From agent desktop innovation to compliance blunders, here are some extracts from our most popular news stories over the last seven days.
AWS has announced a preview of new third-party integration capabilities for Amazon Connect, its CCaaS platform.
These capabilities allow service teams to embed third-party applications directly into the Connect agent workspace.
The screengrab below offers an example of what this looks like, with a third-party maps tool available as a tab within the agent desktop.
In building such tools into the unified interface, contact centers can lower context switching and enhance agent efficiency.
After all, most agents currently switch between four and ten applications when interacting with customers – according to LiveVox.
Transitioning between them typically slows agents down and often takes wind from the flow of customer conversations.
Michael Wallace, Americas Leader of CX Solutions Architecture at AWS, believes that the new third-party integration capabilities will remove such issues once and for all.
“Amazon Connect’s new capability to embed third-party applications in the agent workspace equips agents with the information they need, regardless of where the information comes from, to deliver exceptional customer service,” he told CX Today.
By consolidating applications into a single user interface, agents can seamlessly transition between systems to resolve customer issues quickly and accurately the first time.
This idea of presenting agents with a single 360-degree view of the customer is something vendors have mulled over for years.
Still, it is part of the CX discussion because it has proved too tricky a problem to overcome.
Yet, according to Wallace and the AWS team, early adopters are already realizing the benefits of Connect’s consolidated UI. (Read on…).
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is sending out almost $100MN in refunds to Vonage consumers after denouncing the vendor for “junk fees” and “illegal dark patterns” in November 2022.
Those dark patterns include actions that made it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions.
Moreover, the FTC found that Vonage continued to charge customers illegally after they spoke to a service agent directly requesting a cancellation.
In other cases, agents told customers they must pay an unexpected termination fee – which Vonage didn’t clearly disclose in the onboarding process.
Often, that fee would cost hundreds of dollars.
After the investigation, Vonage reached a settlement with the government agency to pay up, and – one year later – those refund payments will reach the 389,106 affected consumers.
Now, Vonage must also ensure its cancellation process is “simple and transparent” and “stop charging consumers without their consent”.
Speaking after the initial ruling, Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, added:
[The action] delivers on our commitment to protect consumers from illegal dark pattern tactics by companies that prevent consumers from canceling their services.
“This record-breaking settlement should remind companies that they must make cancelation easy or face serious legal consequences.”
Importantly, this only relates to Vonage’s consumer business – not its B2B dealings. (Read on…).
Despite its promise of greater ease of integration, flexibility, and scalability, just a fifth of enterprise contact centers have stepped into the cloud.
That’s according to estimates shared by Mike Burkland, Chairman & CEO of Five9.
During an earnings call, he stated:
In terms of cloud replacing on-premise, we believe that the [enterprise] penetration is still less than 20 percent.
Sometimes, CCaaS vendors understate this figure to inflate their total addressable market (TAM).
Yet, industry analyst Gartner also suggests low market adoption, predicting that only 33 percent have migrated – while including the midmarket in its calculations.
Meanwhile, CCaaS growth has slowed after it peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such slow growth has led to talk of financial instability across the CCaaS market – with Five9 one of the notable outliers, consistently achieving double-digit revenue growth.
Indeed, in the earnings call, Burkland revealed that Five9’s revenue had grown by 16 percent year-over-year (YoY) last quarter.
Convinced that CCaaS growth will accelerate again and bolster these numbers further, the CEO points to three critical market trends. (Read on…).
NICE believes that its new AI-driven ‘Enlighten Autopilot’ solution will change the face of self-service.
While most digital chatbots and virtual agents are unable to replicate the intuitive, convenient, and seamless experience of a human agent, NICE says it has created a “humanized, conversational, and friendly companion” that takes customer experience to the next level.
The CX software provider has laid out a number of features that set it apart in a new blog post, including channel coverage, reliable conversational interactions, personalized recommendations and insights, conversation tracking, and integration with CXone.
Barry Cooper, President CX Division at NICE, referred to the game-changing nature of Enlighten Autopilot when it was released in June this year: “NICE is committed to helping organizations with today’s growing need for decision velocity and the creation of personalization at scale.
“NICE is writing the next page in CX innovation by bringing the benefits of AI in a trusted, enterprise-grade manner to empower human-friendly conversations that create exceptional experiences for consumers, employees, and executives.” (Read on…).