Amid the pandemic induced chaos, Ameyo helped over 2,000+ enterprises including HDFC Ergo, Wipro, Telekom Malaysia, Boutiqaat, Dalex Finance, Jordan Ahli Bank, Holiday Factory, Byju’s, and Khan Bank redefine their customer engagement to deliver cost viability and keep the empathy alive with a humane customer service experience where there’s zero physical customer interaction.
Sachin Bhatia’s journey to success started back in 2003 along with Bishal Lacchiramka and Nayan Jain, when they founded its predecessor Drishti Soft Solutions. Today, Ameyo serves its clients in over 60 countries.
From bootstrapping a Mobile Network Applications startup out of a small flat in Gurgaon, Ameyo took off in 2006 with the breakthrough product Call Center Dialer which conquered the Indian and Philippines markets, two of the world’s biggest BPO industries. Ameyo then forayed into the Enterprise Market where its Omnichannel Contact Center Solution that gained prominence in India and other emerging markets of Africa, APAC, and the Middle East.
In an exclusive interview with DKODING Media; Sachin Bhatia, Founder, Ameyo ponders on how COVID-19 has changed the dynamics customer engagement but also has opened up the opportunity to make call centers, traditionally called cost centers, into profit centers for enterprises.
Q: How does the approach to engagement and onboarding change in the current and post-pandemic scenario?
In the physically distant world, the customer engagement process has changed dramatically with customers demanding constant customer service on their preferred channels.
Customer service is reshaping in the world of remote contact centers and it will continue to evolve even in the post-pandemic scenario. Contact centers are going to play a pivotal role as they serve as the last line of human to human interaction between brands and consumers, for Sales, Service, and Collections. With COVID-19, it has become more important than ever to deliver a humane customer service experience and keep the empathy alive in a situation where there’s zero physical customer interaction.
Businesses are also shifting towards an omnichannel customer engagement approach to be present on customer’s favorite channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. AI-driven bot technology may have become the solution to handle a surge in customer service queries but the bot to agent deflection will remain the top requirement for most businesses.
Brands like DocsApp and Byju’s are turning the face of customer service with remote customer engagement.
As for Customer Onboarding in the contactless world, especially for Banks and FIs, a need for digital solutions is emerging. With a Video KYC Solution, Banks and FIs can ensure contactless customer onboarding with a Video-based Customer Identification Process (V-CIP) as has been issued by RBI in its guidelines dated January 2020.
Watch: Ameyo’s Sachin Bhatia talks about the future of customer engagement
The Muthoot Group, for instance, has launched a Loan@Home solution for their customers to apply for loans from the comfort of their homes and complete their KYC process with a Video-based KYC solution.
Reduced Cost Pressure for Contact Centers
Earlier, call centers were known as cost centers but with the changing landscape of contact centers, businesses are realizing that they can convert their contact centers into profit centers. It is a simple logic that businesses do not have to invest in infrastructure, physical office spaces, and maintenance of these spaces. This cost amounts to almost 12.5% of the total contact center costs. With remote contact centers, this cost can be eliminated, providing an extra saving of 12.5% share while businesses continue to run their operations as business as usual.
And working remotely has twofold benefits. While businesses can convert their contact centers into profit centers, employees are also realizing that they do not have to spend time, energy, and money commuting to physical offices. This has been reported by many employees that their work efficiency has increased while working in a remote environment.
While businesses can convert their contact centers into profit centers, employees are also realizing increased efficiency in a remote environment.Sachin Bhatia, Founder, Ameyo
Q: How has the pandemic changed the outlook when it comes to the optimum customer experience?
These are tough times and businesses have to deliver optimum customer experience in this new normal situation by focusing on a few points as follows:
Focus on Needs
During this uncertain time, businesses and individuals alike have to conserve cash and spend only on essentials. Check what is required for you to run your business and accordingly cut down on the spending. E.g.If you have taken office space on lease and is lying unused due to employees working from home, check if you can terminate that lease or renegotiate the terms.
Be empathetic towards customers
Due to COVID-19, not only businesses but even your customers are affected. Some may be facing job losses while others might be dealing with salary cuts. This is the time to make customers feel that we are in this together. Human to Human interaction is very important in such times as bots or automation tools cannot feel the emotions. Make sure you spend time listening to customers and inquiring about their safety and well-being before talking about business. Businesses that can deliver superior customer experience during such times will be remembered by consumers and will lead to an increase in customer loyalty
Communication is the Key
Ensure that you keep the communication always on – be it with your employees or consumers. It might happen in several instances, that you are over-communicating, and it is perfectly fine. Due to the uncertain nature of this pandemic, more is appreciated than less.
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Q: How human to human interaction can be managed in the physically distanced world?
Though Chatbots and Voicebots are becoming popular for the post-COVID world, what businesses cannot compromise on is human to human interaction with their customers.
- Omnichannel customer engagement has become the need of the hour. Businesses need to be present on the customer’s preferred channels and ensure that customers get instant solution for their problems
- While bots may resolve first-level queries, a smart bot to agent deflection technology can give the best of both worlds, helping preserve human touch across all channels
Video engagement ensures that customers are placing their trust and confidence in the brand. For instance, health consultants can provide consultation on a video call to better understand the patient’s symptoms and provide assurance in a more personalized way.
Though Chatbots and Voicebots are becoming popular, businesses cannot compromise on human to human interaction with their customers.Sachin Bhatia, Founder, Ameyo
Q: What type of new problems are you coming across in conversations with clients?
Below are the 3 main problems which crop up in discussions with clients when they think of going remote:
Establishing IT Governance
With remote teams and uncontrolled infrastructure, problem identification is needed to monitor and diagnose the root cause for resolution. Businesses will need to establish remote governance with 360-degree Application Infrastructure Management (AIM) to run contact centers with confidence.
Running Contact Center Operations with Trust
The remote agent’s performance needs to be monitored irrespective of their work location or the devices being used. With comprehensive remote monitoring tools, agents’ activity can be tracked in real-time to make well-informed decisions about resource allocation.
Onboarding and collaboration
Virtual engagement amongst teams will need a little extra care for the shared vision of the organization. And since necessity is the mother of invention, organizations can resort to tools that ensure smooth onboarding, team collaboration, peer communication, team broadcasting, and a holistic view of remote monitoring to create a healthy yet conducive remote work environment.
Q: From an entrepreneur’s point of view, how have your priorities changed during this crisis? What is your advice to peers?
There is generally more anxiety and uncertainty around and communicating with teams and keeping them informed of new developments and changes. In these times when you want things to move fast. Communication is the key.
The same is true with customers. We are lucky to have customers across countries and I have made it a priority to regularly talk to them and understand what is changing at their end so that we can respond fast. My advice to fellow entrepreneurs is that there are more problems in these times than 6 months ago and that should be looked at as opportunities. One thing that entrepreneurs do is solve problems. So one has to observe these problems deploy and see what can one change.