P R A C T I C A L   E X A M P L E

Professional customer service
from the cloud.

How switching works!

Together with its certified Cloud partners, Sematell is offering an end-to-end Cloud solution for professional omni-channel customer service. Companies can use it to cover seasonal peaks or can map their entire technical infrastructure for customer communication in the cloud. The advantages, to mention a few, include rapid availability without high initial investment, extensive scalability, savings on time and money incurred by updates, and compliance with regulatory rules regarding IT security and data protection. Reason enough for service-oriented companies to consider embarking on a cloud solution or switching over entirely. Only a few preliminary considerations are necessary for facilitating a smooth transition and enabling companies to benefit from the flexibility of the solution.

 

Certified Cloud providers offer a high level of data security

 

In “Cloud-Monitor 2016”, a representative study carried out every year since 2011 by audit company KPMG in cooperation with Bitkom Research, 54 % of the companies surveyed upward of 20 employees stated that they meanwhile use Cloud computing, with another 18 % indicating that they were planning do so or in discussions concerning the solutions. However, only around 23 % of the companies have opted for a public cloud solution for their customer relationship management systems, and only 19 % have chosen a telephony solution from the cloud. The public cloud is defined by the study as being basically all IT services provided by an external computer center and used via the Internet. The number of users of customer service solutions from the cloud therefore presumably clearly lag behind the general user figures of cloud computing. 

 

One reason could be concern about adherence to compliance rules, for instance, in the area of data protection: 62 % of the respondent companies in the study expressed reservations of this kind. However, professional cloud providers today offer genuinely comprehensive protection of a computer center against unauthorized entry, access and hacker attacks – with cutting-edge technology and a great deal of investment that particularly smaller firms can scarcely afford. In any event, the study reports that twice the number of companies have observed an increase in data security through using a public cloud solution rather than a decrease. 

 

Further reservations concerning availability and fail-safe operation in using cloud services have been put to rest by the study. According to 74 % of the participants, using a public cloud has resulted in better availability and performance of IT services. Not a single participant reported a deterioration. 

 

The choice of the right cloud service partner is therefore of key importance for customer service from the cloud. Certifications such as DIN EN ISO 27001 for information security or one issued by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) are an indication of the professional nature of a cloud partner, similar to certified quality management. Sematell works exclusively with certified German cloud providers in providing its ReplyOne customer service solution. 

 

Scalability – indispensable for seasonal business and high-growth companies 

 

Startups wishing to provide professional customer service right from the beginning benefit especially from a cloud solution that can keep pace with the high growth rate of some start-ups, but without the high initial investments in IT hard and software and without expensive personnel costs for IT specialists. Future outlays can also be dispensed with thanks to technical updates and the associated further training of IT employees. With Sematell’s usage-based invoicing model, the costs of the customer service infrastructure are customary operating costs that are transparently plannable and that only rise if the company wins more customers and its need for customer services also increases. Browser-based usage independent of location makes moving a company due to growth or establishing new branches with their own service units a great deal easier.

 

Companies with business of a seasonal nature can opt for the highly flexible Sematell cloud solution to enable them, for instance, to cover peaks in the service volume in the run-up to Christmas. The advantages are evident: the solution “breathes” through usage-based invoicing and allows the customer service units save considerable costs as licenses do not need to be maintained nor IT hardware upgraded.

 

Updates and connection of special solutions

 

The ReplyOne cloud solution also dispenses with outlays for the rollout of any necessary updates. Updates are installed centrally on the cloud server and are immediately available to all users. Setting up a connection with special solutions for knowledge management, translation and similar services, or with other service channels is easily possible with the cloud solution, as these options are available right from the start in the cloud solution. This is particularly applicable to telephony. Here, Sematell can not only provide all relevant written service channels on one platform, but also as telephony via an open interface in cooperation with telegra, Genesys, Avaya and other solution providers – all by way of a standard graphic user interface for customer service employees. 

 

Stable Internet connection as the only precondition 

 

The first thing that companies need to do when employing the ReplyOne customer service solution from the cloud is to check whether all locations to be harnessing the solution have a stable, powerful Internet connection. In this instance, having the available download speed for rapidly getting data from a central CRM system up on the screen is not only important, but also the upload speed for the quick transfer of data entries initiated by ReplyOne to upstream and downstream systems (CRM, logistics systems, etc.). Slow connections are disadvantageous in terms of the average handling time (AHT). As a rule of thumb, 1 Mbit/s should be available per employee for uploading and downloading.  

 

Project workshop ensures smooth implementation

 

If a company is fundamentally interested in ReplyOne from the cloud, the first step involves running a joint project workshop with Sematell specialists to clarify, for instance, which upstream and downstream systems need to be integrated and how the service process is to be structured. In this phase, optimization potential often comes to light in the form of simplifying and partly automating service processes. Companies are therefore given the assistance they need to make a clear decision on using the solution based on the anticipated return on investment.

 

The workshop which precedes both a cloud solution and an on-premise installation of the software solution is divided into the four ReplyOne service areas:

 

ReplyHub

During this stage the contact channels to be covered by ReplyOne are defined. As an omni-channel solution, ReplyOne is able to encompass all the contact channels relevant for service – email, letter and fax, as well as social media and telephony. Not every company needs all contact channels and some use solutions that already exist for certain channels. ReplyHub can be adjusted to suit the individual circumstances. However, significant efficiency gains can be achieved through the central provision of service units in ReplyOne for all contact channels, especially with multi-skill agents in charge of several service channels who switch channels all the time.

 

ReplyLink

ReplyOne can achieve further efficiency gains for companies, which will reduce costs through connecting upstream and downstream systems, such as CRM, ERP, logistics systems and others via reconfigured, open standard interfaces. ReplyOne can extract data from upstream systems, e.g. CRM, so that the customer can be quickly identified and their customer history made available to the service employee at a glance. During a service process, ReplyOne automatically generates the respective entry in the CRM or ERP system or can optionally even initiate logistics processes directly from the program. A tight network of all the systems in the company requiring customer data ensures that the service process run smoothly, ultimately significantly enhancing the customer experience. 

 

ReplyAnalytics

ReplyOne uses a unique technology based on artificial intelligence (AI) in order to categorize themes in service inquiries and allocate response templates. The core of the technology was developed together with the German Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and has continued to evolve and improve over the years since then with the aid of Sematell software experts. The project workshop clarifies customer-specific categories and definitions, and the system receives “learning data” – examples of service processes that are used by the system to categorize and select the respective response templates. The more extensive and diverse the learning data are, the greater the accuracy in the categorization and selection of the response templates. ReplyOne uses KI technology to achieve high accuracy rates of more than 90 % in the process of categorization in order to always offer the right response template . This is what enables a higher degree of automation and efficient processing in written customer service without detriment to quality customer satisfaction in the first place.   

 

ReplyRouting

ReplyOne enables complex routing scenarios that can be optionally selected according to personnel availability, contact channel, employee skills or theme. During the workshop, the criteria that route the distribution of inquiries to employees or groups of employees are determined. An answer is found in the process to the question of which inquiries should be automated or partly automated by the system. The company has full control over the degree of automation at all times. Even with very demanding customer groups that require personalized service, the efficiency can be enhanced significantly by the right categorization and provision of the right text modules. These potential of these efficiency gains are compounded further by service inquiries that can be categorized with an accuracy rate of more than 90 % and then with responses that are fully automated. 

 

Quick employee induction 

 

The intuitive graphic user interface ensures that service employees very quickly learn their way around the system . Training for the cloud solution can be carried out via a remote connection either on an individual basis or with pre-made online training modules. Employees who have already worked with ReplyOne on site through an on-premise installation are also able to familiarize themselves quickly and actively use the web client without further training. ReplyOne therefore also supports innovative “Work@Home” concepts of customer service units.  

 

Starting to work with or switching to ReplyOne in a few days 

 

Preparation only takes a few days, which includes the workshop, with the definition of service processes and the categories, the installing of response templates, connecting up to other systems, as well as “training” ReplyOne KI with the intelligent algorithm developed together with DFKI. Within a very short time, even small and mid-size companies achieve a highly professional service infrastructure that adjusts flexibly to the requirements of tomorrow.  

 

Customer service from the cloud with ReplyOne considerably reduces the complexity of the necessary IT infrastructure. Introducing ReplyOne and switching versions can be achieved significantly faster than with on-premise installations; moreover, using the service software’s most recent functionalities no longer depends on the update and investment cycle of a company’s own IT hardware. Expensive investment in IT hard- and software and hiring IT specialists are replaced by transparent and plannable expenses. Furthermore, the customer service solution can be quickly and simply scaled up or down to suit the number of users. 

 

With a certified cloud partner, the flexible possibilities of ReplyOne and a structured implementation, customer service from the cloud is longer a vision of the future. ReplyOne from the cloud is a cost-effective and extremely powerful solution available at short notice that not only satisfies all requirements placed on data protection and IT security to the fullest degree, but also offers omni-channel customer service to the highest standards. 

 

About Sematell 

 

Sematell is a leading provider of intelligent response management solutions for use in customer service centers. The German software company has been in the business of developing innovative solutions for the global customer service market for more than 16 years. Sematell’s successful history originates at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbrücken (DFKI). This is where the unique categorization algorithm used in the ReplyOne central solution (formerly MailMinder / Attensity Respond) was developed together with DFKI. The precision, stability and response accuracy of ReplyOne is the result of intensive research conducted over many years. As a leading provider of contact center software, the company employs highly specialized experts from the fields of artificial intelligence, software and hardware technology, as well as consultancy and implementation. For many years Sematell has provided support for prestigious company of all sizes operating in different sectors, including Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Postbank AG, Medion AG andIn collaboration with DFKI,  Tchibo GmbH.