How can contact centers leverage artificial intelligence (AI), speech analytics and agent enablement tools to improve agent performance, as well as customer-focused metrics like Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)? Join me on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM PST/1:00 PM EST, as I host the upcoming webinar, 3 Technologies to Drive Peak Performance of Your Contact Center.
During this panel discussion, I will ask Kay Phelps of 8×8 to share some tips for new technology adoption in contact center. Kay has extensive experience in the industry. I recently spoke with her about how she sees the future of CX and her best advice to customer service leaders. Here are the highlights of our conversation.
MIKE: When/how did you decide to dedicate your career to customer experience?
KAY: With a history in computer science, I became interested in the human element; i.e., how technology could improve customers’ ability to interact with companies. A mentor in my company urged me to look not just at open job requisitions, but rather to survey the landscape of our company and decide what I most wanted to do next. Following her advice, I became intrigued by Systems Engineering—working with developers, product management, human factors and customers—to define requirements for new products and releases for CX (or call center, as it was called at the time). I met with the director of the team, told him why I would be a great fit for this role, and asked him to reach out to me next time he had an opening. And that’s what happened. It was a springboard to so many great opportunities. I’ve enjoyed being able to define, develop and market many leading customer experience solutions.
MIKE: What motivates you to do what you do every day?
KAY: Every day, I get to be a storyteller! I enjoy the challenge of translating complex technology and feature capabilities into everyday language, telling companies how these technologies can benefit their customers and their bottom line. And you can’t do that in a vacuum—it requires working with software engineers to understand the functionality at low level, researching competitive solutions, and then creating the stories that demonstrate quantifiable business impact. And I love working with customers and prospects, brainstorming how new technology can help them address problems, and seeing their eyes light up when we identify new and better ways of doing business.
MIKE: What will happen with CX in the near future? What are your predictions for the next five years?
KAY: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will become prevalent in delivering an exemplary CX in upcoming years. Increasingly, we will see chatbots delivering answers to customer inquiries, and those applications, and they will learn from every interaction, so future responses become spot-on. We’ll see virtual assistants across the spectrum of interactions—whether voice, email, chat, social, SMS. And, customers will accept these virtual assistants, and welcome the opportunity for immediate resolution to their question or issue rather than waiting in queue for an agent. It doesn’t mean that these technologies will supplant live agents, rather they will supplement agents by handling common/repetitive inquiries.
MIKE: What is your best advice to Customer Service leaders?
KAY: Customer Experience is a fast-evolving landscape, with new technologies improving your ability to deliver differentiated customer experiences affordably. Attend conferences and webinars to keep up. Ask your technology partners to share their roadmaps. Partner with others in your company who are focused on customer experiences to ensure that your contact center doesn’t operate in a silo. Proactively reach out to business leaders to establish relationships and identify common goals. For example, if you’re implementing speech analytics in your contact center to ferret out problem areas, think about it from the perspective of your whole company and identify how you can also search for new opportunities by flagging phrases such as: “Do you sell…” and “I wish you could….” Now you can make a broader business impact.