Zoho’s annual global conference, Zoholics descends upon us on April 9, 2019: And we’re really looking forward to it. With the technology advances in AI and automation, this year’s user-conference at Austin, TX promises to be enlightening and exciting at the same time! Last year’s Zoholics gave us an opportunity to present our KIA (Voice + Chat) widget to the world. In fact, that’s where we launched it! We got lucky with a direct interaction with the awe-inspiring Sridhar Vembu (who gave us some great advice).We also got fantastic exposure to the Zoho partner ecosystem. And a wonderful opportunity to meet Zoho customers, and understand their ZOHO phonebridge requirements. Plus, the presentations were awesome. If you’re attending, here are 5 things you should look forward to this year: Great speakers This goes without saying! The line-up of speakers at Zoholics is usually impressive. This year be prepared to attend talks by the “Godfather of CRM” - Paul Greenberg; Zoho’s top brass, founder Sridhar Vembu and its chief strategist, Vijay Sundaram; along with other longtime industry pundits like Constellation Research’s Ray Wang, Small Business Trends Media’s founder Anita Campbell and ATARA’s Go Sugihara, among others. What an opportunity to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth and engage in an insightful Q&A session with these illustrious speakers themselves! Get the skinny on new features Zoho’s announcement of new features would certainly be a highlight. Get the skinny on Zoho’s soon-to-be-launched apps and capabilities that promise to take cross-platform collaboration and productivity to a whole new level. For conference attendees, this means more “break-out sessions” and unique hands-on experience playing with the latest version of Zia (Zoho’s AI-powered assistant) enhanced Zoho Office Suite.1 All under the expert guidance of the creators and experts themselves! Business networking opportunity Zoholics offers a valuable opportunity for likeminded business owners to connect and network with one other. It’s a chance for participants to interact and mingle with other Zoho users and learn how they are harnessing the power of Zoho to meet their business needs. So, make sure you have your stack of business cards ready. Leverage this time to exchange ideas and generate those business leads! One-on-one troubleshooting With a bit of advance planning, conference attendees can look forward to getting more out of this 3-day conference. Once registered, participants can receive 25 minutes of one-on-one time with a Zoho product expert to resolve implementation problems, receive support, learn best practices, and get answers to other questions they may have. To make it all even more efficient and streamlined, it’s a good idea for participants to inform the organizing team of their product and provide a brief summary of the issue they would like addressed. And of course, pre-select the date and time of the session they’d like. That way, the team would be prepared to optimally meet their needs in-person at the conference. Get hands-on training with specialists Zoholics also affords attendees a rare opportunity to chat with experts in general about [...]
When you are a customer-centric business, it shows. Learn what these 10 South American countries are doing right and explore the tools to make it happen for you. You can’t buy customer loyalty. You need to build it one experience at a time. The best businesses know how to evoke positive emotions on every customer interaction—whether in-store, online, on social media, via your app, email, or during phone calls. Blake Morgan’s article on “The 10 Most Customer-Focused Companies In South America” inspired us to explore what they were getting right: #1. Arcos Dorados - Lesson learned: Empowered employees deliver the best customer experiences A report by Business Wire stated that this Mc Donald's franchise has been on a mission to deliver the best experiences for employees and customers, since both go hand in hand. Recognized as one of the best companies to work for in Brazil for the 19th year in a row, the brand likes to focus on what they call the "service culture". This means that employees are motivated to provide personalized services for the customers. The workforce is trained in unconventional ways and is driven to deliver creative service and experience for the customers. ALSO READ: Read the case study on how one of our biggest Indian clients, created a customer-centric workflow for their customer support. #2. Santander - Lesson learned: Add a fun element A household name in South America and one of the biggest banks, Santander caters to over 44 million customers from over 6000 branches. But that doesn't stop them from striving to create the best experiences for their customers. Always attentive to feedback, the bank in Chile introduced Work Cafes, which are a combination of bank and cafe services. This made something as mundane and stressful as banking just a little fun! It also helps customers save time because they can wrap up their caffeine break and banking work in one stop. It's also a positive motivator since people may find banking stressful with the long queues and what not, a cup of delicious coffee is always a great incentive. #3. Farmacorp - Lesson learned: Data can deliver more than just insights One of Bolivia's largest pharma companies leverages data to create personalized experiences with amazing loyalty programs that win the hearts of customers! While most companies use data to analyze consumer behavior to predict future trends and stay ahead of the competition, Farmacorp studies the customer trends so as to provide the best prices based on these trends, adding immense value to the everyday lives of their customers. ALSO READ: Are you capturing and using the data in your contact centers well enough? Learn how speech analytics can help. #4. Concentrix - Lesson learned: People can never be replaced Yes, technology is one of the best ways to enhance the lives of people. It's the most efficient way to handle certain tasks and problems, but it will always be in the shadow of the human experience. After working hours, it's best [...]
Have you ever been put on hold when calling a customer care number to make an important enquiry or report a complaint, while the voice on the other line gets replaced by a jarring tune? Been irritated by it? Has it made you feel reassured, or even comforted? Like it or not, all of us have sometime or the other experienced ‘hold music’ as it is called, or music that callers have to listen to while they wait in a queue to get connected to a representative or agent, or when an agent puts them on hold. There are several theories about how hold music helps—or hinders—the calling process, making it smooth in some cases, or more frustrating in others. While many believe in its benefits—increasing caller retention, helping calm agitated people down, and giving callers an emotional boost—others feel it has a reverse effect, and could in some cases, even aggravates a bad situation further. So, what’s the right kind of hold music for a company to use? Muzak? Country? Pop? Rock? We decided to ask some seasoned musicians themselves what they think about hold music, and noted some of their choices about what they feel is best to play while one waits on a call. Juris Klavins, a young musician from Bulgaria, says that background music played during the delivery of services does not infuriate him and in fact, can perform multiple functions—for example, playing classical music at metro stations during late hours has shown to reduce crime rates and create a more enjoyable experience for the public. “Hold music has the inherent capacity to improve the quality of customer service and thereby, the overall goodwill and impression of a company,” he says. As per the choice of music, Klavins elaborates that it is important for an enterprise or service to choose a genre that is relevant to its business. “I imagine that the last thing a customer wants when put on hold is to be subjected to silly attempts to create a false impression. That would be irritating,” he adds. Some of Klavins’ top recommendations that could be applied in a multitude of instances include “Blue in Green (Take 3)” by Bill Evans, “Arpeggione Sonata” by Franz Schubert, “Life” by Ludovico Einaudi and “Cello Suite no 6, Prelude” by J S Bach. He also recommends another popular relaxing ballad “Autumn Leaves” which he feels could be performed by any of the most notable jazz musicians such as Chet Baker or Miles Davis. Grammy-nominated Indian-American singer-songwriter Falguni Shah’s music blends classical Indian with contemporary western. She too feels that hold music—of the Beethoven kind—is soothing to listen to when put on hold by a teleservices company. Her top recommendations when calling to book an appointment is music by Mozart, and Bach for when calling to complain about something. “A two-minute clip of the composition ‘Rabba’ from my first album FALU would also make for some great hold music,” she adds. Seventh generation musician from the treasured Etawa [...]
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.
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 [...]