Call Centre

The Future of the Contact Centre

12 Jan 2017

future of the contact centre

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Much has been written over the last several years about Millennials and their customer service preferences. One article I read recently discussed the irony of the millennial generation’s hatred of making phone calls, despite them constantly using their phones. Another credited their digitally native approach to customer service for bringing about better customer experiences for all of us. The fact of the matter is, Millennials and the generation following them, sometimes referred to as iGen, are used to having instant access to information and prefer to find answers on their own rather than interacting with a live person. Read more

Technology That Saves Time, the Most Important Resource of All

13 Dec 2016

save customers time

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

As we quickly approach the end of 2016, I’m excited to share the news that Creative Virtual has been recognised with two 2016 Softech Business Awards: ‘Best Self-Service CX Technology Company 2016’ and ‘Most Innovative Enterprise CX Management Solution: V-Person™’! Softech Intl Magazine’s 2016 Business Awards is a new awards programme designed to commend industry leaders who are dedicated to changing their field and fundamentally saving time, the most important resource of all.

For nearly 13 years the team at Creative Virtual has worked to develop, implement and constantly improve our self-service technology. It’s an honour to be called the best and to be recognised for our dedication to innovation. Read more

Customer Demands Driving Push for Self-Service in APAC

01 Dec 2016

APCCAL Expo

By Philip Chuck, Territory General Manager, Greater China

Customer experience is a hot topic for organisations around the world, and that’s certainly no different for those in the APAC region. Customers are demanding anytime, anywhere support, and companies are looking for effective ways to meet those demands. This was reflected in our busy industry event schedule here in Hong Kong during November.

At the beginning of the month, Creative Virtual sponsored the Asia Pacific Contact Centre Association Leaders (APCCAL) Expo for a second year alongside our partner Continuous Technologies. Hosted by the Hong Kong Call Centre Association (HKCCA) at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, this year’s event theme of ‘Omnichannel Customer Experience’ really resonated with the APAC contact centre professionals in attendance. Read more

Empowering Call Centre Agents: “If you don’t know, ask Mo!”

02 Nov 2016

call centre

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

“If you don’t know, ask Mo.” This is the slogan I heard repeated by at least one of the very able Motability Operations trainers as they were training a new group of recruits during my recent site visit.

This is not a throw away comment! Ask Mo – the Motability Operations self-help tool used by 200 of their advisor/call agents – is the essential tool for a new recruit as notetaking in training is not encouraged and manuals are no longer distributed. The focus is about “empowerment” to know where to access the knowledge as opposed to making sure that all the knowledge is recalled. Read more

The Contact Centre in its Current Form is Finished

21 Jul 2016

contact centre

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Recently I presented Creative Virtual’s fourth annual Technology Innovation Showcase with CRMXchange. As I mention every year, this is one of my favourite webinars to do because it’s mostly live demonstrations with very few slides. Seeing the technology in action is the best way to understand how your organisation can implement these solutions to improve your customer experience.

This year’s webinar, Combining the Virtual and the Real for Customer Engagement Success, focused mostly on bringing together virtual agents and live chat. I started my presentation with some recent statistics from Forrester showing the growing usage of virtual agents and live chat. Read more

Knowledge Management + Virtual Assistants = Award-Winning Contact Centre Solutions

19 Apr 2016

The Forum's Customer Strategy and Planning 2016

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

In 2015 Motability Operations, a long time Creative Virtual customer, was recognised with the Innovation Award for Sustainable Culture as part of the Customer Contact Innovation Awards presented by The Forum. The judges selected Motability Operations because “their approach to knowledge management builds trust and supports effective conversations, getting it ‘right first time’, optimising call length and – above all – helping advisors give customers confidence.”

This year, The Forum has generously invited Creative Virtual to their annual flagship Customer Strategy and Planning conference, which culminates with the Customer Contact Innovation Awards gala dinner. Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO, will present a lunchtime showcase to demonstrate the technology behind Motability Operations’ award-winning approach to knowledge management. Read more

Is Your Customer Support Team Turning into the Working Dead?

09 Feb 2016

contact centre working dead

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Recently I read an article discussing the effect multichannel support is having on customer support professionals. Balancing a heavy workload, which is only predicted to increase in 2016 as multichannel support grows, has made the risk of burnout a huge challenge for the industry. With burnout comes less satisfied and engaged team members and, ultimately, a greater turnover of support staff. So what can organisations do to lighten workloads and reduce the risk of their support team turning into the working dead?

Implementing self-service solutions that are easy for customers to use and access is a great first step in reducing your contact centre’s workload. Read more

Virtual Agents and Human Agents Join Forces for Customer Service in 2016

21 Jan 2016

call center agent cartoon

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

The New Year is here, and with it the much anticipated 2016 predictions, outlooks and trends for just about every industry and field, including customer service. With customer service a key part of the overall customer experience, every organisation should be keeping an eye on developments in the space and evaluating which can help improve support for their existing and potential customers.

Analyst Kate Leggett shared five of her top trends to watch this year in her blog post Forrester’s Top Trends for Customer Service in 2016. Trend number one should come as no surprise: Companies will make self-service easier. Read more

Reduce to the Max: Creating our new AppFoundry listing

10 Nov 2015

Genesys AppFoundry Member

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

Creative Virtual recently signed a partnership with Genesys to become a Core Integration Partner. This is exciting and a big recognition of our work in itself, but this was also the first step in becoming part of Genesys’ brand new AppFoundry marketplace. The Genesys AppFoundry is an online marketplace of hand selected tools and solutions from the Genesys Partner Ecosystem which was officially launched during G-Force 2015 at the end of October. Among the selected solutions is Creative Virtual’s V-Person™, our conversational platform designed to support customer service agents and deliver personalised self-service experiences for customers. Read more

[Part 3] How Top Banks Leverage IVAs to Enable Self-Service: The Integration of IVAs in Non-Traditional Channels

03 Nov 2015

How Top Banks Leverage IVAs

By Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA

This is the third post in our seven-part blog series – How Top Banks Leverage Intelligent Virtual Assistants to Enable Self-Service.

THE INTEGRATION OF INTELLIGENT VIRTUAL AGENTS IN NON-TRADITIONAL CHANNELS

We’re increasingly seeing smart machines like our intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) being integrated into various systems to help people self-serve and create a more efficient use of human resources. Typically, IVAs have been used online and with live chat, but some of our clients are being creative with their deployments, even creating a customer engagement hub that reduces customer effort and helps them find information faster. Read more

Human Touch or Human Error: Supporting Live Agents with the Right Tools

17 Jun 2015

eval form basketman freedigitalphotos

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Critics of intelligent virtual agent, also known as Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA), technology often emphasise the fact that these solutions eliminate the human touch, and without that human interaction organisations are missing out on a key opportunity to build relationships and loyalty with customers. However, they often fail to recognise the role VCAs can play in supporting human interactions. When the ‘human touch’ isn’t properly supported, the organisation leaves the door open for human error that can have a negative effect on customer relationships.

During the time I was stuck at home with my broken foot propped up on a pillow, I did a fair bit of online shopping for gifts (five birthdays and an anniversary in the span of a month!). Read more

Motability Operations’ Approach to Knowledge Management Recognised with Innovation Award

07 May 2015

Motability Ops award

By Liam Ryan, Head of Sales

Last week I had the honour of joining the team from Motability Operations at the 2015 Customer Contact Innovation Awards gala dinner presented by The Forum. Their entry had earned them a finalist spot for this prestigious awards programme which recognises outstanding initiatives that are making customer operations great places to work and transforming the experience of customers. After presenting their case study titled Ask Mo: how knowledge gives confidence with customers to a panel of judges, Motability Operations took home the Innovation Award for Sustainable Culture!

The judges selected Motability Operations for the Innovation Award for Sustainable Culture because their “approach to knowledge management builds trust and supports effective conversations, getting it ‘right first time’, optimising call length and – above all – helping advisors give customers confidence.” The full case study can be found on the Innovation Awards website and is well worth a read, particularly for those involved in the contact centre industry. Read more

Change Predicted for the Contact Centre Industry in 2015

29 Jan 2015

hyena reality freedigitalphotos

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

This week Call Centre Helper shared some reader predictions about the future of the contact centre industry. The list of about 35 predictions gives great insight into the changing contact centre landscape from those involved in the industry. As I read through the list, three main themes caught my attention:

  1. Preferred support channels – The reign of voice as the most preferred support channel looks to be coming to an end. Whether viewed as a shift rooted in generational differences or powered by the growing availability and adoption of mobile devices, the rise in customers opting for channels such as mobile and social is very evident in these predictions.
Read more

Improve Customer Experience with Smart Help Solutions

08 Apr 2014

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Smart Help is all about providing consistent and accurate information to your customers regardless of what channel they use to contact you, and natural language virtual agents are a great way to reach that goal. Recently I had the pleasure of being joined by Kathryn Daniels from National Rail Enquiries, Alison Chapman from Motability Operations, and Maria Ward from our partner company The Virtual Zone for a live webinar showcasing real Smart Help solutions. Both NRE and Motability Operations have been using our technology since 2007 as part of their overall customer support strategies with great success. Read more

See Smart Help Solutions in Action

13 Mar 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

On Wednesday, 26th March Creative Virtual will be hosting a complimentary, live webinar on smart help solutions featuring two of our customers: National Rail Enquiries and Motability Operations. The speaking panel will include Kathryn Daniels, Information Development Manager at NRE, Alison Chapman, Communication and Development Manager at Motability Operations, and Maria Ward, Head of Web Services at The Virtual Zone, our partner company.

Smart Help Solutions in ActionBoth NRE and Motability Operations have been using Creative Virtual’s technology since 2007, and their well-established natural language smart help solutions continue to play important roles in their overall customer experience strategies. Read more

Virtual Assistants and Call Killing

12 Mar 2014

By Erik Braun, Director, Creative Virtual Netherlands

Recently, we shared the customer story of our first Dutch Virtual Assistant with you, readers of the Creative Virtual blog. As you have read, this Virtual Assistant is called Sabine. Sabine ‘works’ for NIBC Direct, a Dutch online bank. Sabine was introduced on 17 December of 2012 and went live on the newly launched NIBC Direct website.

NIBC's Sabine

Recently, NIBC Direct shared statistics with us on the effects of ‘Sabine’ on call and email volume. In short:

  • The number of emails in 2013 dropped by 49% (compared to 2012)
  • The number of calls dropped by nearly 40% in the same period
  • In the first weeks of 2014, this trend continues: NIBC Direct still sees a further reduction by 60% (compared to same period in 2013)

In these calculations, I would love to relate all savings to the Virtual Assistant, but that would not be entirely correct of course. Read more

Virtual Agents Make the List as a Contact Centre Trend to Watch in 2014

09 Jan 2014

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

ID-100215681With the start of a new year comes a variety of lists sharing top industry predictions, trends and forecasts for the upcoming year. One of these comes from Frost and Sullivan’s Juan Manuel González. His The Eight Most Influential Contact Center Trends for 2014 looks at the eight tech trends call centres should evaluate to raise their game this year. Of particular interest is the second item on his list: Virtual Agents.

In a previous post I discussed the advantages of implementing a virtual agent within the contact centre as an ideal tool for live support agents to better assist customers and themselves. Read more

The Invisible Metric: Call Deflection

19 Nov 2013

By Liam Ryan, Senior Sales Account Manager

When it comes to customer satisfaction in the call centre, it’s important to implement the right strategies to answer customer enquiries quickly yet accurately. You can determine your effectiveness by looking at key data points like call wait times and call resolution to see how you’re doing once the customer dials your call centre. However, with more and more companies implementing additional channels to reduce volumes to the call centre, you’ll need to add another metric to your toolbox to measure effectiveness – call deflection. We like to call this the invisible metrics simply because you’re measuring actions that dissuade your customers from calling your contact centre. Read more

Are Your Customer Service Agents Working like a Dog?

09 Oct 2013

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

This week marks National Customer Service Week (#NCSW13) and a quick Twitter search shows lots of organisations recognising their service teams and sharing their top tips for providing the best service possible. It’s no secret that the service and support you provide can make or break your customer experience. Hiring the right people for your contact centre is key when it comes Working like a dogto providing superior service, but just like any other profession, your team can’t be successful without the correct tools for the job.

Customers today are demanding and not particularly forgiving if they feel like you’re wasting their time. Read more

Join Creative Virtual’s Latest Webinar With Forrester Research

13 Mar 2012

by Jessica Cody, Marketing Manager

How Virtual Agent Innovations Can Benefit Your Mobile, Web, Call Center and Social Channels

This event will feature an introduction of Creative Virtual’s smartphone solution that listens and talks to the customer. The first HTML5-based mobile Virtual Agent that doesn’t require the download of an app!

diane clarkson forrester webinar 2Diane Clarkson from Forrester will be sharing the latest insights and hot trends in customer self-service.Also, this is the first public view of our new content management tool, V-Portal™, that enables content to be seamlessly shared across Mobile, Web, Call Center and Live Chat.

The webinar with Creative Virtual and Forrester Research takes place Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 11 am EST/ 4 pm UK time. Read more