About Tony Chung

Tony Chung is the Associate Marketing Manager. At Angel, he maintains the company blog and provides meaningful content for the corporate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts. Though he has a Bachelor’s degree in both Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia, his passion lies in the latter of the two. As such, his blog posts often focus on brand management, social media, consumer research, and the overall customer experience.

Creating an Engaging Customer Loyalty Program

Brand Loyalty

When it comes to implementing a successful loyalty program, engagement is critical. According to a Maritz Loyalty Marketing survey, only 35 percent of respondents said they were active in all of the loyalty programs in which they were enrolled, while 47 percent stopped participating in one or more programs in the past year. Consumers are clearly interested and willing to participate in loyalty programs, but retailers are failing to keep them engaged.

Use Customer Data to Personalize Engagement

When customers sign up for loyalty programs, retailers gain access to their basic personal information, purchase history and channel preferences. Retailers need to use business intelligence and advanced communications tools to deliver tailored offers across preferred communication channels. If a loyal customer makes a purchase through a retailer’s mobile application, for instance, the company can show appreciation by sending a coupon for a discount on their next mobile purchase. This type of personalized approach shows customers their favorite retailers are paying attention and, in turn, increases engagement and strengthens the customer relationship.

Consistent Outbound Communication is Key

With proactive outbound Interactive Voice Response (IVR) campaigns, retailers can Click here to read more »

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How Social Media and IVR Helped the North Pole

North Pole IVR Hotline

Just in time for the holidays, Angel revealed the North Pole IVR to help Santa Claus and his elves manage everyone’s wish lists. Thanks to your festive spirit and enthusiasm, we managed to get a great amount of participation in the two weeks the IVR was live and are glad that you enjoyed what we put together!

In case you didn’t hear about it yet, the North Pole IVR (which you can call at 408-740-5924) let you:

  1. Get the daily weather at the North Pole
  2. Get the latest daily North Pole news
  3. Check Santa’s list to see if you were on the Naughty or Nice List
  4. Leave a voicemail for Santa which was then posted to Twitter @DearSantaTweets and Facebook Facebook.com/CallSanta

In addition, on Christmas Eve, the menu changed and option 4 became a Santa tracker, which was updated hourly.

If you call now, the line simply tells you that Santa and his elves are on a vacation—but if you have kids who keep adding to their wish list even though the big day is over, that message might be helpful.

The North Pole IVR attracted a great deal of attention in a short period of time. About 2700 people called the hotline! In addition, Santa received at least 266 voice messages from kids and kids-at-heart, which you can listen to on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s a few of our favorite messages to Santa:

Santa was happy that the hotline was such a success because it saved him a significant amount of time and energy. It allowed him to listen to exactly what people wanted without having to be there with them. As a result, he and the elves had a much easier time making people’s wishes come true!

What did you think of the North Pole IVR? Let us know in the comments below.

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Call 408-740-5924 for the North Pole IVR: A Magical Holiday Story

Have you called the North Pole yet?

Happy holiday season from Angel!  This year we finally did something that we’ve been talking about doing for years… created a “North Pole IVR.”  You can dial it anytime at 408-740-5924.

From now until Christmas Eve you can:

  1. Get the daily weather at the North Pole
  2. Get the latest daily North Pole news
  3. Check Santa’s list to see if you’re on the Naughty or Nice List
  4. Leave a voicemail for Santa which gets posted to Twitter @DearSantaTweets and Facebook Facebook.com/CallSanta

On Christmas Eve the menu changes and option 4 becomes a Santa tracker, which is updated hourly.  We hope you and your kids enjoy it.

Now for a little holiday fun — here’s a magical holiday story about how it all came to be!

Every now and then, we get weird prank phone calls at Angel. So Kit, one of our sales engineers, shrugged it off when he got a call from “Squeaky,” who claimed to be Chief Customer Elf at the North Pole. This “Squeaky” character wanted to know if Angel could build an IVR for Santa Clause. Kit laughed, said “No thank you,” and hung up.

Kit told a few of us here at Angel about “Squeaky’s” call.  We all chuckled, thought little of it, and went about business as usual.

Well, as it turned out, that was a big mistake.

The Monday after the mysterious phone call, Kit’s entire cubicle was covered with gigantic lumps of coal, and everyone else had several lumps on their seats—quite an uncomfortable jolt when we sat down, and an embarrassing way to ruin a pair of good dress pants!

“Who would have done this?” we wondered. Customers hate bad IVRs, but we make great IVRs that customers love, so it couldn’t have been one of our clients’ angry customers! We were stumped, and sooty from spending our whole morning cleaning up the coal.

Then, at 12 noon on the dot, Kit’s phone rang. He’d just been washing the soot off his hands and getting ready to eat lunch, but on a hunch, he took this one phone call.

“Ho, ho hello Kit,” boomed a deep, warm voice. “Squeaky, my Chief Customer Elf, said ho ho he had some problems on the phone with you the other day.”

“Uh…” Kit stuttered, hardly believing his ears. That phone call? He’d practically forgotten all about it! Could it have been real?

“Kit,” the voice continued, “All of Angel’s employees ho ho have been placed on my Naughty List. I am willing to move them back onto the Nice List if you will simply ho ho help me with a little problem we’re ho ho having at the North Pole.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” said Kit, “why are you pretending to be Santa Claus?”

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How Social Media Affects IVR and Customer Service

Cloud Contact Center

Social media has revolutionized the way customers interact with businesses. It has given them a place to voice their opinions, not just as a handful of people, but as thousands or even millions (see what happened with Bank of America). As a result, customers have significantly more influence over companies because they help shape the brand image more than they ever could before.

This shift in power has had an impact on traditional call centers. Gone are the days when there was only interaction between the customer and live agent over the phone. Technology has advanced to the point where multiple forms of communications are used, often simultaneously. While waiting on hold on the phone, customers may be simultaneously emailing for support, live chatting with a rep on the company’s website, writing on the company’s Facebook wall, or tweeting about their issue.

How should a call center cope with this change?

By becoming a multi-channel contact center that merges the phone, web chat, IVR, social media, and all other popular communication methods.

Although it is certainly a challenge to create a truly unified and well-integrated customer experience, it is an important and necessary step to remain competitive and improve customer service.

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