Posted: 16 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
Rapid AI Implementations Provide Innovative, Agile, Personalized Customer Interactions
Vonage, a global business cloud communications leader, continues to advance the rapid implementation of Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities in the enterprise with the power of Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform. Through its network of AI and BOT provider partners, Vonage is enabling brands to build solutions that create unique, intelligent, and personalized customer experiences.
Vonage continues to invest in and see the tremendous opportunity in conversational AI for the future of business tech. The Company's recent acquisition of Voice AI platform provider Over.ai reinforces this commitment to building more opportunities for businesses to leverage artificial intelligence capabilities via the One Vonage platform, complementing its existing partnership strategy to address today's broad and complex AI landscape.
With AI and machine learning becoming a competitive advantage, enterprises are trying to differentiate by choosing best of breed approaches to the AI and BOT platforms they adopt. As an example, because it is widely used by consumers as a conversational channel and delivers 24/7 real-time response capabilities, WhatsApp is extremely effective in driving customer engagement. This trend has resulted in a significant increase in the implementation of the Nexmo WhatsApp Business API, enabling automation and virtual assistance with the added ability for human escalation, as needed.
Customer experience has already become the top brand differentiator and businesses need to continue to evolve their communications to let customers engage the way they want. Customers today demand that businesses provide personalized, intelligent, and simple communications, on the channels they prefer – voice, video, social messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and chat.
Vonage is responding to this demand for AI capabilities through its Nexmo Connect partner program, offering a rich and wide variety of AI and BOT platform partners. In fact, Nexmo APIs enable businesses to accelerate their time to market, providing access to these proven, trained AI tools. With unique offerings through a strong network of partners to help drive real-time intelligent workflows, Nexmo Connect partners include AI and BOT platforms such as Google Cloud AI's Dialogflow, Contact Center AI and Google Assistant; AI-driven customer success platform, Salesforce Einstein; leading cloud platform and cognitive solutions company, IBM Watson; Freshworks' Freshdesk customer support software; Speech and Bot Service from the Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services family; conversational interface and task automation platform OneReach.ai; and customer engagement hub provider, Servion, among others.
"We have made it a high priority to rigorously evaluate our voice and messaging providers to ensure our customers are supported by carrier-grade, high availability, low latency, low cost and reliable connectivity," said Kevin Fredrick, Managing Partner for OneReach. "It is important to us that our customers can focus on creating great conversational experiences. We work with Nexmo because they have far surpassed many others in their ability to future proof and support the needs of our platform and customers."
Vonage has partnered with these AI players, BOT platforms and ISV partners to create pre-built AI applications and to provide developers looking to build their own customized and intelligent solutions and workflows with the communications APIs they need to drive enhanced customer journeys.
"Integrated, intelligent solutions allow for more seamless, intuitive conversations than ever before," said Omar Javaid, President of the API Platform Group for Vonage. "The Nexmo Connect partner ecosystem enables us to address a much broader and richer set of customer requirements than if we had built out a limited proprietary offering. I am thrilled to see our customers and partners leverage Nexmo to enrich the conversations they have with their customers with the power of programmable communications."
"It is clear that the number one focus for brands right now is to differentiate themselves through their ability to create unique customer experiences. AI capabilities, enabled by APIs, are playing a big role in driving the ultimate customer experience. Vonage's strategy to bring these AI solutions to customers, both through its own technology and through strategic partnerships, coupled with its fully integrated communications solutions, will keep the company at the forefront of the communications technology space," said Zeus Kerravala, Founder & Principal Analyst, ZK Research.
Nexmo messaging APIs are enabling a host of new and innovative use cases and AI capabilities among enterprise customers to create exceptional experiences for their own customers. These customers include AI Conversational Marketing platform, Exceed.ai; mini app and chatbot platform, Evolany Co; global leader in public safety technology, Carbyne; conversational commerce service, Novo Labs; and global leader in logistics and transportation, Aramex.
"Nexmo APIs enable the integration of our conversational commerce service with the phone systems of large restaurant chains, where success is determined by the quality and consistency of the customer experience," said Jeff Loukas, Chief Product Officer of Novo Labs. "Every day, our service manages thousands of voice interactions through Nexmo to provide a seamless and personalized ordering experience for our client's customers."
"As a leading innovator in the public safety space, Carbyne is laser-focused on harnessing technology to expedite dispatch and drive to incident resolution as quickly as possible," said Amir Elichai, CEO and Founder at Carbyne. "Nexmo APIs enable critical information to flow between emergency communication centers and callers when it is needed the most. With AI capabilities enabled by the Messages API, we are able to effectively manage the growing data sources available to public safety in real-time. This allows us to analyze gigabytes of data in seconds and deliver the most important – often life-saving – information to dispatchers and response teams."
The Nexmo Connect Partner Program has doubled in size over the last six months alone to nearly 300 partners worldwide. In addition to AI and BOT Platform providers, the broader Nexmo Connect Partner Program includes system integrators such as HCL Technologies, Praekelt and Billennium, SAS providers such as LiveRamp, Myelefant, TalkPush and Clevertap; and WebRTC specialists including Livestorm, Quobis, Analog Republic, testRTC and WebRTC Ventures.
Nexmo was recently named in a G2 Crowd report as the most implementable Cloud Communications platform for enterprises, recognized for helping businesses to bring customer experience enhancements to market faster with Nexmo than with any other platform.
Posted: 26 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT
The 2019 Vonage IVR survey, which was based on independent research among 2,010 survey respondents from the United States1, found that of those customers who ditched a business as a result of reaching an IVR menu, 89 percent of the money they would have spent, was then spent with a competitor.
Per the survey, sixty-one percent of consumers feel that IVR technology makes for a poor customer experience, while just 13 percent believe it makes for a positive one. And on average, consumers abandoned more than a quarter (27 percent) of calls they made to businesses in the last year because they reached an IVR, with 85 percent terminating at least one call.
The 2019 IVR survey findings are consistent with Vonage's 2018 Serial Switchers' study, which revealed that U.S. companies providing poor customer service were letting an estimated $75 billion slip into the pockets of their competitors.
Many businesses use an IVR to connect with callers, yet 64 percent of respondents described having negative feelings such as frustration (47 percent), stress (7 percent) and anger (6 percent), when presented with one. Seventeen percent reported 'no particular emotion', with only a small percentage feeling hopeful and positive (8 and 4 percent respectfully).
According to the survey, top things customers disliked include: the reason for calling might not be listed (65 percent), being forced to listen to irrelevant options (63 percent), IVR keeps callers from reaching a live person (54 percent) and the menus are usually too long (46 percent).
Having navigated an IVR and reached a customer service agent, consumers reported feeling more relieved (27 percent), less frustrated (26 percent), more hopeful (25 percent) and less angry (24 percent) than when they first initiated the call.
"Technology is important, of course – but to connect people, not to keep them apart," comments Ken McMahon, Senior Vice President, Customer Success. "Customer experience is the one area companies can differentiate and compete in an increasingly commoditized world, and with solutions like Dynamic Routing, which enables customers to reach the most appropriate agent for their call, every time, there's a path to great CX that's waiting for smart companies to take."
For more information, download Vonage's free guide: 'How to end IVR horrors – 3 strategies to deliver a connected customer experience.'
1Vonage's 2019 IVR study was administered by the Opinion Matters research agency. The anonymous survey involved a representative sample of male and female US adults (16+- 55+ years of age). Survey respondents received a non-monetary incentive for their participation in the survey.
Vonage's NewVoiceMedia solution provides contact center and inside sales technology that enables businesses to create exceptional, emotive customer experiences to serve better and sell more. Built from a true cloud environment, the award-winning solution integrates all communications channels without expensive, disruptive hardware changes and plugs straight into your CRM for full access to hard-won data.
Vonage is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey, with offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Vonage can be found on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Vonage's NewVoiceMedia can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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