What I Learned @LivePerson Aspire EMEA This Year

By Rachel Freeman, Head of Operations

When an event is called Aspire the bar is raised for high expectations, and I must say I was not disappointed. At the LivePerson Aspire EMEA 2013 conference, venue, programme, catering and buzz were all of high calibre. The catch phrase was “making meaningful connections” and whilst I did not go away having made any new BFFs, I certainly spoke to quite a few interesting industry pros about improving communication and creating better customer experiences. In fact there were three common themes everyone “aspired” to for 2013. I thought I’d share them with you and see if you shared the same sentiments.

LP Aspire EMEA 2013

  • Customer experience is now more important than ever.It was refreshing to see that so many companies were genuinely concerned about their customers’ journey and were keen for tools to help them understand and make improvements. Forrester Research’s Harley Manning touched on these points during his session asserting that we need to remember that sales, account and technical teams all have valuable insight and input. It pays to take the time to bring representatives from these teams together to share ideas, strategies and perspectives. In the end, you’ll get a more holistic view of what customers want from your brand and be able to design a more effective strategy.
  • Mobile is hot, hot, hot. Not surprisingly, everyone wanted to get a better understanding of how their customers are using mobile devices. They’re seeing the trends and need to adapt, but have found it slow going in some areas, particularly because departmental silos restrict access to the information that customers really want. However, customers could care less about how their companies operate on the backend. They simply want the information, when they want it, and companies are struggling to find ways to deliver.
  • Customers drive our business. Everyone agreed that we need our customers more than they need us. With so many choices, it’s essential we put ourselves in the shoes of the customer and deliver a customer experience that goes beyond their expectations. In this new era, service and experience has become the differentiator and everyone is anxious to find ways to communicate their value on this front.

If you’ve never been to LivePerson Aspire, make plans to attend next year. It’s a great place to make connections and get the pulse of your peers on key issues affecting the industry. Plus, the event is a lot of fun too. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and other rock legends were played between speakers, allowing us to not only conduct business, but to rock out along the way and bang on some drums at the end of the day. But don’t tell my CEO. He may want to go in my stead next year!

Implementing Virtual Agents For a Seamless Customer Experience

by Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

Regardless of what industry sector your organization falls under, there’s no denying that customer experience is key to customer retention and brand reputation. Not only do customers expect quick and efficient service and support, but a global survCreative Virtual avatarsey also found that 59% of consumers want more choices in how to contact online brands. With this in mind, virtual agents are becoming the go-to self-service solution for enterprises that recognize this need to create a seamless multichannel customer experience.

On Wednesday, June 12th join Creative Virtual USA’s CEO, Richard Simons, and Manager of Implementation Services, Paulo Barrett, as they discuss how virtual agents not only improve customer satisfaction but also reduce support costs by deflecting calls, live chats and emails. They will cover the process of implementing this technology from selecting a vendor and securing company buy-in to top implementation challenges and considerations to KPIs and metrics used to evaluate results.

This webinar, Implementing a Virtual Agent: RFP, Pilot, Implementation & Results, will begin at 9:00am PT / 12:00pm ET / 5:00 pm UK time. Register now to join us for this free web event and see intelligent virtual agents in action!

Next Stop: LivePerson Aspire EMEA in London, UK

by Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

Following on the heels of a successful Aspire APAC conference, as reported by Chris in his event round-up, Creative Virtual will also be at LivePerson Aspire EMEA as a Gold Sponsor. Taking place on 11 June 2013 at The Roundhouse on Chalk Farm Road in London, this conference has so much to offer. It will feature:

  • Speakers from a range of organisations including Royal Bank of Scotland, O2, Snapfish and Forrester Research
  • Breakout Sessions on topics such as mobile engagement, digital marketing techniques and intelligent online engagement
  • A Partner Showcase for attendees to find out more about LivePerson’s partners

As part of that Showcase, we will be providing a firsthand look at the advanced technologies we have developed in knowledge management, natural language processing and virtual assistants.  Specifically, we will be demonstrating how the integration of V-Person™ (virtual assistant) technology with Live Chat from LivePerson provides a seamless customer experience. Utilising Live Chat in conjunction with our other solutions means organisations can provide real-time, consistent customer support across all touchpoints to improve their customer experience while reducing support costs.

It’s totally free to attend Aspire EMEA so register online and stop by our stand to say hello and have a look at our innovative solutions.

Another Successful Year at LivePerson Aspire APAC

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

Congratulations to LivePerson for hosting another top-notch conference with the Aspire APAC event recently held in Melbourne, Australia. It was a pleasure for Creative Virtual to be invited to participate again this year as a Sponsor. From the Drinks Reception the evening before Aspire to the final closing remarks on event day, I personally enjoyed the conference and the opportunity to exchange ideas with other delegates and presenters.Aspire APC

Thanks also to everyone who stopped by Creative Virtual’s stand to say hello and hear about our V-Person™ technology. The innovative integration of our virtual assistants with Live Chat from LivePerson enhances the customer experience by providing a seamless escalation from the virtual agent to a live agent. Implementing this integrated solution also means organisations can free up live agents to deal with more complex or high-tier issues by allowing the virtual assistant to be the first point of contact for online queries. James Brown, Business Consultant at LivePerson, also talked about the importance of virtual agents for call deflection during his session titled, ‘Deflection and Containment Strategies Without Sacrificing Customer Experience’.

It was exciting to experience the great amount of interest from other delegates in seeing our multi-channel virtual assistant technology and learning about the proven benefits of implementing this self-service solution. If you weren’t able to attend Aspire APAC, please contact us for a Live Demo to see our technology, including our integration with live chat, in action.

We have now also confirmed that Creative Virtual will be attending Aspire EMEA being held in London on 11 June 2013. I encourage you to attend the conference and take advantage of this unique opportunity to share ideas on customer engagement and, of course, stop by our stand to learn more about what our technology can offer your organisation.

Showcasing Virtual Agent Technology at Aspire APAC 2013

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

After a successful series of conferences last year, LivePerson is again hosting LP Aspire 2013three Aspire events around the globe in 2013. With the goal of shifting attendees’ mindset about customer engagement and experience, LivePerson has designed these conferences to emphasise personal engagement and connections with interactive breakout sessions, panel discussions and partner showcases. Each event will feature presentations and exhibitions from a variety of LivePerson partners, customers and industry thought leaders.

Creative Virtual will be exhibiting as a Sponsor at Aspire APAC, the first of the 2013 events, being held in Melbourne, Australia on Wednesday, 22nd May. Our company Founder & CEO, Chris Ezekiel, will be on hand to showcase our innovative V-Person™ technology and share how we have successfully integrated our interactive virtual assistants with Live Chat from LivePerson. This integration provides a seamless handover from the virtual agent to a live agent when customers require assistance with more complex queries and was shortlisted for the Econsultancy Innovation Awards 2012 in the category of ‘Innovation in Customer & User Experience’.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to stop by the Creative Virtual stand to say hello to Chris and see for yourself how combining our virtual assistant technology with Live Chat can improve your online customer experience.

Let the Wookiee Win! – A Strategy for Designing Your Customer Experience

by Frank Schneider, Regional Vice President – Sales, Eastern US

Now hear me out. I realize comparing your customer to an eight foot shag carpet could alarm you on the surface, but who wouldn’t want Chewbacca as a customer, let alone a friend?

  • Chewbacca is loyal, like your customers, who are 24% more likely to seek you out for two or more years if you provide them with a great customer experience.

wookie

  • Chewbacca is trustworthy and like your customers will share his good experiences with others. Your customers will do this 87% of the time.
  • Chewbacca gets things done. In the human world, this translates into shopping and your customers will purchase more from a company that provides them with a superior customer experiences 52% of the time.

Sure all these stats might be interesting and my Chewbacca analogy entertaining, but I’m not trying to speak Wookiee. So how does that translate for you?

In plain English, this means that instead of servicing your customers in the way you think they want to be helped, you must service them in the way your customer wants to be helped.  It’s interesting to note that most companies see customer experience as a top priority, but many fail to understand that service options are not one size fits all. Customers want options and many of them are clamoring for self-service tools that provide them with access to information anytime, anyplace. In fact, according to Forrester, almost ¾ of your customers will attempt some form of web-based self-service as the first method to resolve their issue.

Are your self-service tools meeting this preference? Here’s how to assess if you are:

  • Provide anytime, anyplace service: Customers want access to help in less than 12 parsecs. (Get too nerdy there for you? Sorry.) As we’ve previously posted on our blog, they want help as close to immediately as possible. So give it to them! Make sure you have an online service tool available 24/7! Customers want to ask questions whenever and however they want and find the right answer. If they don’t get it from you, they may get it from somewhere else.
  • Go beyond the basics. FAQs and search are not cutting it in today’s galaxy. Your customers want the C-3PO-like experience. Fluent in six million forms of communication? Intuitively understand user intent? Know the customer and his/her preferences? All those boxes checked for Luke’s trusted assistant…and your self-service tool should be able to do the same. Fortunately, intelligent virtual assistants leverage 21st century technology tapping into your knowledgebase and delivering fast, accurate information to your customer in any language – yes, even Wookiee.
  • Design for customers on the go. Whether in the aisles of Target buying a router, on the lot at a car dealership, or having a beverage at a tavern in Tatooine, your customers are mobile and want access to answers that will accommodate their lifestyle. They want to be able to buy the supported wireless modem for their ISP, transfer the down payment for that car, and check-in with their friends 500 miles away as they are sipping on a cold beverage. And this they want in real time without ever speaking to another human being.

The world has evolved, but what once was science fiction in the mind of George Lucas, has become a sharp reality for businesses around the world. Solutions that put the power of customer experience in the capable hands of the customer will drive wins for consumers and the enterprise. So as you are thinking about your customer experience strategy, start with this one question – “How will you let the Wookiee win?”

Using Technology to Adapt to Customer Demand for Self-Service

By Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA

Forrester Webinar SlideMy thanks to Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, for joining me in presenting a webinar on May 2nd. This hour long event, Getting Ahead of the Curve: Adapting to Customer Demand for Self-Service, focused on the growing trend for self-service in customer relationship management as a way to meet customer expectations for fast, accurate and consistent service available anytime, anyplace.

Kate shared some impressive statistics showing the increased desire for customers to self-serve rather than pick up the phone to resolve an issue. With recent surveys showing the willingness of consumers to take their business to a competitor after a poor customer experience, it’s becoming even more important for organizations to meet this demand for self-service.

Luckily the technology exists to help you implement a multi-channel customer experience strategy that will build brand loyalty and win over your customers. During the webinar, I showed how Creative Virtual’s technology is being used today to provide real customers with the personalized, self-service options they are seeking. By breaking down informational silos and traditional barriers to shared knowledge, companies are able to deliver consistent and accurate information across all channels—call center, social, web, mobile, and even game consoles.

The recording of this webinar, Getting Ahead of the Curve: Adapting to Customer Demand for Self-Service, is now available for on-demand viewing. I hope you’ll take some time out of your busy day to watch the video and then contact us for a live demo to see how our technology can provide a positive self-service experience for your customers.

Complimentary Webinar – Getting Ahead of the Curve: Adapting to Customer Demand for Self-Service

by Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager

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In today’s hyper-connected society customers are demanding fast, accurate and consistent service, and they want it available where and when they need it. Organizations need to be able to deliver information and support on multiple channels—call center, social, web, mobile—or risk losing their customers to competitors that do. So how can you adapt?

Register now for our webinar with Forrester Research to learn how technology can help you implement a customer-first strategy that eliminates silos, breaks down traditional barriers to shared knowledge, and gives customers what they want when they want it. Kate Leggett, Forrester Principal Analyst, and Richard Simons, CEO of Creative Virtual USA, will discuss how you can get ahead of the curve by aligning your customer experience with customer expectations. They will explore ways to leverage the power of knowledge management and virtual agents to support customer service channels and highlight how personalization and natural language can win over your customers give you that all important competitive advantage.

Join Kate and Richard on May 2nd at 8 AM PT/ 11 AM ET/ 4 PM UK Time for this free webinar and hear how you can get ahead of the curve by adapting to customer demand for self-service. Register now!

CRMXchange Roundtable: Best Practices—IVR and Self-Service Solutions

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

CRMXchangeThere is a growing trend for customers to self-serve in web, social, mobile and IVR environments, and they expect accurate, consistent and personalised information delivered no matter which channel they use to contact you. In fact, many customers don’t actually want to call you, and today’s organisations need to leverage technology and data to meet the needs of their customers. Virtual assistants provide the optimal customer experience tool that increases customer engagement while reducing customer support costs across multiple channels.

On 30 April, I will be presenting on this topic in the CRMXchange Roundtable webinar Best Practices – IVR and Self-Service Solutions starting at 1:00 PM ET/ 6:00 PM UK time. I will be joining other industry professionals in a discussion on how interactions can be automated in a way that makes it easy for customers to navigate the service, complete transactions and access information across multiple channels. I plan to share key insights from Creative Virtual’s brand name clients on how they utilise technology to create an open dialogue with customers that drives loyalty, satisfaction and revenue.

To register for this free online Roundtable, visit the CRMXchange website.

Join Me at Internet World 2013 for My Session on Identifying & Eliminating Customer Stress

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

InternetWorldIn today’s marketplace customers are savvier than ever and report a willingness to abandon a purchase or switch suppliers due to a poor customer experience. Preferred brands flawlessly deliver products, services and knowledge to customers, thereby giving them that positive experience they demand. The companies coming out on top have mastered the ability to truly get to consumers’ stresses and systematically make them disappear. Forward-thinking retail companies to financial service and telecommunications providers and travel companies are successfully up-leveling customers’ interaction with their brand via implementation of interactive customer experience technologies on the web, across social media channels and from mobile applications.

On Wednesday, 24th April I will be delving deeper into this topic as a speaker at Internet World 2013. My session, which begins at 10:00 in the Mobile Theatre, will explore best practices, what technologies work and results companies are realising with a customer service strategy that makes their brand stand out from the crowd. A recent global survey found 83% of consumers said they need some form of support during their online journey, and I’ll explore how your organisation can identify those needs and provide consistent, reliable support across all touchpoints.

Internet World is the UK’s largest event for online and digital business and is being held 23rd—25th April 2013 at Earls Court 2 in London. Registration for the event is free. I hope to see you there!