Introduction: What This Series Aims to Do, and How to Use It
This article and its forthcoming follow-ups will help you:
- Decide how to move your contact center forward—no matter which vendor provides it or whether it's on premises or in the cloud—following the Summer '21 launch of Salesforce’s Service Cloud Voice Partner Telephony offering
- Ensure an exceptional customer experience (CX) and agent experience
- Identify the best contact center and call center telephony for you and your customers
- Make decisions that give all contact center stakeholders a say and keep them aligned
This series will be (1) a reference that pivots on the key stages of your customer journey, (2) informed by interviews with contact center customers, contacts at Salesforce, and industry analysts, and (3) useful for two types of contact center leaders and decision makers. For those new to cloud telephony, contact center cloud solutions, and computer telephony integration products, this series will outline the main areas to consider. For seasoned cloud contact center experts, this series will provide a reference and intro to the world of Service Cloud Voice with Vonage.
Chapter 1: How Service Cloud Voice with Vonage Will Be Your Contact Center’s Secret Sauce
With Service Cloud Voice, Vonage’s end-to-end intelligence and automation-driven contact center will enable organizations to help customers self-serve, provide assistance before, during, and after calls, and benefit from:
Salesforce cloud telephony integration and blended call routing—all on a single platform
A single interface (i.e., no toggling between screens)
Automated speech transcription that cuts data entry and call wrap-up times, and lets agents focus on CX
Einstein A.I.-powered guidance—and next-best-action knowledge-base suggestions—for improved agent productivity
Real-time, one-stop-shop omnichannel visibility across all conversation channels (e.g., SMS, social, etc.)
A state-of-the-art console that lets supervisors see call routes in real time, evaluate agents, and provide live and post-call coaching
Vonage complements Service Cloud Voice by:
- Allowing current Vonage Contact Center customers to keep their existing call plans, skills, and users—no need to rebuild
- Reducing inbound calls and wait times via a virtual assistant with voice activated self-service
- Intelligently routing calls through the IVR phone system, anticipating customer needs, and delivering memorable experiences
- Using single-brain routing across voice and digital to direct all channels’ interactions in an integrated, unified way
- Making routing decisions from custom objects and identifying the best agent based on personalized customer data
- Eliminating WebRTC limitations and creating hardphone, softphone, and mobile options with Quality of Service (i.e., high-quality audio) features
- Maintaining partnerships and customers throughout the world
- Providing direct access to telecom partners and 24/7 support
- Optimizing both call quality and costs with Global Voice Assurance and global call plans
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Providing full access to the customer’s purchase history, warranty information, and past interactions across channels
Vonage Contact Center’s Interaction Architect enables Salesforce to deliver these benefits by simplifying interaction-flow design and making integration seamless. And Vonage’s Global Voice Assurance and global call plans ensure the successful deployment of Service Cloud Voice. The results? Exceptionally clear voice quality with an integrated voice solution, automatically routed calls between regions to reduce wait times, and lower costs.
Without disrupting an organization’s existing call flows, users, or contact numbers—nor its existing integration between Salesforce and Vonage Contact Center—Service Cloud Voice provides an alternative CRM contact center cloud solution that delivers exceptional CX and agent experiences.
Chapter 2: When Contact Center A.I. Drives Your Self-Service Game
As contact center A.I. improves, organizations are looking to cut costs—and shorten and enhance CX by answering straightforward questions faster and extending service hours—by migrating interactions like calls, live chats, and emails to robust self-service channels.
Long call queues and high abandonment rates were a '90s norm. The world was far more call-center-telephony-centric then: The main alternatives were a letter, a fax, or—in a few cases—an email. Organizations were focused on adopting call and contact centers, reducing call volumes, smoothing out peaks and troughs, and exploring emerging self-service technologies.
Call-volume mitigation tactics included...
- Connecting callers to agents via early interactive voice response (IVR) systems
- Assisting agents with call-back services and/or recorded messages
- Deterring frivolous callers with premium-rate phone numbers
- Extending operating hours to spread the call load
- Reducing costs by embracing an off-shoring trend
Meanwhile, faxback technology debuted. This technology required an organization to install a server, populate it with FAQ documents, and encourage callers to engage with the faxback technology instead of calling. Though initially successful, and still in specialized use today, it was made obsolete by website FAQs.
Today, human and A.I.-based communications channels—and the ability for more advanced contact centers to absorb them—have proliferated. And this is where Vonage for Service Cloud Voice—which seamlessly blends voice calls, Vonage’s intelligent IVR, and the full range of Salesforce digital channels—comes in.
When the IVR uses automated speech recognition (ASR) and becomes voice driven, it understands the customer’s problem in their own language, promptly directs them to a corresponding answer, and does it all regardless of how the customer makes contact. Phone, email, SMS, chat, chatbot, or social media—everything comes into Service Cloud Voice for subsequent processing.
The possibilities for self-service are limited only by one’s imagination ...
... yet Vonage expands even those possibilities with its many years of experience deploying the full range of self-service solutions.
Additionally, Vonage’s A.I. Virtual Assistant—a.k.a. a voicebot or Voice A.I. representative—can complement Service Cloud Voice by:
- Immediately answering every call
- Delivering enhanced, conversational, self-serving A.I. interactions that engage callers in natural language
- Facilitating conversations to understand customer needs and executing appropriate actions
- Adding contact center capacity without increasing headcount
- Providing 24-hour service
- Reducing hold times
- Lowering average handling time (AHT)
- Improving the first contact resolution rate (FCR)
- Increasing customer satisfaction
- Ensuring business phone continuity
- Handling high volumes of calls during emergencies, disasters, or queue peaks
- Freeing up agents for higher-value inquiries by handling high-frequency and automatable calls (e.g., delivery-slot changes, order statuses, meter-reading updates, etc.)
- Monitoring for intent, clarity, and recommended response, and—in the event of an escalation—enabling live-agent intervention
- Eliminating the possibility of callers getting stuck in endless bot loops