Call Centre

Innovation Showcase: Preparing Your Contact Centre for the Future with AI and Chatbots

23 Aug 2017

CRMXchange Technology Innovation Showcase

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

The contact centre is integral to the customer support and engagement strategies of many organisations, but its role has been changing recently as a growing number of customers seek out digital and self-service options. While chatbots and virtual agents have gotten a reputation as being threats to the contact centre, the reality is that they can have a positive effect on the contact centre and a company’s overall customer experience.

Learn more on Thursday, 7th September at 4:00 pm UK time/ 11:00 am ET as Creative Virtual takes part in CRMXchange’s Technology Innovation Showcase webcast series for a fifth consecutive year. Read more

What’s the Point of Contact Deflection?

18 Jul 2017

contact deflection

By Björn Gülsdorff, Head of Business Development

Contact Deflection – is there a reason why so many companies have this as an objective? Well, our clients tell us what their goals and pain points are, but I can’t help thinking that treating one’s contact centre as a cost centre is past its prime. Also, if you want to make money, contact with your customers is a good thing. At least, that was my theory.

I was therefore quite happy to be able to speak in front of the Call Center Verband (Call Centre Association) in Halle, Germany, as well as meet the European customer service directors of the Deutsche Telekom AG at their gathering in Budapest. Read more

AI, Chatbots and the Threat to Your Contact Centre

27 Jun 2017

live chat customer support

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Warnings abound about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart robots, with industry and academic experts such as Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates expressing concerns about everything from a huge loss of jobs to the end of the human race. Yet in a recent interview with the BBC, Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster and keynote speaker at last year’s Social Robotics & AI conference, said this:

“Intelligent machines will not make us obsolete but our complacency might.”

So, should we be worried about intelligent machines taking over the world and triggering the end of life as we know it? Read more

The Future of CX in Asia Pacific: Effortless, Accurate, Seamless, Effective

19 Apr 2017

Hong Kong Call Centre Associations

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Customers in Asia Pacific are more empowered than ever before and are demanding effortless, accurate, seamless and effective service experiences from companies. Organisations need to move away from the traditional model for call centres that is no longer serving customer needs, and embrace a new approach that enables tight collaboration between the contact centre and digital channels.

This will be the focus of my presentation at the upcoming Hong Kong Call Centre Association (HKCCA) International Symposium being held on 28 April. Creative Virtual will be sponsoring the annual conference alongside our partner company Continuous Technologies International Ltd. Read more

Evolving Customer Expectations and the Contact Centre

11 Apr 2017

live chat customer support

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the contact centre in its current form is finished. The traditional model for call centres and contact centres is no longer providing the service experience that customers want. This was one of the key themes of CRMXchange’s recent Tech Tank Roundtable, Customer Delight: Live Demonstrations of Breakthrough Innovations. I had the pleasure of joining other industry experts from Aspect and inContact to share new customer experience solutions that are impacting the contact centre.

So, what do today’s customers want? First, they want organisations to offer support on digital channels. Read more

Breakthrough CX Innovations that Create Customer Delight

30 Mar 2017

customer delight

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

“Customers are increasingly starting their support journeys online and leveraging self-service options, but that doesn’t mean that the need for live agents will disappear. Instead organisations need to implement the right combination of virtual and real support and integrate those channels properly in order to provide personalised and seamless support for customers.”

– Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO, Creative Virtual

On Thursday, 6th April 2017 at 7:00 pm UK/ 2:00 pm ET CRMXchange will host a Tech Tank Roundtable webinar titled Customer Delight: Live Demonstrations of Breakthrough Innovations. The live webcast will feature a panel of industry experts, including Creative Virtual’s Chris Ezekiel, showcasing emerging customer experience solutions that are beginning to impact the contact centre. Read more

Live Chat vs. Virtual Agents: A Story of Overcoming the Divide to Work Together in Perfect Harmony

10 Mar 2017

live chat & virtual agents

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

In the not too distant past it wasn’t uncommon to come across organisations struggling to decide between using live chat or a virtual agent on their website for customer support. The customer service marketplace took a very polarised view of these technologies with proponents of each making strong arguments for why their preferred solution was the best for cutting costs, boosting revenue and bettering the customer experience. Even today, some companies still view this as an either-or decision: either they give customers the option to get support online from human chat agents through live chat or they provide a virtual agent so that customers can self-serve online through automated chat. Read more

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.
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