Innovative Vision: Putting Client’s ROI First at a Call Center
Company: Innovative Vision
Innovative Vision contracts its call center services to clients; its services interact with clients on a variety of digital channels including phone, social, and mobile, using both live agents and artificial intelligence. The 17-year-old company has locations in Toronto, India, and Jamaica and has a total contact center capacity of more than 700 agent seats. In Canada, the company uses its Home Agent model to support multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Russian.
Executives at Innovative Vision sought to extend the company’s available portfolio of services by offering a range of marketable data that clients could analyze and put to use as needed. In order for that to happen, however, Innovative Vision would first need to record and analyze all customer interactions. The company wanted a developer that could use technology to study the full range of methods customers use to contact the company, including email, phone, and chat.
Vendor of Choice: Summatti
The software platform developed by Summatti uses artificial intelligence, among other technologies, to analyze customer interactions across many channels, including voice. Its natural language understanding models can detect the nuance of a contact center experience, with the findings put to use for a variety of purposes, including agent training and script creation. The software works with existing systems such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource management systems to provide analysis across various data sources.
The Problem in Depth
Acting as “the voice of a brand” comes with big responsibilities, says Sajan Choksi, CEO of Innovative Vision. His company’s employees act as contact center representatives for a wide variety of clients. Of course, in the digital age, this work goes well beyond phone interactions, though phone and voice interactions make up a large percentage of contacts.
“We cater to inbound voice, email, chat, social media, and mobile interactions for customer support,” Choksi says. “For outbound, we do voice sales and retention- and regeneration-type calling.”
Last year, executives began toying with the idea of expanding the company’s portfolio of services. If clients were better able to glean insight and marketable information from customer interactions, they could use that information to further drive sales, improve products, and reduce customer support time.
The company wanted a software platform to, for example, analyze what the best agents were doing so that information could be used across the team for training, Choksi says.
Executives had in mind something that would go beyond customer surveys. They sought a solution that could work across multiple channels and pick up subtle nuances in communication, such as tone of voice, and include those things in metrics for data analysis.
These metrics would allow his company to offer something lacking from most competitors, he says. The idea was that by getting data analysis in the mix, clients would want to partner with his company over the long haul, Choksi says. “We can provide service on the contacts, but very few companies can provide actionable insights and intelligence, and greater value comes even after clients have used the data over time,” he says.
In late 2018, Innovative Vision implemented the Summatti platform, which uses artificial intelligence, among other technology features, to analyze customer experiences, including voice, says Rashmi Bhambhani, who cofounded Summatti, which is based in Waterloo, Ontario.
The software transcribes calls and is capable of monitoring and analyzing every conversation and every interaction. In the past, before technology like the type her company develops became available, only about 2% to 5% of customer center calls were monitored, Bhambhani says.
Once used mostly to ensure conformity in contact centers, AI-fueled speech analytics now drives engaging customer conversations, gauges customer sentiment, finds unexpected insights, and can increase marketing effectiveness, according to a June 2018 report from Forrester Research, titled “The Forrester New Wave: AI-Fueled Speech Analytics Solutions, Q 2018.”
Summatti provides insights segmented by client persona, demographic, location, outcome, sentiment, and other factors to find common elements on calls that, for instance, resulted in a sale. Speech analytics is helpful in such cases because it captures both the customer’s voice and the agent’s voice, Bhambhani says, and so clients can assess whether agents are offering the correct services for the particular customer’s situation.
A company may find a particular script works well and can quickly train others on those scripts. Or it can get insight into a subset of complaints that a company can readily solve, she says.
Executives at Innovative Vision compile all data from each client’s customer interactions daily, weekly, and monthly and provide business intelligence garnered from the information back to the client.
Metrics might include average speed to answer, average handle time, and calls that are resolved at the initial customer contact (i.e., first-contact resolution). It’s still early days, but Choksi notes there are a number of ways such information can bring about return on investment.
“We can look at why customer contacts are coming in for one of our specific clients,” Choksi says. “That gives ideas about the ways they could reduce those interactions.”
The data could then be looked at in the future to determine if, in fact, the methods intended to decrease customer contacts with the center worked as expected. If clients aren’t satisfied with the reduction, they can try another tactic and re-analyze the numbers, he says.
Reducing the inbound call volume reduces client costs and increases a client’s profitability, he adds.
But, you may wonder, won’t giving clients the tools to reduce the number of calls into Innovative Vision’s contact centers be cutting into its own profitability?
Choksi says that may be true in the short term. “But we’re here to be a strategic partner with our clients,” he says.
His company also offers the data analysis platform as a standalone service.
“The capability for us to take voice and non-voice interactions and put them to the platform and generate the right reporting and insights is key for us,” he says. “As this evolves, I’m fairly certain this will be a bigger part of our offering to our clients.”
Customer service has moved from call centers to a multichannel and now omnichannel customer experience approach, with cloud-based communications, well-designed IVR, and powerful reporting capabilities thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, natural language processing (NLP), and more.
The fact is, many consumers, and in particular younger ones such as Millennials and Generation Z, prefer voice communications when interacting with organizations for urgent support.
Today's consumers don't just want personalization, they expect it. And the call center is no exception. As organizations attempt to meet these expectations, gaining an understanding of the Voice of the Customer is imperative.