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2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Winners Driving Exceptional Experiences

By CustomerZone360 Staff November 18, 2022

The 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Awards really excited our judges. This year, we had a wide selection of entrants and winners – sometimes, they even balanced each other. For example Upstream won for its excellent integration of AI into chatbots and customer service, while Cyara won because it has a great solution for testing such chatbots. 101VOICE had a helpful entry to help pinpoint mobile 911 callers, while Kakopo has a nice call center solution allowing carriers to better target the SMB space – while giving smaller contact centers superior functionalty. Finally, NGNCloudComm impressed us with its call center solution that is infinitely flexible and adaptable, enabling companies to ensure superior service levels on a highly granular basis.

Cyara

Botium

Cyara Botium is an automated chatbot quality assurance solution that offers value at every stage of the chatbot life cycle. Botium provides confidence that conversational AI technology is meeting quality, security, and performance standards, while delivering benefits to businesses and their customers.

Botium supports testing and monitoring for every major chatbot technology and NLP engine, including market-leading brands like IBM Watson, Microsoft Bot, Amazon Lex, Alexa Voice Services, and Rasa, as well as in-house, custom-built chatbot technologies.

Botium Includes:

  • Regression Testing – Automates conversational flow testing, ensuring your chatbot is delivering accurate answers to customers in a timely manner.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) Training & Testing – Tests and analyzes your chatbot training data, and provides guidance and resources that continuously improve your chatbot’s ability to understand, even as customers pose questions and requests in fluid, flawed, and unexpected ways.
  • End-to-End Testing – Ensures that all customer channels, including social messenger, websites, mobile apps and voice, are delivering quality customer experiences across all browsers, mobile applications, and devices.
  • Security Testing – Automates testing against the latest and highest security and data privacy requirements set by regulatory bodies, like GDPR.
  • Performance Testing – Assures that your chatbot can carry the required load, responding to inquiries and requests in a timely manner through heavy traffic, peak seasons, and busiest hours of operation.

Cyara hosts the solution, except the chatbot itself and clients can connect other solutions, such as Git repository, SIP gateways, speech engines, and more to Botium. In addition, the solution can ease test set creation, inject human flaws into testing and confront chatbots with unforeseen user examples. It enhances new ways of assuring chatbot quality and sets the market standards for consistent, repeatable testing for Conversational AI.

Botium has been built with CI/CD integration in mind from the beginning and supports virtually every pipeline product by providing low-key HTTP/JSON based webhooks for triggering builds and delivering test results. With this integration, the whole testing process is automated to keep up with multi-team development projects. Doing thousands of builds a week is not unusual even for a medium-sized project.

Botium Test types include:

  • Regression Testing
  • NLP Testing
  • E2E Testing
  • IVR Testing
  • Voice Testing
  • Performance Testing
  • Security and GDPR Testing
  • Monitoring

Other notable features Botium delivers include:

  • Botium Crawler – Designed to imitate users going through all the possible combinations of the dialog structure at the same time. It automatically detects all conversation paths for navigating through the whole conversation model. Botium Crawler helps businesses identify missing paths and dead ends in conversation flows. The additional benefit of the crawler is that all detected conversation flows along all paths can be saved as Botium test cases and utterance lists and can be used as a base for regression test sets.
  • GDPR Testing – Botium can perform as an initial scan of a chatbot for GDPR issues, either before launch or while it’s in operation. GDPR Testing is currently available in German and English.
  • AI-powered Data and Test Generator – Uses state of the art natural language generation technology to create relevant user examples, based on the domain of the chatbot. The generated utterances can be saved as test sets to increase the test coverage and improve the chatbot’s understanding.
  • Paraphraser – Augments test data by paraphrasing user examples, based on the existing ones.
  • Single sign-on – Helps users leverage enterprise authentication protocols, such as Google, to minimize the number of passwords they need to manage and strengthen security.
  • E2E IVR Testing – Generates a call flow to mimic real-time customer interaction. These calls can be placed at a regular interval or at an interval defined by the tester.
  • E2E Voice Testing – Botium is using a third-party tool (Perfecto) to simulate conversations in different devices/platforms to check the cross-device fragmentation of voice assistants.
  • Customizable Reporting Templates – Reporting templates can be now tailor-made to reflect desired corporate identity.
  • Extended Performance Testing – Enables simulation of higher loads (more than 1,000 users) in performance and stress test to find the limit of the chatbot.
  • AI-powered Data and Test Generator – Generates meaningful user examples that can be saved as test sets.

We chose the Cyara Botium to win the 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Award because we were impressed with its breadth of features and functionality in providing an important market service – testing chatbots before they are put into the wild.

 

Grupo NGN

NGNCloudComm

NGNCloudComm is a full-functionality omnichannel contact center software that mainly is deployed as a CCaaS platform over public clouds (Azure/AWS/Google Cloud), though it can also be deployed on private clouds, on-premises or in hybrid models. It handles inbound and outbound voice, SMS text, chat, recordings (voice and video), compliancy rules, has a TCPA mode, WhatsApp, social media pages, webforms, a new and powerful Data-API controlled by an IVR, and more. Importantly, no additional hardware (PBX or SBC) is needed on the customer’s premises.

Other differentiating features include:

  • EngageNow  turns any web-enabled device into a communications tool that will allow a customer to engage the contact center (including their data) without making a single phone call.
  • Data-API receives Rest-API free-form data calls from secure external endpoints and can be processed in real time inside an IVR-like environment.
  • A compliancy engine that adapts to existing or future legislation. For example, when the stringent TCPA Florida laws came to pass, customers simply adjusted a few menus and options inside the software to be compliant.
  • True scheduled callbacks set a specific day/time callback for a customer and the system will take care of the rest. Rules can even be set to identify who gets the call and what happens if that person/group not available to take the call.
  • The system can determine whether an incoming IVR call is answered as it is received or not. If the user chooses to not answer the call, the customers still hears the ringing tone and the phone company does not see the call as being answered, but the call can be processed inside the software (i.e., queue the call, do data dips, etc.) and it can be answered as desired.
  • The company allows customer chats to be preprocessed in an IVR-like flow.
  • Agents can simultaneously handle multiple types of interactions, such as inbound lead calls as well as outbound queue calling.
  • NGCloudComm features concurrent licensing.
  • All new features and enhancements are included at no extra cost.
  • It is a multi-instance hosting solution. Every customer is not only logically separated from other customers, but they are also physically separate. Customers do not share any server structure (including their stored data) with any other customer. This ensures that if any one customer is the unfortunate target of a malicious attack or data breach, other customers enjoy a level of protection.

In addition, management can monitor calls in listen-only, coaching and conferencing modes. You can monitor and record agent’s multiple screens with system audio and utilize an intuitive visual IVR-builder requiring no programming knowledge. There is also 2FA support for added security, Facebook support, spam tracking of caller-IDs, Azure Blob Storage support for call recordings and the ability to change call routing parameters on a call-by-call basis.

We chose the Grupo NGN NGNCloudComm to win the 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Award because of its incredible functionality, recent improvements and its extreme level of configurability.

101VOICE

Mobile 911 (M 911)

Mobile 911 (M 911) from 101VOICE immediately notifies onsite personnel within a given school or agency when any 911 call is made on a mobile phone. Users establishe a geofence of the property and submit it to the RapidSOS database, which is used by most PSAP/ECC call centers. Then, without having any application on the end-user’s smartphone, they initiate a notification workflow process.

If a 911 call made on iOS 12+ or Android 4+, the GPS information of the caller is transmitted along with the call header and CBN, Call Back Number to the Public Safety Answering Point, PSAP, or Emergency Call Center, ECC. The system reads that information and overlays mapping technology to then notify onsite personnel of the location of the call with a pin-drop on a Google map as a text URL.

The service is hosted in AWS and no software is needed for either the end-user calling 911, or the onsite personnel receiving the Text/SMS URL link with the caller’s location map.

In 2016, 101VOICE deployed “911 Realtime Notification Alert” for its VoIP/ UCaaS customers to be able to inform the onsite personnel of any 911 call made within their site in an SMS, email and audible format in real-time. (This function is now part of Kari's Law as of 2020.) Over the last six years, the importance of “911 Realtime Notification Alert” for VoIP handsets became apparent and now this same type of service is available to mobile phones.

Recently, the company started providing 2-way communication between the onsite personnel and first responder teams to expedite clear communication and full transparency of the situation on hand.

We chose the Mobile 911 from 101VOICE to win the 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Award due to its ability to bring 911 enhanced location functionality and other important features to schools and government agencies in emergency situations, where every second counts.

Kakapo Systems

Unity Contact Center

The Unity Contact Center is an SMB solution (5-20 agents) and is sold through service providers globally, such as BT, Nextiva, Charter Communications and Evolve IP. The product solves the challenges service providers face in how to address the SMB market without the complexity of the enterprise contact center.

Unity Contact Center is an app that works as an add-on solution for any Cisco BroadSoft Hosted PBX or Cisco BroadSoft Call Center/ACD deployment. It intelligently integrates email, SMS, Twitter, web chat and call back capabilities, in addition to the voice call functionality of Broadsoft.

The app provides customer engagement teams with one platform to manage all incoming customer contact. Inbound communications, including calls, webchats, text messages, emails, Twitter messages and call backs are dynamically queued and presented to the agent, using intelligent and flexible routing parameters. The agent can then respond in real time customers within the same platform. With the CRM integration capability, all communications can be captured within the CRM contact profile.

The portal interface includes call controls, stats, inbound queues. There are two variants – one for the agent and one for the supervisor. With the agent version, agents can see their own key stats. It gives them a platform to handle all inbound customer activity in one blended interface. It also provides the supervisor a platform to manage all the agents in one blended interface. The Unity Contact Center dashboard allows managers/team leaders to gain full visibility of customer engagement activity within the platform. They can monitor performance, see overall team stats (day/week/month) about the engagement media streams, and can assign agents accordingly.

Key features include:

Presence Based Scripting – Unity CC will dynamically change the chat widget that is presented to website visitors based on conditions in the contact center. For example, not displaying the chat at all if no agents are available or changing the message, “We’ve just popped out, please leave us a note,” or some other customizable message.

Plug and Play – For web chat or callback, once the JavaScript is copied from the Unity portal to the customer’s website, they will never have to change that code block again. All changes, such as removing or changing the chat, or changing the way it looks and behaves, are done from the Unity portal. The importance for customers is that there is no ongoing requirement for them to keep going back to their web developers.

Simplified Setup –End-user customers can add new media streams, such as an email queue for “[email protected],” in minutes without overburdening contact center administrators.

Conversation History – When a conversation is delivered to an agent, they will see all the previous conversations with the same remote party. So, a visitor to the website could open a web chat to ask a question about a bike that they emailed about last week. The agent taking this chat can pull up all previous chats, callbacks, or other interactions and find the actual email, with any attachments, from within Unity. It provides a full 360-degree context for any incoming conversation. This makes the agents more efficient and provides a warmer customer service experience by joining up all conversation regardless of the channel.

An example of the app showing customer engagement history from the agent’s perspective:

This is a 100% pure cloud solution. There are no servers or gateways to install either in the service provider core or the customer premises. There are no ceiling caps of agents or conversations, allowing customers to gracefully scale indefinitely.

In addition, the Contact Center Supervisor can see a list of all calls and conversations in queue which is profiled against the CRM. This means that if there is a caller 5th in queue that is a Salesforce lead, for instance, the Supervisor can promote them to the top.

We chose Unity Contact Centre from Kakapo Systems to win the 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Award because it allows service providers to increase their SMB revenue while providing these smaller companies with a full-featured solution allowing them to provide superior service to their end customers.

Upstream Works Software

Upstream Works Desktop 5.0 and AI Application Integrations

Upstream Works Desktop 5.0 is ‘Helping AI Help Agents’ through AI Application Integrations that break down silos inhibiting efficient customer service. Upstream Works’ Virtual Agent Portal integrates with best-of-breed AI applications to provide real-time guidance and boosts agent and contact center performance.

Clients can integrate best-of-breed AI applications and conversational AI into their digital transformation strategy without creating new silos or added complexity, including Amazon Lex, Amelia, Google Dialogflow, IBM Watson, Microsoft AI, Simplifai, Uniphore and more, for AI-powered agent guidance and intelligent CX resolutions.

A new Emailbot Handler Service feature allows any email in queue to be preprocessed by a dedicated AI application to offload lower value responses and improve agent response times. Chatbot escalations ensure seamless handoffs from chatbots to human agents, who receive the full transcript of the chat that has already taken place.

The Upstream Works Desktop provides detailed reports and analytics for chatbots, offering the same metrics as human agents. Upstream Works Desktop 5.0 also optimizes system performance and enables remote agent access flexibility.

The Upstream Works Desktop removes complexities from agents’ workdays with integrations to all the applications and CRMs used by the contact center, giving agents one-click access to all the information and resources they need to provide meaningful customer experiences. The Upstream Works Desktop further streamlines workflows by offering a single workspace for all interactions and channels with access to a customer’s entire omnichannel journey. Upstream Works solutions support digital transformation and ongoing innovation with existing and emerging technologies.

By integrating tailored AI Application Integrations, Upstream Works helps organizations improve agent performance through streamlining workflows and eliminating data silos to exceed customer expectations and provide meaningful, intelligent and fast resolutions. Features include email bot handler service, virtual agent portal, chatbot escalations, chatbot analytics and AI-powered assist knowledge management.

Other benefits include:

  • Provide enhanced contact center reporting to determine what to move to conversational AI and to determine how well conversational AI is working;
  • Use AI to pre-evaluate incoming messages for translation, automation and RPA;
  • Use AI to provide agent assistance through auto-responses, in the form of agent guidance;
  • Deliver AI-based evaluation of incoming requests for sentiment (for chat, email and voice); and
  • Use the AI applications of your choice to evaluate incoming email, chat or voice interactions to improve routing.

The Virtual Agent Portal provides a dedicated workspace on the Upstream Works Desktop that can integrate with AI applications to assist agents, allow suggested responses, and guide with intent and sentiment. This enables contact centers to boost agent performance while personalizing the customer experience. The Virtual Agent Portal can also be supported by Upstream Works Assist knowledge management, which allows contact centers to collect, manage and share knowledge for improved agent and customer experiences.

The Upstream Works Desktop also allows for easy escalations from chatbot interactions to a human agent and will route to the right queue based on intent. Agents can seamlessly continue the interaction with full visibility of the customer journey, including the chatbot interaction and transcript. Contact centers can report and evaluate chatbot and live agent performance in the same manner with consistent metrics to gain deeper insights and train their machine learning algorithm.

By unifying all contact center applications, systems and processes with the Upstream Works Desktop, agents have quick and easy access to all customer information with robust capabilities at their fingertips, including click-to-dial, application screen pop and data exchange between applications. Agents become more efficient, productive and informed with data and systems together in one view, including CRMs, call recording platforms, scheduling systems, vertical and legacy applications, AI applications and more, making it easy to maximize the value of customers’ business applications to provide an informed and personalized customer experience.

Recent improvements include migration flexibility with a consistent agent desktop experience, greater security and improved flexibility for remote workers.

We chose Upstream Works Desktop 5.0 and AI Application Integrations to win the 2022 CUSTOMER TMC Labs Innovation Award because of its deep integration of AI into customer service. It allows humans and AI to work collaboratively to enhance customer journeys and outcomes.




Edited by Erik Linask
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