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Unlike the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, the last ten years’ advances in technology (and especially AI) has helped many leading brands turn their contact centres into profit centres by improving first contact resolution, decreasing agent burnout and making their customers happy.
Technology has also changed customer expectations and customer experience can no longer be sacrificed for the convenience of the brand. Customer service is an essential part of contact centres, and with uncertain times upon us, delivering exceptional customer experience to customers via their channel of choice might have some contact centres feeling like they don’t have the right weapons to win the battle of delivering increased customer satisfaction whilst also reducing their cost-per-serve ratio.
But, there is hope yet for those who choose their arms wisely…
Bite the bullet with efficiency
Unpredictable call spikes cause frustrated customers and weary agents, resulting in lost revenue. Self-service options like Visual IVR, FAQ Search and Virtual Agent chatbots help to optimise agent contact, coping with spikes in enquiries and assisting with rapid contact resolution in the event that a query is escalated to an agent.
Plan of attack to retain and attract
Teams burning out quickly and high agent attrition costs time and money. Gamification programs promote healthy culture; performance data improves development and retention. Dashboards reporting on agent productivity will assist contact centre managers to identify staff needing more encouragement as well as identifying those to reward.
‘Omni-channelling’ successfully with Customer Experiences
Being there for customers when they reach out via chat, email or social media is challenging when the best skilled agents or a full customer history is not be available. Using APIs and CRM integrations, real-time data can be unified in one place across channels, enabling a 360 degree view of the customer, regardless of which channel they choose to interact through.
These quick reads provide some valuable insight to taking small steps to prepare for the ever-changing customer experience landscape and how it can create winning results in the contact centre.
Publish Date: September 4, 2018
Synthetix HQ, Stansted, UK, 1 August 2018 - One of the UK’s largest, most profitable, and globally recognised employers in the fast food industry has invested in a new and innovative way to assist their staff anytime they need it. A new intelligent Virtual Agent assists staff to troubleshoot should they experience technical difficulties with items such as the drinks dispenser or order taking equipment.
The intelligent Virtual Agent/chatbot designed by Synthetix, offers step by step guidance displaying technical manuals, to get simple issues fixed as soon as possible, without having to call and wait for an engineer. If the system detects that a problem does require expert intervention, the bot automatically logs and schedules a call for further assistance through an integrated call-back system.
Neil Spalding, Head of Channel Sales at Synthetix says, “It’s a great honour to work alongside such a global brand who are embracing technology to not only assist their staff but help serve their customers better. The Virtual Agent’s integration with the call-back system is extremely efficient to get operational levels back to optimum capacity.”
Publish Date: September 3, 2018
Publish Date: August 31, 2018
Managing a large group of loud personalities, having to forecast and plan resources tightly against projected inbound contact, meeting big targets and running countless meetings, if this sounds like your typical day, you must be in the profession of overseeing a contact centre. Finding time to think about and plan what needs to be done to develop or improve performance is a tough task when most Managers spend their time battling to keep agents and customers happy. To further complicate matters, any big changes need to be run past upper management, which according to a recent report, still perceives the contact centre as a ‘cost centre’.
And with headlines stating that AI will be ‘the death of the contact centre’, it’s understandable that Contact Centre Managers might feel like the world is against them. However, it’s the dawn of a New Contact Centre. Businesses can no longer afford to rely on archaic siloed channels for customer support and experience. The time has come for businesses to fill their customer support armoury with new strategies and AI tech to win the war on remaining relevant and profitable.
As consumers grow more and more comfortable with messaging, AI applications offer the contact centre some dramatic benefits that stretches way beyond ‘Botman versus SuperAgent’. For those businesses looking to invest in AI, there is light in this confusing artificially intelligent world of darkness. There already exists reasonably priced and ‘modest’ AI-powered solutions that can translate into cost savings, increased productivity and improved customer experience with minimal demands on IT resources.
But for AI to introduce new value and break fresh ground, strategists must take an innovative approach to CX and consider its impact beyond its novelty. As a ‘Customer Experience General’ looking to outwit the enemy, the following quick reads provide some valuable insight to taking small steps to prepare for the ever-changing customer experience landscape and how it can deliver ‘super-powered’ results in the contact centre.
Publish Date: August 21, 2018
Seventeen is the media world’s go-to age of bittersweet nostalgia. This important age not only has its own magazine but is often referred to as the gap between adulthood and childhood that should be seen as a huge growing experience.
Although most 17-year olds will be experiencing their first year of entering the world on their own, Synthetix is celebrating respected maturity within the AI and online customer service technology sector. We’ve been revolutionising online customer service with our effortless integration of AI-powered customer contact channels like Virtual Agents (Intelligent chatbots), Live Chat, Visual IVR, Intelligent FAQ Search, Agent Knowledgebase and Email Management. We even empower developers to create their own online customer service tools through our APIs.
Noticing our founders displaying a few emotional tears allegories, when blowing out our birthday candles, everyone at team Synthetix felt proud and an immense sense of achievement, especially since even during Synthetix’s humble beginnings, with no outside investment, we’ve had the privilege to work with some of the world’s most innovative brands such as the London 2012 Olympics, the BBC, Samsung and Ford (to name just a few). The client list today still boasts impressive names, albeit a lot longer, and we still have a personal relationship with each brand on our prestigious list.
When you think back 17 years ago what do you remember? Here’s a few highlights team Synthetix remembers (albeit, that some of us where still in nappies)
Please feel free to share your memories.
So, until next year’s big 18th birthday, cheers to the next exciting year!
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Publish Date: May 14, 2018
Customer experience in one industry sets the bar and shapes expectations for all experiences. This has never been more true and applies to many aspects of our lives.
I wonder how many people have walked into a hair salon, clenching a photo of what they would like their hair to look like, just to walk out crying, disappointed that their expectations were not met in the mirror? And how many blame the hair dresser’s skill, not the fact that maybe the style or colour just doesn’t fit the shape of their face or skin tone? This begs the question: Should a stylist simply follow instructions from the customer or should they advise (as they are the experts) customers to try something more suitable?
Customer support is not exempt from customer experience or expectations. And businesses have responded offering a plethora of communication channels to customers for support. Why is then that managers are struggling to tie tech investments to improved operational outcomes or the growth of their business through efficiencies and improved customer experience?
It has become increasingly apparent that many channels are being bolted on with little or no consideration for how they are integrated with the rest of the organisation. For the customer, the existence of siloed channels can be apparent in a variety of ways, such as inconsistency in actions from channel-to-channel; different tone of voice; duplication of messaging; or having to start the conversation anew every time it shifts to a fresh channel.
With a huge 82% of customers having stopped doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, the message is clear: Organisations that cannot provide a seamless experience across multiple channels are in danger of losing customers to those businesses that can.
These free guides offer practical advice from improving agent productivity, NPS or CSAT scores to busting the operational silos to deliver consistent customer experiences across multiple channels.
Publish Date: April 16, 2018
Us Brits sure love talking about the weather, but the past week the weather has headlined the news non-stop. Burst water pipes, flooding, snow and sink holes appearing because of the weather has left thousands of people in distress, unable to commute, some without water and sewage facilities, cut off from the rest of the world.
Jerry White, Head of Water Production at Thames Water said that last Saturday has been the busiest day of the winter so far for the company, when their customer centre received 2,500 calls, with 3,000 calls over the weekend as a whole - 30 times more than the daily average. A spokesperson for the company added that it had received more tweets in two days than it normally would in two weeks.
However, it’s not just utility companies receiving an influx of contact. Emergency services, charities, defence, and retail organisations are all under pressure as the chaotic weather continues to disrupt lives. And listening and reading the news, some companies are better than others when having to inform and respond to contact with some companies heavily criticised for their lack in keeping people informed.
With most of us today expecting the majority of customer service interaction to happen in an online environment, one would think it makes sense for companies to invest in web self-service, virtual agent, or live chat facilities to answer customer queries, leaving contact centre agents to deal with more complex issues. However, in this world where we use our smartphones and tablets to update us on the news, to query the time it will take to commute to work, to keep in touch and to ‘survive’ in this digital age, many companies still struggle to live up to customer expectations when it comes to support.
Expanding support into multiple online channels not only allows companies to offer real-time, consistent, and up to date information in a cost-effective manner but reduces the stress levels in contact centres.
Why not download these short, handy, and free guides that offer insight for businesses wanting to invest in effective digital support channels?
Multi-channel Online Customer Service for Dummies
Virtual Agents for Dummies
Web chat - 5 killer reasons why you are doing it wrong
Virtual agents - to bot or not?
Publish Date: March 5, 2018
The severe weather and storms this March has created havoc throughout the UK. Heavy snow not only had some commuters spending hours in their vehicles, or having to be rescued, train, flight and bus cancellations has resulted in an unprecedented surge in commuter enquiries. And with further weather warnings being issued by the Met Office, the increased demand on customer service departments is set to continue.
And it’s not only travel updates required by commuters. With staff unable to commute to work, some businesses are struggling to operate efficiently. The convenience of our always ‘on’ online world has changed the way in which we interact with businesses as we expect to be able to communicate with them over multiple channels when we want to.
With the rapid rise in the use of mobile devices, 24/7 support is within reach to those businesses eager to achieve operational efficiency, by utilising digital channels such as Virtual Agents, web chat or web self-service, especially during unexpected circumstances.
Digital channels allow businesses to maintain high levels of service during peak and off-peak times. Web self-service options and Virtual Agents don't get snowed in. And kudos to those using web chat via agents working from home - an often-overlooked advantage of chat over voice.
Businesses cannot risk being stuck in the past, however many are still finding it difficult to adjust to advancing technologies.
We've put together concise free guides and practical advice on implementing web self-service, Virtual Agents or web chat which you can download here:
Multi-channel Online Customer Service for Dummies
Virtual Agents for Dummies
Web chat - 5 killer reasons why you are doing it wrong
Virtual agents - to bot or not?
Publish Date: March 2, 2018
AUSTIN, TEXAS, January 9, 2018 -- No longer new players in the U.S, Synthetix is set on expanding their already phenomenal global growth to address some of the very specific issues faced by utilities in the U.S.
Already the No.1 supplier of self-service and knowledge software to Western Europe’s utility sector, Synthetix systems are helping to support and serve more than 28.4 million customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and massive reductions in complaints. Synthetix offers Electric, Gas and Water retail/distribution-specific packages for the U.S. utility sector in three different tier levels. These different levels include options like a ready-populated knowledge-base of the most asked questions by utility customers, simple pricing and straight forward implementation of days, not months.
Adam Ashcroft, Director at Synthetix said “We are confident that we can offer scale, resources, knowledge, and a pricing methodology beyond what’s possible for any individual utility or new entrants into this sector to replicate.”
With Accenture reporting that utilities can save between $1-3 million through self-service technologies, Synthetix hope to assist in transforming online customer service delivery for both IOUs & PUCs that are under the extensive pressure to continuously reduce costs and improve operational performance to remain profitable and to achieve sustainable growth.
Synthetix provide a Value Opportunity Assessment free of charge to US utilities to assess impact and quantify return on investment as the initial starting point.
Synthetix Ltd is a leading provider of multi-channel utility solutions, providing knowledge-base software for web, mobile, e-mail, live chat, social and contact center customer service. Founded in 2001, Synthetix has unparalleled expertise in the field of online customer service design and deployment.
The company has become the customer experience web usability technology choice for global brands including; Southern Water, Virgin Holidays, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Best Western Hotels, General Motors, Ford, Ben & Jerry’s and the London 2012 Olympics.
More information and pricing >>
Publish Date: January 10, 2018