My Transcom Experience

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Author: Annica Strahner

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Leading the way in Customer Experience

This year Transcom celebrates 20 years in business. Since we opened our first site in Karlskoga, Sweden in 1995, the company has grown from a single-country, single client operation into a global customer care specialist with operations in 23 countries, employing 30 000 people, serving more than 400 clients. But during these years the global customer care industry has undergone tremendous changes as well, driven by new technology and shifting consumer behavior.

To meet the these challenges, we rely on our people who patiently listen and share their knowledge to our client’s customers day after day, via traditional voice and multichannel solutions.

In our new corporate video, these special people are the core that makes it possible for Transcom to lead the way in customer experience.

 

Author: Monica Llagostera

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Trends and expectations in customer care in 2015

While change and evolution are part of our DNA as a species, there is no doubt that in recent years we have witnessed a rapid acceleration of the pace at which these changes are happening.

Access to technology and to knowledge is spreading so rapidly that users are now more interconnected and are taking better decisions based on the available information. Therefore  customers have more impact on the success of any product or company.

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Furthermore, they are aware of this new equilibrium in which they play a leading role and this “consciousness” makes our public increasingly demanding and their expectations, higher:

Attention and response times: Once the user is connected all the time (via smartphone, tablet, etc), his or her concept of ”reasonable waiting time” has changed and shortened. Users understand that companies must adapt to them and not vice versa. The customer expects extended care times to be available 24/7 and, at the same time, shorter response times consistent with the effort he is willing to make to solve queries about a product or service.

Accuracy of the service: The customer is willing to share a lot of information with companies as long as the use of it means more customized offers and services, otherwise he will not waste his time.

Consistency and omnichannel: If a company offers its users a wide range of contact channels, the customer will feel free to choose the one that best suits his purpose, but will hardly accept that the company does not have the ability to know about all his  interactions and act accordingly, and he will wait for the same answer regardless of the access channel.

Proactive knowledge: Customers are assuming that companies are investing in order to know their needs and preferences. Thus, they will assume that any of the suppliers will monitor what is said of their company and its services with the intention of improving and, if necessary, the company will proactively respond even when a corporate channel has not been specifically used

To live up to these high expectations, companies must pay attention to consumer trends, anticipate them, and be able to adapt.

Some of the trends we have been watching during 2014 and that we expect to be even stronger in 2015 are the following.

- Mobile Connectivity: Internet access through mobile devices has already exceeded access from computers. Furthermore, the use of mobile applications has increased by 74% during 2014, the “Life-style and Shopping category” being the fastest-growing one, with 174%. This means that we must focus especially on improving the experience of the mobile customer.
But the impact of mobile technology goes far beyond. From the weareables, to mobile payments, the increase of installed sensors in homes and in shops, and the data analysis that they all will generate, represent a unique opportunity to deepen our knowledge of users, trends, and to get “insights” that will allow us to improve our offer by adapting it to the real demand.

- Real-time analysis: Never before have companies  been able to collect so much information. However, the raw data are not enough. Correct analysis of data and the right speed in processing them are essential to better understand consumer trends and  therefore being able  to improve the customer experience and consequently, increase sales and gain a competitive advantage.

Content Production and customer self-service: All this knowledge that companies have nowadays, can, and should, revert directly to a better customer service. It becomes imperative to know your customer’s needs and doubts and anticipate them, creating content that can be easily accessed by users, which will give them greater autonomy, while improving the customer experience and helping reduce the cost of calls or contacts through other channels.

It would be a terrible mistake to ignore this reality in which we are moving and that directly shows us the right path. That is why Transcom is working closely with our clients to help them develop strategies and processes together that help them to get the most of the information we obtain through improving the experience we deliver in each of our services.

Evolving consumers and contact channels: Transcom interprets change to guide its clients

Access to new means of communication has revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers. From the traditional Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor, to the more theme-based Pinterest, Foursquare and Gogobot, consumers are increasingly interested in developing a rapid and loyal relationship with brands that they can influence through their needs and behavior.

Therefore, more and more companies turn to these channels and invest a larger portion of their communications budget in them.

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It is interesting to analyze a few general trends over the last two years, as described in the survey undertaken by Brent Leary in 2014 - The Social Customer Care Engagement Index:

  1. A growing percentage (34%) of companies has been using social media in their customer service for over two years.
  2. 18% of the companies interviewed say that they manage over 25% of their requests through social media (in 2011 this percentage was 9%)
  3. 45% of the companies interviewed have integrated social care into the traditional customer service process (compared to 36% in 2011).

Based on these figures, it becomes increasingly important for companies to have in-depth knowledge about their customers. The full potential of traditional technologies (web, CRM, multi-channel…) needs to be exploited to develop customer insights through the analytics tools best suited to correctly interpreting consumers’ needs.

Transcom has defined and implemented a clear strategy based on the awareness that the traditional outsourcing model used by contact centers must develop and be innovated. The challenge faced by contact centers is to structure and organize themselves to manage consumers and contacts through multiple channels in an integrated way, exploiting the technology that is ready today to support this change.

Gartner forecasts that non-voice services (web, chat, sms, Twitter, Facebook, …) will surpass the voice channel (telephone) by 2017, with significant growth resulting from the evolution of mobile technology and the diffusion of smartphones.

Transcom percentage of non-voice services has grown significantly over the past year, revealing a sharp acceleration of this trend. Transcom is ready to work with companies that intend to offer their consumers a valuable customer experience by endorsing the customer’s multi-channel and social preferences.

Transcom Italy wins award for “Best contact center outsourcing partner in 2014”

The prestigious award was awarded on February 12 by a panel of experts appointed by the CMMC Club, an Italian association that brings together companies and professionals working in the customer experience management industry. The award, which can be thought of an Oscar in the contact center sector, is assigned by a panel of experts who choose the winners based on a ranking using specific parameters. This year’s award had a special focus on “innovation” and, naturally, on satisfying the needs of all the players involved, and customers and users of the service in particular.

The jury’s justification for awarding the prize to Transcom Italy mentions several winning aspects, including the outstanding innovation applied to one of Europe’s most complex and complete citizens care systems that handled over 22 million contacts in 2014  (read more about this client case here).

This contact center provides the public and businesses with pension, social assistance, healthcare, welfare and tax collection services on a multilingual basis. Staff efficiency benefits from the intensive use of knowledge management tools while our multichannel platform ensures increased service accessibility. Other significant winning factors include the standardization of the information and services delivered in multichannel mode and the traceability of interactions. Also taken into consideration was the number of job opportunities Transcom has generated in the Italian labor market.

As for the private sector, a special mention was made of Transcom’s operating model, developed at the contact center, which for the last five years has been used to manage the customers of a global online payments sector leader. The Italian team is recording exceptional customer satisfaction results through a model that empowers the frontline with this responsibility, while giving management a supporting role to play in facilitating the resolution of critical problems and improving the service offered.

I am very proud of this award and thank the entire management team and all the employees and collaborators of Transcom Italy who have worked to gain the company recognition as a market leader. Our strategic objective is now to replicate this “Made in Italy” model across the continent, to be able to offer highly innovative services to everyone living in Europe.

From the left side: Andreas Biondi (Italian Private Market Director), Emanuele Vitale (“LeonarDo Research & Innovation” Project Manager), Roberto Boggio (General Manager Central & South Europe) and Enrico Vivio (Italian Public Market Director).

From the left side: Andreas Biondi (Italian Private Market Director), Emanuele Vitale (“LeonarDo Research & Innovation” Project Manager), Roberto Boggio (General Manager Central & South Europe) and Enrico Vivio (Italian Public Market Director).

 

 

Transcom at Polish Outsourcing Fair 2014

The second Polish Outsourcing Fair took place at the EXPO XXI Exhibition and Conference Centre in Warsaw on the 16th and 17th of October.  The event saw over 1000 visitors and 120 exhibitors representing companies that provide a whole range of services from sectors such as contact centers, collections, IT, administrative, accounting, recruitment, HR and payroll, fleet management and legal services.

In addition to the exhibition part of the event, there was an Outsourcing Academy organized. During the Academy, experts from many different fields of outsourcing shared their knowledge, not only with the exhibitors, but also with people visiting the Fair. Topics debated at the Academy included Contact Center market developments and the principles of cooperation in the area of outsourcing.

Transcom was represented by the Polish team and Roberto Boggio, Regional General Manager of Central & South Europe Region, who was able to join during the first day of the fair.

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Marcin Zieliński – Business Manager, Przemysław Włodarczyk – Business Development Manager, Marek Szul – Call Centre Director, Roberto Boggio – General Manager, Central & South Europe Region, Joanna Osińska – Human Resources Manager, Grzegorz Baran – Business Manager.


During his visit, Roberto was able to give an interview to OutsourcingPortal, Outsourcing & More Magazine and ProProgressio Foundation editors  -  and also to meet local government representatives.

The fair was a great opportunity to present Transcom as one of the biggest players in the Polish Contact Center market and to meet potential clients. We had a chance to inform the wider public about Transcom, our global structure and underline our customer experience expertise gathered not only in the Polish market, but also worldwide. Of course our main focus was on our clients, showing how we can help optimize their business performance and how to utilize our global experience in order to achieve better results.

Author: Christian Hultén

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From Contact Center to Engagement Center

The contact center industry has over the past 20 years gone through some significant changes and developments. Many of us have experienced, and been part of, the introduction of new tools, processes, methods and standards that have both responded to changes in customer communication trends and at the same time influenced the entire end-user interaction landscape as well as corporate customer communication strategies globally.

We have seen the transition from cost center to profit center, the spread of process optimization, multichannel integration, workforce management applications, quality monitoring tools, industrial improvement methodologies, various performance management frameworks, Six Sigma, Lean, virtual contact centers, COPC, multiple sourcing trends and numerous other developments that have formed the industry into what it is today.

From Contact Center to Engagement Center

This continuous development and constant improvements have not only contributed to the overall growth of the industry, but it has also elevated customer experience in the value chain; taken its well-deserved place in board rooms, executive meetings and in corporate strategies. This, together with the enhanced management experience, skills, increased complexity of tasks, overall maturity and career opportunities have also changed the general view of the industry. It is not just a job anymore; it is a profession with a very promising outlook.

However, despite the past decade´s tremendous progress we are likely to see even more profound and industry defining changes in the years to come. The rapidly changing social and consumer behaviors are modifying service expectations and consequently the requirements on us as an industry, as an outsourcer and as a company.

“The current transition from “contact center” to “engagement center” is challenging in that it requires us to innovate, it requires us to adopt new technology and it requires us to further develop the recruitment, training, coaching and development of our employees.”

At the same time, it offers an unprecedented opportunity for us to create the engagement our clients and our clients’ customers are looking for. This means engagement driven by the choice of the customer, no matter how and when the customer has chosen to interact with us. This means customer engagement strategies and practices that truly engage the customers in the brand and creates loyalty that will benefit both us and our clients. As the proportion of voice interactions is decreasing, we need to listen to and become part of conversations across social networks as well as traditional communication channels and leverage this when building customer relationships.

When looking at management discussions, client conversations and best practice meetings within Transcom, it is evident that we are responding well to the changing needs of this generation’s “engagement center”. Below are only a few examples of topics and titles that have recently been presented at conferences, workshops and client meetings held at Transcom:

It is events and activities such as the examples mentioned above that support the view that this is really the time for Transcom to shine – as an industry and as a company!