by Tim Dreyer on August 27th, 2015
Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation released a report that ravaged domestic airline carriers for the dramatic rise in customer complaints during the first half of 2015. Apparently complaints about airlines soared more than 20 percent during the period. What irked the agency was the fact that U.S. airlines are making record profits this year due to full planes and low fuel prices. Cancellations, delays and misconnections were the most common complaints, followed by gripes about baggage, reservations and ticketing, and yes, good ‘ol fashioned customer service.
Then, in what can be simply categorized as unfortunate timing, Frontier Airlines announced that they were doing away with their toll-free customer service number. And even though the discount Airline said they were going to pass the $160,000 a month they’ll be saving on to customers, Frontier got blistered in the press. Yes, timing was not in their corner but was the criticism really merited?
Frontier isn’t the first big brand to eliminate its toll-free number, and they certainly won’t be the last. Consumer demand for self-service and chat and mobile interaction are slowly rendering traditional customer support models such as 1-800 numbers, even voice, obsolete. The use of automated self-service customer support programs that heavily leverage text messaging, social media, and customized Web portals is on the rise and consumers strongly prefer them. In the Aspect Consumer Index research we did earlier this year, we found that if all channels were equal in terms of privacy and ease of use, the use of chat and SMS would increase 250% and 367% respectively. That’s saying, if a brand provides the right experience on those channels, there won’t be anyone talking on the phone. Well, hardly anyone.
by Rebecca Anderson on August 25th, 2015
On his latest Podcast Series installment, Paul Stockford shares recent research that over half of U.S. based contact centers use some form of social media for customer service. And while Twitter continues to grow in use, Facebook for customer service is in decline. Tobias and Paul discuss why that is and what the opportunism are for self-service applications on Twitter.
by Tim Dreyer on August 21st, 2015
Here are the links to what I covered in this week’s #AWW on Periscope:
1) Please Continue to Hold…and hold…and Text, and Facebook Us – AdAge article on a better IVR experience featuring Joe Gagnon
2) Aspect Nabs Avaya Channel Duo for Partner Drive – CRN UK Article on our recent channel reps across the pond.
3) Aspect’s CMO Jim Freeze in the Philippines – see what he was up to!
by Tim Dreyer on August 21st, 2015
You might have one or two last minute getaways planned but for the most part summer travel is winding down. I’d like you to think back on your recent travel experiences. Were you able to get the assistance you needed on the communication channels you preferred to use? Or did you find yourself having to repeat your requests to multiple people?
We recently surveyed customer service decision makers in the travel and hospitality industry. We discovered that the industry as a whole values customer service but they’ve been slow to adapt to changing consumer communication preferences. Take a look at the infographic for more details on our findings and to see the greatest areas for improvement.
by Maddy Hubbard on August 19th, 2015
A study conducted by International Data Corporation found that 79% of smartphone users have their phone with them for all but two hours of their waking day. And a full quarter of respondents couldn’t recall a time when their phone wasn’t in the same room with them.
Improve the Mobile Customer Experience
As mobile marketing emerges as a critical component to the customer experience, a mobile strategy is becoming essential to maintain the bottom line. And when you consider a recent Gartner survey found that 89% of marketers expect that by 2016 their companies will be competing primarily on customer experience, understanding the mobile customer journey is more important than ever.
The Gartner Report, Mapping the Mobile Customer Decision Journey shares how mobile makes a compelling contribution to improved customer experiences and much more.
Get your copy now!
by Bob Trine on August 17th, 2015
Advances in information technology software and telephony systems have led to a transformation in how hospital systems deliver patient care and increase patient satisfaction. Similar to many other industries, changes in healthcare can trigger fear in patients, front-end staff, and clinical providers. Change can be defined as:
“A modification to a person’s environment, situation, or physical-mental condition that results in circumstances that challenge their existing paradigms. What our definition implies is that humans have a tendency to define how their world is supposed to work. Whenever something happens in our personal world or to our own being that is inconsistent with the way we feel the world should be, we encounter change” (Dachis, 2013).
Healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace. With the increased amount of affordable healthcare plans, the number of patients seeking access to clinical care has grown. This creates a higher demand for patient-centric scheduling, and the need for providers to offer greater access to their patient populations. To meet the needs of their patients, hospital systems are switching from volume-based care to value-based care, and patient-centered models are being implemented.
For many hospital systems, increasing patients’ access to providers and resources is becoming more challenging. In order to manage the increasing number of patient demands, several hospital systems are implementing a centralized scheduling, contact center model. Centralized scheduling increases appropriate patient access, and creates visibility into multiple departments at once; this combination makes leveraging network-wide capacity possible (Datamark, 2014).
Implementing centralized scheduling within a hospital system has several valuable benefits; however, for some front-end staff and clinical providers, centralization can generate fear and uncertainty. Prior to the implementation of a centralized scheduling model, clinical providers may be concerned that a separation between contact center agents and clinical staff could form.
Additional fears include: a loss of touch points with contact center personnel, and the weakening of the relationships between their offices and their patient populations. Clinical providers may also be concerned that they will have less influence or involvement in determining their scheduling preferences, and how other patient scenarios should be addressed. Many providers also have a personal connection with their staff and have a difficult time imagining the day to day work life without them.
Creating a culture of provider confidence and patient satisfaction is what Aspect’s innovative software aims to accomplish. Aspect offers several software solutions that will help with accomplishing these goals.
In smaller practices with decentralized call hubs, calls may take much longer to be answered. Front end staff often have to split their focus between checking patients in and answering incoming calls. Aspect Patient Connect improves patients’ experience and increases satisfaction by allowing each patient to speak with a live person when they call into your contact center. Patient abandonment rates can decrease exponentially when a friendly voice picks up in an expedient time frame. This new level of accountability creates confidence in the efficiency of the practice.
Smaller offices are often understaffed and are unable to organize and handle the influx of calls during peak times. Aspect Healthcare—Workforce Management ensures that the appropriate number of front-end staff are readily available to respond to any incoming patient scheduling requests. Centralization allows for cross training and better management of the call volume. Aspect’s Workforce Management provides staffing recommendations and leveling options to divide the distribution of calls evenly amongst available agents.
Providers often fear that they will lose the personal touch with their patients. Aspects Healthcare—Proactive Engagement connects patients to their providers or providers’ clinical staff to answer critical medical questions in a timely manner. Proactive Engagement streamlines patient-provider communication so that all patients receive their medical information through optimized access to front-end or clinical personnel. This software also encourages patients to consistently work with their healthcare providers to create personalized treatment plans.
Implementing a centralized scheduling model within your healthcare system doesn’t have to create fear for your front-end staff or clinical providers. Aspect offers several software solutions that will help increase patient satisfaction and access, while also optimizing and meeting each clinical providers’ unique scheduling preferences and needs. By implementing Aspect’s software solutions, you will ensure that your healthcare system’s transition to a centralized scheduling model will be smooth, easy, and beneficial for your front-end staff, clinical providers, and patients.
by Tim Dreyer on August 14th, 2015
Here are the links of the Aspect highlights mentioned on this week’s Periscope broadcast:
3) Aspect at Customer Contact Expo – London
Happy Lefthanders Day! Here are 3 Ways You Can Get the Most out of Your Left-Handed Call Center Agents
by Tim Dreyer on August 13th, 2015
Left-handed people make up 10-12% of the population and yet historically, the world around them has been designed for the other 90% – the right handers. Which is great…if you’re right handed. If you aren’t, you no doubt you struggled in school with writing on right handed desks, dealt with the ink -stained hands left-to-right writing can cause, or failed miserably using scissors. As a right hander, I apologize for the lifetime of inconvenience.
But if you are in the contact center business, fear not. We’ve taken some of the best features of Aspect’s award-winning Workforce Management solution and have created a helpful guide to maximize productivity and optimize efficiently for your left-handed agent population:
Forecasting and scheduling
If you manage a contact center, you know a big difference between good and great performance can be effectively forecasting and scheduling your agent population. Well, in addition to being more likely to have allergies, lefthanders are apparently more prone to being insomniacs. Kinda makes you want to have some schedule flexibility huh? Maybe those non-sleepers are available and ready to work when you have a staffing crisis on your hands.
Multiple simultaneous chat and email sessions with inbound and outbound voice
Did you know left-handers are better at multi-tasking? Getting a single view of your agent skill sets might tell you that your left-handers are able to handle multiple channels. Like resolving a billing issuing with one customer on the phone while adding an account feature for another customer in a chat.
Track historical performance, real-time performance and schedule adherence with pre-configured reports and dashboards
Did you know of the seven most recent U.S Presidents, 4 have been left handed? It’s true. And left handed college graduates go on to become 26% richer than right handed graduates. Maybe left-handed people as a whole are more successful and make better leaders. Using real-time performance will help you track and analyze their performance and you’ll find out for sure.
Right or left handed, the beauty of a great workforce is being able maximize the skills of all your agents but perhaps on this Lefthanders Day, it will also help you uncover the unique talents of the southpaws among you.
by Christine OBrien on August 10th, 2015
by Maddy Hubbard on August 7th, 2015
We’ve all been there… We start a transaction on a self-service channel and we run into an issue somewhere along the way and need help from a live agent. Most often it’s a frustrating experience. In order to get the agent up to speed we are forced to repeat the same information we already provided.
There has to be a better way!
A seamless experience for customers is no longer a nice-to-have; it is an emerging requirement. Continuity across channels and the agent’s understanding of the customer’s journey are essential for delivering the kind of experiences customers expect.
How Experience Continuity Improves the Customer Journey, written by Eric Krapf, as a part of the No Jitter Technology Leadership Series, shares concepts and architecture for bringing continuity to the contact center experience.
Read this paper to:
- Understand the importance of ensuring every channel, whether its self-service or live service, is informed of the customer’s journey so far
- Learn how to provide continuity to both the agent, and more importantly, the customer
- See how it all fits together in a reference architecture
- Discover “context cookies” — what they are and how they work
Download it now!