Customer service channels have seen a transition in recent years, with more customers discovering and using digital channels to contact customer service. From the traditional voice channel to the more convenient messaging and chat, digital channels have contributed to the rise of digital engagement among today’s consumers. In a #TPQuickTalks broadcasted on LinkedIn, Teleperformance’s very own Paul Joustra, Head of Digital Transformation for Teleperformance CEMEA, had a chat with Mike Betzer, Khoros’ Senior Vice President and General Manager. In the session, Joustra and Betzer discussed voice to messaging as a fast and results-proven solution for clients, as well as a brief overview of digital transformation landscape that is taking place in today’s customer service industry.
For Betzer, the modern consumer is evolving, and is now embracing new channels at a record pace in an effort to engage with their brands. With this, he expounds on the importance of empowering the customer as they learn how to navigate digital channels, and pooling these new channels together to create a better customer experience.
Brands have to go through a lot of change to embrace all these new channels, Betzer observed.
“And Khoros believes in helping people go to self-service. But many times, self-service isn't enough. But if self-service can handle 30% of the engagement, then the customers want to engage with you. Where? Wherever they want. Sometimes it's Twitter, it's Facebook, it's messaging, it could be whatever, it could be SMS, it could be through WhatsApp. There are over 20 channels today, and there will be about 30 channels over the next five years in which your customers are engaging with you. We put AI with that to understand who you are, where are you, what do you want, what are you saying, what are your sentiments, and then we connect that data with the right expert. And that's where Teleperformance comes into play, because Teleperformance is our partner with many of our large brands, that is the last mile."
The rise of new digital channels is already upon us, with the reach of WhatsApp now expanding to Europe after the service’s dominant presence in Asia. Joustra mentioned how Teleperformance interaction experts are learning new skillsets to adapt with the digital demand. “Our agents are shifting to those digital channels; those have a different skill profile. So, we started originally to use our phone inbound, voice agents to handle those social channels. That's a different skill profile, so you need more creative, more out-of-the-box kind of agents with different profile,” explained Joustra. He then elaborated on Teleperformance’s Technology, Analytics, and Process Excellence (T.A.P.) framework: “On top of that, what we leverage now is T.A.P., and T.A.P. is our Teleperformance framework for innovation, for transformation. And T.A.P. stands for Technology, Analytics, and Process Excellence. So, combining those three domains into one framework is really getting a lot of improvement. We use process excellence, using Lean Six Sigma methodologies to improve processes that are broken, and then we apply technology or analytics to really resolve that. So, what does it mean for our agents? Our agents see those technology now supporting them. They don't see that as an enemy, or let's say, as a risk that is taking away their job. They see it as a virtual colleague that is helping them, answering all the boring questions because you have to see that about 30 to 40% of incoming questions that our advisors typically get are repetitive, boring questions.”
The result? Happier and motivated employees, allowing them to focus better on the needs of their customer.
People are not built to do that kind of boring stuff, so our employees are really happy to see that a bot is taking off that part of the conversation. Our advisors can really focus on the complex questions and really giving advice to the customers, Joustra continued.
Teleperformance remains committed to blending the best of technology with empathy, and Betzer further put a light on Teleperformance’s high-tech, high-touch approach.
“I think the thing that I love so much about what Teleperformance is doing is the way you guys are embracing AI to be the assistant to the agent, rather than have it try to replace the agent, move everything to automation,” said Betzer. “The agent, the interaction expert, is the voice of the company; it's the voice of the brand. And why not leverage all of those engagements to train this virtual assistant so you can really get the agents to embrace you're training your assistant and that assistant is solving your problems? That's just a very different way of thinking, and I think I just applaud you guys for what you're doing, the way you're doing that. It's been fun to partner with you as we work with some of the coolest brands in the world together and help them crack this code, so it's really been, it's been a wonderful partnership already.”