About Prerna Ramesh

Prerna is a Product Evangelist and is passionate about enhancing the world by designing simple, useful and desirable Customer experiences (CX)

Do customers like your voice bot? Tips to ensure a good persona.

Bots with boring generic robotic voice only belong in campy sci-fi movies. The key features when planning a conversational interface for your business are: Its ability to understand your customer, its ability to allow interruptions, quick response times, AI-powered continuous learning ability, and its ability to quickly connect with human backup at the slightest hint of trouble. But when all that’s done, don’t forget to infuse a bit of personality into your bot. It could go a long way in refreshing your customer experience. Designing personality-driven voice bots So how do you go about creating personality? Unfortunately, there aren’t some set personality types to pick and choose from. You need to tailor your voice-bot personalities to your business needs. For example, a financial institution would want their customers to be greeted by a certain calm, trustworthy and professional-sounding voice as opposed to a cheery, bubbly and frivolous sounding persona. How do you create this? Pay attention to secondary influencers such as the pitch, pronunciation, speed of speech, speaking volume, synthesized intonation, the accent of the voice-bot. All these need to be customized to be in line with your business’s customer experience strategy. Another pivotal component of a voice-bot personality is the vocabulary/script. You need to give your voice bot a vocabulary that suits your target customer base. You can add slang words, common local parlance or business jargon. You may even need to throw in some Spanish or French or Hindi colloquialisms as per your users' natural language. Everything you need to ensure that your customer feels comfortable, and understood while speaking to your bot. Consider function and personalization. While designing its personality, you should consider what job your bot has been assigned to do. For helplines, a soothing didactic voice assistant could calm nerves. For critical services, an “emotionless”, no-nonsense persona can help get clear information from the caller. If your voice bot handles outbound calls, you could have unique personalities for each calling list. This could improve the performance of bots designed to promote offers or qualify leads. At CES2109, we saw some fun things businesses tried out with their voice bots. For instance, Nuance automotive’s voice assistant for cars could change the persona based on the user’s mood. For example, when it “observed”(via various sensors) the user smiling, it would speak in a chatty, friendly voice. But if it “saw” that the user’s mood was serious, it would revert to a factual mode.1 Choose gender carefully. Choosing your voice bots gender is also tricky business. Concerned about stereotyping, EqualAI has created “Q”, a genderless voice for bots.2 At CES 2109 too, we heard TJ Desai of Woobo talk about how they decided to give their bot (designed for children) a gender-neutral persona with a kid-friendly pitch range.2 Challenges of audial mediums One of the biggest challenges faced by personality-driven voice bots is the same as with all audial interfaces, which is, the lack of visual cues for the customer. Visual mediums display all available options to customers [...]

Do customers like your voice bot? Tips to ensure a good persona. 2019-03-06T05:30:17+00:00

Experiencing Contact Centers in 2019

This year, UX design in contact centers will be the deliberate process of shaping how your customers, agents, and managers interact with the brand new technologies on offer. Bots that can have near-human conversations. Digital assistants calling contact centers for their owners. Artificial intelligence predicting customer behavior. We’ve covered the expected contact center technology trends for 2019 in our blog and been quoted in other media. But what will these trends mean for UX design? If 2018 was the year for giving UX or user experience design its due, 2019 will be the year to take this experience to a new level. And it will all be done with the customer at the center of it. Let us look at some of some  UX design trends that promise to make the New Year an exciting time for businesses: The omnichannel experience will need to be seamless New channels will allow you to carpet bomb cyberspace and the customer’s psyche with your presence. Businesses will make sure customers can get in touch with them through multiple channels – social media, apps, websites, digital assistants. A customer can simply ask his or her digital assistant to order for grocery from an online store and follow up on the order using the app. UX design will have to ensure that this cross-channel communication is seamless and the experience consistent. No speed bumps when moving from the app to the website. A customer should be able to start interacting with one channel and effortlessly port to another when needed. To enable this, you may decide to have a dedicated customer service team to monitor communication across channels. You may need to ensure auto logging of complaints against a single ticket, irrespective of whether they are lodged via phone or chat or social media. You may think of combining channels, for example making voice interactions available on your chat window. Or allowing your Facebook or WhatsApp messaging to seamlessly escalate to a voice conversation. Voice bot interactions will need to be customer-centric Voice bot interactions will be a reality in 2019. They will answer the need for improving self-service, scaling customer support, reducing agent load and improving efficiency in both sales and support functions. Intelligent voice bots that can mimic human conversations will be very useful. They will speak to multiple customers at a time, yet make each customer feel like they are talking only to them. They will pause when a customer interrupts them. They will use their Natural Language Processing capabilities to speak the customer’s language. They will listen and talk at the same time. Basically, they can closely mimic human speech capabilities. Designing voice interactions for improving the speed of transactions and overall Csat will be a huge focus in 2019. AI will define and improve agents’ access to information As we’ve mentioned previously, UX design in the contact center affects three stakeholders: customers, agents, and managers. How will agents benefit from the new technologies? Artificial Intelligence will be able to sift [...]

Experiencing Contact Centers in 2019 2019-02-11T03:13:46+00:00

What ensures an intuitive, efficient contact center UX?

What ensures an intuitive, efficient contact center UX? Correct answer: You. Because it is only by looping in all users from start to finish, at every stage of the UX design process, that an intuitive, efficient contact center UX evolves. Right from the time a caller connects to a contact center with a query to the time that the query is resolved, a group of people armed with the latest technology work behind the scenes to ensure a hassle-free, pleasant experience. This is what UX or user experience design is about. It is an elaborate process involving a team of experts coordinating across business functions to create the entire product or service experience from start to finish. So let's play plunge in folks, here is your contact center’s design process —deconstructed and demystified: Step 1: Research What do users want? This is a million-dollar question (that often takes a million dollars to answer!) For any business model or new product to be launched, it all begins with what the product, service or feature should do for the user. When designing UX for a contact center, this research involves studying three stakeholders: the contact center agents, supervisors and, finally, those calling the contact center. The research includes Qualitative research: The UX design team interacts with the contact center leads, sales, and pre-sales teams to find out why a new product or feature is needed. They understand the issues and how the current workarounds being used.  This is crucial because, often, the temporary workaround methods give the UX design team valuable ideas on what the new product or feature should be able to achieve. The sales and pre-sales teams give insights into what customers expect. All this information is used to define the UX design goals. Quantitative Research: The UX design team collects all the data available at the product back-end to understand what product features are being used the most, what features are not serving the purpose as much, and what features are causing problems for users. The team also analyses the contact center metrics to understand product effectiveness. This data needs to be studied in the context of the qualitative research and one should validate the other. Step 2: Preparing and testing the prototype The UX design team, after studying what the research has thrown up, lists the design goals, which is simply what the product aims to achieve or is able to do for the user. The team brainstorms, and ideates, and sketches prototypes to indicate what the product might look like. Once these high-fidelity mock-ups are ready, they are tested on users, and feedback is collected - does the product or feature achieve what it intends to? Is it easy to use? Is there any other way of doing it? This “test drive” achieves two things – it tells the team if they are moving on the right track, and it tells users or consumers about the proposed change or new launch. User feedback at this stage gives [...]

What ensures an intuitive, efficient contact center UX? 2019-02-11T03:32:50+00:00

UX Design in the Contact Center: Who benefits?

User experience or UX designing is important for your contact center. But it is important to identify your users’ needs first. Picture yourself as a consumer. Say you log on to an online shopping website. You browse through the menu, take your pick, order, pay and receive the package when you were told it would reach you. Easy, breezy. Another website has a complicated menu, you can’t find the item of clothing you liked in a colour you wanted, the customer care number put you on hold for 20 minutes and you eventually received a product very different from what you ordered. Frustrating, isn’t it? In a time when people shop for clothes, book hotels, buy grocery and even order medicines online, without touching or feeling the products, how do companies ensure a smooth experience for them? How do you, as a business, ensure everyone connected with your product has a good experience? Designing the entire user experience, or UX, means ensuring everybody interacting with a product, whether it is the consumer or seller, enjoys doing so. When you design the UX for a contact center solution, it becomes a little more complicated. This is because we don't just design for one end user, we design with 3 users in mind: The contact center agents The contact center managers or supervisors, admin, analytics and The contact center’s consumer. Our UX design has to  satisfy all these three user groups. But the needs or expectations of each of these user categories differ significantly. UX designers, therefore, need to keep the needs or goals of each user in mind. Let us understand what we need to remember when designing user experiences: Client’s contact center agents: Your contact center can make or break your business because this is your customers’ first, and often only, experience with your company’s attitude towards them. It becomes very important then that agents working in the contact center are able to use the system efficiently, and easily. Efficiency, therefore, becomes the primary goal when designing for the use of contact center agents. When designing the UX for contact center agents: The system needs to be simple to use. It has to be quick so that they can meet their KPIs such as average speed of answer and average handle time. It has to give them all the information they need, when they need it, in the form they want it by effortlessly extracting it from the CRM. Data should be displayed in a clutter-free format that is easy to understand. Reporting tools need to be simple and to-the-point. The system should keep the agents’ after-call work to a minimum. Contact center supervisors or managers – This group of users needs to know what agents are doing with the system created for them, whether they are making good use of it or not, and whether that is translating into higher customer satisfaction. When designing for this category of users, then, transparency and ease of monitoring become the key goals. [...]

UX Design in the Contact Center: Who benefits? 2018-12-16T09:19:45+00:00

Sentiment Analysis will add a new layer to customer experience.

Sentiment analysis instantly evaluates customer tone in a call. Currently, Ozonetel’s system is using this to judge a call sentiment as positive, negative or neutral. It is able to categorize this with a nearly 85% accuracy. This gives management a new filter to: Analyze Agent performance. Your smart contact center can see how many calls changed from neutral to angry. How many calls changed from angry to happy/neutral. And how many calls changed from neutral to happy. This gives you a new metric to judge agent performance and skill. Train better. Recordings where customers are converted from angry to happy can picked out in seconds and used to train agents. Reliably and impartially evaluate customer experience. Customer experience cannot be evaluated by going through just 5% of your recordings. But this is usually how many recordings a quality team can go through. Your sentiment analysis can go through 100% calls. You can get overall customer satisfaction indices that are impartial and thorough. Find the root cause of negative (and positive customer) experiences. Now you can separate positive customer experiences from negative ones in minutes and then again use analytics to derive the reason behind the successes or failures, in minutes. Get product and service insights. You can filter angry customer calls and check for keywords like “complain” and to find product/service flaws.

Sentiment Analysis will add a new layer to customer experience. 2018-05-25T05:02:36+00:00