page with 168,000 likes on it. The Marketing department posts a really simple update notifying this audience of the availability of a new device.
“We are delighted to announce the immediate availability of the Apple iPhone 5 on our network with a variety of tariff plans to suit everyone!” [Simplified of course - but representative of the typical trigger air-cover at the time this article was written]
Of these 168,000 affected customers, let’s say 1% respond. [It could actually be a far higher figure] – Let’s assume 1,600 people comment on that release of information. Some of those comments may be;
- Wow, what fantastic news, congratulations!
- I’m waiting for it to be released on the[competitors] network – can’t wait!
- Do you know when the iPhone 6 is planned for release?
- Does it come with parental control options for safe-browsing on 3G?
- Oh, that’s not fair, I’ve just gone and bought the iphone 4S, am I going to be stuck with it for another 2 years?
- What memory options and colours are they shipping with?
- Will your stores also be selling the cases for these things? What options are planned?
- Will it be supported on the new 4G network?
- It’s 3 months to the end of my contract, will I have to wait to upgrade or can I do so now?
- Awesome, pre-ordered one, how long do you think I’ll have to wait for shipping?
- I’m trying desperately to login online to order, but have forgotten my online password! How can I reset it?
- I’ve been trying to phone for the last hour to order one, but no-one is answering me!
- I don’t like Apple that much so the big question is when are you going to update the ICS for us without the bloatware?
- and so on and so on and so on
Phase One deployments of Genesys Social Media
Our first phase deployments very much catered to the needs of the scenario highlighted in the backgrounder above. We give brands the opportunity to route, queue, prioritise and engage on every single one of these 1,600 posts where there are actually enough resources to cope. We do it simply; by integrating the social platform in question directly to the core of Customer Services in the Contact Centre [Engagement Centre is the new word for this department! (Tidwell, 2012)].
We take each comment, present it naturally to the customer services team who will then ENGAGE by responding. We use a very complex Business Driven Logic to determine the order of responses using a mix of Social Influence Scoring [Audience and Authority], Classification [What's it about?], Actionability [Is there anything we can do about this?] and Sentiment [Positive or Negative or somewhere between?] to determine who gets which post and the order in which these are presented. Much more on those elements are scattered around this blog. A quick search will help you understand them in more detail.
The issue we are beginning to see is that roughly, and this is VERY ROUGHLY – 40% of these responses are deeply Customer Service related. That leaves about 60% of the chatter and engagement opportunity STILL in the realms of Marketing, Sales, Brand Management or even the Legal team.
What should the customer services team do with these non-service-related interactions? I see two basic options;
- Attempt to respond for and on behalf of the Brand in any case
- Not respond to Brand related issue’s at all and hope that someone in the relevant department deals with it
This leaves the solution in a little bit of a stalemate. Why? How can agents naturally determine what is brand related? Even worse, a question may have legal ramifications? Is it okay for an agent to suggest the release date of a 3rd party product like the iPhone 6? No, of course not – Apple don’t allow carriers to cite the release of ANY product in advance of their own release; so here, we have a clear legal question on the table.
Sometimes the posts are simply commentary from someone who has influence in the field; say a note of congratulations from an Industry Analyst. Its actionability is likely to be low, its classification likely to be non-service related, and worse of all, the agents won’t have the knowledge management, experience or desire to respond! It’s not in their DNA. The business too may not want Customer Service Representatives attempting to answer for and on behalf of the other departments. This is compounded when brands decide to put all their eggs in one basket by having a single Facebook (for example) PAGE that is used for both broadcast and engagement activities across Sales, Marketing, Brand and Customer Services.
So, how to deal with the situation?
A viable answer is to arm the downstream departments with the same desktop technology in the form of the Genesys Interaction Workspace. In other words, we take the tools associated with customer service and put it in the back office. From a routing and business strategy perspective we also have options;
- We route everything to the customer services team from the affected Facebook Page or Twitter Stream (mentions, direct messages and keyword searches) and they decide what the post/comment is about and which department should deal with it
- We route everything to the marketing team, or the brand agency and they decide which department should deal with it
- We use automation in Classification of the post to determine which department is most likely to be the right target team with Genesys Content Analyser. We can also use elements of Actionability measurement too to support this
As a generic good rule-of-thumb the consensus in the market and from our clients is that approximately 40% of social media interactions between customers and their brands are service related. That would tend to suggest that we already have some guidance about the best option. If 60% of interactions are related to Marketing and Brand management activities in the form of pure engagement then that department may actually be the most likely candidate to route to.
That being said the business strategy may be to respond to a certain number Y in every X posts where there is significant advantage to the company in doing so; perhaps based on Reach, Audience and Influence of the posting party. So, whilst the largest proportion of interactions are non customer-service related they are indeed the lower proportion of interactions that actually must be responded to. This suggests that continuing to route into Customer Services as primary policy makes sense. We would still need viable options to route and present though to other lines of business. So now we reach the next phase in our routing and queuing strategies with social media interactions with our Genesys solution.
Phase Two deployments of Genesys Social Media
In phase two, we mature from standalone social media accounts for customer services and begin to concentrate all our social engagement [Brand & Marketing] and service engagement in single, unified digital stream on each social platform. In other words, instead of having multiple Facebook Pages, Youtube and Twitter Accounts by departments and roles we draw back to ONE. This is great for the customer because they will no longer be confused by who to talk to/at/about – but more importantly too it is simply easier for the customer to take the ‘low effort’ path irrespective of the nature of their comment or query. Even more so one may argue this makes sense becuause the primary catalyst of the responses were initiated on the main brand platform in any case. This has knock-on effects, especially with Twitter where it is sometimes hard for a consumer to know if they are actually targetting the BRAND itself or someone else pretending to be the brand by use of a cleverly named account. Twitter recognises this issue to a certain extent by VALIDATING brands, personalities or accounts as a sanction and underwriting of their autheticity.
If you are ever attempting to reach British Airways as a Twitter user you may be somewhat confused about which of these accounts is actually British Airways, and more to the point, which one is the right account to mention to receive attention. The Blue Verified Badge is an affirmation of the identity. It does not mean that other accounts are not valid – it just means that they have not got the ‘momentum’ to trigger Twitters verification process. This cannot be asked for by Brands; it is done by Twitter. For this reason; having a single entity on-line in Twitter makes sense. It reduces the likelihood of customer confusion and it promotes the chances of your Brand becoming verified by Twitter. (Disclaimer – British Airways as the example above is not a suggestion or claim that they are using a Genesys or Anana based solution – it is simply to reflect upon Validated Accounts)
Having established now a reasonable argument from going from MANY accounts to a SINGLE account it’s even more important that we use the power and flexibility of Genesys to do its core role for the Brand. Queue, Route and Prioritise based on good solid business logic.
Social Media Engagement Routing options with Genesys across business units
In the figure above, let’s walk through the example. A customer posts on Facebook a note of hearty congratulations to the Brand on the launch of their new product. Our configuration picks up the post, and routes it through the business routing interface in Genesys. This looks to its primary target, which in this case is the customer services team. The actionability, sentiment and classification of the post don’t set off any extraordinary ‘alarms’ and we note that the posting customer has significant influence. Let’s say for now the Klout score is 61.27 and the PeerIndex score is 66. In an ideal world the customer services team will note that this interaction should be transferred to someone in marketing who is better placed and qualified to respond. So, our customer services representative will CONSULT with that team; typically using Genesys Team Communicator and its inherent Instant Messaging capability. That consultation may be as simple as “The post that I have seems more Marketing related; can you handle it for me?”. If Marketing say “Yes, then its a single click transfer to release the post from Customer Services and place it immediately with the marketing team. Simple. Nice. Effective!
Whilst we make teams of resources available on a SKILL or QUEUE we also need to consider out of hours queuing, service-level-agreements, last-agent-routing and business reporting. Whilst my example above shows a simple transfer from one department to another it is probably unlikely that this will be done person-to-person; and more likely person to departmental queue. In these situations, the front line (Tier One) team member will simply blind transfer to a queue called MARKETING and immediately release themselves to their next interaction.
This functionality also allows for double-tapping; scenario’s where customer services responds to part of the post, and then marketing responds again; very handy when the interaction crosses both domains of business interest. This is a really handy feature in Genesys Interaction Workspace because the first handling social-media customer services representative can respond freely, and then transfer the same interaction to the second affected business unit.
The second business unit receiving the interaction will immediately see the interaction history, the context of the update, and what the first Customer Services Representative said. More so, they can review the attached NOTES about the interaction which will provide further guidance on suggested handling within milliseconds of the post arriving. Reporting allows the business to review cleanly over time the entire customer journey in all channels and media, and the life-cycle of each contact to the point of resolution; irrespective how many people touch it, handle it and respond to it. Awesome stuff!
Real World Example
Consider this tweet; completely irrelevant as the subject clearly dictates that multiple business units are being challenged to respond! It’s a good point of example though. Think more subtly about a consumer asking a question which has both service and marketing or legal based elements, for example, “When are you releasing the iPhone 6 and when can I upgrade my current iPhone 5?” Seems like a simple question; but to the handling brand this one is a minefield!
An example tweet that may hit multiple departments
The author, Dave Tidwell, tweets as an @mention to his target brand; clearly challenging them to respond. The actionability is questionable, but given the Audience of 1,834 followers the influence may be high. Let’s see what this tweet looks like the moment it arrives with the customer services team 60 seconds or so later…
Genesys Interaction Workspace with Tweet and Interaction History
The Genesys Interaction Workspace clearly describes a wealth of information about the customer, the full context of the Tweet and its overall relationship to the customer journey. Our handling customer services agent may respond, and having responded conduct a simple transfer with an additional note, let’s say to the Marketing team, for their chance to respond.
The customer services representative hits the transfer button, and simply selects the target department. Fire and Forget!
Selecting the transfer queue for this tweet with Genesys Interaction Workspace and Twitter
The ability to use Genesys Interaction Workspace beyond the Contact Centre is a powerful one! Front-Line teams don’t have to worry about resource availability or find themselves blocked by an inability to transfer an interaction to another department. You can’t do this with Voice unless you are prepared to use Voice Mail! Not only that, we have provided a capability for the best response, indeed, best-responses to a simple Social Media post that may touch multiple facets of the Brand. We retain full control of skills, queue’s, capacity, priority whilst at the same time maintaining that critical “Single View of the Customer Journey” no matter who they dealt with and when. That’s evident in my own interaction history with the ABC brand in the examples above.
If you further surround this with capabilities in ERP, Billing, Provisioning, Warehousing, CRM, Case-Management, eCommerce, Online and cause all these sub-systems to open in the right place in the right context the moment an interaction arrives; multiplied by the ability to report and analyse there is simply no excuse for a modern brand to lose the customer view.
Now, I’d better stop writing this before it turns into a book in its own right and get back to focussing on helping our clients deploy the solution described in this article. Yes, they are doing it! It’s incredibly rewarding to support these types of digital engagement strategies. It’s exciting and most of all its a lot of fun!
The Call Centre
(or Call Center depending on where you live!) – A dedicated environment staffed by resources who answer phone calls. 1930's onwards
Entire infrastructure dedicated to the presentation of customer requests through telephony based interactions.
The Contact Centre
An environment not solely dedicated to the handling of telephone calls.1990's onwards
An infrastructure that supports Telephony based interactions with customers alongside other channels and media, for example, Fax, SMS or email. Typically the channels are not integrated or reported against as a whole.
The Engagement Centre
An environment for customer interaction management across all departments of the enterprise. This includes all traditional facets of customer operations, sales, billing, support, online, marketing, brand and legal. Fully orchestrated, holistically managed customer operation that crosses all departmental lines of business for an enterprise. Completely media and channel agnostic across public and private communications architectures.
Retire the Call and Contact Centre industry terminology to the archives. For Anana at least, the future is in the "Customer Engagement Centre" – I will be writing quite heavily on the changed role of the contact centre specifically as it relates to Anana's experience over the last couple of years in bringing digital, multichannel and social media engagement solutions to some of the Worlds best known brands. Why have these brands turned the contact centre on its head? It'll be fun exploring those themes!
51.3% of the UK population has a smartphone (comscore, February 2012). We may also safely assume that they are all customers to brands that offer some form of Customer Service. 0% of the UK market offers intelligent access to assisted Customer Service via these devices! 100% of today’s customer service applications on smartphones only offer a CONTACT US page where they publish the telephone numbers for the customer to call in. We therefore begin to define the opportunity to improve the situation for both the consumer and the customer service representative.
What is Smart or Intelligent Customer Service?
I would define this as being “contextually relevant access to information, resources and guidance through all key milestones of the customer journey”. Specifically to the customer using these services they should have ready access to the right person, at the right time and with the right information.
To the Enterprise Contact Centre the opportunity to offer intelligent service offers the chance to ‘right channel’ and to find a self-tuning balance between supply and demand. Despite incredible algorithms in Workforce Management tools the average contact centre staffing model is incredibly inefficient. Available resources sitting idle with limited demand on one hand (this is rare for obvious reasons), or worse, on the other, the typical situation where demand for access to the contact centre far outweighs the ability of the centre to cope. What happens? Queue’s, waiting times and significant pressure on the working resources to feed the demand in order to meet self-defeating customer service satisfaction or resolution indicators. In order to reduce cost, the Enterprise finds itself striking a view that it is ALWAYS better to offer limited resources whilst constantly measuring performance against this demand as a level of “how much frustration and waiting have we caused out customers?” It’s almost as if the contact centre industry resigns itself to mediocre service that passes the ‘good enough’ test. I argue as well that a digital native will suffer inefficiency and delays far less than a digital immigrant. Digital natives are used to “JIT” (Just in Time) methodologies in everything around them. Can we begin to use technology to train the enterprise customers to accept some latency? I think we can if we begin to be intelligent about it.
Smart Customer Service offers the ability for the Enterprise to allow the customers themselves to have a role in describing the demand they wish to place on their suppliers. Customers may offer suggestions as to when they want to have the dialogue and even how it should happen. In other words; if we can find a clever way of describing our current and planned resources and share that intelligently with our customers then they may be able to choose how to engage and importantly when and how to engage. The only challenge then is to isolate an efficient mechanism for that ‘agreement’. Smartphones and the ubiquitous data environment (the internet) around all of us offer the perfect solution.
Let’s put intelligence into the Customers context and at the same time share with our customers the current resources we have available to assist them. Let the Enterprise and their customers decide in advance on a contract for service. Many factors may influence the decision in real-time. The measured prospective ‘value’ of the customer and the ‘resource availability’ are two simple as examples. Map this to the nature of the enquiry and the stage of the ‘customer journey’ and we can begin to make intelligent choices based on simple rules.
Smart mobile solutions for self and intelligent assisted service
The following video, in 7 minutes, describes a few simple use-case scenario’s where a customer using a typical smartphone is able to engage in ‘interactions’ that form part of the customer journey. They can do so initiated by their own perceived needs and the Enterprise can also reach out to these customers with ALERTS or any call-to-action as driven by the business.
Alerts could be simple, for example, “Dear Customer, your credit card is about to expire” all the way through to a powerful sticky call to action like “Congratulations, you have just qualified for an upgrade!” If we address these ALERTS to be coincident with our staffing and resource availability we can finally begin the process of truly planning workforce to the underlying service opportunity.
Please watch this video. For best results use HD quality in fullscreen mode and press ESC to return to this article when finished.
Afterwards ask yourself these questions from the consumer perspective;
- Would you use this type of technology if it helped you to avoid the IVR experience?
- Would you use this type of solution if you could avoid queuing for an agent?
- Would you react to an alert from your supplier if it provided you with a real and perceived advantage or benefit?
Also, ask yourself these questions from the perspective of the Contact Centre;
- Will it be beneficial to see why a customer wants to speak or interact with you BEFORE they do so?
- Could the physical location of the caller be relevant to your business? (e911, Roadside Assistance, Insurance etc)
- Would I like to shave the two big peaks in my customer services loading curve each day? By 10%? By 15%?
- Would I like to be able to survey across any media type or any type of interaction?
The technology you have just seen in this video is the simple use of the existing Genesys customer interaction management platform and tools that ship with it extended by innovation from the Anana team. It uses RULES and CONTEXT to decide what to show, how to show it, and what options or ACTIONS are available in each case. The application itself is simply a presentation layer and may be easily added to existing customer self-service applications. Even simple concepts like showing the customer that you have 16 billing specialist available right now for Chat, and 3 to talk about the upgrade could have a big impact on the choices that the customer makes in interacting with you. Instead of reaching out to you BLIND you have the chance to share your resources with your own customers; helping them to make INTELLIGENT choices about how and when to interact with you. Simple, yet profound?
A quick shoutout to thanks the Genesyslab Team for Tweeting this Article
— Genesys (@Genesyslab) 17. Juni 2012
Genesys Mobile Solutions – Reversing the role of ID and Verification with Mobile Apps for Customer Service
Setting the Stage
In most legacy contact centre interaction scenario's there is a heavy element of Identification and Verification (ID&V) required between the interacting parties. Overwhelmingly the onus of obligation to confirm ID is placed up the customer.
Do you ever receive a call from a contact centre, where the dialogue goes something like;
"Hello, this is Acme Bank calling, for security purposes can you please confirm you full name"
"David Tidwell, what's this about?"
"Thanks, I'll explain why in a moment or two! Can you please confirm the last part of your postcode starting BS16?"
"Just a couple more questions…."
"AAAAAAAHHHHGGGG !!!" CLICK – hang up
As a customer, this experience is infuriating! The Call Centre CALLED ME, and now I have to go through 100 hoops; and they are already inconveniencing me right when I need it the least! The natural and easiest reaction for the customer is to simply hang up! I know; because I do it a lot on unsolicited calls made to me from contact centres.
What about scenario's where the customer has asked for a callback? I suggest in these scenario's the customer is EXPECTING the call/contact, but still may have concerns that they are actually talking to their bank. It is incredibly easy for PHISHING to occur even in voice interactions. How? I block my Calling Line Identity, and phone my TARGET consumer pretending to be their bank. I can FREELY challenge this customer for their full name, date of birth, address, zip (postcode), telephone number and even confirmation of account details by simply pretending to be their Bank. It only requires minor levels of 'professionalism' and a practiced approach to PHISH in voice channels with some success.
Think about how easy this is to do! So, our line of argument for this concept of reversing the role of Identification and Verification is two-fold;
- It should make it easier for the customer to identify and authenticate themselves to the contact centre
- It should make it easier for the contact centre to identify and authenticate themselves to the customer
With Mobile solutions for Customer Service we have a new instrument that may make for an effective instrument to present SECRETS or TOKENS that are used in a variety of use cases for interactions driven by the CUSTOMER or interactions driven by the ENTERPRISE
Using Mobile Applications to present TOKENS or SECRETS to the Customer Services Team
The Anana Mobile Applications Solution for Customer Service now features the capability for the Customer to provide a secret or token as part of their CONTACT Request. In the use case presented below, our Customer, Dave Tidwell requests a callback from Customer Service
Step One – Booking the Callback and setting SECRET Token
Start the dedicated Customer Service application on the iPhone and go to the CALLBACK option.
Dave has selected the CREATE CALLBACK option on his Mobile Application. In doing so he has provided all the appropriate details and has added a SECRET. In this case that token is "anana". Dave's expectation is that when the Customer Services Representative calls him back that this token will be 'read-back' to him so that he has a tangible confirmation that the organisation is who they are purporting to be. Dave presses on CREATE button and the callback request; including the appropriate token is transmitted to the Contact Centre. In this case, we transmit this information into Genesys 8.1 through the Genesys Mobile Solution and Anana's Composite and Atomic Services Solution for Mobile. (A RESTful interaction stack; more on this later!)
Step Two – Confirming CallBack Request is Active
Dave now confirms on his listed CallBacks that the callback is booked.
Step 3 – Confirming details of Callback
Dave has the choice to click on the scheduled Callback item and see the details (we could of course add lots of options for rescheduling, cancellation, changing tokens or means of callback from Voice, to SMS, to eMail to Twitter, to Facebook and so on)
You can see in the graphic above that we have APPENDED the SECRET TOKEN to the Subject of the CALLBACK. It doesn't have to go here; but it makes presentation for the Customer Services interface in the Genesys Interaction Workspace slighly more intuitive.
Dave goes back to his HOME SCREEN in the Application and can see his pending CALLBACK request. We can send NOTIFICATIONS in email, or directly to the Application to confirm 5WH (Who, What, Why, When and Where) so that Dave is kept up to date with the STATUS of his interaction request in real-time.
Step Four – Callback active and pending (The work item is being targetted in the Contact Centre)
Step five – Targetting a Customer Services Team Member to conduct the Callback
Meanwhile, depending on the business logic in the underlying routing strategy (either in Genesys Orchestration Server – ORS) in SC-XML or via alternatives such as the automation of injection into Outbound Contact Server (OCS) an agent is targetted based on the NATURE of the enquiry, customer segment, context and state of conversation (via Genesys Rules Engine – GRE), Context Server and Conversation Management and a ringing event occurs in the Contact Centre.
The screengrab above shows that we have configured our Genesys Contact Centre system to RING with a TOAST popup event for this media type. The Customer Services Representative can see immediately that this is a CallBack interaction, from a Customer called Dave Tidwell, with a Subject of "Help" and the associated TOKEN or SECRET of "anana". A quick click on "Accept" spawns the interaction proper on the Genesys Desktop in Interaction Workspace. The agent will of course confirm the Contact Details and importantly the Interaction History to support context and the overall Customer Journey and Customer Experience.
Step Six – Customer Services conducts the Customer Requested Callback
Again, we present this key or token as attached data, and show it clearly in the associated interaction CASE INFORMATION.
Step Seven – the Customer Interaction Dialogue
"Hi Dave, this is John at the ABC Company calling you back as requested. Your secret is "ANANA", how may I help you?" says the Customer Services Representative
"Okay, Hi John, thanks for calling back, I have a question about my….." says our customer
The subtle injection of interaction TOKENS, KEYS or SECRETS can help both parties in the conversation. It adds an additional layer of explicit security with is tangible, is dynamic, and may be easily injected by either party. The Mobile device is the instrument that allows for the customer injection of ATTACHED DATA and context that "changes the conversation" and helps both parties enjoy a healthier, faster and more effective conversation.
Other Idea's that immediately come to mind
Payment Card Industry Compliance – when a customer needs to make a payment via the Customer Services Representative, for example, to pay a current bill, the Customer may easily do so privately on their own Application and on their own Device. We can transport the attached data for AUTHENTICATION, Transaction ID and Verification Code via the application layer back to the contact centre. At NO TIME does the CSR see, interact with or request the Credit Card Number, CVV – Card Verification Value or CVV2 (Card Verification Value Code).
Customer Alerting with TOKENS
The Enterprise needs to reach the customer. In most environments today this is accomplished via OUTBOUND campaigns (dialers) against distinct groups of customer service agents that may even be external to the Enterprise (offshore or otherwise outsourced). It may be far more effective for this requirement to reach the customer to be handled slightly less confrontationally and to improve the customer experience by sending a NOTIFICATION to the Customer Services Application indicating that the company needs to speak to the customer about their latest bill. The customer can then acknowledge this request by suggesting the date, time, media and context of that planned conversation. The results of the application level negotiation for the conversation may be easily pumped into Workforce Management and Schedules to that it is effective for both the contact centre and the customer. Tokens may be used in this use-case in a similar way.
"Hello Dave, this is John at the ABC Company. Your secret is"anana". Thanks for making time to talk to us" Says John in the Contact Centre
"Hi John, no problem, it was handy being able to tell you when I'd be free! What seems to be the problem? Why do you need to talk to me?" says Dave our Customer
"Dave, we noticed that your last payment didn't go through……" and so on
Dynamic Use of existing SMART Tokens for AUTHENTICATION mid-interactions
It is easily possible to transport the results of a smart TOKEN via the Application into these scenario's too. Where Banks issue their customers with smart-fobs that allocate digit based authentication tokens these may be included in the application to provide short lifecycle authentication for high value transactions. A Customer Service Representive may be able to ask the customer to enter their smart-pin in mid transaction for high risk transactions, for example;
"Yes, Dave, I can help you do the balance transfer. Because its over £1000 can you please activate our BANK Smart PIN and enter the digits in the mobile application now?"
"Yes, no problem" Says Dave as he enters the 6 digits into his dedicated Banking Application
[We send this key via the application to the Bank Back end systems, and provide a validation token to the Agent and we update the Interaction Workspace Data to show this new state]
"Great, thanks for confirming that for me Dave, so you wanted to transfer £5000 from Savings to your Current Account?"