You have it all planned. You’ve splashed your brand message across snazzy advertisements in multiple newspapers, hoardings, television, and YouTube ads. You set up a fabulous Facebook and Instagram campaign. And even got the latest Tik Tok sensation to endorse you. Everything is perfect, all the way down to your display stand in the Kirana store. But what’s your plan for keeping those customers engaged? Sure, your brand is speaking to customers, but what’s the plan for helping them interact and participate? When they do connect with you on a channel of their choosing —either phone, social media, SMS, email—how will you respond? How will you leverage technology to personalize interactions and track engagement across both digital and non-digital ads? We explore 6 off-track tools to connect with your target consumers, even if they live in remote tier 3 cities, distant towns, and off-the-grid villages. Missed call campaigns Ever thought people might want you to hang up on them? The odd-sounding “missed call” campaigns are based on the fact, that many customers prefer you to call back. In this type of campaign, you display a virtual number in your digital, print or OOH advertisements. Your customers dial the number, it disconnects, and few seconds later they receive a callback. During this callback you can connect them with your live agent or any interactive content you’ve created for them. These campaigns have worked brilliantly for companies like Monsanto, HUL and Godrej who’s innovative “missed call” campaigns connected them with millions of customers across India including remote villages and towns that were off the internet grid. Several of our clients have found that “missed call” campaigns get better responses than advertising toll-free numbers. Possibly because the prospect is surer of not being billed. Or maybe because it's faster— they don’t have to wait in queues to speak to agents. In these campaigns, the prospect gets in touch with you at a time which is convenient to them and when they are open to listening to you—it’s a far more effective approach than spamming them with unwanted cold calls. Many businesses also use missed calls as a convenient way of letting customers opt-out or opt-in to their email/SMS notification campaigns. Mobile Radio Integrations Indians love their filmi music, masala and gupshup. So, if your target consumer is an Indian with a basic smartphone and negligible choice of radio channels, 15 minutes of free filmi radio content guarantees engagement. This is the secret behind the hugely successful Kan Khajura Teshan that connected HUL brands to over 50 million consumers pan- India. (on our platform :-) Radio integration with the telephony also unearths important customer engagement metrics. Marketers learn how and who engages with the radio ads and can tweak the calls-to-action to improve response rates. You can also foster relationships with customers who have engaged with you through mobile radio, build confidence, and provide more personalized engagement driven by offers and programs. Bots/IVR The web is saturated with impersonal content, how can [...]
About AnitaAnita is a content manager at Ozonetel Communications. She interviews clients to keep a pulse on the latest contact center developments
There are so many ways your customer can contact you: SMS texts, Live chats, social media, and email. So why invest in the phone channel? Consider this: 74% of all customers still call when they need help1 with making a purchase or when they need technical support. They call when they want to complain, praise, or even learn new ways to use your product. In fact, 30% consumers report their inability to reach a real human being as the worst part of a bad customer service experience. 2 So, how come customers across the globe continue to call contact centers? What value do these interactions deliver? We explore five benefits that you can get ONLY from customer interaction over the phone. Easier Interactions. Not all people are comfortable with written communications. When they do write/type, communication can be unclear or even misunderstood. Their frame of reference is not always easy to pick up on and its often hard to nail down the severity of the issue being reported. That apart, it almost always takes longer to write out a detailed explanation. In some cases, literacy levels might inhibit some customers from reaching out. Issues may go unreported, causing frustration. For all those folks it’s just so much easier to pick up the phone and talk to someone. They feel more in control and they know that this is more likely to lead to a resolution. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review article3, 75% of companies accept that phone is the easiest channel to resolve issues on. 3 Faster Communication Written communication issues are exacerbated when the problem is complex. In fact, American Express’s Global Customer Service Barometer found that 40% customers would rather talk to a real person over the phone while looking to resolve complex issues like payment disputes. 3 The phone makes it faster for your customers to communicate all the relevant information. A skilled customer service representative at the other end of the line will know how to ask the right questions and drive the conversation. They may also be able to pick up non-obvious patterns or linkages from the customer’s story. Gathering better and more comprehensive information gives you a better chance of resolving the issues. Instant two-way relay Other than chat, the phone is the only media that facilitates a two-way conversation. Unlike chats, however, once they’re connected, your customer is assured that someone is actually listening. There are no long drawn out pauses in wait for a response. Trained customer representatives are available to get down to the root of the problem and address it —mostly reaching a resolution within a single transaction. Better Marketing A phone channel is also a powerful marketing tool. This can be demonstrated by the effectiveness of adding a phone number to your website. For instance, Less Accounting demonstrated a 1.8% increase in conversions by just adding a phone number to their site. Allan Branch, a co-founder of Less Accounting theorizes that it's about the [...]
Don't keep callers waiting on hold or on long call queues. These 5 resources outline the top ways to reduce hold times for your customer: Keep call queues short. Our call queue management blog outlines how automatic call distribution, fallback rules, reports, voice mail and abandoned call alerts help you reduce wait times in call queues. Route calls effectively. When you route calls effectively, you send customers to the right agent automatically and they don't have to wait in queues while being transferred. Our call routing blog explains how to use skill hunting to route calls effectively. Manage your workforce better. Good workforce management means that you plan your staff as per your call volumes and can quickly change plans whenever call traffic is high or when fewer agents show up for work. The workforce management blog tells you how to use dashboards, reports and WFM software integrations to do this. Have smarter IVRs. Keeping callers listening to long IVRs is the same as keeping them waiting. Our modern IVR solutions help you make the IVR experience faster. It also explains how to use self-service to reduce call volumes and execute transactions faster. Keep talking to your customer. An experienced contact center manager gives his tips for signposting instead of keeping the customer on hold. Read in our customer support training tips.
If you are involved in shaping your business’s customer interactions, then the world’s largest consumer electronics show might have some unexpected insights for you. For managers shaping and measuring customer experience, CES means one thing: the all-important indexing of your Customer Effort Score. But there is another CES that customer communication leaders should watch closely—Sin City’s annual Consumer Electronics Show. This massive display of consumer gadgets isn’t just about the hottest technology and coolest gadgets. It is also a definitive forecast of how customer interactions will change. Observe closely, and it will deliver insights into how people will be able to—and will want to—communicate with your business. Because CES spotlights technologies most likely to shape your customers’ lives, and interactions. Like in 1970, when Sony’s VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) launch redefined home entertainment. Or in ‘75 when Atari’s launched its home gaming revolution from here. Or in ’77 when Apple introduced its first personal computer here. And it’s iPhone in 2007. Or in 2012, when Ultrabooks, 3d printers and ultra HDTV’s were unveiled here. 2019 too had its share of fancy gadgets too. The Bell Nexus Air Taxi (Yes, it flies). The Fight Camp (a connected home boxing workout system). The Segway Ninebot Lumo (a delivery bot), and even the fake Impossible Burger that’s deliciously authentic in every way. But underlying the vast number of gadgets, what were the themes and trends? And what can they predict about your customer interactions in the near and distant future? Let’s investigate. Voice is everywhere CES 2019 was abuzz with the popularity of voice interfaces. These interfaces have climbed out of the digital assistants and climbed into every home product you own. Think TV, toys, smartphones and even toilets! TV manufacturing giants LG and Samsung integrated Alexa and Google Home in their new roll-able OLED TVs—which incidentally roll into or out of a box when asked to! You can tell your Moen showers—via Alexa or Google—exactly what temperature and water pressure you prefer to shower in. Your Hi-mirror will analyze your skin, track your beauty regime and give you product recommendations. And, voice-activated companions like Cody will tell your kids stories, sing songs, relay your messages and answer their questions in a kid-friendly voice. As Fred Jacobs pointed out in his blog,*voice was everywhere. “(it) has moved well beyond smart speakers sitting on kitchen islands and nightstands. Everywhere you journeyed at CES, you saw “Alexa” and “Hey, Google” voice technology baked into thousands of devices, gadgets, and appliances.” Fred Jacobs, Founder, Jacob Media Strategies What can this mean for customer communications? Voice will grow as a medium of communication. Digital assistants will be the new communication channel between your business and your customer. And devices may be next. People will expect to do less with their heads stuck in screens. With the growing number of voice-enabled products, phones may finally be put down in homes, cars, and offices. Also Read: Features your contact center Voice Bot needs Touchscreen won’t disappear either Voice isn’t [...]
How will technology impact and improve the contact center in 2019? 4 of our experts weigh in. “The success of assistants like Google Home and Alexa has shown that voice is the most natural interface. In 2019, expect voice channels to pop up everywhere. Inside apps, on websites, in emails, in chats. Bots will become an integral part of business communication. Assistants will enter the contact center giving new tools to both agents and managers. AI will monitor every contact center interaction. CRM, Support Centers, Contact Centers, Sales…all these systems will continue to merge. Boundaries will blur as information flows more intelligently among (erstwhile) silos, uniting the customer journey” Chaitanya Chokkareddy, Principal Architect, Ozonetel Communications Voice will dominate on brand new channels. Voice is the most natural, easy medium for most people to communicate. Technology changes, this fact doesn’t. Voice lets people effortlessly exchange information while walking, driving, cooking or carrying out any regular activity. And remains unbeatably fast. (Voice conveys an average rate of 80-120 words per minute while people type at an average rate of 30-40 words per minute). In 2019, you can expect new ways to enable to have these voice interactions with your customer. While the phone will continue to be a popular channel, here are 3 other options your inbound or outbound contact centers should look forward to: Live chat windows will merge voice support. Last year, we spoke about your customers’ need for switching between chat and voice on the same interaction. For example, chat windows may work for simple, quick interactions. But when people need to type in long explanations or get heated up about an issue —they’d really prefer to speak to and listen to a human voice. This year we expect KIA to enable more customers to do exactly that. Voice bots will appear in calls, texts, and chats. Wherever voice interactions can replace texting and keying in options, it will. Voice bots will make this scalable and easy. For example, expect voice bots to take over your IVR, chat windows and text messages. They can schedule appointments for your sales teams, qualify leads, ask your customers for feedback, give them reminders or help them to schedule, book or cancel their appointments, subscriptions, deliveries, and orders. Digital Assistant will emerge as a new voice channel in the omnichannel journey. Digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home continue to grow in popularity. Customers are already using “skills” to book their cab or place orders. We expect contact centers to take full advantage of this new channel, giving customers an easy means to reach them via their digital or even phone assistants. “As with every year, in 2019, we can expect some things to change, and some things to remain the same. We can expect people’s preference for the voice channel to continue. And expect solutions to continue migrating to the cloud. But in 2019, Contact Centers will also start using their data more effectively thanks to AI and machine learning. Voice Bots [...]