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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Getting Passionate with Customer Experience

Ever since I got my first credit card in year 2003, the world changed. Today's is the personal financing era - the IT dot com was long gone and bubbled.

In current reality, I would receive daily sales calls from people claiming to represent financial institutions and agencies, offering me financial products.

Their strategy was to close the sales on the spot by not providing you with details so that you don't have to think so much and decide otherwise.

Nevertheless, I found this to be abusive and invasion of personal financing stability.

Over the past 10 years, these activities persisted; nonetheless, the implementation of PDPA (Personal Data Protection Act) actually helped to filter out unscrupulous 'agents' and succeeded in reducing the call frequency, yet I am still receiving calls regularly.

The thing I hated the most about these people is that despite the claims of representing notable financial institutions, they don't seem to have adapted to the Internet era.

Many would still ask me for fax number instead of email - their practices are still very voice-oriented and conventional per se.

And they don't seem to have implemented any CRM solution - because they would call you again tomorrow as if they hadn’t called you before.



Hello World .. Wake up call

To me, it is a waste of time entertaining sales calls like these, perpetually.

Things have improved though, perhaps after receiving feedbacks from 'angry' customers; instead of hoping that you would sign up immediately, they will now send you information to your email.

And this is what Mr. Abhijit Banerjee, VP and Region Head, APAC, Servion was trying to explain to me:

Abhijit Banerjee, VP and Region Head, APAC, Servion

Businesses need to integrate conventional communication channels (i.e voice, IVR, fax) with Internet age communication channels (i.e email, IM, social networks, automations) to provide excellence service delivery and enhance customer experience.

The goal is to achieve seamless integration of communication channels.

For instance, when I suddenly needed to buy a refrigerator, I would email info@citibank.com with content: please get a sales agent to call me back.

The backend system would figure out who I am, where is my location, my contact number, my spending habits and then route the request to an appropriate service center in my area and make the call.

If this is today's reality, the business is confirmed for sure – and I would email back with positive feedback and complement them on Facebook, after which the integrated system would pickup this feedback and respond back to the appraisal system.

This is what Abhijit called it the omni-channel service center solution - customer relationship management, consultation, sales delivery are all integrated seamlessly into a unified platform.

The inherent problem which prohibits the realization of such ideal scenario can be attributed to a few factors:

1.) Enterprise software industry is very much budget-constraint and trend driven.

Hence, most of the time, solutions would only be implemented by locations and regions, not for the whole enterprise group.

And solutions will come from different vendors.

2.) The Internet is still evolving.

Everybody has put thoughts into social media, social networks, but no one seems to able to grab it yet.

Hence, there is no universal blueprint for adoption of integration of infrastructure between conventional IVR and Internet.

Servion is a company specializes in Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solutions that help companies provide superior customer experience. With over 600 customers and 1000 installations in more than 60 countries, Servion’s products and solutions handle in excess of 7 billion voice / fax / ACD / Web / e-mail interactions per year.

Servion has offices in Malaysia and Singapore, the HQ is in Chennai, India.

Abhijit explained that Servion does system integration and develops own products.

He sees potential in on-premise contact center targeting the FSI and service providers (telcos).

A typical project implementation would start with consultation stage - Servion's consultants would engage customers by providing requirement analysis and studies; after which a customized blueprint of Customer Interaction Management (CIM) would be derived.

The foundation of their consulting services is based on the ability to cater for descriptive and predictive analytics using software technologies.

Hence, consulting is their strength, system integration is their ability and product innovation is their asset.

Having siloed contact center solution is the norm and this is where Servion will be able to contribute: to integrate and deliver.

Abhijit believes that businesses have to continuously improve its service delivery channels in order to upkeep their brand promises.

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