Posts Tagged ‘Self service’

5 key benefits of natural language powered self-service

August 6, 2014 1 comment

When interacting with organisations, customers value convenience, speed and consistency above all. Self-service systems deliver in all three of these areas, which is leading to their widespread adoption on the web. But self-service isn’t stopping there. Advances in speech recognition and voice to text technology mean that companies are beginning to look beyond websites to applying self-service to channels such as the telephone, in the contact centre and to apps on mobile devices. This convergence opens up new opportunities for engagement and improving the customer experience.

eptica_natural_powered_languageAt present however the web is the primary channel for many consumers looking to interact with organisations through self-service. Whether accessing websites via traditional PCs or mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones, the web is an intrinsic part of the relationship between customers and brands. According to Forrester 52% of consumers say they will abandon an online purchase if they can’t find an answer quickly to their question. Essentially, consumers don’t want to have to switch channels to get a response, which means that companies need to invest in technologies such as web self-service to deliver the right customer experience.

Natural language powered web self-service makes it easy for customers to get answers to their questions, with minimum effort and maximum accuracy. It goes beyond static FAQ pages or keyword search by understanding the whole question being asked and then providing the most relevant answer from its centralised knowledgebase. Advanced web self-service systems use technologies such as linguistics to analyse the context of the whole question, and therefore get the heart of what the customer actually is looking for. So, for example, it can tell the difference between cricket the game and the flying insect by reviewing the words around it. Questions that cannot be answered satisfactorily through web self-service can be automatically escalated to agents via email, and the resulting answers then added to the knowledgebase.

At a time of rapidly rising customer contact volumes on digital channels, web self-service provides five key benefits:

1. Improved customer service
Nothing annoys customers more than having to switch channels unnecessarily when they have a query. A well-structured web self-service system understands their question using natural language techniques and delivers a fast response, avoiding the need for them to call or email. This improves customer satisfaction ratings and has a positive impact on Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

2. Greater efficiency
Analysts Contact Babel suggests that it costs £3.87 on average to answer a query over the phone and £3.70 via email. In contrast web self-service has a negligible cost per transaction, as there is no need for direct agent involvement. In most cases web self-service has reduced calls and emails by over 50%, while still improving service levels. The efficiency savings are therefore potentially large, whatever business sector you operate in.

3. Reduced load on other channels
By deflecting incoming interactions from other channels, the load on contact centre agents is correspondingly reduced. This means they have more time to deliver personalised answers to more complex questions, such as around accounts or billing queries, that cannot be provided through web self-service. In turn this improves the customer experience.

4. 100% consistency
With a single knowledgebase behind web self-service, customers receive the same, consistent answer however they phrase their question. The same knowledgebase can be extended to underpin other channels, for example being provided to agents answering email or phone queries, further increasing efficiency and multi-channel consistency.

5. Advanced insight
Static FAQs provide no insight into the questions your customers are asking. In contrast, web self-service systems can be analysed to view the most popular questions and the insight used to improve business processes. For example, if 90% of queries are asking if a specific product is available in blue, or 75% of questions are sent at a specific point in the checkout process, companies can use this information to modify their operations and boost revenues.

Natural language powered web self-service is a technology that benefits organisations and their customers equally. In an increasingly competitive market, all companies should investigate how it can help them boost engagement and increase efficiency – before their rivals do.

Delivering omnichannel success in an ever changing world

April 15, 2013 5 comments

Customers are demanding better service through more and more channels. And they have no patience for roadblocks on the customer journey. According to Forrester 34% give up or go to a competitor after an unsuccessful website experience. Those that do persist tend to switch to your most expensive contact channels – nearly half (49%) of those that couldn’t find information online either called or emailed the organisation concerned.MultichannelGraphic_Web

So you’ll either lose the sale or will add unnecessarily to your costs by providing a substandard customer experience. In today’s fiercely competitive market this puts your very business survival at risk. But with a growing number of channels to manage and customers that want to be able to switch seamlessly between them, how do you deliver a consistent, omnichannel experience to everyone?

Based on its work with 400 leading organisations including AirAsia, TUI, Dixons, Ageas and the NHS Business Services Authority, Eptica has created a six stage approach to create a seamless omnichannel customer experience:

1. Install a single omnichannel workflow that brings all interactions together and automatically routes them to the best agent or department to answer the query. This also delivers a single view of the customer and improves efficiency.

2. Create a seamless customer journey by providing the right information at key points on all channels (phone, web, email, chat, social and mobile) to help move browsers to buyers. Make it simple for customers to move channels without having to repeat their query or re-enter information.

3. Deploy a centralised multichannel knowledgebase to deliver fast, accurate and consistent answers on every channel. Sharing knowledge from a single source not only improves the experience for customers, but increases efficiency and reduces management time and cost.

4. Increase adoption of Self-service by deploying it on your website, via mobile apps and on social media sites such as Facebook. By helping customers find answers to their own questions they don’t need to switch to other channels – reducing inbound emails by half and calls by 25% at least.

5. Analyse customer interactions across every channel. Ensure you track and trace the visibility of every interaction and measure agent performance in real time. Use technologies such as sentiment analysis to understand what your customers think of you without forcing them to fill in surveys – and use this information to improve your products and services.

6. Listen and respond to social media enquiries. As well as monitoring and replying quickly to relevant messages on Twitter and Facebook use sentiment analysis to gain a real time understanding of customer mood and how they view your brand.

To give more insight on how to deliver omnichannel success Eptica is running a webinar on 16th April 2013 at 9.30am BST. Aimed at managers in every industry you can register for the free event here.

Turning customer service excellence into sales

April 10, 2013 8 comments

logoSuccessful organisations have long realised that delivering the best customer experience has a direct impact on their profits. Happier customers remain loyal, buy more and tell their friends about the good experience they’ve had. Upset customers move to your competitors and use social media to tell the world about the poor experience they’ve had to endure.

This is backed up by research – Forrester believes that a ten point increase in a company’s customer service score can translate into an extra $1 billion of additional sales. But while most companies understand the importance of the customer experience, delivering it well can be much more complex and difficult. Customers have increasingly high expectations and want the same level of excellent service across every channel and device, time after time.

To help businesses meet this need, accelerate online sales and turn customer service into a revenue generator Eptica has just launched its Multichannel Customer Interaction Suite 8.2.

Eptica’s unified solution for multichannel customer service gives customers access to brands from multiple touch points: web, email, chat, mobile, phone and social media. Acquiring Lingway in November 2012 has enabled Eptica to strengthen its suite with one of the most powerful multilingual semantic analysis engines on the market, delivering functionality that helps increase sales and improve the customer experience.

Eptica version 8.2 has been made more powerful in four key areas:

1          Knowledge based proactive web chat
By integrating Eptica’s proactive web chat solution with the centralised Eptica knowledgebase, the efficiency of every chat agent is improved and conversion rates increased by up to 10x. Completely customisable rules of engagement allow chat sessions to be triggered by customer events while enhanced co-browsing enables agents to remove road blocks on the customer journey, increasing successful online form submission by up to 25%.

2          Customer sentiment analysis
Companies can now analyse the tone of every customer interaction, whether on social media, email, forms, surveys, or digitised letters and faxes, delivering vital insight into customer sentiment about product and brand. This can then be used to identify emerging issues, service problems and root causes in order to improve the customer experience, and sales.

3      Emotion-based routing
All incoming digital enquiries are automatically routed based on the content and tone of the customer’s question. For example, difficult or complicated enquiries can be directed to a specialist team, urgent enquiries prioritised and happy customers automatically offered the chance to complete a feedback survey.

4      Enhanced Web Self-service for web, mobile and social media
Customers want access to consistent answers through every channel and on every device. Eptica’s enhanced Web Self-service provides unlimited flexibility and leverages responsive design to create the best customer experience across the web, social media, iPhone, iPad, Android and Smart TV channels. Self-service options can now be quickly added to any point on a website, helping customers find the answers they need to complete their purchase. Customer service answers can also be automatically displayed through existing product search boxes, and Self-service widgets can display context sensitive help related to the product or service the customer is researching or buying.

Companies realise they need to deliver the right customer experience if they are increase revenues and survive in increasingly competitive markets. With the new features in the Eptica Multichannel Customer Interaction Suite, customers can access the right information they need to complete the customer journey, whatever their channel or device, boosting revenues and ensuring that service excellent improves the bottom line.

NHS Business Services Authority And Eptica Win At Customer Contact Association Excellence Awards

November 15, 2012 4 comments

Eptica and NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA), have won the Most Effective Use of Self Service category at the prestigious 2012 Customer Contact Association (CCA) Excellence Awards. NHS BSA has seen training time for new agents drop by 30% and first year savings of £121,000 since its Eptica-powered self-service knowledge management technology project called Sherlock went live.

Sherlock has enabled NHS BSA to transform telephone customer service. It ensures that 230 agents can access accurate, up to date information in order to deliver fast, consistent answers to the 3 million calls it receives every year.

The benefits already delivered by Sherlock have exceeded project expectations. As well as lowering training time the number of staff deployed on the service desk has been reduced by a third. In a recent survey 72% of agents said that Sherlock had made their jobs easier and 62% believed it had added to the customer experience. Sherlock is receiving nearly 40,000 queries every month from agents and the project is predicted to save £121,000 in its first year of operation, rising to £162,000 per annum in the future.

The NHS BSA is responsible for a wide range of healthcare-related administration services. These include managing the NHS Pension Scheme in England and Wales, which has over 2 million members, administering the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) scheme in the UK, processing and making payments to dentists and pharmacists and managing the NHS Student Bursary scheme.

“Winning this prestigious CCA award is demonstration of the benefits that self service is delivering to every one of the 3 million calls NHS BSA receives every year,” said David Roberts, Shared Services Manager, NHS Business Services Authority. “Working with Eptica has transformed how we provide customer service, making it simple for our 230 agents to find information and answer telephone queries across the diverse range of services we deliver. Our agents love Sherlock and it is making a major difference in how we operate, enabling us to provide a superior, efficient, customer experience to telephone callers.”

The awards were announced at the CCA Gala Dinner on 7 November 2012, part of the annual CCA Convention. NHS BSA was also shortlisted for three further awards for customer service excellence. In 2011, Eptica and Ageas Insurance Services won the Best Technology Partnership category at the CCA Awards. In the same week NHS BSA and Eptica were runners up at the North East Contact Centre Awards in the Innovative Use of Technology category, with NHS BSA winning best North East Contact Centre, for the second successive year.

“Providing the highest levels of customer service is crucial for every organisation, whatever sector they operate in,” said Dee Roche, VP, Global Marketing, Eptica. “This latest recognition for NHS BSA’s Sherlock knowledge management project demonstrates how the organisation is leading the public sector. As the CCA award shows, Sherlock is making self service elementary for NHS BSA.”

The CCA is a membership body of 900 organisations across the UK with over 5000 senior customer services practitioners. Its Excellence Awards programme is designed to recognise achievements of individuals and organisations committed to delivering outstanding customer service. The Excellence Awards judging panel includes professionals from all sectors and senior executives with wide-ranging experience in customer contact and customer service.


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