How Analytics and AI are Changing Call Management

We are on the brink of a new stage in the evolution of business analytics with data from Omni-Channel (OC) Communications – not just phone calls but also Skype for Business interactions, cloud calls, video calls, web chats, web bots, emails, social media, etc –  where the analytics can be lifted out of their traditional silos, consolidated and easily analysed. This delivers incredible insights which will help deliver immense understanding of the customer behaviour, which in turn will trigger initiatives to drive up customer satisfaction and profitability. 

The big opportunity is ‘democratisation of data’, where analytics will become accessible to SMEs, who will be able to truly understand their customer facing teams’ interactions with customers to deliver excellent service. 

Cloud-based omni-channel solutions are beginning to emerge. Growth in the demand for omni-channel in the SME sector is going to explode over the next few years as the barriers to entry (cost & complexity) are removed, the customer excellence benefits understood and Omni-Channel as a Service (OCaaS) becomes the norm. 

This will undoubtedly disrupt those vendors with ‘comfy’ revenue models, who have built a niche at the high end of the contact centre market.  

A trend we are seeing is that more SMEs are investing in Contact Centre (CC) solutions, not so they can manage and increase agent productivity, but so they can access the rich information and the customer analytics OC-CC systems offer and to better understand their customers’ needs. Forward thinking SMEs are hungry to understand their customers better than ever before.  

Tollring’s main priority as a key vendor in this rapidly evolving OC-CC market is to continue expanding our reporting and recording products’ capabilities to deliver a true single pane of glass analytics solution. This will combine customer interactions with APIs into all major CRM systems, where the complete customer journey, history and behaviour can be easily captured and understood. The aim is to ensure the customer receives the best experience first time every time according to their individual needs and behaviours. 

A key focus area for our R&D currently is expanding our Omni-Channel tools to include new features such as sentiment analytics around video, where we see a big opportunity.  GDPR compliance is another key investment area for us, to ensure the safe management of personal information that we hold on behalf of our SP and OEM partners and their customers. Our partners depend on us to keep them protected and ensure they meet current as well as future regulatory compliance. Tollring ongoing development will enhance functionality and capabilities, embedding ‘security by design’ for GDPR compliance. 

The cloud is a huge enabler in elevating customer experience without increasing technological complexity.  Traditional on-premise applications (including our own) have evolved and grown over the years to incorporate hundreds of features, possibly including some functions that many customers may never use.  The cloud has allowed us to reset the bar, so to speak, and to start with a fresh perspective with no legacy issues to carry over. This concept has been the key driver to our success in the cloud arena. Our new cloud products are designed specifically to simplify and reduce the complexity and make adoption and ease of use central to the solution. Also, our “Mobile First” policy ensures the experience of using our products on smartphones and tablets is as good, if not superior, to when accessing them on a desktop PC.  

If we continue to get it right, and we are confident that we will, our reseller partners should be able to comfortably sell these new cloud products and services to customers and allow the customer to self-serve and self-support for just about everything but the most complex of features. We are building rich micro sites for our products for use by partners and their customers that include ‘how to’ videos, FAQs, and simple user guides to ensure the customer can start using the solution immediately and gain valuable insights without the need for specialist training. 

GDPR is also a huge consideration to businesses. In situations such as the contact centre, where capturing and storing personal information for non-essential purposes is the norm, changes will take place over the coming months.  

There could now be a part of the contact centre market that will temporarily ‘shy away’ from the classic line “We record all calls for training purposes” until they fully understand the GDPR issue and how it relates to them. We are working tirelessly to develop and build in the new features and capabilities required to ensure our partners can continue to sell our call recording products without fear. As far as we are concerned we will be offering our partners and their customers full GDPR compliance products before the May deadline 

Excerpts of this post were originally published in Comms Business: “What’s on the Horizon for 2018”