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Call Center Week Winter


Presented By: CrmXchange

“Humanizing the Customer Experience” is Theme of New Orleans Event   

The first onsite event of the 2017 contact center educational calendar, Call Center Week Winter, took place at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, LA from January 17-20, attended by professionals representing a broad spectrum of organizations of all sizes and business categories.     

The theme of the event - humanizing the customer experience - reflected the need for agility in addressing the ambiguous needs of consumers. While people now prefer to find answers themselves via their smart phone or online, when they do choose to communicate, they expect interactions to be quick, personalized and on their channel of choice. The program examined the conundrum of how companies can both automate and personalize at the same time.    

The first day of the program was devoted to a series of Conference Workshops. The main Conference was on Wednesday and Thursday, featuring keynote addresses by Debbi Fields, Founder and “chief cookie lover” of the cookie company, as well as a look at the Ritz-Carlton’s Premier Service Techniques by Jim Oliver, Speaking Ambassador on Cultural Change for the hotel chain. The focus was on updated strategies to enhance the customer experience, making the most of technological tools such as AI, analytics and knowledge management, as well as techniques to reduce customer effort.   

The Expo Hall was open the same days as the main Conference, featuring more than 30 suppliers covering a variety of solution areas. CRMXchange had Q&As with selected vendors to discuss their specific applications.   


cogito How does Cogito Dialog combine scientific research, artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide real-time behavioral guidance to agents in financial service and insurance companies?

Cogito applies behavioral science through artificial intelligence to enable more productive phone conversations. It is the first solution to perform instant voice analysis, apply sophisticated analytical models, and visually guide phone professional speaking behavior in real time. In leveraging key data from the human voice, Cogito Dialog is able to analyze and process signals through behavioral models and predict positive or negative outcomes based on insights from each interaction between a company and its customers. This allows businesses to effectively measure and improve the quality of their customer interactions, their employees’ emotional skill sets and provide real-time feedback to elevate agent performance and optimize the value of every phone conversation.

For many agents, taking up to 30 calls a day is the norm. A tired agent may fail to identify increasing tension or agitation in a customer’s voice and adjust accordingly. Unlike traditional speech analytics tools that attempt to select words people speak for post-call reporting, Cogito’s voice analysis software detects many behavioral signals in a person’s voice and can alert the agent to this change in behavior, whether it’s their first call of the day or last. With this guidance, the agent can then adjust their speaking style to build rapport, express empathy and improve the outcome of the interaction.

In what ways does the solution both monitor agent performance and assess customer experience during in-progress calls?

In addition to analyzing speaking behaviors to provide real-time conversation guidance for agents, Cogito Dialog delivers insights and objective feedback on agents’ interactions with customers for their supervisors. The software evaluates hundreds of advanced speaking behaviors such as mimicry, consistency, tone, and tenseness. Cogito provides instant insight into customer behaviors, and early indicators of mounting frustration or conversely, willingness to make a purchase. Dialog provides in-call alerts to agents letting them know when they are speaking too much or too quickly, sounding apathetic, or are slow to respond, among other alerts. Through advanced behavioral analysis the solution automatically produces an objective real-time experience score for every call, which is a measure of the customer’s overall perception. Through this insight, contact center leaders have a tool that will help measure and improve “soft skills” as well as providing a comprehensive view into each customer’s satisfaction for every phone call.

Can you briefly explain the concepts behind emotional and conversational intelligence?

Emotional intelligence consists of two separate components: The first is an individual’s capacity for identifying and understanding their own emotions and those of the people around them: the second is their ability to use this information to guide thinking and behavior. The ability to harness emotional information can be a key factor in individual and organizational success. Conversational intelligence provides insight into how each conversation unfolds between an agent and a customer so agents and management can see and address patterns of behavior to make it a better call for the agent and the customer. Conversational intelligence can highlight areas where an agent has managed to build excellent rapport vs. areas in the conversation where their speaking can be adjusted for better outcomes.

What are some of the tangible benefits that a company can expect as a result of deploying Cogito Dialog?

It produces a real-time experience score for every call, which is a measure of the customer’s overall perception of the interaction. The application also highlights calls in which supervisors may choose to intervene to save the agent or help the customer. Supervisors are able to listen to live conversations and view agents’ workspace for additional context. The solution improves customer satisfaction, reduces both customer and agent churn, helps increase wallet share and provides management faster more comprehensive insights that help them make better business decisions.

As an example, healthcare company Humana, one of the companies leveraging Cogito, has seen a 28% improvement in customer satisfaction since implementing the technology, as well as a 63% increase in employee engagement during phone conversations. Cogito is helping businesses boost net promoter score, improve issue resolution and increase employee engagement.


kore.jan17 How does your Bots Platform-as-a -Service (PaaS) use machine learning to understand the intent and maintain the context of customer conversations to suggest helpful actions?   

The Kore Bots Platform has a dual-pronged approach to natural language and intelligence, and it starts with the bot communication itself. Kore’s NL engine is designed to process the words of an utterance individually, rather than as one whole utterance as in machine learning-only models. That means synonyms and idiomatic variations of commands can be understood by the chatbot, and if it doesn’t immediately recognize the intent, it can prompt a user for more info. In an ML-only model, the bot would simply fail to interpret.   

Since this NL approach involves Fundamental Meaning (intent recognition) and Machine Learning, Kore can cover more contextual gaps from a customer’s responses because we’re both processing the language and storing data. The storing data component contributes to the bot’s decision making.  

For example, if a customer travels from Orlando to Atlanta monthly for work and has booked at the same hotel three months in a row, it could ask if they wanted to automate that task going forward. The solution is using the data the customer has given it to recognize patterns and become more useful.   

What enables your Bot Builder to help companies create customized bots or allow them to implement appropriate ones from your Bot Store?   

The Bot Builder provides a consistent methodology and process for building chatbots, but within each individual step there’s a great deal of flexibility for enterprise developers to create bots that are unique in what they do, how they communicate, and how and where they’re used.   

Developers also have complete control over a bot’s NL training. They can use Kore’s unique NL engine to make a bot instantly conversational by defining a few basic synonyms for tasks and field data, which the bot will use to understand the intent of a user’s input. They can choose the channels they want users to be able to access the bot – anything from Slack, Facebook Messenger and SMS to Email, websites and mobile apps. And before and after deployment, they can manage bot lifecycles through robust testing. Conflict resolution is quick, and visibility into how the bot is being used is clear.   

In what ways do bots improve employee engagement and give agents more time to respond to complex inquiries?   

Bots can be especially useful in alleviating the burden of work in a number of ways:  

  • Onboarding – Virtual assistance with typical HR questions helps acclimate employees faster, with more ease, and through a unified process. Employees can ask the same question multiple times without frustrating the bot.  
  • Self-service flexibility – Employees don’t need to wait for someone with more experience within a given system to help them. Users can perform tasks immediately with less confusion or time erosion 
  • Mobile flexibility – Account managers on the go can enter tasks into CRM systems vs. logging into an app or computer at the airport. Bots also keep context from one channel to another.  
  • Level 1 tasks – Bots move talented staff from routine, mundane tasks to more interesting work.   
  • Less screen time – Time is saved through faster processes, faster navigation, and less time spent toggling between apps, logins, screens, etc.   

How can companies achieve rapid ROI by implementing Kore’s Bot solutions?   

The ROI potential depends on the use case for the bot, but there are some across-the-board factors we know help reduce costs for enterprises:  

  • Shorter development cycles – Bots are much quicker to develop and update since they don’t rely on a graphical user interface and grow more useful via machine learning.  
  • Scalability - Bots can always be enhanced and improved by adding or removing tasks, tweaking NL, and adding more data via machine learning.   
  • Personal engagement - Conversational bots can respond to user requests and preferences. From a retail perspective, engaged customers are 90% more likely to make frequent purchases, spend 300% more annually, and are 7x more likely to respond to promo offers.   
  • Upfront planning - Kore partners directly with companies prior to implementation to help with everything from determining the best use cases, the best channels to deploy a bot to maximize adoption, the way the bot will communicate with users to fit brand style, and testing and rollout.   


pypestream.jan17 How does your intelligent automation and messaging solution identify and analyze keywords from customer inquiries and route them to dedicated chatbots for rapid issue resolution?

Our Smart Messaging Platform uses the power of artificial intelligence and chatbots in combination with live agents to deliver a well-rounded customer experience. The chatbots work as frontline customer service agents - resolving the majority of inquiries that are repetitive. For any inquiries that fall outside the bots’ capabilities or require a more nuanced approach, the conversation is transferred to a live agent in waiting. This combination of bots and live agents allows businesses to resolve customer issues faster and more effectively.

What enables your custom-built chatbots to accurately respond to repetitive customer requests to help businesses save time and money?

The majority of customer inquiries require the same, repetitive answers from customer service agents. By deploying our chatbots to field these repetitive inquiries, businesses can automate a vast majority of customer service issues - reducing labor costs and improving the overall experience.

Can you explain how your Smart Messaging can better connect businesses to consumers?

At the core of our solution is a patented Smart Messaging Platform enabling brands to take advantage of personalized messaging. Our solution empowers business process automation with chatbots and AI to deliver an on-demand, always-on customer experience that is fast, intuitive and seamless.

In addition, the Smart Messaging platform enables transactions via messaging, allowing customers to easily process payments, submit claims, schedule appointments, and transfer and store critical files (e.g. billing statements or medical records).

All of this is supported within a secure messaging framework that adheres to strict privacy and compliance standards across multiple industries.

How do you transition complex issues that fall outside of a chatbot’s capabilities to live agents to create a seamless, uninterrupted conversation?

Our chatbots use a proprietary technology to reroute customer conversation. If the conversation between a bot and customer isn’t flowing as intended and the bot detects negative sentiment, the conversation is rerouted to a live agent who can more acutely address their needs.


thinq.jan2017 Can you briefly explain the concepts behind Least Cost Routing as a Service (LCRaaS)?

We provide businesses with a smarter, faster, and more affordable way to route large call volumes. thinQ delivers higher quality call routing with optimal pricing on an easy-to-manage cloud platform. Our turnkey solution gives companies access to more than 40 major domestic and international carriers for outbound service and enables them to choose which ones are best suited to connect them with their customers. Many organizations are locked into agreements with carriers, enabling the carriers to dictate the terms. Partnering with thinQ helps companies to disrupt the monopoly that carriers have over their customers. It’s fully hosted and offered for free on a test basis, so businesses can discover the value of only paying for calls they place in the system

Over the past year, we have also successfully initiated Least Cost Routing for inbound toll-free calls. The platform continuously analyzes a business’ toll-free call traffic in real time, and then optimizes the route for each call across every number and network. For years, providers have been charging a flat rate above and beyond the cost of each toll-free call. With thinQ, companies can put carriers in competition with one another and find the cheapest route for their calls.

How does your solution enable companies to control such factors as route, carrier, and voice quality?

The software guides them to the lowest cost carrier, whether it’s ATT Level 3 or CenturyLink or a number of others. Our customers can turn a carrier on or off at their discretion. First, they can connect in one-click to all carriers, then use thinQ as a proxy to route traffic on the shortest possible path from the carrier network to their network. Because thinQ only inserts itself into the signaling path, this keeps quality high and risk of problems low. Since there is no one-size-fits-all solution to voice calling, the approach is tailored to the needs of specific organizations. The LCR technology adapts to individual requirements, products, clients, traffic patterns, and a host of other variables. Businesses can also access a full suite of business intelligence tools to monitor usage, spend, averages, spikes, traffic patterns, and possible fraud.

What is CNAM and how does it enable developers to integrate Caller ID into applications and phone systems?

CNAM is an acronym which stands for Caller ID Name. It can be used to display the calling party's name alongside the phone number, to help users easily identify a caller. By adding thinQ’s REST API into a code, companies can get their caller ID data immediately in a format of their choice. This allows them to prevent scammers from masking their identity by cross-referencing the name field with the caller ID database. There are no minimum commitments and businesses will only pay for services that they use.

What differentiates your solution from others available in the market?

thinQ LCR is a cloud-based solution for accessing and controlling carriers that also enables organizations to review valuable data analysis of network performance. At this point, we offer the exclusive capability to provide Least Cost Routing for inbound toll-free calls.