I’ve just returned from Las Vegas where I attended my first visit ever to Customer Contact Week – it’s the world’s largest customer contact event, in its 20th year. For the uninitiated, CCW is like those popular comic book fan conventions – except, instead of comic books, the hero is THE customer. It’s all about customer service and customer experience (CX). I was lucky enough to participate in the Expo Hall – where more than 2,500 CX “fans” mixed and mingled to learn about the most state-of-the-art innovations and solution demonstrations. This was a great opportunity to meet customer service leaders from all over the world and hear what they are up to “on the frontlines” in their contact centers. I had the chance to talk to managers, supervisors and agents from the USA, UK, Brazil, Tokyo, New Zealand, Philippines – and lots of fellow Canadians too. In this blog, I share some highlights from the show.
Hot topics: Digital and omnichannel
Dozens of visitors stopped by the NICE inContact booth to catch our CXone demo, which showcased innovations in CXone that revolutionize the agent’s experience of digital and omnichannel. In our CXone booth theatre, I demonstrated how CXone Omnichannel Session Handling allows agents to concurrently handle multiple interactions in different channels with different customers. Agents no longer have to juggle multiple applications. The agent gets a truly unified desktop that brings together all channels – over 30 digital and voice channels, and all related applications.
After the demo, I talked to a contact center director from Texas named Ruby. This year, Ruby brought along George, her most senior agent, to the conference as a perk for a good performance for the last 2 quarters. Currently, George juggles 5 different applications for voice calls alone. Ruby has a separate team handle their customer chat (I heard that a lot; it seems like lots of contact center teams are still struggling with siloed “digital only” agents, but I was able to show Ruby and George that it doesn’t have to be that way.)
They were amazed to see how seamless the experience for agents can actually be. When the AI chatbot elevates a contact to a live agent, George would have a CRM screen-pop with the full context to seamlessly pick up with the customer, without any delay. With CRM integration, George has fingertip access to the complete customer history available when the contact comes in. (CXone offers integrations with numerous CRM systems, such as Salesforce, Oracle Service Cloud, Microsoft CRM, Zendesk and others.) For the consumer, it means less waiting, less repeating, and a seamless, more personalized interaction with your business – regardless of the communication channel.
For a contact center director like Ruby, seeing George’s perspective (as an agent) was quite powerful. Ultimately, only agents can add a human touch to digital experiences. And a human touch is the key success differentiator in a seamless omnichannel customer service environment.
What does it take to transform?
A big draw of industry events like CCW is the opportunity to learn from others. NICE inContact hosted Roger Brewer, Director of Customer Care at Sony Electronics, in the CCW Innovation Lab to share how Sony, the pioneer in consumer digital experiences, recently transformed their contact center to fully integrate digital and voice channels for a truly seamless customer and agent experience.
Many contact center strategy leaders dropped by the CCW Innovation Lab to hear about Sony’s transformative shift from legacy infrastructure to modern digital customer service, with contact center as a service (CCaaS) and Salesforce digital channels. With their new enhanced digital customer experience, Sony unlocked the digital channels that their customers want to be on. Sony consumers can seamlessly switch between channels, with minimal effort. By providing a true omnichannel experience, Roger described how Sony was able to optimize their agent’s journey by automating manual processes and reducing the number of tools and logins. Ultimately, agents working in the Sony contact center are enabled to better represent the brand. A win-win for all!
Contact center leaders are transforming their operations to provide an enhanced experience for both their consumers and agents – check out this success story from Honeywell.