COMPANY CULTURE 102

While cultivating a work environment that inspires your employees is a year-round task, its importance is even more pronounced during the winter months when people can often get caught up in the “winter blues”.

If you’ve noticed a lack of enthusiasm in your office as of late, the weather and its accompanying minimal sunlight could likely be the cause. As a leader, you’re aware that any lack of motivation in your team can be harmful to your company. There are few feelings more inspiring than observing your team thrive – so how can you achieve this when the seasonal elements seem to be working against you?

There are a variety of ways that you can help dismantle the demotivating effects of the cold to foster a sense of excitement and drive in your office. Here are some of the top ways to motivate your team and encourage employee engagement:

Be the Light

One of the most important things that we all as individuals need to feel is that we are supported on a personal level by our community.

Walk the four corners of your office and offer a positive environment. To easily relate to your team – be personable, kind, funny, and empathetic. Be in the know about what your team is going through so that you can be a sounding board when the time is right. One way to do this is by starting every meeting by going around the room and asking what’s new or happening in their lives – you’ll be surprised at the interesting things your team is up to, which will set the tone for a great discussion.

Promote the Power of Teams

A collaborative environment is one of the vital keys to stimulating a collective motivated mindset in your office. Ways to cultivate this involve making your office space an open atmosphere. At Innovative Vision, our philosophy is that you don’t need to head into a boardroom to work through ideas – a team that works together and off of each other is agile enough to respond to changes in business needs. We operate in “pods”, so that there’s always a teammate to assist or discuss an idea. This creates good energy and movement within your space for everyone to thrive.

Approach Mistakes with an Open Mind

As passionate as you are about the success of your business, nobody wants to work for someone who doesn’t listen. The truth is, mistakes happen, and as a leader, it’s your job to take your workers errors in stride and grace them with opportunities to improve for next time – within reason. This starts with listening to the issue and understanding the reasons as to why the errors occurred. By understanding the root of the issues, you can then resolve the problem and allow the team to learn.

Release Control

A mistake that many CEO’s make is feeling that micromanaging is simply a by-product of being dedicated to their business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, being a micromanager can inspire disdain amongst your employees who may feel that you don’t trust them to do their work at a high caliber.

Instead of constantly checking in with your team members on their progress, try using team based technologies like Slack, Basecamp or Zoho to keep in positive communication. You can then set up a weekly meetings with them to discuss company goals and strategies for seeing them come to fruition. This way, you’ll be confident that everybody is on the same page regarding what is expected of them, and you can pull back and focus on the tasks at your hand.

At the end of the day, our leadership at Innovative Vision is committed to encouraging our team members to reach their career goals and find sustainable satisfaction from the work they do in our office. A happy team is a productive one, and the results that our clients see from the work we do for them are certainly inspired by this fact.

If you’re looking to outsource your contact centre and are excited to learn more about our unique process, contact us today!

 

 

 

Why AI needs to be Regulated, Fast

Twenty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to hear boisterous jokes about a future that was run by robot overlords. While the general population was once amused by the idea of having a robot house cleaner to do their dusting, the science behind the kind of technology associated with bots is rapidly advancing far beyond what many ever thought possible.

Artificial intelligence, otherwise known as AI, is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. In the contact centre BPO industry, AI technology is harnessed to provide companies with a solution for handling their customer care responsibilities through AI capabilities such as chatbots.

With major players such as Facebook, Apple, and Amazon investing in AI, it has been an undeniably hot topic this year.

Most recently, AI was in the major news spotlight when Tesla founder Elon Musk stepped up to the mic (read: keyboard) with his opinion on the matter via twitter.

After viewing a video of a back flipping robot, Musk tweeted out:

This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you’ll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams…”

While the tweet has an air of humor to it, Musk has become a major voice in discussions about the future of AI, advocating that down the line, the technology could pose a threat to humanity if it doesn’t become regulated.

This debate has been gaining immense traction, and our team at Innovative Vision certainly holds a strong view on the subject. While the work we do relies heavily on the technology, we argue that regulation can occur without thwarting the immense progress that has been made in the realm of AI. Here’s why:

It has the Potential to Displace Humans

The cutting edge nature of AI has given businesses the power to find cost effective solutions for handling a variety of technology-driven responsibilities through computers alone. While this may appear beneficial in the short term, as AI becomes more prevalent it will become a threat to the job security of humans.

Furthermore, due to the fact that AI has the power to become even smarter than humans, its behaviour cannot be labeled as predictable. As opposed to hard-coded technologies, AI essentially has a mind of it’s own, and the more advanced this technology becomes, the greater potential there is for issues to arise down the line.

Is worrying that AI robots could surpass humans as leaders of the planet alarmist? Definitely. But it’s vital to remember that humans have never created technology like this before, and should proceed with caution.

Its Goals may become Misaligned with Ours

In order for AI to be beneficial to humans, its goals need to be aligned with ours –something that we may not be able to control down the line.

While you may believe that scientists must simply be cautious about what they program their AI to do, it’s not so simple. As advanced as it is, AI does not naturally share our human values, it is merely focused on getting its job done in the fastest and most strategic way possible.

Therefore, we must do everything we can to avoid any potentially destructive results from AI taking our commands too literally.

Where to go from here

While the flames surrounding the AI debate are far from fumigated, there is a definite need for law and policy makers to begin analyzing how to regulate it without stifling the powerful, useful, and non-dangerous AI innovations that have already become commonplace in our society.

One way that we can lesson the threat to jobs that AI poses is through education. Leaders on multiple tiers – from those in the school system, to trailblazers in the private sector must address the growing need for technological education. By equipping people with knowledge in relevant scientific subjects like robotics and data science, we can help prevent ourselves from becoming obsolete in the AI age.

Our industry would not be where it is today were it not for AI helping lead the way to new frontiers. At Innovative Vision, were able to provide our clients with top tier customer care experiences through cutting edge AI technology.

If you’re looking for a solution to any of your company’s contact centre BPO challenges, connect with us today to learn more about how we can help!

Company Culture 101

Aside from the hours you spend sleeping at home, your workplace is likely the spot you spend the majority of your time. In the typical 40-hour workweek, employees expend masses of mental energy within the walls of their office. Due to this, companies are increasingly asking themselves not what their people can do for them, but what they can do for their people.

With major companies boasting vibrant cultures that include employee game rooms, catered staff meals, and even town halls– company culture is proving to be far more than a buzz-phrase.

When employees feel like their bosses view them as more than just cogs in the machine, and instead, as multi-faceted individuals who have unique skillsets, opinions and needs, they work smarter.

If you’re looking for strategies to help boost employee satisfaction across your office, consider any of the following approaches:

Be the Leader you want to Work Under

Being the boss isn’t easy. The freedom that comes from being in charge can feel liberating, yet also add a lot of additional pressure. The fate of your company rests upon your ability to push it to thrive. Due to this, many people in leadership positions often find themselves holed up in their office with senior level staff or wining and dining high-profile clients.

However, when this sort of divide is present between a leader and his or her employees – productivity can suffer. People like to work for individuals that they feel respect them, and that they can trust. That is why it is imperative that leaders take the time to walk all four corners of their office and engage with the individuals who work for them.

Actions speak louder than words. At the end of the day, as a leader, you set your company culture by how you behave, not what you say. Therefore, treating your team well and encouraging a culture where your workers feel that their ideas are valued is the best way to bolster a sense of loyalty from them.

Allow Failure

We’ve all heard the countless adages about the importance of failure, but when it comes to the professional world, people are often hesitant to admit to it. In the workplace, mistakes will always be made, period. As much as leaders may hope that the capacity for human error amongst their teams is minimal, that is unfortunately far from the reality of the way the world works.

When employees are confident that their mistakes will be forgiven, within reason, they will likely own up to them and offer strategies for undoing them. However, when the culture of the company they work at doesn’t allow room for error, employees will often hide their mistakes in an attempt to save their job.

When this occurs, it prevents workers from being able to learn from their mistakes, or perhaps worse, it can prevent the mistake from being repaired.

Implement Fun Activities into the Company Calendar

While it’s important to maintain a culture of productivity in your office, all work and no play has never been a recipe for long-term employee satisfaction at any company. This is where the fun side of company culture comes in.

By creating a company calendar that includes anything from office foosball and PlayStation tournaments, to staff potlucks, to engaging outings, to even philanthropic initiatives, you encourage social engagement across your office and foster a sense of inclusivity and amusement within your workers.

It’s one thing to onboard top talent, and another to retain it. In an age where employees are expecting more than a steady paycheque from their jobs, leaders must be willing to adapt the ways in which they approach the topic of company culture.

At Innovative Vision, we believe that a strong team begins with strong leadership, and our culture reflects this. If you’re looking to outsource your contact centre and are eager to learn more about our process for providing excellent CX, drop us a line today!

Keeping Customer Data Secure 101

Customer data should be to a company what the crown jewels are to the royals –valuable and protected beyond all measures.

In light of recent hacks, however, including credit monitoring agency Equifax’s alarming data breach that left up to 143 million U.S. customers’ vulnerable, companies are being forced to recognize their susceptibilities and strengthen their security measures.

We cannot blame customers for their hesitation or lack of trust in companies. It is our servers that host customer data, therefore, the duty rests upon our shoulders to be constantly evolving our strategies for safeguarding this information.

The following are effective steps that your company can take to ensure that it has covered every base in the realm of protecting customer information:

Encryption

 While encryption seems like an obvious basic step towards protecting data, not all encryption measures are as sound as one may assume.

For example, while online credit card payment providers such as Visa ensure that their retailers encrypt card information, if the vendor stores the payment details on their website – they are susceptible to a data breach.

This is of course unless the company website has gone to all lengths to ensure that their security measures are up to date.

Password Requirements

 No, you shouldn’t allow your employees or customers to adhere to one of the age-old (and easily cracked) password models, such as house number + street name = password.

The fact of the matter is, if your business does not have a minimum password requirement that makes sure each employee and customer includes punctuation marks, numbers, and capital and lowercase letters within it, you are exposing your data to potential hacks.

With bots out there trained to continuously guess passwords, it’s imperative that both your customers and employees are strategic about their passwords.

Keep what you Need

 You don’t require your customer’s credit card information after a purchase has been processed, so why store it on your server? Yes, it makes it easier for customers to make repeat payments, but is the risk worth the reward?

This is where online credit card payment providers come in handy, because they can take the pressure off you by storing all your customer’s pertinent information on their advanced server.

At the end of the day, all you really need to know about your customers is their name, email and home address. So stick to storing the basics.

Stay up-to-date with Technologies

 If you store your company data on your own server, it’s critical that you update and patch your software frequently.

Furthermore, if your company stores customer data on the cloud, it is your duty to confirm that the cloud vendor is in compliance with data centre industry standards.

Test your Measures

 Simply trusting that you’ve done your due diligence after implementing or adhering to the aforementioned tactics for protecting customer data does not suffice.

In order to confirm that your protection methods are working, you’ll need to regularly test for holes in your system. To do so, some companies choose to bring in a cyber security firm to assess their security measures on a daily basis.

Have a Plan

 Unfortunately, even the companies with the tightest security measures can be hacked. Therefore, it is wise for any business storing customer data online to have a plan for if the worst ever occurs.

Should a cyber attack ever hit your data, having a plan in place for how your company will handle communication with customers and employees will end up being of great.

At the end of the day, if your company remains committed to protecting its data through both constant vigilance of its security system and keeping updated on all things to do with encryption and data protection – you can rest assured knowing that you have brought your best defense to the frontlines of your servers’ frontier.

At Innovative Vision, we ensure the safety of our client’s data through all of the techniques we have touched on in this article. If you’re looking to outsource your contact centre and are eager to learn more about our process, drop us a line today!

 

 

How AI is Transforming the Nature of Customer Service

In today’s economy, innovation is a major key to the success of any company. In the realm of customer service, the technological advancements surrounding artificial intelligence have been paramount to providing effective and efficient customer experiences (also known as CX). While hybrid models that allow for both a live agent and a bot to assist clients are undeniably the ideal route to take for most businesses, artificial intelligence does possess the power to stand on its own as a company’s sole provider of customer service.

In fact, conversational commerce is becoming the new normal. This brand of commerce refers to the union of chat technologies and artificial intelligence to provide customers with instantaneous interactions that work to make any company’s CX top tier.

At Innovative Vision, we have witnessed firsthand the power that artificial intelligence has on customer service. Here are some of the top ways that this technology has redefined the meaning of CX:

Chatbots Taking the Lead

In the digital age, immediacy has never been so vital. Consumers are now, unlike ever before, able to receive information in the blink of an eye. This makes the idea of being placed on hold with a companies customer service department highly unattractive. Chatbots are the business solution of the century, as they provide instant answers to any and all of your customers questions regardless of whether they are simple or detailed inquiries.

While implementing chatbots into your company’s CX arsenal requires an initial investment, in the grand scheme of things, this technology actually allows businesses to save capital by cutting their customer care costs.

Customer Care Reps Work Smarter

As previously touched upon, hybrid artificial intelligence experiences are the ultimate way for companies to ensure they are meeting their clients’ needs across the board. This is due to the fact that when chatbots handle the bulk of consumer issues, your company’s customer care agents are free to focus on any intricate issues that may require more than an intelligent bot to resolve.

Furthermore, the willingness or ability to engage with a chatbot is based on a variety of factors, including demographics. While millennials and Gen Y individuals may be more enthused about the idea of communicating with an efficient bot, older individuals may prefer the personal touch of speaking with a representative over the phone.

The Contact Centre Experience

On the note of increased productivity, artificial intelligence has the ability to create streamlined contact centres for companies. Reducing your cost-per-call has never been as simple as it is with the technology known as smart interactive voice response (IVR). Smart IVR allows customers to determine what type of CX they require and empowers them to solve simple issues on their own, without relying on the assistance of an agent all while using natural language.

A New Marketing Frontier

Artificial intelligence technology has the ability to learn more about your consumers than even a top marketing executive could, solely through the vast collection of data that your company receives from them each time they interact with your website.

Customer purchasing patterns can be easily interpreted to truly hone in on your target market. Therefore, it is with this data that artificial intelligence is able to provide a wide range of CX services to your customers, from providing recommendations for products they are likely to buy, to even reminding them when there is a sale on a product that they were looking at on your website.

As technologies continue to evolve and artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, companies will be expected to remain on the forefront of these developments. Becoming an early adopter of any new innovations in intelligence is a surefire way for companies to stay ahead of the competition and ensure they are meeting their customers needs at every corner.

At Innovative Vision, we provide our clients with solutions to all of their customer care issues. Specializing in contact centre BPO and analytics, we offer omnichannel solutions that provide a balance of live agent and artificial intelligence to help reduce the costs and improve the productivity of our clients companies. Interested in our expertise? Drop us a line today to learn more about how we can help you!