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Article : The New Knowledge Management Required for Customer Service in the COVID Era

#contactcenterworld, @egain

Author: Anand Subramaniam, SVP Marketing, eGain Corporation

"Due to overwhelming demand for service, we are not able to take your call."

"Our wait times for customer service may be longer than usual due to COVID-19."

These caveats are typical of what you get these days on business websites and IVRs, even as the pandemic shows signs of plateauing.

COVID-19 has triggered a tsunami of demand for customer service. A flood of questions about payment deferrals, paycheck protection programs, COVID-19 infection, stay-at-home directives, shipment status, and more, are overwhelming contact centers, which are struggling to keep up.

For example, I called a retailer’s customer service , and was pushed to voicemail. I left a message, but never heard back. I then sent an email to them. Same result! No wonder customers are getting frustrated with many switching to competitors, something businesses can ill-afford at this time of economic uncertainty.

FAQs and legacy "knowledge management" don’t cut it anymore

COVID-19 questions come in all "shapes and sizes". They fall into three main types: Informational, transactional, and situational. Here are some examples.

INFORMATIONAL QUERY

  • Is the stimulus check eligibility based on my income in 2019 or 2018?
  • Is there a size restriction for my business to qualify for PPP (Payroll Protection Program)?

TRANSACTIONAL QUERY

  • How do I apply for mortgage refinancing and get approved online without having to visit a branch?
  • How do I change the beneficiary to a trust in my account?

SITUATIONAL QUERY

These are queries that entail problem resolution, purchase advice, etc.

  • Should I refinance my home loan, given my profile, financial situation, and the new income tax laws on deducting mortgage interest?

  • I live in XX county in YY state. I had some COVID symptoms and have been self-isolating for two weeks. The symptoms are still there. What should I do next?

Many websites have FAQs or basic keyword search that put the burden on the consumer to read reams of documents or process hundreds of search results to find answers for themselves. Others have deployed chatbots that can "meet and greet" but get stumped even at the slightest hint of complexity in the customer query. The result? More angry calls to add to the tsunami.

Moreover, customer service agents have been dislocated due to stay-at-home orders and offshore contact center shutdowns. These lockdowns, coupled with the fear of infection, have led to agent absenteeism, forcing many companies to take an all hands on deck approach to meet the demand for service, pulling employees from other departments as well as gig agents to pick up the slack. And these employees, real and virtual, are not as familiar with company policies, processes, and service knowhow. The result? More customer frustration and defection.

COVID calls for a new kind of Knowledge Management

To be able to handle the range of queries in the pandemic era and beyond, businesses need a new kind of KM, not FAQs, basic keyword search, clueless chatbots, and document repositories. The new KM needs to be able to do the following.

  • Guide the search

  • Guide the conversation

  • Centralize and publish

  • Integrate and embed

1. Guide the search

While plain keyword search has been improving to some degree, it puts the onus on the knowledge consumer to process hundreds of "hits" to find literal matches, which may or may not answer the question. Moreover, knowledge authors need to anticipate how a user might phrase the question (recently, Machine Learning (ML) has helped modern KM systems better understand user intent). More complex searches may call for a conversation with the customer to home in on the search intent and serve up the answer. Infused with AI reasoning, KM can help guide such searches.

2. Guide the conversation

Complex questions require a dialogue to be carried out, whether it is with a self-service system or with a human agent or sales rep or a frontline healthcare worker. The best domain experts know what question to ask and what step to take next. Also, government regulations dictate conversations and actions for compliance.

This conversational expertise and regulatory steps can be captured into a next-gen KM system in the form of rules and AI reasoning, and can be served to the customer directly through self-service systems (automation) or through agents in a human-assisted scenario (augmentation). Unlike brittle scripts and decision trees, reasoning enables adaptive conversations that avoid cul-de-sacs and dead ends in the dialogue.

3. Centralize and publish "everywhere"

One of the challenges of COVID times has been the rapid change of information, whether regarding the disease, government relief programs, stay-at-home directives, or business policies. Businesses are struggling to publish this information to employees and consumers in a quick and consistent way. The answer lies in an omnichannel KM system with a single-sourced content publishing capability to disseminate information to customer service channels, tailored to those touchpoints.

4. Integrate with or embed in systems of record

Customer-facing employees often use systems of record such as CRM to get a transactional view of the customer—who they are, what products they have bought, when they bought them. These tools lack modern KM capabilities. Many enterprises have, therefore, embedded next-gen knowledge capabilities into these systems or added an engagement layer to them to bring together context from multiple systems of record to inform knowledge search and guidance. For this bimodal model to work, the KM system needs to have an open architecture for easy embedding or integration with systems of record.

Final word

We all know the saying that in every crisis lies a great opportunity. COVID-19 has presented an opportunity to elevate customer service with next-gen KM and leave competitors in the dust. Why not get going now?


About eGain Corporation:
Company LogoOmnichannel customer engagement solutions power digital-first experiences. Infused with AI, machine learning, knowledge and analytics, our platform helps clients automate and optimize customer journeys via virtual assistance, messaging, social, mobile, web, and contact centers.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Network Usage Guidelines

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2020 Buyers Guide Cloud Contact Center Solutions

Page: 123
1.) 
Premium Listing
NobelBiz Corporation

NobelBiz OMNI+
NobelBiz’s latest product, the OMNI+, is a state-of-the-art contact center software that allows companies – regardless of the number of employees – to offer more efficient, standardized solutions to their clients. With OMNI+ you can manage your accounts on all popular platforms (from voice, to email, social media, and web chat) using a single browser. The software also offers effortless navigation between communication mediums and all customer interactions can be easily monitored by supervisors without interfering in their agent’s work. As far as integration goes, the product can be installed and ready to use in maximum 72 hours and can easily be overlaid in pre-existing infrastructures.
PH: 760.405.0105


2.) 
Accordia Solution

Accordia Solution CIS
Accordia Solution is an innovative developer of seamlessly integrated cost-effective omnichannel Contact Center Solutions specifically targeted at the micro, small and medium operations.Our core business model involves the development and marketing of IP Telephony and IP Contact Center Solutions. We also strive to develop customer interaction solutions which include contact center and customer relationship management (CRM) that enhances Customer Experience Of The Future (CEOTF) and optimizes agent productivity.

Our flagship product, the Accordia Customer Interaction Suites (CIS), offers comprehensive functionality by helping your business meet and exceed the level of service in line with...
(read more)
PH: +603 5569 9816

3.) 
Amtelco

Genesis Intelligent Series
Genesis is the latest advancement in Amtelco’s long line of call center solutions. This call center technology is entirely software-based and virtualized, with cloud-based capability. Genesis provides skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), and voice services to improve call routing and management.

4.) 
Arise Virtual Solutions

The Arise Platform
Arise is a pioneer of on-demand customer management business process outsourcing solutions, headquartered in Florida. Through the cloud-based Arise Platform, Fortune 50 and other companies connect to Service Partners who deliver authentic, loyalty-building interactions with their customers. Delivering radical flexibility to meet even extreme contact volume fluctuations, the award-winning Arise Platform is an innovative alternative to the traditional contact center.

5.) 
Aspect Software

Aspect Via
Aspect Via is the premier large-enterprise cloud contact center platform and solution featuring best-of-breed contact management and workforce optimization applications. Cloud neutral technology enables businesses to choose the cloud, hosted or hybrid deployment environment they prefer.
PH: 1-888-547-2481

6.) 
Astute Solutions

Astute Agent
Astute Agent gives your agents everything they need to work cases confidently and efficiently. This modern case management CRM is the preferred choice for Consumer Relations and Customer Care teams who support some of the world’s most prestigious brands.

Astute Agent balances agent efficiency with customer experience. Here’s how:

- Automated email responses
Using natural language processing, Astute Agent reads incoming customer emails and automatically supplies a response to agents to review and send.

- Auto-populated case fields
AI capabilities automatically suggest reason codes, product codes, and other case information, saving agents minutes per case.

- Time-saving case feat...
(read more)

7.) 
Britannic Technologies

INBOX
INBOX allows any digital interaction to be blended into single or multiple queues with zero service interruption with implementation. Organising them by business context with smart tagging and search filters, the events can be automatically prioritised and categorised. Automating the route to the correct agent or business orchestration rule. It also connects with all your social media channels, enabling you to respond and route accordingly in real-time. Customer sentiment is also indicated. Use it to measure trends across your business or by a single event so that your agents can easily prioritise responses.
PH: 01483 242526

8.) 
Brook Trout Solutions

CCaaS, SIP Trunking, SD WAN, Interconnectivity
Brook Trout Solutions provides Technology Guide services to help Contact Centers to the best possible solution for their business. This includes:
CCaaS: Talk Desk, Five 9s, Nice, Genesys and more
SIP Trunks: Many Global Providers to lower cost and improve operational efficiency
SD WAN: Connect to customers rapidly with the latest network technology to scale with flexibility.
Our service are at no cost to our customers. We look forward to meeting you!
PH: 800-886-9199

9.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

10.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

CallTrackingMetrics is the only contact center solution with marketing attribution software built in. Our powerful UCaaS platform lets you know upfront who is calling in, what campaigns they were referencing, and their previous history with your company. Partnering this data with tools to automate and streamline your team’s workflow frees you up to focus on truly delighting your customers.

Conditionally direct calls, texts, chats and forms based on:

• Actions the customer has taken on your website
• Whether they’ve previously contacted your business
• Which agent they last interacted with
• Custom criteria unique to your business needs
• The location nearest to your customer

Say...
(read more)
PH: 8005771872

11.) 
Cloud Call Center Search

From AI - WFO and everything in between!
Cloud Call Center Search has spent hundreds of hours evaluating and vetting leading cloud software applications (Omni-Channel, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Workforce Management and many others) and their actual use in the trenches with real-world clients. As a result, we understand the strengths and weaknesses of cloud-based call center software solutions. At NO charge, Cloud Call Center Search will match your organization with the cloud software providers that are the best fit to drive positive ROI in your customer experience, sales, and back-office operations.
PH: 800-741-2998

12.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

13.) 
Connex One

Cloud contact centre technology with built in gamification tools, workforce optimiser, omni-channel, speech analytics, artificial intelligence, quality assurance, PCI-DSS payment platform, form builder and much more features. All seamlessly integrating with almost 100% of your inhouse applications & CRM systems - creating one powerful workflow platform. Increasing productivity, customer engagement, saving you cost. Available in opex model - pay per license per month. No binding contracts with NO cost for 24/7/365 support and full training with built in SLA.
PH: +27 73 485 8072 / +27 61 192 680

14.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium AWS and Amazon Connect Offering
Imagine a cloud-based contact center that can make customer engagement easy, deliver answers, assistance, and resolutions in a very personal manner, and in the context of your customers’ actions. Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center that provides a seamless omnichannel experience through a single unified platform for voice and chat. Contact center agents and managers don’t have to learn multiple tools, because Amazon Connect has the same contact routing, queuing, analytics, and management tools in a single UI across voice, chat, and mobile interface. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368

15.) 
contactSPACE

contactSPACE
Cloud contact software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worrying about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Take control, and design the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual editor. Combined with AI, leverage data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time & on the right channel.
PH: +61288803111

16.) 
Content Guru

𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺®
Content Guru makes engagement easy. A global leader in cloud communications solutions, we deliver off-the-shelf and bespoke customer engagement and cloud contact centre services, through the multi-award-winning 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺® platform.

Europe’s largest Customer Engagement and Experience platform, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺, brings together intelligent automation, third-party systems integration, and on-demand scalability to enhance all customer communication functions. With true omni-channel engagement capabilities, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺 gives organisations the power to create consistent and seamless experiences for customers, inspiring loyalty and powering success.

17.) 
CSX Cloud

CSX Cloud
CSX Cloud provides a full omnichannel cloud-based turn-key customer communications solution as a service based on a monthly subscription with no long term commitments. Our easy to use solution and top-notch customer service makes it an easy choice to get started today.
PH: 18665474764

18.) 
Edify

Edify Huddle
Edify connects businesses with customers and employees with each other. The company’s Business Communications as a Service (BCaaS) platform, Huddle, is the only one that unites unified communications (UC), contact center (CC) and communications platform (API) functionality in a single software solution that lets users move seamlessly among channels within one conversation. Edify removes all the risk of using its cloud-based platform with five free users forever, global availability, real-time redundancy, usage-based pricing and a 100% SLA uptime guarantee.

19.) 
Envision

Envision Click2Coach WFO/WEM
Data from phone, e-mail, web chat and social media interactions can help quickly identify patterns and trends, optimize operations and transform customer relationships. Envision delivers innovative software solutions, in the cloud or on premise, to optimize and engage your workforce. With our integrated line of Click2Coach products, customers get voice of the customer analysis, graphical dashboards, performance management, desktop analytics, speech analytics, interaction and compliance recording, quality management, workforce management and coaching and eLearning.

For more than 20 years, Envision has been providing award winning solutions to our customers that optimize customer experience...
(read more)
PH: 206-225-0800

20.) 
Fonolo

Call back / virtual hold solution
Fonolo's solution can eliminate hold time from your contact center without changing any business process.

Fonolo's cloud-based call-back solution sits above your infrastructure, giving callers the option to receive a call back instead of waiting on hold.

This results in lower abandon rates, handle times, and costs -- and a superior experience for your customers.
PH: 416-366-2500
 
Page: 123

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