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Customer Contact Week: A Meeting of the Minds

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Joel Makhluf

Recently, the Cogito team had the privilege of sponsoring and attending Customer Contact Week (CCW) in Las Vegas—the world’s largest customer contact event bringing together a community of like-minded innovators, disruptors and change-makers. Each day was filled with sessions, booth conversations, product demos and networking events that allowed our team to discuss the emerging industry challenges and opportunities with customers, partners and prospects.

Here are several key takeaways that emerged throughout the week and memorable moments we experienced.

Meeting Customers Where They Are

Omnichannel customer service is not a new concept—catering to customers’ preferences, meeting them where they are and breaking down barriers of entry to achieve customer satisfaction. But understanding where to prioritize and how to create the most impactful experiences was one of the key themes emerging at CCW. With 77% of consumers likely to end their relationship with a brand or business due to a poor customer service experience, it’s one you can’t afford to get wrong.

The voice channel is one of the most critical channels to get right, considering 88% of people prefer to speak to live customer service agents instead of navigating phone menus. Increasingly, automation strategies in the customer journey consume the mindshare of contact center leaders.

To be successful with automation strategies like conversational AI-based chatbots, however, it remained clear that automation’s goal should not be to deflect service but rather to enhance and deliver the experience consumers want. As a result, organizations can better navigate requests and calls, leveraging the voice channel amid defining service moments and complex interactions where the human touch can make all the difference.

Navigating the Challenges of a Distributed Workforce

The pandemic forced nearly 90% of global contact center agents to work from home due to social distancing mandates, and many still operate in a fully remote or hybrid capacity. Our platform data found a 9% increase year-over-year for coaching cues across 18 million calls, a potential sign of a distributed workforce struggling to stay engaged and satisfied. Most notably, there was an increased need for coaching on critical behaviors like energy levels (+20.48%) and slower response rates (+3.93%). This data shows us the energy and engagement of frontline service professionals decreased last year, with them needing more supporting cues to push their conversations along and stay connected with work.

Understanding how to keep employees engaged and satisfied—free of burnout—is a problem area that isn’t going anywhere for today’s contact center leaders. It was one we spoke in-depth about at our booth and on the show floor, as it is quite possibly the most challenging aspect to manage and address. To help, we have an entire page dedicated to the remote call center with resources for agents and supervisors alike—check it out here.

Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

Contact center agents navigate complex daily conversations and interactions that impact their overall well-being. As call volumes increase, talent shortages remain and customer expectations grow, creating a pressing need to make well-being a top priority—not just for call center managers but the entire company ecosystem.

The concept of well-being was a core topic for our Think Tank Session, “Real-Time Coaching and Guidance to Scale Team Performance and Employee Well-being.” Our VP of Sales, John Kanarowski, hosted the session and welcomed two of Cogito’s customers on stage—Tanya Johnson, VP of Consumer Customer Service at Verizon, and Janesh Patel, VP of Global Contact Centers at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Both leaders spoke about their daily challenges and what ultimately drove them to select Cogito.

Our company has always placed employee well-being with emotional intelligence at the heart of our technology, as we understand the complex service landscape. Not only does the modern contact center need real-time support, but it also needs a solution that prioritizes the employee’s well-being. This is an area our team is proud to stand behind, especially as customers and prospects seek this level of emotional support for their teams. If you are looking for tips to prioritize well-being in the contact center, read our Chief Revenue Officer’s article in ICMI, “3 Ways Contact Center Leaders Can Prioritize Agents’ Well-being.”

In Case You Missed It

Our team announced two major product milestones leading up to and during the CCW Event.

First, we announced our updates to our Emotion AI Software on Salesforce AppExchange, providing customers with new ways to add real-time coaching and guidance cues to the Salesforce Lightning Experience and incorporate personalized coaching plans into Service Cloud Workforce Engagement. The recent integration enables a unified desktop, giving agents more freedom to navigate customer calls without the distraction of multiple tools and systems. It’s designed to further arm agents with real-time support and allow supervisors to manage the workforce more effectively, improving the well-being of employees and customer experiences.

Following the Salesforce AppExchange news, we announced our array of new product capabilities and additional partner integrations as part of our Connected Contact Center Ecosystem to support flexibility at scale.

The new and improved capabilities included:

  • New Conversational Cues
  • Configurable Real-Time Guidance
  • Support for the Hybrid Workplace
  • Operational Visibility from Anywhere
  • Unified Agent Desktop Experience

The buzz these two announcements generated was energizing—we’re creating a future where emotion and conversation AI exist together in a radically different way than others have approached it.

Stay tuned for more to come—we’re creating an exciting path forward here at Cogito! If you didn’t get a chance to stop by the booth for a demo, we invite you to schedule one now to learn more about how Cogito can help your business.

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