Sanjay Gupta talks about Cloud Business

Aspect along with its partner Infoline provides comprehensive on-premise solutions to companies in Oman which include telcos, airlines, government and local enterprises, says Sanjay Gupta, Head Cloud Business- APAC & Middle East and MD- India and Middle East in an interview with Oommen John P.
Could you tell us about Aspect’s integrated solution?
Aspect Software is a global provider of fully-integrated solution that unifies the three most important facets of modern consumer engagement strategy: customer interaction management, workforce optimisation and self-service. Through a full suite of on-premise, hosted and hybrid deployment options, we help the world’s most demanding contact centres seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to map and deliver remarkable customer experiences. For companies that are looking to remove communication and workflow barriers or create more streamlined and productive business processes, these solutions are must-have and invaluable.
How is it enabling service providers to improve customer-company relationships?
Today’s consumers are smarter, more resourceful and more in control than ever before. These customers live in a digital culture of smart phones, messaging apps, texting, email that they can use – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They actually own the conversation with brands. They choose when, where and how they communicate. Their expectations from the companies they do business with, are rising at a high speed. On the other hand, brands too are equipped with enormous data at their fingertips about customers than ever before. They can derive great amount of information and intelligence from this data and surprise their customers. But are they enabled by right set of tools and technologies? This is where true challenge lies for customer experience and contact centres which play a key role in engaging customer.
It’s time for companies to re-imagine definition of consumer experience (CX) and put more capabilities and control in the hands of their customers. Companies now have the ability, and the technologies, to design smart, personalised self-service experiences that lets customers engage in the means and methods, which fit into their lifestyle. And there are three primary reasons why brands should adopt a more personalised customer service platform to ensure business growth and create customer loyalty and longevity and to do so today, they need to:

  1. Be where the customers are: While millennials are leading in the use of channels like social media, messaging apps or texting, consumers of other generations too are quick to catch on and demand them as well. If a company isn’t ready to meet this need, there is a risk that customers will look to other alternatives and leave the current relationship without any notice.
  2. Improve service while lowering costs: A well-architected self-service solution is fast, friendly and accurate. It’s no longer characterised by rigid menus like “Press 1 for Arabic & 2 for English”, but is conversational with personalised interactions like “What would you like to do today?”. Voice is powered by natural language understanding (NLU), and text is an ideal channel for self-service. The technology enables rich interactions that reduce customer effort and improve the experience while lowering costs. And according to our recent study, close to 73 per cent of consumers wished there were more ways to solve customer service issues on their own.
  3. Enable continuity throughout the experience and maximise the value of your agents: Good self-service frees customer service agents to focus their time on the more complex and value added customer issues. When customers can’t solve a problem on their own, it’s imperative that you hand them over to an agent who has the context and the tools needed to help – they start the interaction with the context and content that lead the customer there and never ask them to repeat information they may have just entered in an IVR, a mobile app or a text interaction. The result is more efficient use of everyone’s time-both of the customer and the agent, with the benefit of higher agent job satisfaction by eliminating repetitive tasks and improving the customer’s experience.

Which are the sectors where Aspect’s solutions are being implemented in Oman?
With 22.6 per cent of Oman’s population under 15, it is the ‘young population’ of Oman which is driving the arrival of digital era in the Sultanate. Their expectations are different and Aspect anticipates these shifts which can help companies meet their aspirations; else they may get left behind. It needs enablement using right technological tools. Aspect has developed technologies to meet expectations of these millennials while delivering remarkable customer experience to traditionalists as well, especially by breaking language and dialect barriers. Right from inbound, outbound to self-service solutions, we have regional flavor in all our offerings. With our partner Infoline, we offer our complete on-premise solution offering to companies in Oman which includes major telco, airlines and government and local enterprises.
What about Aspect’s association with companies in Oman? How is it benefitting them?
To serve a market as dynamic as the Sultanate, Aspect needed a partner with strong team, roots, understanding of market and zeal to deliver best-in-class technologies to enterprises. In Infoline, we have found the right fit. And together we have deployed solutions which are used by leading organisations like Oman Air and Omantel. But it gets more exciting from here, when we are just four years away from next decade when Millennials will take center stage. Enterprises will need complete different set of technologies to engage them. And the preparations start now. Enterprises can wait and react or take advantage of this change. To explain in detail, there are two basic parameters for mapping the traditional and the rapidly growing channels- (1) the expected response time and (2) whether the conversation is interruptible or can be contextually carried forward. While most contact centres of today are not able to manage a new set of channels at high volumes, build context and still deliver a good customer experience at minimum cost, imagine the challenges they will face with emerging channels like web/ video chat, social media, interactive SMS and so on. Aspect’s solutions will prepare enterprises from Oman to take advantage and be ready for next changes.
How does Aspect’s solution differ from that of others?
Aspect’s history and experience with customer experience is significant. Aspect is a recognised industry leader. We have many innovations to our credit right from the first intelligent ACD, which powered the first call center flight booking system for Continental Airlines in 1982. This marked the start of Aspect’s 40-year tradition of industry-expanding technology firsts. Aspect powers customer contact for businesses of all sizes in nearly every industry. Our technologies are used by 1.5 million agents worldwide in 80+ countries every day. We help 100+ million customer interactions managed daily and serve 64 of the Fortune 100 companies.
Today our interaction management solutions continue to build on past innovations, helping companies deliver a truly differentiated customer experience that bolsters consumer loyalty and improves business outcomes. Our self service offerings are already being adopted by world’s leading enterprises. Aspect’s ability to offer complete integrated solutions with high scalability and variety of choices for deployment makes it unique and differentiated from our competitors.

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