Introducing Collaboration-Native Features to CCaaS
CCaaS providers today have a big challenge - there’s so many different ways to communicate with customers, as well as systems and teams involved in the customer lifecycle - how do you orchestrate a consistent and personalized customer experience (a “single conversation”) across all touch points between a brand and a customer? That includes inbound and outbound, human conversations and AI-powered conversations, automated marketing outreach and even ads. The benefit of getting it right is customers choose your brand over others for more and more of their needs. That means more revenue in the near-term, but also more customer data to drive even better personalization...and the virtuous cycle continues.
In the land of contact center software, this challenge is often called “omni-channel orchestration” and while it’s been talked about a lot, traditionally, contact center software providers have not lived up to the challenge for many reasons.
One is they tend to focus mainly on inbound channels, and deflecting interactions in order to drive down cost at all costs, even to the detriment of the customer experience and revenue of a brand. We’ve all been on the other end of an IVR that sends us down 15 different paths rather than let us talk to a real, live human being (gasp), assuring us at every turn your call is very important to us.
Two, they are black boxes that are blind to customers’ online behavior data, so they can’t consistently and contextually engage customers with proactive support based on their real-time actions and needs because they don’t have the systems to ingest and process that data (we call this concept “event-driven” and you can read more about it in Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy CCaaS).
And last but not least, they’ve built their products for particular personas of a brand and the tooling that persona needs to do their job, rather than focusing on the job to be done for the end-customer. In most contact center software, there are agents, supervisors and admins, and each has distinct jobs. Agents talk to customers. Supervisors monitor and coach agents. Admins determine the rule sets that automate the behaviors of the system, for example, that decision tree your inbound calls go through (the IVR), which agents handle those calls (routing rules), which channels and how many conversations at once agents can handle, etc. All of these different settings and rule sets combine to create the end-customer experience, albeit its design and reasons behind it are locked in the brain of one person - the all-knowing Contact Center Admin. These tools became an endless series of complex, fragile toggles and workflows that no one else understands and are fearful to touch lest they break it - the Admin alone has the full image of how everything works and how all the pieces fit together.
This made sense when contact centers were on prem and collaboration tools were not yet easy to build because data didn’t sync to the cloud. But even as contact centers began to move to the cloud, CCaaS providers like NICE, Talkdesk and Twilio Flex continue to build these features this way, with a single persona in mind - the Contact Center Admin - rather than bringing more people into the mix (from sales, support, marketing and product) to collaborate on designing the ideal end-customer experience.
Alright Stop, Collaborate and Listen
Our philosophy at Regal is quite different – we actually want more users to collaborate inside Regal to define the ideal customer journey. It’s not that we don’t want to build for the Contact Center Admin, we just don’t think it’s their job alone to own the customer experience. That’s why we’ve focused on combining collaboration functionality into our Journey Builder product, so that all of the people from a variety of departments involved in getting the job done of orchestrating a consistent and personalized customer experience (a “single conversation”) across all touch points between a brand and a customer can work together in one place.
We believe that’s part of what allows us to drive better customer outcomes. Emergence Capital (who are investors in Regal) call this idea Deep Collaboration.
When we first launched Regal Journey Builder two years ago, the MVP was actually just an embedded Figma file. It had no self-serve functionality; behind the scenes our Implementation team would draw up the journeys based on our understanding of a brand's goals and then an engineer would actually code it on the backend. Similarly, we observed that when brands wanted to communicate to us what they were trying to accomplish or their ideal customer end states, they themselves would first collaborate with each other in Miro or Figma and then bring the output to us. This validated our idea that the Journey Builder should not be a tool just for the Contact Center Admin that only optimizes for their individual workflow and productivity, but rather a collaborative space for more users in a company to come together to agree, debate, iterate toward the best customer experience.
Fast forward to today, Regal Journey Builder is now a completely self-serve, omni-channel orchestration tool powered by real-time customer behavior data that drives hundreds of millions of proactive conversations for end-customers and billions of dollars in incremental revenue for brands. And in the last several months we’ve released a set of collaboration features to make it even easier for more teams to participate in journey building and iterating.
Journey Descriptions and Node Friendly Names
Increase the readability of your Journeys by adding a brief description of what a Journey is accomplishing and by providing friendly names for any Conditional, A/B Experiment or Custom Webhook nodes to summarize the intent of each node. This keeps others on the same page while still allowing you to get the power of complex business logic to drive better customer and business outcomes. It also helps others debug and validate that the Journey logic you’ve put in place actually accomplishes your intent.
Group and Find Related Journeys Using Tags
Use tags to organize your Journeys by customer lifecycle stage they relate to (such as, “Application Funnel”, “Onboarding”, “Cancelation Flow”) and/or the goal they are aimed at (such as, “Conversion”, “Upsell”, “Retention”). Tags are free form and flexible so they can map to your unique business and use cases. You can also filter Journeys by tag(s) so it’s easy to surface relevant Journeys faster.
Comment on Journeys With Sticky Notes
Admins can leave Sticky Notes on Journeys for easier ideation and collaboration. Use Sticky Notes to plan out a new Journey, provide more context about what a section of a Journey is for, leave open questions to return to, or just to drop a shout out to a fellow team member. Sticky Notes can be added to any part of the Journey Builder canvas, and when viewing a Journey, you can view or hide all Sticky Notes.
Watch this video to see these features in action:
Stay tuned - we have more collaboration features coming in 2024; let us know if there’s specific collaboration features you want to see across the Regal app.