iSelect beefs up customer engagement platform to provide omni-channel interaction

Customers want improved experiences via voice, text, Twitter and chatbots on Facebook Messenger

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson

iSelect claims it is putting the power of brand interaction back into the hands of consumers as it adopts a cloud customer engagement platform that improves experiences across voice, mobile, Web, social media and messaging.

“What we’re seeing is more and more customers wanting to be able to be served on their terms,” iSelect CEO, Scott Wilson, told CMO. “They want improved customer experiences via voice, text, Twitter and chatbots on Facebook Messenger.”

Wilson said the adoption of Aspect Software’s Via platform will transform the company’s customer engagement model, personalising the customer experience but also automating workflows and increasing self-service interaction. The company will also be able to address consumers’ shifting demands by providing omni-channel interaction, continuity and consistency throughout customers’ buying cycles.

“Aspect will enable us to deliver a consistent customer experience across voice, mobile, Web and messaging platforms, and transform our current customer contact centre from a call centre to an engagement centre,” Wilson said.

Wilson described iSelect’s customer engagement centre as a SaaS offering characterised by native customer service capabilities, a common UI and shared capabilities across components, built upon an open architecture and APIs.

“We have about two million phone conversations a year across our business, but make about 10 million calls to get in contact with those customers,” he said.

“But now, if the customer starts their research on Facebook - by asking friends and family, ‘how do you choose a private health insurer?’- we could private message that customer, send them an SMS with a YouTube clip, and move that to a Web chat. Then ultimately, if they choose us, we can pick that up as an inbound call and we’d still know it’s the same customer. So we’re completely flipping the service model and putting that in the customer's hands.”

According to Wilson, the industry needs to start taking a long, hard look at its customer engagement platforms if they’re to catch up to customer expectations of what personalisation is all about.

“We’re seeing more and more frustration,” he continued. “When you go to a bank, they have your passwords and transactional history, yet don’t know who you are and they move you from one division to another where you have to go through all of the processes again. We’re trying to drive ourselves to an ‘effortless’ customer experience. Not just have login details, but do the matching of who the customer is and then we will provide that information.”

Emerging interaction channels such as chatbots on Facebook Messenger are particularly exciting because they provide service platforms where people can ask queries and get quick responses, Wilson said.

Additionally, he said the partnership with Aspect enables iSelect to realise its vision of becoming Australia’s ‘life admin store’, moving it on from its heritage as a comparison site.

“All of our data shows customers come and review these types of products - be it a home loan, energy or Foxtel - at important life stage events,” he said. “Usually they have changed jobs, had a baby or they are moving. So that triggers the customer reviewing the products and services at that life stage event.

“What we’re trying to do with this platform is to help the customer sort out that life admin in real time, by either easily reminding them, giving them checklists, or serving them when they need it.”

Aspect managing director, Kristen Pimpini, said iSelect is the first customer to adopt the Aspect Via platform globally. The collaboration will enable iSelect to address the increasing consumer demand for digital-first experiences and the constantly evolving needs of its customers, she said.

“iSelect is at the forefront of the change in consumer engagement and the way consumers want to be connected today,” he claimed. “Most people want to be connected via their mobile. They actually want the brand to know who they are at all times, and where they are at all times through the enquiry process. It could be from a new engagement or could be from a current, actual customer.”

Companies who don’t meet the heightened expectations of consumers are losing the loyalty and ultimately the business of their customers, Pimpini added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

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