The February 13th Telarus Tuesday call brought Rusty Jensen and Dana Coates of NICE inContact to discuss the latest in contact center. We were also joined by Steve Prodger, SmartAction SVP of customer experience and innovation who discusses how artificial intelligence fits in the contact center space.
Who is NICE inContact?
NICE inContact is the world’s number one cloud customer experience platform. Through a powerful combination of their technology, people, and partner they help organizations transform their customer experience into a business-driving competitive advantage. They make it easy for contact centers to win every customer interaction, deliver great customer experiences, and achieve their business goals all from the flexibility and reliability of the cloud. NICE inContact is recognized as a market leader by Gartner, IDC, Frost, Ovum, and DMG. They support over six billion interactions per year for enterprise, midmarket, government organizations and business process outsourcers (BPOs) who operate multiple divisions, locations and global regions.
There are two core components an agent needs to communicate with the consumer. One of the components is Contact Center Infrastructure which is the means to route inbound and outbound calls from consumers. The second component is Customer Relationship Management. Once an agent gets a call, they have to know who the customer is, so they use their CRM system to track the account data. Nice inContact’s platform focuses on the contact center infrastructure. Below you can see a high-level view of the inContact Customer Interaction cloud.
Nice inContact owns every component of the Customer Interaction Cloud, which gives you the most complete contact center solutions. Because they own it all, these components work together seamlessly to help you win on every front. They have put your goals at the center of their solution. Starting on the left and moving around the graphic clockwise you have Omnichannel Routing, Voice as a Service, and Workforce Optimization. With Analytics you get data-driven tracking and visibility to drive performance, and efficiency. Finally, it’s all built on their global Open Cloud Platform with guaranteed 99.99 percent uptime.
Omnichannel Routing is a contact routing and interaction management suite that empowers your agents to positively and productively interact with customers in any channel. Gain business flexibility by quickly deploying agents anytime, anywhere, for maximum operational flexibility, and by implementing routing and interactive voice response changes in hours. Seamlessly connect customers to the right agent across any channel.
Workforce Optimization unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees’ self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance the customer experience, and reducing labor waste. Their patented technology provides the industry’s most accurate forecasts, helps foster employee ownership & accountability, and is fully integrated with NICE inContact CXone.
Analytics turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume, and actionable to drive measurable improvements and understand the omnichannel experience customers receive. Create a data-driven culture that fosters better decision making at all levels to achieve employee productivity, customer satisfaction, and other strategic business goals.
All of this technology puts you into what NICE inContact calls the CXone platform. CXone, the world’s number one cloud customer experience platform, helps organizations be first in their industry by powering exceptional experiences for customers and employees. CXone is the first and only platform unifying best-in-class Omnichannel Routing, Analytics, Workforce Optimization, Automation and Artificial Intelligence, all built on an Open Cloud Foundation. Only CXone delivers one unified experience.
Targets for Contact Center Opportunities
It’s important to know what a good target for a contact center opportunity is. The great thing about being in the customer experience industry is that there are many verticals. You’ll usually find a mid-sized call center in verticals like retail, utilities, technology, financial, hospitality, healthcare, BPO, insurance, etc. When it comes to pricing, NICE inContact does have a $2,000 minimum MCR, but they can have some flexibility with hat number especially if a company is planning to increase their call center staff during peak season. A thirty-seat contact center will easily hit the minimum. Average seat cost is anywhere between $100-$150 or more. This varies based on the products the customer needs. You will always work with a NICE inContact sales manager for pricing. So how does NICE inContact perform?
- Average Deal Size – 12k to 15k per month (this is continuing to grow)
- Average Turn up Time – 60-90 days
- Customer Retention Rate – 95%
SmartAction was founded as an artificial intelligence research company and has since evolved into the leading provider of AI-powered customer self-service solutions. Their cloud-based platform is built for enterprises to satisfy growing expectations for self-service. They focus on building an environment where intelligent virtual agents are handling complex customer requests in multiple mediums such as voice, SMS text, chat, social media, and mobile. This leaves call center agents with time to focus on more meaningful, human-only conversations. SmartAction is currently working with over 85 clients today in the contact center space, they are taking conversational AI and helping those organizations create an easier and effortless customer experience. SmartAction typically comes in on the complex side of the conversations that most live agents are dealing with today. These are high-volume but low value-added conversations that most contact centers want to automate.
So, what is IVA capable of handling?
- Phone conversations
- Web Chat
- Facebook Messenger
- Text Message
SmartAction lowers the customer effort in many contact centers which give customers a better customer experience. They can deploy in a matter of four to six weeks so that your clients can realize ROI quickly. Most clients see immediate ROI with 60 percent savings over live agents, the ability to handle call surges without extra staffing, and 45 percent faster handle times on calls. It is a one-build, omnichannel engine which is done at a fraction of the cost saving you about 80-90 percent. There are a few ways to tell if your customer is a good fit for SmartActtion:
- If they are talking about customer self-service (Any channel: Voice, SMS Text, Web Chat, Social Media)
- Advanced IVR/ASR needs (100% Natural Language)
- Omnichannel Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- If they want a Virtual Agent
- CC call deflection
- Intelligent Front Door Routing & Authentication
- Are their agents taking high volume, repetitive calls that do not add revenue or value to the customer?
- Are they wanting to support customers 24/7?