RIS: From the customer perspective, does this extend across all omnichannel engagements, including in-store and online?
Lee: Customers continue to raise the bar when it comes to their service expectations – they want to be able to interact how they want and when they want. Retailers must deliver excellent customer service that is personalized, engaging, proactive, intelligent, and, most of all, effective. Doing this requires a comprehensive, collaborative approach that aggregates and actions data from all customer touchpoints and systems. This means meeting the customer in their channel of choice; using their status, sentiment, and history to customize engagements; and empowering employees to quickly and accurately address issues.
RIS: BMC’s heritage is IT service and operations management. What role are you playing in retail beyond the IT angle?
Lee: IT service management is about managing requests and solving problems. This extends to all areas of the business, including HR, facilities, and customer service. It’s about helping customers get answers to their questions and their requests resolved quickly. We recently released a solution that allows customers to interact with retailers and others through their channel of choice: self-service, chat, email, phone, and social media. We bring together sales, marketing, and other teams to collaborate with customer care teams and integrate with a wide variety of systems, including CRM, telephony, social listening, billing, payment gateway, campaign management, and SMS.
To make chat more productive, we integrate with Google Translate to do real-time translation of chat conversations so customers can communicate in their native language, making it easier to get the assistance they need and resolve problems. Google is a key partner in the delivery of this service, and by leveraging Google Cloud Platform's infrastructure, services, and best practices, we have been able to build a secure, reliable, and innovative solution for our existing and new customers.
RIS: What are some of the benefits, operational efficiencies, and customer service improvements that retailers can expect to see?
Lee: These technologies can help agents ask the right questions to improve first contact resolution rates, including the ability to offer sales promotions, discounts based on customer profile, refund processes, and more. Plus, agents are assigned cases based on domain skills, case categorization, customer segment, products, and services. Operationally, adding automation and reducing the mundane work will help make employees more productive and happier.
All of this makes it easier for customers to conduct business with you and get the help they need when they need it, driving greater customer loyalty, an improved customer experience, a reduction in churn, and increased revenue and market share.