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?"
2011 has been a fantastic year for the Anana team. We have met all of our internal and external targets on all fronts. I couldn’t be happier! 2011 has been a year of incredible innovation and execution. In preparing ourselves to continue our activities into next year I thought I’d take a moment to capture the key-highlights of our year. Also, perhaps, the activities that have driven us through 2011 and a solid pointer into the momentum for 2012. I’ll try and end this piece with a forwards looking view to predictions for next year.
Anana delivers solutions across two main lines of business. Our first of course is our Enterprise Contact Centre solutions unit. How has this unit performed this year? Not ignoring our ‘business as usual’ integration work, here are a few of our key milestones in the year;
- We delivered a global virtualised contact centre solution for a household Brand. The heart of it was a SIP based solution, featuring the Genesys Voice Platform. Powered by Nuance Speech recognition, the Anana Speech Applications Framework (for VoiceXML and driving the Speech Recognition) its key highlight was service offerings in 17 countries supporting 12 languages concurrently. Truly trans-continental call manipulation and custom telephony desktop and computer telephony integration
- Our Anana Briefing Centre (ABC), a £1.4 Million (Sterling) investment went from concept to reality. The ABC is a state of the art demonstration and workshop facility that has allowed Anana, our partners and in some cases our ‘competitors’ to “Show” rather than “Tell” the 21st Century Customer Interaction Management capability of Genesys. I think the most remarkable testament to the validity of the ABC is that our shortest lifecycle from first-view of the “Art of the Possible” to contract award for a large Bank in the Middle-East, who even flew all the way to the Centre for a Saturday workshop was 6 weeks! By far though, the most telling thing that it has done, is to give our existing, as well as knew clients the confidence they need to proceed; and the ability to do so in record time-frames. Contact Centre projects are typically 18 months long; even in the pre-sales and sales lifecycle. 2011 saw our customers engaging, buying and deploying in weeks! A high confidence in execution and delivery is a good place to begin new ways to engage!
- We delivered the first Genesys Social Engagement projects in Europe, both with Tier 1 service providers that saw the first phases of true cross channel and multi-channel customer service go from concept to reality, including web-chat, email, Facebook and Twitter as customer service capabilities beyond inbound and outbound voice. We then went on to win a 3rd engagement in as many weeks with a Bank for the same blended eServices and Multichannel Customer Service capability. Most remarkably we were asked to deliver one of these solutions, on premise for a Pilot in only 10 days. We did it! One of them is delivered in a hybrid Cloud; with Anana running all the technology, yet providing Desktop based access to Genesys Interaction Workspace over Xenapp. Very cool stuff.
- We delivered new mobile applications that bring customer services directly to the consumer smart-phone; including some cool concepts like reversing the role of the Contact Centre wallboard; showing customers how many agents were available for each media type so the customer could chose the means of engaging that made most sense and avoided delay. This delivered customer service efficiency for both the customer and the customer services team. A true win:win situation. The mobile app featured customer initiated ‘please call me back’, live text-chat and the ability for the customer themself to review their entire cross channel interaction history with their provider in real time.
- We extended Genesys Social Engagement with several new features including Social Influence scoring and originate Tweet from the agent desktop without requiring a customer interaction and manipulated the Genesys solution to support Arabic language for Social Media interactions. Coolest use case derived was using Social Influence scores determined in eServices transactions to route Voice calls based not only on the assigned customer segment in Voice but their underlying Social Influence. Let this be a sign of things to come!
- We delivered new innovation in a hybrid self and assisted service customer service application for SMS. A customer would interact with an automated Knowledge Management (FAQ) system by asking a question in SMS. If the customer then responds to the suggested response with another question, we take the ‘history’ of the self service interaction and offer the customer the opportunity to chat with an agent. The customer continue’s to engage via SMS, but Anana technology takes those SMS interactions and delivers them to “web-chat” agents in the contact centre. This is a twisted cross-channel conversation of course! The CSR is on a web-chat interface, and the customer is on an SMS interface; yet both can chat happily back and forth! This is an exciting blended technology capability; allowing the Enterprise to train once for Web-Chat in customer service, but extend other media through the same interface. Not a big deal when you have to train 5 agents of course! But, what about the overhead if your busy hour team is 9000 agents strong?
- We concluded our first Social Media and Customer Services contracted Business Consulting project that is already delivering the execution foundation for a significant project for one of our partners in early 2012. This is new ground within the Genesys partner, Value Added Reseller (VAR) and Systems Integration Market.
- We won some very large contracts in ongoing Mission Critical Customer Service platform and solutions support that give our customers assurance of Customer Service solutions availability 24x7x365 – the key thing is these mission critical support contracts are about yesterdays legacy technology support whilst in evolution to IP and SIP and Anana support operation has a hand on both at the same time. Our customers are crossing the PSTN/TDM to SIP valley. Anana is the bridge that is helping them to cross safely and with surety
- We completed a very nice high-net-worth banking integration for one of the UK’s most prestigious Banks that integrated 1990′s mainframe with 2010 customer service platforms. Boy, I’d so love to say who it was for and why!
- The Anana team stood side-by-side with Genesys and Alcatel-Lucent showcasing, demonstrating and tackling industry analysts and events all most if not all Contact Centre events in all themes eServices and Social Media related. This included a humbling invite to showcase Genesys’ own technology to its European sales teams in Cannes in late summer. That for me is the strongest vote of confidence in thought and market leadership with some of these leading themes.
In the service provider and Carrier Telecommunications business we had a great year too!
- Anana was selected out of the entire ecosystem of global “Applications Enablement” partners to assist Alcatel-Lucent at the IMS World Forum in Barcelona. It is an absolute honour for Anana to be aiding and abetting €17Billion company in showcasing their own capabilities to Global Audiences
- We completed the integration for its4u – the Anana Social Media and Voice Mail solution that links the dial-tone at the voice messaging event with the subscribers voice prompts. Replacing the old and rather stagnant Voice Mail experience with one where the caller hears the latest Social Media updates of the mailbox owner before leaving a message. This is a hybrid solution using Anana speech applications framework and the Genesys Voice Platform, Nuance Speech Recogntion, Ivona Text-to-Speech and the Converged Messaging System (CMS) and Messaging Applications Broker from Alcatel-Lucent.
- Anana has been formally selected by Alcatel-Lucent as an applications partner for innovation with the Converged Telephony System, the CTS (5420) and the IP Multimedia Subsystem with Alcatel-Lucents Agility API sets. We are working closely together to showcase extreme innovation in manipulation and subscriber controlled telephony with integrated Voice User Interface, Graphical User Interface (web 2.0) that will be shown to the world for the first time at Mobile World Congress early next year. This is really exciting stuff, but can’t talk about it too much yet! Again we are offering a hybrid technical solution that uses the best in breed core Carrier equipment in the IMS core from Alcatel-Lucent, with the Genesys Voice Platform (for media in VoiceXML and call control in CC-XML). Imagine a web2.0 dashboard with all your friends in it; like your own social dashboard. Click and drag your friends onto the ‘conference table’ and you’ll all be instantly on your own conference party line. Sound Cool? That’s just a small snippet out of the technology we are building in this space.
Looking ahead to 2012
Should I be bold and predict what I think are going to be the key things going on in the Contact Centre markets in 2012? Perhaps; let’s see how accurate these turn out to be;
- Permira acquisition of Genesys Telecommunications labs will manifest itself through intense market engagement and focus on the key current drivers in Customer Service. These will be;
- Intense investment in Mobile Applications for Customer Service and Customer Interaction Management as such a high proportion of the consumer markets are now armed with smart devices
- eServices power-play for email, SMS, web-chat, web-callback and Social Media to rapidly evolve. Why? I think the Enterprise will learn very quickly in 2012 that they have to listen and engage WHERE their customers are trying or preferring to reach them, and secondly, they have to LISTEN and ENGAGE where customers are talking ABOUT them – both of these will work in harmony to force the enterprise to offer a holistic and channel intenstive customer service capability
- We will see a general increased focus on the role for customer services and customer care as it relates to Social Media as a paradigm. The enterprise will recognise for its full effect the “New Voice of the Customer”. 2011 saw the early adopters begin to define best practice and physical and technical capability to execute. 2012 will be the year where the rest of the market realises how far behind they are falling and how fast they will have to move to catch up. Not as a special business practice; but as a wholly and deeply integrated customer service capability in the core of the incumbent customer operation
- Twitter will relax their 1000 tweets a day and 250 direct messages a day limits for certain enterprise entities – making it possible for BRANDS to offer customer service on Twitter. 2011 saw the Enterprise facing a tough problem. 100,000 customers are tweeting at us with customer service queries but I can only respond to a maximum of 300 an hour, and even then only 1000 in any 24 hours. This is a huge problem in late 2011 for those engaging in “Social Customer Service” and I hope and trust that Twitter will offer BRANDS the ability to execute in 2012
- Facebook will be less about BRAND broadcast and become more a platform to ‘engage’ with the customers who “LIKE” the brand
- Google+ likely to become the second Social Platform
- Our customers will be asking us to integrate YouTube and YouTube comments into customer care
- Anana is going to spend a lot of time and energy helping the Enterprise align and bring together the three key drivers of “customer engagement’
- Marketing & the Brand
- Online and Digital Strategy
- Customer Operations, Customer Service and Customer Care
On that note, Merry Christmas to to all our Customers, Partners and friends, and best wishes for 2012! If 2012 is only half as wild as 2011 it will still be a great year! Let’s see how the predications shape out through the year!
Further to our recent post describing the development of the first concept Customer Services application on the iPhone we are pleased to continue our exploration of this theme with a video of the application in action.
Anana will be showcasing a version of this application at the premier Call Centre Expo in London next week. Please pop by and ask to see it in action in real-time. We’ll be able to show both Customer Services Representative as well as the Customer Experience from the same place at the show.
For best results make the player below fullscreen and select the HD Mode On format for the video.
Exciting times appear to be ahead. Over the last 4 months or so my team has been very busy delivering on customer projects to bring Genesys Social-Engagement into the enterprise Call Center. Change that; into the enterprise Contact Center!
Social Engagement as a strategy for the Enterprise makes a lot of sense for many reasons. Now we see our customers begin the process of moving Social Engagement from the control of the Marketing Department into the operational front-line in the Contact Center.
That process too, though, adds more questions for the Enterprise. Should I segregate my agent pools and teams so that the large proportion stay on the original inbound voice channel, answering telephone calls? Should I create new agent teams that are trained specifically in written communications rather than verbal communication skills? If I create a team of agents that are now familiar with a text based interaction method (Facebook and Twitter in the Contact Center for example) then it is an easy step, is it not, to add other textual channels to their tasking too? Channels of Communication with Customers like SMS, eMail, Web-Chat and Instant Messaging?
With these questions Anana spends a lot of time thinking about the impact of this sudden and rather remarkable swing of interest from inbound (and outbound) voice in the Contact Centre to one of “Blending” across channels and interactions. One of our most recent technical additions has been a mobile framework that brings the power of Genesys as a solution itself to the Customer! How can the customer themselves become part of the Customer Services paradigm? How may Anana effectively explore this new “Voice of the Customer”? What meaningful ways could be explore that help our customers and clients begin the process of thinking about Customer Enablement? How can we also reduce the Customers actual (and perceived) effort score (Customer Effort Score) in reaching out to their contact center?
An excellent vehicle to explore these questions has been the creation of a series of ATOMIC and COMPOSITE web services that act as a bridge between any HTTP enabled device and the software that powers the call center itself from Genesys Labs. When I think of any HTTP enabled device, in our current modern context that could be as simple as a smartphone, an Internet Ready TV, a Sony Playstation, or even in the case of some manufacturers In Car Entertainment (ICE) systems. We started with the obvious paradigm; the smart mobile phone. As telephones are still the prevailing method to access Customer Care Services that are multi-channel ready the smart-phone is a great place to begin exploring. Smart Phones are everywhere! This market includes other devices that aren’t typically associated with Telephony; like Tablets.
To help our clients and customers begin the process of understanding how to enable Customer Care over these types of devices we have built an iPhone application which runs on any HTTP enabled iOS (Apple) device; this includes iPhone3, the iPhone4 and iPad (even some versions of iPODs). This application is an ALPHA (brand new initial exploration) and only just begins to scratch the surface of customer care solutions on smarter devices. Please see my earlier post on this subject for the technical details.
What are the details of this first iPhone customer services application for Genesys?
For all pictures in the post; please click on the picture and it will open full size for easier viewing. The application sits resident on the device itself and is started by touching the associated icon. In the picture on the left of your screen this is the ABC Company application logo. Prior to first use of the application the customer would configure their own Customer Services account details in the iOS settings application; declaring their name, contact details and associated customer record number.
Once the customer has opened the application we immediately publish ALERTS for them that have been generated by their activity with the Enterprise. If they have orders open and the status of those orders has changed we can show them here for example. We also show a list of any open ‘interactions’ and their status. We also list any customer requested callbacks that are pending so that they don’t forget the callbacks that they have already requested. From this simple home screen we would obviously have enormous opportunity to offer cross-sell and up-sell, advertising etc for and on behalf of the enterprise. If we know what products and services the Customer has purchased in the past; and there’s a better offer on the table then we can show them here. Indeed, the very nature of these types of smart-phone applications makes it incredibly easy to solicit location information, and presence information. There is absolutely no reason why the consumer wouldn’t have this application open by default if it was adding significant value to the progress of their day (in any form!). This presence can be reflected back into customer operations in cool ways; for example; If we know how many Customer Services Representatives are currently available AND we know how many customers are currently logged in to the Customer Services Application then we can take this information to use our excess CSR pool to do outbound call campaigns to subscribers that are ALREADY known to be available. This could even be geo-fenced into “Add subscriber to the campaign if they are within X metres of one of our retail outlets”….and then target them with GEOFENCED offers when they break this border. An obvious example is an airline customer on the loyalty scheme that happens to be within 2 miles of the airport. Back office systems confirm they are booked in for a flight that leaves in an hour and a half; so why not offer immediate concierge based curbside check-in?
From this home screen the Customer has fast access to common Customer Services functions. They can view their HISTORY for example. The interaction histories are interesting to me for one very profound reason. As a consumer, when I have to phone in, or email into a Contact Center I feel an overwhelming burden of ‘effort’ due to the fact that I have to verbally reiterate the entire reason set for calling in; specifically so when following up on an existing customer services activity. Knowing that my interaction history is clearly understood relieves me of this assumed requirement. Publication of the interaction history for the customer also shows a full commitment to transparency and a 360 degree view of the customer ‘journey’. Telephony (inbound voice) call centres have typically focussed on First Call Resolution (FCR); often in defiance of the actual ability to resolve the issue in one swoop of the agent script. With the Genesys solution we focus more on managing an interaction, that itself forms part of a dialogue or in other words as part of the overall “conversation”. This reduces the relevance of first call resolution, and puts more focus on the actual current need cited by the consumer and relieves the CSR from the shackles and constraints of the published script.
From the Home Screen the consumer can also select to open a chat session. In keeping with the familiarity of SMS chat, web-based chat, instant messaging chat and other chat mechanisms the Chat function works exactly the same way. If the consumer starts a chat, we take this chat request, and target it to an underlying Genesys Strategy that will find an appropriate agent in the pool of current resources. The Customer Services Representative desktop uses the prevailing ‘out-of-the-box’ web-chat capability already shipping in the Genesys Agent Desktop and the Genesys Interaction Workspace. The CSR see’s absolutely no differentiation between web initiated chat or a chat that starts from the iPhone application.
Once a chat is initiated the Customer can interact with Agent freely. The agent is able to send URL’s, and to dip in and out of Content Analysis, FAQ and knowledgebase at the desktop level to offer immediate customer assistance that is timely, appropriate and accurate. <<USER ACTION>> is very much a work in progress. This is a placeholder in this alpha version of the application that will offer status updates, for example, Agent is Typing and notifications of other parties joining; “ABC Agent 1 has joined the chat”. These are useful updates to the consumer about who’s on the chat, who’s currently typing, and who’s been added to the conference, transfer to other agent updates; or the simple fact that the Agent has invited a subject matter expert to join in the chat (conference). It is also remarkably easy for the Customer Services Representative to nest other interactions whilst in a chat; for example, sending an email to the customer that is recorded as part of the chat interaction and have it reported on for full cross-channel transparency purposes.
What happens if the customer would like a call-back at some point later on? Using the call-back web-service we can add a callback request into the Genesys Customer Interaction Management Platform so that the callback request is targetted to an available Customer Services Representative at the requested time. A customer may have hit a busy period in the call center. They may have remembered whilst in a meeting that they need to speak to the Call Center but right now is inconvenient or inappropriate. It may be convenient for that call to take place some hours later, say, on their way home from work in the commute. Anana could even extend these callback bookings into ‘campaigns’ mapping agent availability, workforce management and the Genesys Dynamic Contact Center capability to only offer callback times that coincide with planned operational performance. There’s a lot that we can do with this I’m sure.
My view is that this is a great place to start a journey of exploration, discovery, learning and innovation around Mobility Enabled Customer Care. We have already showcased this application to our existing customers and all are extremely excited by it. We’ll maintain a keen and steady pace on improving the interface; do some more work on graphics, layout and functionality and continue exploring how we can use the Anana Atomic Services Bridge into Genesys technology in innovative ways. We have already built out a series of use-case scenario’s to effectively demonstrate this application as part of the already extensive Anana Briefing Centre experience.