Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Contact Center Tech Is Dumber Than Smartphones

To their credit, most organizations are attempting to address how they interact with their customers in their contact centers. But while organizations understand the concept at its highest levels, frequently their solution designs fail to grasp how customers actually use their services. The results are often worse than if they never tried to improve their customers’ interactions in the first place. In just the past few years, consumers have embraced speech-enabled smartphones and virtual assistants. Attention to detail fueled by analytics drives a constant focus on how customers are using these technologies; the analytics behind these services capture behavior over hundreds of millions of interactions—insights … …more

How to Orchestrate your Hosted IVR

Whether you are contemplating outsourcing your IVR offering, or already have done so but find it a challenge to manage, ensuring success is not a point and “make it happen” exercise. In my current role, I have the pleasure of observing many different organizations’ deployments of outsourced speech enabled IVRs (hereafter, IVR.) Having been on the delivery side for ten years, it has been very enlightening to be on the customer side. Most often, we see the classic command and control relationship between customers and their infrastructure partners (vendors) where the customer provides requirements in the form of what, when and where.  Sometimes customer issue … …more

Secret Agents Doubling as Virtual Assistants

Humans continue to be more intelligent than machines Speech recognition is continually improving. Note the functionality that Google Now and Apple Siri provide from devices that are notably difficult to interact with using text.  However, has it really changed much in the contact center? Sure, a few large corporations have implemented natural language understanding or “conversational” IVR apps using traditional speech recognition. The seven-digit cost, covering the cost of the software and ongoing very expensive tuning behind these apps precludes anyone but the largest organizations from deploying these solutions. However, even for well-designed apps, the current state of ASR still limits the ability to expand … …more

Talking ’bout My Generation

The amount of electrons wasted communicating that “Generational changes are going to change your contact center!” are enough to fuel a large fleet of Tesla vehicles for mileage equal to a trip to Mars and back. I had to re-write the opening of this because I sounded like a grumpy old man. You know the type, “Get off my lawn you darned kids!”  Except I live in Arizona and there are no lawns.  Well, there are those AstroTurf lawns that Snowbirds have in Sun City. If there are kids running all over them, then it serves the little buggers right to slip, fall and hurt … …more

Easing Customers’ IVR Journeys

                              Don’t force your IVR to do something it can’t do! Routing is an important topic that drives the success or failure of speech-enabled applications, frequently more than the apps do themselves. All IVR applications fall into one of four high-level functional groups: authentication (I am this person); information request (what’s my checking balance; where is my package?); action (change password; refill prescription); and caller intent (I need to speak with a specialist about a block stock trade; I am calling about billing questions). Many will agree that caller intent presents … …more

Caller Experience – To Improve, Use Emotion or Data?

A topic frequently discussed in Customer Experience (CX) circles is whether emotion is given enough significance in assessing current state and designing future state experiences. Dependent on the situation, it seems that either emotion or data is given a preponderance of importance.  There are a myriad of reasons for out of balance CX assessments and designs.  Drivers for out of balance approaches include, but are not limited to: CX professionals’ personalities, clients’ personalities,  clients’ industries, channels addressed, and other factors. The reality is that to properly address customer experience in contact centers, a balanced approach will produce the best outcome. VoxPeritus uses a two phased approach … …more

Enough With the Excuses, Just Fix It!

In our last post, we discussed why companies should first fix their current channels before rushing into providing customer service via social media. Internet sites have been up for over fifteen years for most companies, yet even the best sites are not integrated with the company’s voice channel, thereby increasing customer effort to receive service that the site could not provide. Here is the typical scenario, and I experience it weekly: Attempt to self serve on the website, and fail for any number of reasons Call company support (and aren’t many companies sneaky about making it difficult to find their phone number?) Drop into an … …more

Forward to the Past, Instead of Back to the Future?

    It seems that everywhere I turn these days, Customer Experience professionals are touting something “NEW!”  Yet as I read their perspectives in blogs, social media websites like LinkedIn or as teasers to webinars, I find myself scratching my head and wondering what is truly new? Social Media Let me get the one point out of the way that arguably could be considered new, but truly isn’t: (Said in a breathless manner) “social media!”  Sure enough, ten years ago there was no Twitter nor Facebook. But there were chats, emails and bulletin boards. Any service delivery organization that is concerned that many customers are … …more

The Case for Continuous Monitoring

One of the metrics we capture and report on for our clients is the first thing a caller hears (or doesn’t) when they initially contact our client’s organization via phone. We give a very small positive measure if the client answers the call, and a large negative if they don’t. It is an expectation that every call to an organization should be answered, so the fact that your organization answers your phones is a small positive. If your organization doesn’t answer your phones, then your callers’ experiences are poor, and our caller experience metrics reflect that. Many people have asked me if we truly experience … …more

Spring-Cleaning or a New House? VUI Designers Can Help

How to sort out requirements for outsourcing your IVR IVR plays an important role in caller experience, but is just one segment of call treatments. Furthermore, the focus of the article was to prompt organizations to engage top quality VUI designers, rather than continue down their current path of “patching and fixing bit by bit.” The publication’s focus on speech recognition did not permit discussing total caller experience, and why VUI designers are just one of many important facets of improving caller experience. We will follow up here to discuss the bigger picture over the coming months. So stop back to discuss the many points … …more