CX Senior Product and Strategy Manager, Black Box
Recently, I attended an immersive art exhibit in Denver, Colorado called "Meow Wolf." And when I say immersive, I mean absorbing, engaging, and submerging.
The exhibit features a "convergence station," where you begin your journey of exploration into a surreal, psychedelic world three years in the making. During that time, 300 artists created a four-story exhibit that includes more than 70 installations, rooms, and portals.
These separate creations combine to form one mind-boggling narrative of converged worlds where you arrive as you are — and leave transformed. The exhibition's goal is to inspire attendees to "…explore their own imaginations and reconsider what's possible."
As a strategical thinker in the tech world, I found the immersive art gallery experience inspiring to say the least. The experience got me thinking about and reconsidering UCaaS and CCaaS: Are they really separate systems or have they converged?
To find out, travel along with me as we enter a convergent customer journey...
Collaborative tools and the contact center experience
Think about the customer journey from a CX or contact center perspective. It begins with the many ways a customer — who we'll call Bella — can contact your company to buy something.
If Bella's never bought anything before, she'll probably visit your website to see if there's something she'd like to purchase.
If she's been to the site before, she's undoubtedly left virtual fingerprints, which may trigger an email reminding her about a product or service she looked at previously. The hope is that Bella will add that item to her cart and check out.
Bypassing the website, what happens if Bella wants to call your company and ask questions? What if she needs help locating an FAQ? What if she wants to talk to a human being who can help her resolve a problem?
The convergence may allow Bella to leverage standard collaboration tools, such as chat or SMS (short message service), a standard stock collaboration capability where one of your front-line agents sends Bella a link to a PDF or makes a video call. (These calls have been helpful during the pandemic because they allow a customer to communicate with an agent verbally and with empathy.)
How about adding a co-browsing session that lets the agent give Bella a tour of your website or takes her directly to the product or service?
What about AR/VR tools that allow Bella to place and view a product in her space? What if Bella could also talk to and collaborate with an agent about room size or wall color in real time, so the experience is truly a representation of what the product will look like in her living room, for example?
What if there were also other agents standing by to take Bella's order and respond to questions in real time?
Adding these collaboration tools to a front-line agent's arsenal could increase customer satisfaction. At the same time, these tools may also give Bella access to agents or information that may help her make a purchase.
Knowledge workers and contact center tools
How can adding agent tools to a knowledge worker's bag of tricks enhance communication with customers like Bella? Due to an integration, Bella can receive a text (or SMS) from an agent who needs real-time input to solve a problem. Again, messaging comes to the rescue; it isn't limited to chat between agents, but can leverage the entire workforce, if needed.
At certain times, your company may need to overflow calls to people who don't normally sit on the front-line. Artificial intelligence can direct those calls to someone with additional knowledge and expertise and automatically ingest info into the CRM, so the knowledge worker can sit in on the fly.
In this scenario, there's no need for an agent expert with call wrap-up times. Instead, the system is smart enough to wrap up automatically. If that can be done for non-agent assistance, consider how much can be automated for the agent. That includes wrap up, automated post-call polling or surveys, as well as sentiment analysis, which helps to train the sales force on the latest trends or customer requests.
One of my favorite scenarios is providing pop-ups to front-line agents that let them see not only who's calling, but also the customer journey over time. Wouldn't it be great to provide that information to your sales team, instead of making them perform a lookup within their CRM? The info is already there! Why not present it when it's needed?
Is this transformative world out of reach?
Definitely not. Like Meow Wolf, the immersive art exhibit I attended, our imagination knows no bounds. All these communications tools can be leveraged by knowledge workers and front-line agents right now. In fact, the future of this framework can bring even more successful combinations of digital workforce and CX to all users of the convergence station — and send them trippily down the rabbit hole of streamlined interactions, better efficiency, and stronger brand images.
If you would like to receive our quarterly newsletter, View from the Edge, you can sign up here.
Black Box® is a trusted IT solutions provider delivering cutting-edge technology products and world-class consulting services to businesses across the globe in every industry. The breadth of our global reach and depth of our expertise accelerate customer success by bringing people, ideas, and technology together to solve real-world business problems.