Voice Technology: How One of the UK’s Top Four Supermarket Chains Uses Cloud Contact Centre Technology to Say Hello
Having voice technology in your Contact Centre software enables you to streamline interactions and enhance the customer experience, saving time and money. Read on to discover how one of the UK’s top four supermarket chains did just that.
When one of the UK’s top four supermarkets opened several new stores, it wasn’t able to integrate these seamlessly into their existing IVR system without negatively impacting the customer experience.
By introducing voice technology in the workplace, the supermarket was able to overcome this challenge. Here’s how.
The challenge: simplifying interactions to minimise frustration
The supermarket’s existing IVR system required customers to choose from a set number of options (‘if you’re calling from X location, press 1’) to determine whether they should be serviced by the supermarket directly, or its supply chain fulfilment partner.
With a growing number of new store openings in multiple regions across the UK, the IVR system was becoming increasingly cumbersome. Paired with seasonal demand at Christmas time, the need for a solution was becoming more and more urgent.
Before implementing the solution, only 30-35% of the supermarket’s calls were being routed correctly. This was resulting in wasted time, not to mention a poor customer experience.
Moreover, it was costing them money; the higher the number of calls incorrectly routed to their supply chain fulfilment partner, the more the supermarket gets charged. Transferring calls back also means that more telephone lines are engaged, and therefore new customers can’t get through. This was simply compounding the problem.
The supermarket knew that solving this challenge was key, and so they set out to determine a solution.
Natural language understanding empowers customers
The supermarket decided the best way to overcome this challenge was by employing voice technology. That way, they could ask customers to provide their postcode, look them up in their system, and identify which Contact Centre to route the call to.
The key technology behind this postcode identification is natural language understanding (NLU), which can understand human speech, provided that it’s contextualised.
When a customer speaks naturally, the computer on the other side can understand what they’re saying, provided the dialogue is designed to interpret it. In other words, by selecting several key words and phrases, the system can understand what the customer means.
The supermarket used Amazon Connect and a newly-developed chatbot to empower customers to speak their postcode and state their needs.
For example, the chatbot could say ‘How can I help you?’, to which the customer might reply, ‘I’m having a problem with my bill.’ The chatbot would then follow up with ‘Ok, I’ll put you through to billing.’
Being able to accurately identify caller location at street level, as well as regionally, has enabled customers to save time, avoid the frustration of a misrouted call, and streamline the customer experience.
Identifying callers streamlines interactions, maximising efficiency
In addition to harnessing the power of voice technology in the workplace, the supermarket also uses CLI (caller line identification) to correctly route calls. This is synced with their supply chain fulfilment partner’s database.
Now, when a customer dials in, the supermarket can look up their CLI, or caller display, to identify the caller in their database and their location. This also ensures customers are routed through to the right Contact Centre straight away.
If the customer’s CLI isn’t displayed (this is sometimes hidden), or their phone number isn’t stored in the supermarket’s database, the system will ask the caller to say their postcode to determine their location and call destination. This makes it quick and easy to identify who the customer is and where they need to go.
Seamlessly integrating CLI with their existing estate has resulted in the supermarket carrying out less transfers, saving time and money.
How voice technology ensures a strong customer experience
Having overcome these challenges, the top four UK supermarket can now introduce more stores wherever (and whenever) they wish — without interfering with their existing IVR tree structure.
What’s more is now 90% of calls are routed correctly, compared with 30-35% before the Cloud Contact Centre software transformation.
Put simply, there has been a 60% increase in happy customers being routed to the right place, saving the customer and supermarket significant time and money respectively.