Yesterday we had a chance to attend Talkdesk's Intelligent Contact Center Roadshow, and we were a bit surprised to see what they had up their sleeve.
Besides some great case studies focusing in on how the right technologies can go a long way in benefiting your business, Talkdesk also shared their own insight, and invited Customer Service & Experience Expert Shep Hyken who presented a great rundown on why the customer experience is so important to both call and contact centers, and how to improve that journey.
But, the real star of the show in our eyes was Talkdesk's latest announcement, that is the addition of an entirely new feature to their already strong line-up of agent and customer service tools. We had the chance to get a hands-on preview of the new TalkDesk Context Mobile feature available to anyone using the platform.
The Issue with Customer Service
Gadi Shamia, Talkdesk's COO, kicked things off by explaining how the customer journey really hasn't changed in over 30 years. Sure, some of the technologies and channels have changed, but overall customers seeking help are stuck traveling through the same time consuming journey.
But the biggest issue is one we've heard before. When I spoke with Vonage's CEO Alan Masarek last year, he summed up the issue that Talkdesk was able to solve. When we contact support, whether it be on the phone or online with a web chat, the agents we speak to lose all the context around why we're even calling. He provided the example of trying to contact an Airline:
“There’s no context as to why I’m calling,” Alan said. “The future will be: when I’m on that website and I have a problem, I’ll hit click to call on that website – because that website will incorporate communications functionally which will be integrated in via the [existing] IVR’s in the UCaaS solution – so it then goes to the appropriate call center agent. Then [the information] will dump directly into the CRM solution. ”
Context Is Key
When clients call in to support, they have to spend time going through an IVR, either voice on the phone or visual on the web, and here we begin to narrow down on what our problem is and who to speak to. Then when we finally reach an agent, the first few questions are always to verify who we are, name, phone number, address, or any other piece of personal information.
Callers then have to provide context to the agent, "I was on your website trying to order this item, but I wanted to change the item to a different color." Hopefully at this point the agent can pick up where you are and get to a solution -- other times you might have to be transferred to an agent, which means you pretty much have to start the entire process over again.
This is part of what Talkdesk called the "Customer Context Blind Spot," there is all of this relevant information that is missing within the interaction. Wouldn't it be so much easier if agents already had that information, and more?
Gadi explained how customers are already using the channels of communication that are incredibly rich in data. There's also been a shift in how customers and agents communicate, and the need for a smooth customer experience.
Mobile and web devices collect so much information that just goes unused when contacting a support agent. So Talkdesk thought, why not use this information to help provide context, and eliminate the friction in the support process?
Well, that's exactly where this Mobile Context feature fits in.
Talkdesk's Solution: Utilize That Data
So, what Talkdesk came up with was this concept of Mobile Context. We've seen in-app support before, but Talkdesk is doing it a bit different. Since these devices and apps, we are using are so data rich, we can use this data to provide agents that exact context they need. While most solutions focus on the historical data, which is what CRM tools do for us, they generally have that real-time customer context blind spot I mentioned.
In order to remove that blind spot, Talkdesk developed a solution that utilizes the context information to help reduce the amount of friction involved in every single interaction. After all, historical data can only go so far -- most times callers aren't calling about a previous issue, they generally call about a new one that just popped up. So, in that case, the historical information isn't all that helpful.
With Mobile Context, customers are able to break through that blind spot, and agents can now receive a massive new set of data to work from. Instead of an agent answering the phone with, "Hi my name is Matt, can I have your name and address please?" They can instead answer the call with "Hey Matt, I see you're trying to change your reservation next week at 8pm, how can I help you with that?"
The idea is to create a friction less customer experience, and to utilize every piece of data available to provide the best experience possible. Now, Talkdesk is big, but they're not the biggest fish in the sea. So it was curious to see the provider really hit the nail on the head here.
So, How Does It Work?
Thankfully, this is the simple part. Talkdesk already had a simple user experience under their belt for agents, and now they can deliver that to those seeking support as well.
The idea is that your business will integrate this Mobile Context function right into their apps or websites.
- Customers will access the app, or website, and input their relevant information. This could be simply logging into their account, checking their order history, or looking up a specific product or service.
- When the customer hits a speed bump in the process, they can initiate a contact with an agent, generally with a simple click of a button -- in the example we got to see at their presentation, customers had the option to submit a phone number, and have an agent call them directly.
- The customer's request will then be placed right into the agent queue, with all the necessary context and information included. This allows the agent to know exactly what the customer was doing, or focusing on, when they reached out for support.
Gadi explained that the idea is to "bridge the gap between what's happening on the web and mobile apps, and what the agent knows." And the real strength here is that this is all real-time, and applies real-time context.
Our Takeaway -- Its More Than Just CRM
Well, CRM solutions are mainly focused on keeping records of all the historical data of a customer. They usually include other pieces of information like name, address, email, and phone numbers, but beyond that it will be a list of previous interactions the customer had with support agents. This information is helpful, but generally isn't relevant to why the client is calling in at that exact moment.
Mobile Context, however, is focusing on what the client is doing in that exact moment, the entire idea is to provide real-time, relevant information to lay out the entire scenario for the agents. Gadi explained that we can take that long, drawn out Customer Journey from 3 decades ago, and turn it into a seamless experience for both the agents, and those calling in requesting support.