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IPscape - Blog

4 Ways Integrating your CRM within your Contact Centre can Improve Customer Satisfaction

As a business leader, you understand the importance that satisfied customers are to your business. Satisfied customers will not only spend more, they will purchase more often, will generate positive word-of-mouth and referral sales, and will have a decreased barrier to purchasing. Additionally, there are internal benefits of happy and engaged employees.

What methods can you use to improve customer satisfaction within your call centre operations? Follow our 4 tips to improve revenue within your business:

1. Deliver personalised interactions

By integrating your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with your cloud contact centre, you can deliver a more personalised service by instantly knowing who is calling, their past caller history and other pertinent information to create a more personalised interaction.

Callers can be routed to the most appropriate agent based on their profile and previous caller activity.

2. Omni-channel approach

The rise of social media and digital channels has led to a move away from straight phone calls for call centres. Todays contact centres can handle multiple channels such as phone, emails, social media, SMS and webchat – the customer’s channel of choice. Integration of CRMs enable customer service representatives to view the channel which the customer has contacted the organisation and potentially interact with them via that channel, if it is their preferred method.

3. Create a more efficient way of communicating

Screen pops display information to the agent about the person calling, in real-time. On average, call centres who utilise screen pops, experience a reduction in their Average Handling Time (AHT) of 5 – 30 seconds. This creates significant costs savings for the contact centre.

4. Single source of customer data

All interactions can be tracked and recorded in the CRM if it is properly integrated. The customer journey, links to call recordings (call outcomes, call duration, call notes) can all be inputted into the CRM. This implementation provides a single source of truth for customer data and closes the loop on the customer journey

ipSCAPE can integrate with almost any cloud CRM like SalesForce, ZenDesk and ServiceNow.

For more information about how to increase customer satisfaction within your business, contact ipSCAPE.


Publish Date: September 10, 2018

The Critical Role that CTI & Smart Call Routing Play in Increasing Customer Satisfaction

How satisfied are your customers? When your customers call you, what level of service are they experiencing? Did you know that linking your call centre and your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can not only improve customer service levels, it can create cost savings for your business?

What is Smart Call Routing?

Smart Call Routing uses a combination of call data, caller information and your customer database to intelligently route calls to the most appropriate call centre agent.

By using a customer’s telephone number, it is possible for you to identify whether a caller is a frequent or important caller, therefore bypassing an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and routing them straight to the relevant agent or department. It has been documented that improved customer service levels increase customer loyalty which directly impacts sales.

How can customer satisfaction be further improved?

By integrating your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with your cloud contact centre, you can further enhance customer satisfaction levels.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) describes any technology that enables computers to interact with telephones. Smart call routing is one function of CTI with screen pops being commonly used. Screen pops display information to the agent about the caller the moment that they phone. On average, call centres who utilise screen pops, experience a reduction in their Average Handling Time (AHT) of 5 – 12 seconds. This creates significant costs savings within your contact centre.

Other examples of smart call routing include:

  • Connecting a caller to an agent they have previously built a rapport with
  • If a caller speaks another language, routing the caller to an agent who speaks the same language
  • Prioritising VIP or frequent callers in the call queues and routing them directly to the correct department or agent
  • Offering special offers if they are due for contract renewals, based on information derived from the CRM

Interoperability within your contact centre

Interoperability is the ability of computer systems to exchange and make use of information. It is highly unlikely your contact centre relies on one platform to deliver all your software needs.

When there are multiple software vendors involved, it is important that the systems interoperate and integrate seamlessly with each other. For example, your cloud contact centre software talking to your CRM. ipSCAPE can integrate with almost any cloud CRM like SalesForce, ZenDesk and ServiceNow.

CTIs can log and record calls and caller information in CRM tools, maintaining your CRM as a single source of truth for customer information.

This added benefit creates a positive experience for callers and a more efficient use of your resources.

To create legendary customer service in your call centre by integrating your CRM with your call centre, contact us.


Publish Date: August 31, 2018

Five Steps to Move your Contact Centre to the Cloud

The contact centre market is undergoing a transformation as traditional on-premise contact centres are displaced by cloud contact centre models.[1] Cloud contact centres can offer significant financial benefits, such as a usage-based pricing model and lower costs, but many businesses are embracing the greater agility that cloud contact centres can bring to an organisation.

Customer demands and market conditions are driving an increase in cloud-based solutions. `

Follow our five steps to successfully move your contact centre to the cloud:

1. Clearly define your business drivers

This may sound obvious, but it is amazing how many businesses start to evaluate new technology platforms simply because their current platform is out of life/ maintenance contract. Cloud will be mentioned and suddenly the business will be mired in evaluating vendors on cost and features alone rather than defining what the business needs the technology to deliver.

2. The benefit of real-time control of your contact centre

One of the most unique and least understood benefits of cloud contact centre applications is the ability for the people that run the contact centre to control the technology directly via a secure web browser (which can be accessed from any device).

The real-time control means there is no need to send requests for adding agents, changing IVR flows or campaign scripts to internal IT teams or expensive third-party vendors. Instead, Contact Centre Managers can make all the changes themselves – within minutes – through an easy to use web interface. This direct control not only saves time and money, but it means that businesses can scale their operations in real-time to cope with unexpected peaks in demand. So, no customer should ever hear a busy signal and all calls will be managed in real-time.

3. Rapid technology innovation

A widely unrecognised benefit of cloud software is its ability to deliver continued innovation. Whilst traditional on-premise solutions can go months, even years without upgrades, cloud contact solutions will include the implementation of a regular stream of technology innovation.

4. Consider a phased hybrid cloud model

Cloud is not the right solution for all Contact Centres. Contact Centres with no need for rapid changes, real-time control, usage-based pricing or scalability can sometimes be better off sticking with traditional on-premise technology.

But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing migration. Certain elements of any business may have a greater need for Cloud. Many of Telkom Telstra’s clients who are powered by ipSCAPE run 50-150 seats of Cloud Contact Centre software in parallel with a more traditional technology solution.

5. What are the risks of staying on the current system?

By its very nature, any Cloud Contact Centre business case will focus on the risks of change and migration. But a successful business case will also examine the opportunity costs and risks of not migrating to a new technology platform. Don’t wait for an incident or disaster to force the change. Key elements that should be considered include:

• What’s the FULL future cost of the existing technology?
• Does the existing technology meet all our future needs? What’s the roadmap release programme?
• Can we continue to fund IT or third parties to manage technology for us?
• Will our competitors gain a competitive edge through Cloud?

To find out how you can successfully move to the cloud, contact ipSCAPE today on 1300 477 277 or visit contact us.

[1] Australian Contact Centre Market 2015, Frost and Sullivan, July 2015


Publish Date: August 22, 2018

Are you Making These 5 Outbound Contact Centre Blunders that are Losing you Customers?

Driving efficiency in your outbound contact centre is a constant challenge – where a 5% difference in performance can materially affect the bottom line.

Typically, calls are made using technologies such as a predictive dialler. Examples of outbound contact centres include sales calls to prospects, debt collection, proactively sharing information, market research and surveys.

If you run an outbound contact centre, then these simple tips can help you stop making outbound contact centre bunders that are costing you customers and revenue.

  1. Relying on outdated dialler technology – if you have outdated, on-premise dialling technology or you are relying on agents manually dialling to make outbound calls, you may be losing out on potential revenue and missing relevant conversations with your customers and prospects.  With outbound cloud contact centre technology, your agents are only connected to live calls, improving contact rates and increasing contact penetration of calling lists enabling them to have meaningful conversations with more customers.
  2. No scalability options– Scaling up or down to meet changing demands is unavailable in traditional call centres. Cloud provides scalability and flexible pricing options, meaning you only pay for the service when you use it. For example, if you are calling a large prospect database, you can scale up for that activity and then scale down when your business needs change. This is a more efficient use of your resources and is cost efficient.
  3. Real-time changes – making changes to your contact centre may be manual and time-consuming. When you implement cloud contact centre technology, you can make real-time changes to your outbound dialler, therefore improving agent productivity and campaign performance. Easy to use dashboards help you track live campaign performance and adapt where necessary.
  4. Accessing a wider range of agents – on-premise call centres rely on in-house call centre agents, restricting access to a larger volume of agents, or especially skilled agents. Cloud technology can be accessed anywhere that you have an internet connection and a headset. This allows you to access remote agents (if you have suitably skilled agents available) who can quickly meet changing demands in your outbound call requirements or who may have special skills, whom you would have otherwise been unavailable.
  5. Relying on spreadsheets and manual processes – your contact centre managers may be whizzes with spreadsheets, but this process is manual and time-consuming and is prone to human error. Reduce reliance by implementing a cloud analytics platform that plugs into your cloud technology. You can make better business decisions, faster.

Speak to one of our outbound contact centre specialists today to find out how you can make your contact centre more efficient and stop losing customers.


Publish Date: July 9, 2018

How to Predict the Future using WFM

When running a call centre, you needn’t rely on a crystal ball to predict the future. There are many tools in place that can assist in making your centre more efficient and maintaining your customer service levels. Do you have a call centre with more than 20 call centre agents? If you answered yes, then we recommend you implement a Workforce Management (WFM) tool.

But what is WFM, we hear you say? According to TechTarget, “…WFM is an integrated set of processes that an institution uses to optimise the productivity of its employees”. In a call centre context, it is the fine balance of understaffed versus overstaffed.

If you are overstaffed, your operating costs will be high which will affect your profitability. If you are understaffed, your customers and staff will be dissatisfied.

Check out the below graphic to see what the Workforce Management cycle looks like.

Figure: Workforce Management Cycle

Which WFM tool to choose?

Traditional WFM approaches use automatic call distributor (ACD) data, are hosted on Excel spreadsheets and utilise Erlang C calculations.

The information you receive may include incoming calls for a given period, average handling time (AHT), service levels, maximum occupancy, shrinkage and average patience.

Whilst these basic tools are useful for call centre managers, they are certainly not without limitation. There is no real-time visibility of adherence, accurate rostering can be difficult, especially if there are frequent changes, multi-channel functions are hard to manage, even basic reporting can be time consuming and you must be an Excel genius to work everything out.

The WFM Software Approach

WFM software are programs designed to help organisations manage staff scheduling.

With several  software options available, you should consider how it integrates with existing solutions like your cloud contact centre. This can ease the process and improve efficiency. ipSCAPE integrates with a WFM software solution called Agyle Time.

Implementation with Agyle Time or similar software may provide the following features:  

  • Forecasting – call volumes are forecast based on historical data. Once set up, forecasts are constantly updated with real-time data, making it smarter the longer you use it
  • Smart scheduling & Rostering – easy to use reporting means you can see where your call volume spikes will be, take into account shrinkage and calculate actual staffing levels. Staff can be automatically scheduled and notified of shifts, as well as agent profile building
  • Vast reporting capability – useful reports include punctuality, schedule adherence, agent activity call volumes and call outcomes
  • Submitting of timesheets and exporting

Predicting the future has never been easier. Here’s why you should be implementing WFM software with your cloud contact centre:  

  • More accurate forecasts, schedules, budgets and plans
  • Right people (with the right skills), in the right place, at the right time
  • Improved customer experience and service level agreement performance
  • Improved occupancy and lower payroll costs
  • Reduction in non-productive time
  • Ability to manage in real time (adherence)
  • Reduced administration costs (leave requests, agent availability, timesheets)
  • Enabling data driven business decisions with reporting insight
  • Happier, more engaged agents and less churn

If you would like to speak to a WFM expert, contact ipSCAPE today on 1300 477 227.


Publish Date: May 9, 2018

Three Ways Inbound Call Routing can Improve Customer Service & Increase Sales

The process of call routing in call centres is where an incoming call is directed to a specified call centre agent and the respective queue they are placed into. When done correctly, inbound call routing can improve customer service and increase sales. Here are three methods to consider when implementing call routing in your call centre.

Get the Basics Right

Getting the basics of inbound call routing right sets the precedent for your service and sales levels. A basic call routing strategy is sending the caller to the correct department. An efficient routing method is sending the call to the agent who has been waiting the longest.

This could be achieved in a couple of ways. You can either publish a separate number for each department or publish a single telephone number and ask the inbound caller to select a number for the department or service that they require.

This creates both call centre efficiency and improves customer service by immediately directing the call to the correct destination or queue.

Skills Based and Service Level Routing

Skills based routing is when calls are directed to specific agents dependent on their skills.

For example, a Spanish speaking caller is directed to a Spanish speaking call centre agent. If a caller has a better rapport with the agent and they have the right skills to resolve their enquiry then this creates a better outcome for the caller.

If the agent that best matches the caller’s needs is unavailable (on another call for example), rather than keep the caller on hold until that agent is available and risk longer wait times, abandoned calls and lower service levels, it is beneficial to implement a service optimisation strategy.

If callers have been waiting too long, or there are too many callers, they can be moved to another backup queue.

This backup queue would take priority over existing queues and if these are overloaded, then the caller could be directed to voicemail, an external answering service or offer an automated call back when an agent becomes available.

These strategies create better caller outcomes and reduce the risk of your service levels being impacted.

Call routing done intelligently can lead to increased sales. Using a caller’s telephone number (Caller Line Identifier) it is possible to identify if a caller is an important or frequent caller, therefore bypassing IVR (Interactive Voice Response) straight to the relevant department or agent.

It has long been documented that improved customer satisfaction levels increases an organisation’s sales. Mitigating the chance of important or frequently calling customers being placed in long queues, can create a better service for them and increase loyalty levels.

If combined with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, it is possible to tell if a caller is for example, due for a contract renewal in the next three months, they can then be offered a “special offer” to entice them to renew their contract. This will impact sales levels.

This is also true if a customer is in danger of leaving. Their call can be escalated to a relevant or more sensitive department, thereby minimising their chance of leaving.

If done correctly, inbound call routing can improve the customer experience by getting callers to the most appropriate agent as quickly as possible, helping to identify VIP customers and offer solutions for long wait times. Additional benefits include the increased sales from contract renewal, as well as creating a more efficient call centre.

For more information and a demonstration on call routing, check out ipSCAPE’s latest webinar. Or if you would like to find out how inbound call routing can benefit your business, speak to an ipSCAPE representative today.


Publish Date: April 5, 2018

Will Australian Call Centres Be Taken Over By Robots?

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are predicted to have a colossal impact on the contact centre sector. According to Forrester Research, AI and intelligent agents are two of the top five technologies most likely to transform the tech landscape by 2021.

So where is AI at now in the contact centre world, and what can we expect in the future? Is it possible that one day robots and other forms of AI will totally take over the industry, leaving swathes of contact centre employees out in the cold?

Rise of the internet chatbot

To the first question, AI is largely still in its experimental stage in Australia. But the results to date have been promising, particularly when it comes to text-based chatbots (or ‘virtual assistants’, as they’re also called). For customers preferring to have their questions answered via a website than by calling a contact centre, chatbots can provide excellent service.

When a chatbot pops up to a website, it comes with Natural Language Understanding (NLU) capabilities that allow it grasp the intent of what’s being asked. In other words, it mimics how a knowledgeable human would respond to the enquiry. A good chatbot is also able to seamlessly transfer the customer to a live agent when the conversation gets complicated.

An example of a successful chatbot in action is Alex, the virtual assistant for the Australian Taxation Office. Alex uses NLU, advanced resolution technologies and conversational dialogue to answer tax-related questions from website visitors. Launched in March 2016, Alex has answered over a million enquiries with a resolution rate of 80%, which is significantly higher than the industry benchmark of 65%. This type of technology has also gained traction in the telecommunications, banking, retail and financial services sectors.

According to recent research by conversational commerce company Flamingo Customer Experience, 77% of Australian customers (from 528 surveyed) are comfortable with the concept of using a chatbot to address their enquiries. Of the 84 Australian businesses surveyed, 73% believe chatbots are relevant to their business. With a solid track record already laid down, and with the technology improving all the time, internet-based chatbots are here to stay.

Live agent or robot – what’s best?

While chatbots can be good at providing simple answers to predictable, uncomplicated questions, the stakes get higher when organisations leave it to a robot to address complex enquiries. Companies don’t want to risk losing a long-time customer because of a poor Chabot experience. They also don’t want to fail to convert a prospect into a customer, because of under-developed voice automation technology.

This is one of the reasons why Australian organisations are treading carefully when it comes to voice-based AI. As things presently stand, robots simply aren’t good at certain things. Through machine learning, they can be effective in understanding what we said, but not necessarily what we meant. For example, AI technology is typically poor at detecting sarcasm – a response of ‘yeah, great’ from the customer may not mean what the robot thinks it means. An empathetic understanding of a customer’s emotional state is also not something a bot can easily pick up on. So a customer becoming increasingly exasperated may not be dealt with in the same way as they would if there was a human on the other end of the line. Also, a robot can only provide answers from which it is able to draw from its database of knowledge – a potential shortcoming when a customer makes a ‘first-of- its-kind’ type of enquiry. While machine intelligence operates within certain pre-programmed parameters, human beings do not. We’re simply not that predictable.

For contact centre operators, a key challenge lies in knowing the point at which a customer machine conversation is failing and needs to be taken over by a live agent. If a live person is too slow to get involved, the customer could be lost.

So until major further advancements are made in AI, its core strength will remain its ability to automate simple processes where human skills and knowledge are not required. This is good news for the contact centre workforce because there’s no way automation is going to replace humans any time in the foreseeable future. Rather than replace live agents, technology can be expected to complement and enhance both the customer experience and the agent experience. That all-important need for the human touch, where qualities such as compassion, an instinct for social cues and a grasp of the unique needs of a particular individual customer, will continue to be vital for organisations dependent on attracting, serving and retaining customers.

For contact centre representatives, automation will free them from the tedium of continually responding to the same rudimentary queries over and over again. Their jobs will become more stimulating and challenging, allowing more opportunities to apply critical thinking and creativity in their problem-solving.

Is AI a win-win for customers and providers?

For customers who want good customer service and for contact centre service providers, who want to deliver it, the future looks bright. For the most part, Australians are comfortable having their basic enquiries dealt with through automation. Not speaking to a human being is generally acceptable as long as it provides the desired result. In this regard, AI has plenty of runs on the board, and will only get better as its machine learning technology improves.

For government and corporates, AI has delivered some successes in reducing operational costs, while maintaining solid customer satisfaction rates. With the high cost of hiring and training contact centre staff, the reliable and efficient automation of basic functions has predictably had a positive bottom line impact.

But there is still some distance to travel along the AI path. Consistently outstanding customer engagement from an intelligent, insightful and empathetic robot is the holy grail. But, in all likelihood, it’s destined to remain elusive, despite the impressive pace of AI innovation.

The contact centre of the future is far more likely to be one that combines human interaction with automated processes to deliver the best in customer service.

Peter Anson is CEO of ipSCAPE


Publish Date: October 12, 2017

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