SOURCE: Sparkcentral, Inc.

September 30, 2016 13:50 ET

Sparkcentral Extends Customer Engagement Platform Ushering in New Era of Social and Mobile Customer Care

Latest Sparkcentral Updates Deliver Key Features to Power Effortless Experiences and Drive Customer Loyalty

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - September 30, 2016) - SparkCX Conference 2016 -- Sparkcentral has announced major updates to its customer engagement platform, including the general availability of WeChat and Messenger support as well as a new Salesforce integration, improved automations and reporting.

Speaking at Sparkcentral's annual customer conference today, CEO Davy Kestens outlined the company's vision for a new era of modern customer service and discussed the latest enhancements to the Sparkcentral Customer Engagement Platform designed to make agents more efficient, reduce effort for customers and make social a full-resolution digital service channel.

"With the explosion of social media and now messaging apps, customers have at their fingertips the most instant and convenient ways to reach out to brands. They also expect a faster, easier standard of customer service than they get on traditional channels," said Meg Christolini, Sparkcentral VP Product.

"We're building the foundation for proactive, predictive and highly personalized customer service. By adding WeChat and Messenger to the platform, we're enabling our partners to engage customers all over the world on their preferred channels, while giving agents the context and history they need to solve problems fast through a powerful Salesforce integration."

Available now, the new capabilities are designed to increase the speed and accuracy of service interactions, making agents more contextually aware of each individual customer and ultimately saving end-customers time and effort.

  • Messenger and WeChat customer service: Sparkcentral is the first social and mobile customer service platform to integrate directly with both WeChat and Messenger, providing contextual, threaded history of all messages (structured and unstructured) exchanged between brands and their customers. Agents can easily reference structured messages like flight information, receipts or shipping notifications, without having to ask the customer for details. Additionally, brands can get reporting insights on incoming volume and other KPIs with these channel integrations. WeChat and Messenger are available now and can be set up in minutes.
  • Salesforce integration: This out-of-the-box integration, available now, enables companies to link contacts and conversation histories to their Salesforce customer record. This bi-directional sync enriches the customer's contact profile in Sparkcentral with desired contact level attributes such as case numbers, PII or membership status.

A vision for the effortless customer experience

CEB analysis reports customers who have high-effort service experiences are more disloyal and spend less with a brand than those who have low-effort experiences. In contrast, customers who experience low-effort service are 94% more likely to repurchase, only 9% become disloyal and just 1% are likely to spread negative word of mouth. Sparkcentral's customer engagement platform is built for speed, with a focus on making agents more agile and knowledgeable to lift the burden of work off the customer in every interaction.

In a push to assist agents in driving faster, easier issue-resolution, Sparkcentral also revealed today a number of planned enhancements, available in early 2017, to achieve an even more sophisticated level of social and mobile customer service:

  • Improved workflow: Sparkcentral's built-in automations that ensure that the most urgent messages are prioritized will soon include skill-based routing to specialized agents, retroactive automations to categorize historical customer engagements and streamlined agent workflows within the platform.
  • Bots and automations: Agent-centered automations, designed to better route and determine customer needs in minutes, will form just some of the advanced platform developments in early 2017. Bots will be employed to help optimize agent time, automate predictable workflows like paying bills, showing account balances and other simple tasks. Artificial Intelligence and deep learning will also be utilized to gain actionable customer insights from wide-ranging interaction data and help agents deliver more personalized assistance.
  • Simple bot builder: In an effort to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying custom bots, Sparkcentral is introducing a simple bot builder which can be used to create automated first-contact workflows, ensuring bot conversation history is provided to agents for a seamless pass-off experience on any social or mobile channel.
  • Proactive customer service: Sparkcentral believes customers shouldn't always have to be the ones who reach out for help. Sparkcentral will soon assist agents by identifying customer issues and events before a customer seeks assistance. Based on key activities and behavior Sparkcentral will be able to customize a proactive engagement with a customer.
  • Scaling teams and markets: To help prepare brands to scale and expand social and mobile customer service, Sparkcentral is introducing the ability to create custom teams with specific roles, access and usage parameters for different regions, brands, and service functions. Teams will give brands advanced controls over agent collaboration and permissions.
  • Actionable analytics: Enhanced, redesigned global reporting tools will include customizable, widgetized dashboards for managers as well as the release of APIs that will enable business analysts to include social care in standardized contact center reporting and analysis. The addition of performance trackers within the Sparkcentral interface will also provide real-time feedback to agents on adherence to SLAs, resolution time, response time and other key success metrics for in-the-moment care.

"The growth and sophistication of the Sparkcentral Customer Engagement Platform reflects the evolving needs of our partners in the way they approach customer care," said Davy Kestens, Sparkcentral CEO. "Social and mobile customer service are now table stakes and on the horizon is the use of artificial intelligence, bots and a growing number of messaging channels loved by consumers. We are building a platform that's future ready and will become the customer engagement system of record for years to come."

SparkCX is Sparkcentral's annual customer event, bringing together more than 20 distinguished brands for a two-day executive conference. This year's keynotes include Sparkcentral CEO Davy Kestens, customer experience thought leader Steven Van Belleghem, as well as presentations from Forrester Research, Twitter, Western Union, Delta Air Lines, and an interactive panel discussion on delivering best-in-class service, featuring Zappos, Uber, Dropbox, Arby's and Direct Energy.

Learn more about the latest Sparkcentral capabilities at:

About Sparkcentral
Sparkcentral is the leading mobile and social customer engagement platform. Customer-obsessed companies use Sparkcentral to manage and resolve customer service interactions over social and mobile channels in a simple, streamlined and fun way. With the fastest customer routing and prioritization technology in the business and innovative workflow optimization and reporting tools, Sparkcentral helps global brands like T-Mobile, Delta Air Lines, Uber, Nordstrom, JetBlue and Zappos deliver effortless customer service experiences and drive brand loyalty. A recent CODiE Award winner for Best Customer Service Solution, Sparkcentral is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has its EMEA headquarters in Hasselt, Belgium.

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