Executing on the Genesys Mobile Strategy

Exciting times appear to be ahead. Over the last 4 months or so the 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 Centre! 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 Centre.

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 and customer services; 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?

Application on iPhoneThe 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. Interaction HistoryAs 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. Chat as Instant MessagingIn 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? Request CallbackUsing 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.

Summary

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.