8x8 Enhances its Contact Center Software Portfolio

On Wednesday, 8x8 unveiled improvements to its Virtual Contact Center (VCC) portfolio, including Customer Experience Analytics, a Post Call Survey feature, and an updated version of the 8x8 Quality Management solution. According to Tim Richter, director of product marketing for 8x8’s Virtual Contact Center, the software equips companies to quickly resolve customer support queries and fosters employee collaboration that leads to more positive customer experiences.

The updated version of 8x8’s Virtual Contact Center introduces capabilities for enhanced reporting and collaborative performance management. By giving service organizations a clearer look into the areas of customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and first-call-resolution rates, the upgrades aims to help firms to preemptively identify potential customer concerns, take a more proactive approach to responding to them, and ultimately step up their customer engagement efforts.

The system’s Customer Experience Analytics and Post Call Survey additions include granular interaction search capabilities, graphical illustrations of individual interactions, IVR usage metrics, and customer analytics.

Support professionals can leverage the search function to find specific interaction types for follow up and analysis. For instance, they can use the tool to find out why calls were routed to the wrong queues or blindly transferred to the wrong agents, or perform searches to see why customers were put on hold, muted, or disconnected. Service organizations can also access graphical illustrations of each customer interaction to review its flow from the caller’s initial contact with an IVR, through his conversation with a live agent and responses to the post-call survey. The IVR metrics can highlight for a company the most popular paths taken by callers when interacting with the system, as well as call abandonment rates.

The Post Call Survey feature is designed to help users get a clear read on customer satisfaction via visual reports, with the goal of easing the process of making operational adjustments.

“We’ve made this very easy to configure,” Richter says, as it uses the same scripting tool as the IVR. “We wanted to give all of our customers who are familiar with creating dynamic menus and prompts a natural extension of that same functionality to create a post-call survey.” Users can ask yes-or-no questions, offer 1-10 ratings, or allow them to leave a voice comment.

8x8’s Quality Management system, now in version 3.5, has been tweaked to support collaborative performance management and promote cooperation among contact center agents and supervisors who are being asked increasingly complicated customer requests.

Matt McGinnis, vice president of product marketing at 8x8, emphasized the need for agent collaboration in a statement: 

“Studies show that contact centers that collaborate perform much better than contact centers where agents operate in silos. 8x8 is responding to this industry trend by offering an updated, innovative and collaborative quality management solution to our customers, enabling them to always provide the highest level of service to their customers.”

“We’re taking a fundamentally different approach and philosophy to performance management, we believe, than many of our competitors,” Richter adds, by going beyond the traditional “coach and learn module,” and focusing on real-time collaboration to drive performance.

By leveraging “@mentions” to address coworkers by name, users can interact with each other from almost any place in the solution that enables text-based messaging options. With scorecards, organizations can gather objective performance measurements, which can help speed up agent on-boarding times by an average of 20 percent and boost productivity.

The system interface has also been given a "slide out" makeover, designed to increase performance and customization of interaction data. Also embedded are help menus to guide users through setup and usage.

Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics, said in a statement that 8x8's release shows how advanced contact center features are more widely available due to the cloud:

“One of the promises of the cloud is democratization, high-end features for all, not just for the very large contact centers that can afford expensive customization. The new capabilities being announced by 8x8 highlight the increasing sophistication in customer experience applications that contact center customers expect from Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) vendors.”

“We’ve really re-engergized our focus on the contact center, here at 8x8,” Richter says. “Within the Virtual Contact Center product, we’re looking to significantly strengthen the analytics capabilities, as well as address some of the common customer requests we have for product enhancements. The pace of new feature releases is going to accelerate as we come through the rest of this calendar year and into the next, as we’re really looking to add a lot more horsepower to the contact center team overall, from all angles—not just marketing, but product management and engineering as well.”  

Customer Experience Analytics and Post Call Survey are available as a part of the 8x8 Virtual Contact Center Standard, Pro, and Ultimate service plans. 8x8 Quality Management 3.5 is available as a part of the 8x8 Virtual Contact Center Ultimate service plan.

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