This is Avaya Oceana: Smart, Personalized and Transformative
Frost & Sullivan Principal Analyst Nancy Jamison and Avaya VP of Engagement Applications Yogen Patel discuss the pressing need to create consistent, personal customer experiences in light of today’s digital consumer – integrating channels across the organization, generating actionable data, utilizing back-office applications, reducing agent effort - to enable extraordinary customer journeys.
Well hello. I'm Nancy Jamison, Principal Analyst at Frost and Sullivan and Digital Transformation. And I'm here today with Yogen Patel, VP of Engagement Applications at Avaya. And we're gonna be talking about Enabling Extraordinary Customer Journeys. Yogen?
>> Nancy, it's a pleasure being here, and look forward to discussing and sharing what we're doing at Avaya in our products and solutions to deliver and enable these Exceptional Customer Journeys and Experiences.
>> Yes, and I think about in order to do that, we've had Omni=Channel, the concept, for about four years now. And everybody's really jumped on the bandwagon. But, the original intent of Omni-Channel was to get rid of all those application silos that really were frustrating customers and giving them a fractured customer experience.
And so, the original intent was to get rid of those silos, even on a very simplistic level like, for example. When you hit an IVR and get to an agent, a lot of times there was a fractured customer journey, don't you think?
>> Absolutely. so Omni-Channel interaction is not only being able to connect customer journeys across different mechanism, just like you said.
But it's also about communicating in different modes and mediums as well. Being able to support communication on web chat and be able to transition to a voice call if needed. It's breaking down those silos of interaction between customers and the providers across multiple-mediums and multiple-communication channels.
>> Absolutely, and it's ony getting more complex.
We've been adding social and mobiles in our fact, recent for us in Sullivan research. We surveyed 2,000 IT professionals as to mobile, and 90% of them said that their employees were using mobile to do something. To improve business whether it's to speed up things, reducing cost. And so to apply that to customer contact we have to be able to provide mobile not just for the employee but for customers as well.
And social media which is really going up. So now you've got this complex landscape of different interaction channels and, to have silos where you have a fractured customer experience, or fractured customer journey, really goes against being able to provide extraordinary customer service.
>> So what we're doing in AVAYA is addressing that need and breaking other silos through a solution called Oceana.
>> So Oceana is our next generation, contact center and customer management application. It has within the application the ability for an organization to interact with it's consumers and customers through all channels of communication. But also connect them.
>> And be able to deliver that seamless consistent connective experience of interaction.
Where it's one conversation, one customer journey across all those mediums across all those mechanisms of communication?
>> Yeah and in those customer journeys I think one of the most important things is being able to provide the agent, with all of the data and all the details they need about what's been happening with those customers.
So that they can provide a better experience and know where they've been no matter what channel they start on. Cuz you can have a customer that will come in on the web and go into web chat and then they come back later and they decide they wanna talk to an agent.
And fractured customer journey that agent won't know what's going on. But in a connected Omni-Channel customer journey, all of that should be [INAUDIBLE] apparent to the agent. So what do you do in regards to providing like customer journey mapping and be able to help the agents?
>> So, in Oceana, there is a capability where all the interaction history across long-lived sessions is maintained and managed within the system.
So when a customer interacts with an agent, the agent is immediately presented a visual view, of all the prior interaction, then all the complex interactions and immediately the agent is able to zoom in on what's the most appropriate treatment or response for that particular need. So for example, let's say I'm a customer.
I'm on a website. I'm on a particular page looking at the products and offers on that page. And initiate chat from that particular web page. And then, when the chat is routed to agent. The agent is notified immediately that that customer originated from a particular part of the website, and knows at that point in time the context for that interaction.
Now if I escalate from a web chat into voice call and route it to a voice agent. May not be the same agent, that particular agent will immediately have the context of all the chat transcript tat occurred prior. So having the full view of what interactions have happened before and having that context, allows agents to better.
Tailor the treatments and interaction, and make it contextual, and intimate, and much more relevant, versus starting from scratch always.
>> And it helps them a lot too. I mean, a large part of being able to provide a really good experience is making, sure that the agents are happy.
You know, happy agent, happy customer. And so being able to, I guess we use the term empower them with data and stuff to be able to understand how better to serve the customer. And it oftentimes involves bringing in other analytics as well. So, one of the big things that we've been tracking at Frost and Sullivan is this rise in the use of analytics.
And analytics is one of the hotspots including bringing in not just your CRM data and your regulator contact center or call center data. But also data from other sources, sometimes big data. So, what kinds of things are you seeing with you analytics?
>> So Oceana comes along with a analytics protocol Oceanalytics.
And I think of Oceanalytics as being an infrastructure where we can collect events a data. We can correlate, we can create measures, we can allow agents or agent supervise to run group works and inspect what we call expoetry analytics and really see what's going on. So maybe, you have a particular interaction where you can see the origination and the IVR, and a selection of particular menu choices other than a particular outcome.
So, you can see and analyze what would be the best way to deal with that particular interaction in terms of not only the automation on the front end, but the way the agent reacts to it as well. So that's one side of analytics. The other side of analytics is what I'd call Preemptive or Predictive Analytics which is now a priority, looking at the events that are coming in, analyzes those events and make some decisions to drive a preemptive or proactive experience for the end customer.
So Oceanalytics along with Oceana provides both of exploratory and reporting analytics as well as all the action, predictive, preemptive analytics in the platform as well.
>> So so I like what you said about predictive analytics and being able to apply data so that you can better have the agent help customers.
And along those lines being able to not only just predict what's happening but, be able to maybe route customers to the right agents that have the better skillset that would match what they need. Or being able to actively help agents by being able to pop stuff up on their screen that applies that, then lessens the load on the agent.
>> So Oceania has in it a concept of attribute-based routing. Think of attribute-based routing as data-driven routing. An incoming interaction will have a set of parameters or attributes associated with it. Within the system we can have rules to analyze those parameters and find the best matching resource that can address that customer's needs.
So for example, I'm a customer and I've got a particular set of profile parameters. I'm a global services customer, right? And when I come in with that interaction that parameter can be analyzed. In addition to not only using the data that comes in, but we have to make a call out the external system to retreat some other piece of data.
And all the data can be combine in optimally matching the end customer to the agent that best serve the needs of that customer. It's a very powerful concept, we can dynamically update attributes, we can dynamically update attributes of agents. So that you can have additional matched agents become available, depending on the incoming request.
And optimize, again, the best resource to meet the need of that incoming interaction, that can best fulfill that need of that interaction.
>> Well, I like that, it really touches on a lot of the themes that we talk about in contact centers like, reducing customer effort, empowering agents, and being able to lower effort.
But at the end of the day, it's all about providing a better, almost joyous, customer experience, and so, like the use of analytics. And the other thing we have been seeing when I briefly touched on before, like bringing in different data sources like big data is to be able to bring in, Data that you then can use to populate an agent's screen, reduce their effort, it's like guided assistance, and be able to really allow them to help customers.
Particularly now that we have different tech-savvy Millennial consumers who like to self-help. And usually the contact center, by the time they get to an agent, it's the third stop in the journey. And so not only understanding where they've been, but being able to empower the agent, because now it's usually a more complex question, just something simple they can get through self-service, so.
>> Yeah, so what's happening is the simpler interactions are being handled completely in an automated fashion. So, organizations are essentially deflecting those interactions by providing all kinds of self-help tools. What's happening is now the interactions that are actually making their way to an agent are the more complex interactions, which means, context is critical.
Which means, using context to guide an agent in the best treatment is even more important. Cuz that helps not only ensure that the end customers’ needs are met in a timely manner, but improves things like first call resolution.
>> So, as you have automation for simple request you need to provide guidance and input to the agent in a proactive manner for the more complex request that are invariably the majority of inquiries coming to the agent desktop now.
>> Well, also along those lines you say that, we've offloaded some of the simpler ones but now, we have virtual assistants, robotic process automation. Internet of Things, we have a lot of things that help offload even more complex inquiries. So, I'm sure you have tools to do that as well.
>> Yeah, so Oceana has an integrated chat plot functionality, it has the ability to make call-outs to external artificial intelligence engines as well. So you could have scenarios, where a consumer that's using webchat initially could be interacting with a chatbot. And a chatbot could be parsing this incoming request and providing replies based on looking at what's being put into the chat window.
But the system is intelligent enough to be able to trigger an escalation of live agent. So the trick with automation is, you have to be able to orchestrate that interaction, where it may make sense at some point to move from the chatbot over to a live agent because of the nature of the inquiry.
So Oceana has in it the ability to support interactions in a fully automated fashion using chatbot capability. But more importantly, it has the linkage to escalate a live agent as and when needed either to continue the webchat session or maybe even escalate to a phone call.
>> And in that seamless fashion we've been talking about, so there's no customer effort, all the information flow smoothly.
>> Yeah, there's no customer effort in having to restate the entire context from the beginning all over again. So, the worst thing you would happening is, a customer spending multiple minutes interacting with a chatbot, the chatbot escalating a live agent, and then the live agent saying, how may I help you, right?
>> Yeah, yeah, yes.
>> And what Oceana has really the smarts to really carry the contacts forward. So that immediately when that chat gets escalated to the agent, the agent can see the transcript that has happened prior with the chatbot and be able to pick up right from there and continue the conversation in a seamless, consistent, connected manner.
>> So along the lines of really providing context and being able to carry that context over. And also, having all of that data there when they move from self to assisted service. The customer journey, if we wanna make that into a more joyous experience for them, a more connected journey also goes outside of the contact center as well.
I mean, now we are seeing other sources of data being pulled in with predictive analytics and other so that you know. And also going from the back office and other resources so that you know where they are. And you can provide them with new sources of things they hadn't thought about doing.
>> So the Oceana customer journey capability can integrate in other external pieces of information to provide that holistic and full view of the customer. So for example, an incoming call, when that customer journey map is presented to the agent, could have in it a piece of data from the billing system that indicates an overage charge.
So now that's context that can immediately be brought into that interaction with the customer, that it's possible that that incoming call is related to this overage charge that showing up on the bill. So there are many scenarios where the customer journey map can integrate into it other pieces of relevant data that could help that agent immediately deal with that incoming interaction.
>> But then also I think being able to provide sources that are not even directly tied to that customer demographic data, for example, or location based data. Or bringing in data from third party suppliers when you're on boarding a customer and you wanna thank them for being a new customer, And to be able to delight that customer know much more about who they are and what things you can provide by looking at different sources of data.
Your platform can do that as well, right?
>> Yes, it can. So Oceana, it's completely open. As I mentioned before, you can make call out to external systems. You can bring the data back, visualize that and put that into that integrated journey map, so there could be augmentation of not only information around that customer, but maybe that customer's interest area.
And have some of that data participate in delivering that exceptional experience.
>> Yeah, and then we start getting into things like the Internet of Things and wearables and having the connected home, for example. Be able to proactively work with a customer because you know what's going on in their home.
I mean, the Bailey's have a really open platform, where you can go to these external data sources and bring in. And really has a tremendous promise for radically changing the customer experience. Don't you think?
>> It definitely does. When you think about the Internet of Things, ultimately in many cases, a sensor or device or some sort of information source may require human intervention.
It may require an agent taking an action or doing something. That's where Oceania can bring in the human experience and the human touch into those work flows and those business processes that start with an IoT device generating some data or making some sort of call out. Or making some sort of a push of information which then ultimately gets routed to a human being to do something with.
And integrating the human piece into the automation is a critical part of what Oceania enabled as well, because of the open nature of the platform.
>> And that's very cool, cuz it's also not just about the agent anymore. It's about people outside what we typically view as being a contact center.
It could be a field service worker, or a doctor, or somebody else, where you have that really nice interplay between an agent in a contact center. And somebody outside the contact center to really fill out that customer experience, or that patient experience if it's a patient or something like that.
So I think it's really a powerful set of tools that we have to bring the bear on the customer experience now.
>> It is, and more importantly, underneath the platform is a workflow engine that can bring in all those other participants into that interaction flow. Where not only do you have an agent participating in addressing a need for the workflow can trigger interactions or call outs Or engagement with other participants to address the particular needs.
So underneath the platform, it has this rich orchestration workflow tool set that allows bringing together all the actors or participants and addressing that customer need.
>> Absolutely, that's really great. Well, thank you again for this really interesting discussion on enabling extraordinary customer journeys.
>> Nancy, my pleasure. Thank you for an enjoyable conversation.
>> And for more information, you can download Frost & Sullivan's White Paper on enabling extraordinary customer journeys.