Multichannel is wonderful for the user to interact with a company: phone call, email, fax, Web, and maybe social media. But to most enterprises, multichannel means multi-migraines.
Companies often have the good intention of offering a multitude of channels for their customers to, say, complete a transaction. After all, being able to accept orders online, via phone, email, fax, or other means, translate into more possible revenues. However, herein lies a potential customer service gap.
What if a customer started an interaction on the Website, got distracted, then later decided to go through the process again but through the IVR? It’s a common real world scenario — many of you can probably relate to it — and Genesys aims to tackle it.
During SpeechTEK Genesys created a demo of a fictional airline with an online reservation Website. The user picks the origination and destination, as well as the departure and return dates. Then a call is made to the system, and after entering some identifying information (such as frequent flyer account number) the IVR is aware of the Web interaction from a while ago. It continues with the desired flight reservation captured online, and proceeds to ask whether to make the purchase or make modifications.
According to product marketing managers Dudley Larus (Go Braves!) and Mayur Anadkat, the coupling of iCFD (on the Genesys 8 Voice Platform) and Conversation Manager makes perfect sense to deliver the holistic contextualized interaction in the contact center. No more disjointed and fragmented information from the interaction. The user experience is greatly improved because the user understands that his or her multichannel inputs are valued by the system; the enterprise also controls costs because talk time is reduced and less customers are likely to “zero out” to complain about “But I’d already entered that data online!”
In a way this is solving the decade-old problem of “not having to enter the same data twice (or more)” in 2010. Finally!
It appears that Conversation Manager has now entered its adolescent years from its previous infancy as Cross Channel Conversations (as seen in May 2009). And being an adolescent means making friends, being cool, and partying! Akron, Ohio-based Virtual Hold Technology and London-based SpeechStorm have already hooked up with CM to be its BFF. More to come? Genesys thinks so, considering the amount of interest it has received in the field.
However, for enterprises currently using other IVR platforms and have an interest in Conversation Manager: Sorry, but it’s a packaged deal with GVP. Yes, it’s another ploy to sell more of those boxes! Actually, think of it as the Apple business model where the company controls many aspects of the product development and integration in order to offer what it deems the best customer experience.
Press release? Not quite — how about a media alert?