This article was originally published on the FCR blog on May 3, 2017. Click here to read the original.
At FCR we have an Emerging Technologies (ET) team that exists to learn about the various tools and technologies that can help companies deliver a better customer experience and help contact center leaders manage their teams better. I sometimes joke that we’re the folks that sit in on all of the sales demos so you don’t have to.
In all seriousness though, there’s a ton of great technology hitting the market right now. Thanks to companies like Zendesk and Salesforce and their extensive app marketplaces, if you have a problem, there’s likely an app out there to solve it — or you can build your own app. Here are seven companies that have piqued our interested lately.
AgentQ is a new chat platform on the market, and while there are many chat platforms out there, this one is really cool. I signed up for a free trial and my eyes immediately gravitated to the “intelligence” section. Here you can actually employ a number of different bots. You can have a bot respond to common questions from your knowledge base and training the bot is simple. The bot can also be configured to give customers an order status and help them update their shipping address. AgentQ integrates easily with the likes of Zendesk, Salesforce, Shopify, and more.
This company uses image recognition and deep learning in the home improvement space. Imagine that you’re remodeling your kitchen and you see a cool new sink on Pinterest. With Drishyam you can take a picture and it will find where you can purchase that exact sink. Now imagine working in technical support and you need to get a customer’s make and model for the device you’re supporting. What if the customer could take a picture and you could instantly identify their devices and even quickly find the appropriate documentation for them? This image recognition technology is something we’re going to see more of in customer service.
Macros, templates, or canned responses — regardless of what you call them — we have a love hate relationship with them. Use them correctly and they are a powerful tool to drive quality and efficiency. Use them wrong and you risk meaningless chatter that doesn’t solve customer problems and ultimately pushes them away. Miuros recognized a huge need for insight around macros and developed a platform using AI that gives valuable insights about your macros.
Their advanced reporting allows customer service leaders and quality managers to see how often certain macros are being used and how often they’re being customized or even completely changed. They can also spot cases where individuals have their own rogue set of macros. All responses are tied back to customer satisfaction, giving valuable insight into the performance of your messaging to customers. If you use macros heavily with your team, I recommend taking Miuros out for a test drive.
Have you ever stopped to think about how much time your contact center agents spent gathering information from callers and entering it into the CRM? This could easily represent a minute or two on every call — maybe more. NextCaller has built the world’s largest caller ID database so that when new customers call, your CRM can be automatically populated with their contact information. They integrate with Zendesk, Salesforce, and a variety of others. Shaving time off phone calls without sacrificing the connection with the customer is definitely a win.
Workforce management is a big deal in contact centers. In order to be effective, it’s essential to schedule your agents properly and ensure that they are productive during that time. The ability to track time and pause states is fairly standard for a good phone system, but not so for email and chat. We’ve been thrilled to discover the TymeShift app for Zendesk which allows you to track pause states and better track agent productivity in the platform.
HelpSocial has recently released their newest product, an OpenAPI that acts as the connective tissue to connect your social customer service channels and other messaging platforms with your existing customer service tools. They originally started out as a social media customer service platform, but for a fraction of the cost, companies can now focus on simplifying the experience by allowing agents to engage their customers on a variety of channels in their pre existing tools.
I alluded to Front in my recent update about the 2017 Opentalk Conference. Front is a really cool, inexpensive, and incredibly collaborative email platform. This can be added over the top of Gmail and support teams can see when other people are responding to emails and quickly tag them in notes to get their input. This system boasts a wide variety of integrations and can even handle social media interactions. I could see this improving the collaboration for teams that aren’t customer facing as well.
If you haven’t read my past ET articles check this one out with 5 Technologies To Jumpstart Your Customer Service and this one with Customer Service Technologies to Boost Self-help. And one more thing — if you have a cool technology to share that can make a difference for customer service, I’m all ears. Without fail, every time I write one of these articles, someone contacts me afterwards and introduces me to another mind blowing technology I didn’t know existed.