by Tim Dreyer on April 24th, 2015
Can’t make it to this year’s ACE event? No problem. You can follow along in a number of ways.
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for live feeds at @AspectSoftware and follow the event hashtag #AspectACE15.
Or, check in with us on our live broadcasts on Periscope. Just look for the link on our Aspect Twitter feed when we’re getting ready to broadcast.
Click the link from your desk or phone and see us live in Las Vegas!
Here is the Periscope Schedule (all times EST):
Sunday April 26
4:00 PM Kim Martin, Director of North American Marketing & Jim Freeze, Aspect Chief Marketing Officer– What ACE is All About
Monday April 27
11:20 AM Walk-in for General Session
3:05 PM Aspect Exec Interview – Aspect CEO Stew Bloom
5:30 PM Aspect Customer Check-in
9:00 PM ACE Showcase – Interviews
Tuesday April 28
8:30 AM Cloud Crowd Run with Aspect SVP Joe Gagnon
11:20 AM Michael Kropidlowski – What about Consumer Engagement?
1:20 PM Check-in with ACE Keynoter Jason Dorsey, “The Gen Y Guy”
3:05 PM Aspect Customer Check-in
7:10 PM ACE Showcase – Interviews
Wednesday April 29
1:10 PM ACE Awards – Aspect President and General Manager, Interaction Management Chris Koziol
by Rebecca Anderson on April 23rd, 2015
Ensuring that contact center agents are in the right place at the right time is never a simple task but with a contact center workforce numbering in the tens of thousands of employees, it can get even more complicated. TeleTech knows this firsthand. TeleTech is a global provider of customer experience, engagement and growth solutions. Servicing over 80 countries, TeleTech’s 46,000 employees act as an extension of their clients’ brand to provide an exceptional customer experiences.
Aspect Workforce Management (WFM) actually makes it easy for TeleTech to ensure that their agents are in the right places, at the right times, doing the right things for each customer.
As a long-time customer of Aspect, TeleTech is diligent about staying current on the latest version of Aspect Workforce Management in order to take advantage of the newest technology and latest innovations. Take a look at what TeleTech’s Workforce Management team has to say about how Aspect WFO 8’s user interface and mobile enhancements have impacted their performance and agent satisfaction.
by Christine OBrien on April 17th, 2015
The digital age is our new reality. We are in the midst of a technological revolution which is taking our consumer-driven culture by storm and unfortunately catching many businesses off guard. With stiff competition in an increasingly global marketplace, the customer experience is emerging as the one true differentiator – the new battleground for winning and keeping customers.
Customer expectations are constantly evolving. Achieving satisfying outcomes that lead to long-term loyalty can feel like trying to hit a moving target. But failing to keep pace with consumer demands can have a catastrophic impact on your brand equity, with significant consequences for your organization in the long run.
Expectation: Make it Mobile
Gartner projects that by 2017, an estimated 35% of customer support interactions will take place on a mobile device. The traditional contact center environment, built around disconnected channels, often struggles to reconnect the mobile experience in a way that feels natural and intuitive to today’s consumer. It’s critical to consider the customer experience when developing mobile apps to create a seamless transition from one channel to the next, such as moving from IVR or self-service to a live agent without losing the context of the interaction. Some solutions to consider:
- Accompany a self-service voice call with a touch-screen menu of options to improve first-call resolution and reduce call times.
- Embed a qualification dialog into an existing mobile customer care app. After answering the questions, the customer can receive a callback from an agent who already has all the relevant details.
- Embed a chat, audio/video or co-browsing widget into an existing website or mobile app, giving customers a way to connect with an agent without leaving the application.
For more insight into what else customers expect and how to stay ahead of the curve, download our new eBook Six Things People Expect from Your Contact Center in the Digital Age.
by Kathleen Schroeder on April 15th, 2015
Infants are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 12,000 babies are born each day in the United States and will need to be immunized before age two against 14 vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunizations help prevent the spread of disease and protect infants and toddlers against dangerous complications.
Promoting a Healthy Start
National Infant Immunization Week highlights the need to promote the health and well being of infants. Immunizations and boosters must be administered within specified time frames to ensure that diseases are prevented (CDC 2015) and kept at bay.
Parents establish a relationship with a pediatrician shortly after the birth of their child. The pediatrician becomes involved with the infant by actively monitoring their growth and development through key milestones. Convenient access allows parents to schedule wellness visits and immunizations appointments. Assessing the utilization of appointments as well as the unmet appointment requests is pivotal. Seasonal trends also add another layer of complexity within a pediatrician’s office; flu season and back to school check-ups often throw a wrench into providing every patient with convenient access.
Proactively Engage Parents
The adverse effects of no-shows are staggering. Missed visits put more work on staff who make the appointment, pull the chart, refile it, and reschedule the patient. The no-shows consume valuable slots that other families could use and reduce a practice’s revenue. Proactive engagement creates an involved parent that not only takes their children’s health seriously but also maximizes a health system’s resources by triggering a reminder call and links the parent to a scheduling pod to keep appointments on track. If cancellations occur – no problem. Other parents are eager to schedule these last minute opportunities for their children.
Aspect’s High-Touch Patient Care
Aspect Healthcare provides proactive patient care by using information about your youngest patients collected through surveys, interaction quality monitoring, social monitoring, patient histories and other tools and resources to accurately anticipate needs and interests of patients and their parents. You can drive the best patient and business outcomes from proactive outreach and care efforts with the ability to:
- Increase access for new parents to their pediatrician
- Optimize provider schedules and revenues by reminding parents of upcoming immunization appointments
- Maximize parent engagement in their children’s care
- Enhance the long-term management of chronic and preventative care
- Strengthen the long-term parent-patient-provider relationship
Knowing where your patients and their parents are helps you determine the best contact methods to use for proactive communication and when to use them, so you save time and resources. With government restrictions on contacting parents, including rules requiring consent, it’s more important than ever to increase your odds of calling – and connecting with – the right person at the right time.
The result is exceptional, proactive patient care that drives satisfaction and ultimately helps your smallest patients and their parents achieve a healthier lifestyle. Aspect Healthcare makes it easy for you to start the conversation today. Parents will feel more empowered, valued and disposed to achieve a healthier start for their children.
Isn’t that what it’s all about – healthier outcomes?
by Rebecca Anderson on April 13th, 2015
We’re in the middle of a Consumer Engagement Revolution where consumers want and expect more out of the companies they do business with. Consumers are not constrained by time or space when interacting with others and this holds true for business interactions. They are empowered to do more on their own and they actually prefer to use self-service. A prime example is that 60-70% of consumers would prefer to send a text than speak to an agent. Watch the clip below to hear Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan and Aspect’s Joe Gagnon, GM Cloud Solutions, discuss how technology providers can help organizations through this Revolution by enabling interactions in a holistic way where self-service and agent assistance work together in harmony.
by Tim Dreyer on April 10th, 2015
Aspect recently conducted an in-depth and pretty revealing research study on Millennials and their views on customer service. We partnered with up with noted Millennial expert Jason Dorsey, the Gen Y Guy. Jason’s years of studying Millennials was key to helping us learn what this generation wanted from the companies they do business. Just told us that Millennials have a lower level of trust and are more experience-loyal than brand-loyal
But what we learned from the survey results is that this growing demographic is set to radically change how companies approach customer service. They have a much higher demand and satisfaction threshold for self-service and digital interaction. Why?
For starters, our research found that half Millennials value their smartphone more than their computers, significantly more than the Gen Xers and overwhelmingly more than Boomers. In fact, 4 out of 10 of Millennials said that they would be a truly satisfied customer if they could use text to connect with companies that they do business with. And over a third of them would contact a company more frequently if they could do so by text.
We also found that 74 percent of Millennials preferred to have the ability to solve most product or service issues on their own. Over two thirds of them also said that they feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company without having to talk with a customer service agent. Self-service, when done right, is more convenient for the customer and builds satisfaction in the process
The Millennial demographic is only getting larger so their influence will continue to grow over time especially as their spending power increases. Because of this, brands will have to adapt to the means and methods this segment prefers or face irrelevance.
Want to know what you can do about it? Jason will be at Aspect ACE 2015 in a couple of weeks. If you aren’t registered yet, get out and sign up. You’ll find insight and actionable ways your business can better engage with this demographic.
by Maddy Hubbard on April 8th, 2015
Fitness boot camps often promise fast results. What if you could apply that same intensity to other parts of your life? What if you could spend just 10-minutes once a week for five weeks and be omni-channel smart at the end?
You can when you attend the Aspect sponsored Customer Experience Boot Camp: Basic Training for Superior Omni-Channel Consumer Engagement.
Today’s customers are busy and demand service whenever, wherever and on the channel they chose. Making that a reality can be tricky! We can show you exactly what it takes to provide your customers with a superior omni-channel experience, ten minutes at a time!
Watch the entire boot camp series and:
- Discover how new consumer expectations are driving the need to put the “self” back in customer self-service
- Understand “experience continuity” and why it’s a necessity for every modern-day contact center
- Learn how context cookies are a compelling way to connect channels and transfer from self- to live service seamlessly
- Learn strategies to improve the customer experience while lowering costs
- Identify ways to retain agents as their role is being elevated through the rise in self-service
- Learn what it takes to deliver remarkable mobile moments
- See how IVR can be taken to the next level by leveraging smartphone capabilities
If you’re ready to get started, and be omni-channel smart, REGISTER TODAY! >>
by Alyx Kaczuwka on April 6th, 2015
In the April 2015 issue, Vanity Fair published results of a survey they conducted that’s near and dear to our hearts as well – the pervasiveness of mobile technology and how we use it. Intriguingly enough, a full 87 percent said they agreed we are all “addicted” to our smartphones.
And that, inevitably, is going to change the way we communicate with each other and with businesses. The “Good-Bye To Hello” article in the same issue looks at the history of, and potential successors to, the phone call. Just after revealing that recent research indicated that “speaking into it” is only the sixth most common activity people do with their phones, author A.A. Gill goes into a quick history of the phone call and how it regularly carried gravitas you might not find on other channels – everything from Alexander Graham Bell’s first call to the President’s “red phone” to phone calls as literary devices, like in “Dial M for Murder.”
If you’re wondering what #1 is on that list of things people do with their phones, it probably won’t surprise you the answer is texting – something Gill just doesn’t think has the same gravitas. (And don’t get Gill started on emojis.) Only time will tell if texting develops some kind of rules of engagement that allow it to become as weighty as the phone call – chances are, voice will stick around. But if you’re trying to see how this translates for a company, all of these evolutions are in line with the way we at Aspect see customer service in the here and now, as well as the near future. Self-service – whether it’s text, or another channel like apps and social – can form the foundation of everyday service, freeing up agents to have those meaningful conversations via voice (or whatever channel the customer chooses, including channels that may feel even more personal, like video) when the stakes are higher.
In a lot of ways, we’re not saying good-bye to hello, we’re saying hello to change – an evolution that’s giving us amazing new ways to get information we need and to keep it personal when we communicate with one another.
by Tim Dreyer on April 4th, 2015
Earlier this month I had the fortune of traveling down to Austin, Texas with Joe Gagnon, Aspect’s SVP and GM of Cloud Solutions, a title which Joe himself will tell you does not do his mission complete justice. Yes, Joe is responsible for the strategic vision and executional success of Aspect’s cloud business but he is also somewhat of our Chief Travel Officer because he has hands down traveled more in a calendar year than any other Aspect executive. You could also adorn him with the title of CSO or Chief Storyteller because rarely does a conversation go by without a stat cited or a personal anecdote added on virtually any topic you can think of. But really he is our CVO, our Chief Vision Officer.
We came down to Austin to tease out some upcoming survey findings we have on Millennials and customer service. Some pretty interesting insight on how this growing demographic is set to radically change how companies approach customer service: higher demand for self-service and digital interaction with ever-increasing expectations of customer service. We teamed up with noted Millennial expert Jason Dorsey (that’s him on the left) otherwise know as the Gen Y Guy. Jason’s understanding of Millennials was key to helping us discover what this generation wanted from the companies they do business with. Jason’s research tells us that Millennials don’t carry cash and largely don’t believe that money is the best measure of success. And perhaps most importantly to our research, is that Millennials have a lower level of trust as compared to other generations. It was with little surprise then when the survey data told us that 72% of millennials said customer service is the “true test” of how important they are to a company.
In Austin, Joe and Jason teamed up to do a panel at SXSW on Solving the Millennial Content Challenge. They got together the night before to talk about what they wanted to say. Actually, they had so much they wanted to talk about, the conversation was more about what they were not going to be able to say. The data is so interesting. For example, did you know of the people we polled, nearly a third of them would rather clean a toilet than speak to customer service? Central to their talk was that companies are doing customer service wrong.
But being heard at SXSW is easier said than done. The key to making a splash at SXSW is announcing a video broadcast app like Meerkat or Periscope. But since we didn’t have an app like that, we had to figure out how to cut through the clutter. As you can see from the schedule, there is a lot of clutter.
Here is the first hint at solving the Millennial content challenge: Make it digital. If you can’t reach a Millennial on his or her phone you can forget about them entirely. Our research found that 50 percent of Millennials said their smartphones are more important to them than their computers. Can you imagine then how much more important their smartphones are to them than being spammed by a lot of worthless information? We didn’t ask that but I’m guessing a ton. Also no word on if this guy ever took back his Internet.
What we found is that Millenials have an overwhelming desire to do things on their own. In fact, when it comes to customer service, 65 percent of all consumers and 69 percent of Millennials say that they feel good about themselves and the company they are doing business with when they resolve a problem without talking to customer service. It’s a win-win. Customers get the interaction on their terms and feel better about it in the process. Hashtag awesome. Why are all these pedicabs at SXSW sitting idle? Probably because all the millennials wanted to walk. I rented a Nissan Sentra.
So when things got started at the session, Jason shared why millennials need to be engaged differently than most companies are accustomed to engaging their customers. They value loyalty but they are more fickle about being loyal than any other generation. A big reason for this is the same frustration all generations feel. We provide a wealth of information to the companies we do business with and yet nearly every time we pick up the phone to talk to them we feel like a stranger. Our survey results support this. We found that making a customer feel like you know them promotes loyalty in seven out of 10 people. And that’s where Joe came in. Joe talked about what companies can do to address this shift in consumer expectations largely led by the millennials.
He talked about what companies can do. They need to show their customers that they know them. The need to make the customer experience mobile and provide the ability for millennials to solve the simple and moderate issues on their own. We found that 70 percent of millennials feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company without having to talk with a customer service agent. Who’d have thought that the idea of leaving your customers alone to fix their own problems would make them like you more? But as long as you provide an easy and engaging self-service solution, it’s true. they will.
The talk was a big hit. Many people told Joe it was the best panel they’d been to as SXSW. So I didn’t have to ask Joe and Jason to smile when I took this shot when they were done. They already were already smiling.
So SXSW is behind us, we’re focused on this new research that very strongly supports our vision that if you let your customers interact with you in the means and manner they want, its going to be easier for you and more satisfying for them. Before Joe was in Austin, he presented this vision to a group of about 400 people in Mexico City and next week he is off to Ho Ch Minh City to present it as Aspect ACE in Vietnam. Changing a conversation of this magnitude takes a little time. Disruption can take time. But if anyone is up for it, its Joe. Disrupting conventional thinking on consumer engagement, one city at a time.
by Super Agent Erica on April 1st, 2015
Every April Fool’s Day, there are actually scores of grown adults out there acting like children and sneaking sugar into the salt shakers while the rest of us are walking around on edge dodging these yahoos and looking twice at every toilet seat (because you really can’t afford to be fooled again on that one). We’re also trying to figure out whether or not to believe any of those fifteen separate “I’m pregnant!” Facebook announcements or the “news” article about a beagle who rescued three kittens from a burning building. I would really, really like to believe that’s true.
If you’re feeling a little anxious about what to expect from people and businesses today, imagine how some of your customers might feel every other day of the year. Once you’ve had one sub-par customer experience (such as the above salt shaker encounter) you’re likely to be on guard for more of the same. A commonly cited statistic tells us that most consumers (96%) won’t complain outright to the company when they’ve had a bad experience, but 91% will simply leave and never return (Help Scout, 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics).
Here are some of the surest ways to irritate, annoy, and otherwise “prank” your customers into never wanting to do business with you again:
- Ask your customers to re-enter or repeat information.
A recent blog by Tobias Goebel highlighted what may soon become every consumer’s mantra: “I shall never have to repeat myself again.” It shouldn’t be necessary in an age of advancing mobile technology that is enabling smooth handovers from self-service applications to live service – and customers know it. Once customers get a taste of what’s possible now in customer care, what was once state-of-the-art doesn’t make them feel very cared-for anymore.
- Long hold times
You need to offer callback – that was the conclusion reached by a survey conducted by the CRM digital comparison firm Software Advice when it examined consumers’ levels of satisfaction with hold times. Most (60%) felt that even five minutes of hold time was too much, and that beyond that they would appreciate the option of receiving a callback from an agent.
- Don’t provide answers
A recent overview of agent desktop optimization highlighted the fact that agents lose about 14% of their day searching for answers through interfaces that are not intuitive and user-friendly. According to Aberdeen, that translates to about $840,000 in lost revenue per year, not to mention the frustration from the customer waiting for the agent to fumble his or her way through various screens. It’s not an optimal situation for anyone – the very least optimal being a call that simply ends with “I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.”
- “Please call back during the hours of…”
This may come as a surprise, but Forrester has been spotting trends that consumers are spending less and less time online. That’s because there really is no more “going online.” We wake up connected to smart phones, plug in and out of data networks, text, chat, and connect seamlessly without really thinking about it. It’s becoming just as frustrating to come across a need to contact a company outside of this business-hour window and find that there is no alternative way to reach anyone, whether it’s via social, web-submit form or other self-service channels.
- Only offer voice contact to customers who prefer to text or Tweet
64% of consumers surveyed by Harris Group said that they would rather text than use voice to contact customer service. In the same survey, 77% of those with texting capabilities had a more positive impression of companies who provided texting as a customer service channel than companies who didn’t.
- Force customers to call when self-service would suffice
According to IBM Retail Research, as Yin Warren pointed out in her post on self-service recently, 72% of consumers surveyed prefer self-service over picking up the phone. As many as 91% would use self-service applications if they were available. This is a win-win for you and your customers, giving them what they want by enabling to help themselves, and cutting costs by reducing the number of calls your agents receive.
- Block all contact from other live humans
By this I mean: self-service is amazing until you just want to TALK TO ANOTHER PERSON. And if you’ve reached that point, you’re probably on the verge of entering a shouting match with the unsuspecting agent on the other end of the line, which is no good for anyone. There has to be an “exit strategy” that allows someone to give up and ask for help from an agent at any point in an IVR or self-service app, including mobile apps designed for this purpose.
- Be cold and impersonal
So much of the customer experience is about building relationships and long-term loyalty. Thanks to CRM and the data you undoubtedly collect with each transaction, you DO know a great deal about each customer. At the very least, you know her name, which is what you should call her when she calls, and it’s how you should address her when you proactively send texts and emails that she’s opted into receiving. Personalization and proactive customer communication is a way to show you’re connected, you care, and you’re as committed to the relationship as they are.
Good luck, and be nice to each other out there!