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2022: Year in review

In his End of Year Message, Puzzel CEO Frederic Laziou reflects on how 2022 redefined customer engagement.

What a year (again)!

As 2022 draws to a close, I want to share a few observations and reflections.

But firstly, I want to thank our customers and partners for a remarkable but challenging year and, of course, all our fantastic Puzzelers who went above and beyond during 2022.

Our mission at Puzzel is to enable brands, including public authorities, to deliver exceptional experiences for their clients by combining people and technology, helping to automate the customer journey when valuable and bringing empathy when it really matters.

This year has been incredibly inspiring watching you adapt and excel as customer demands change at lightening-speed. You put your customers and agents first at every moment and delivered exceptional customer experiences to differentiate.

A year of growth

In 2022, we worked extremely hard to deliver new products and capabilities, resulting (hopefully) in increased customer value.

In 2022, as a company, we:

  • Launched a suite of new solutions and features to help businesses meet demand for smarter, more personalised and empathetic customer experiences. These included Puzzel Dashboard, Smart Chatbot, Performance Management, and more!
  • Acquired S2 Communications, an outbound specialist to help Puzzel customers deliver a more cohesive customer experience across all touchpoints – providing the contact centre and sales agents with one platform.
  • Completed the Microsoft Teams Contact Centre certification process, verifying the quality, compatibility and reliability of our integration with Teams to increase cross-team collaboration and seamless, streamlined customer service in today’s Anywhere World.
  • Launched our new AI-powered CCaaS packages calibrated for current trends in customer behaviour and a changing industry landscape.
  • Launched a new partner program aimed to simplify, improve and reward business partnerships with Puzzel.
  • Redefined new business roles and processes to ensure customer success is at the heart of everything we do.
  • And met with the entire Puzzel team, in person, for the first since I joined in 2021 for our annual kick-off in sunny Barcelona, where we reflected on the purpose and impact of our work.

Another year for the history books

From record interest rate rises, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine, 2022 has been another year for the history books.

The cost-of-living crisis has driven up contact volumes for many of our customers as consumers seek support and reassurance.

Whilst it has been a challenging year for lots of people and businesses, often with great challenges come great learnings. Here are my key takeaways from 2022:

  • The role of the contact centre in supporting society through difficult times has never been more important. Despite automation, assisted channels are more important than ever, as customers feel an urgency and seek certainty.
  • Many end-customer experiences are still too siloed, and businesses still have some work to do to deliver a coherent and seamless customer experience.
  • Emotional intelligence and well-being are still top of the leadership agenda and should remain that way for 2023 and beyond.
  • I am a strong believer in digital but despite technological advancements, it’s still important to meet colleagues and customers in-person from time to time to help forge stronger relationships and increase engagement.

2023 forecasts and predictions

During 2023, forward-thinking brands will sow the first seeds in what will become a fascinating journey leading to harmonious customer relationships built around data. Customer service = life experience.

Brands will start to ask for permission to use customer transactional data combined with behavioural insights to provide proactive customer experiences – combining the digital and physical. Opening the door to the formation of experiential brands where the customer is in control but also wants to be more embedded in exchange for the full experience.

A prediction, and hope is that 2023 will be the year of the customer service employee. Turning our backs on the days when working in a contact centre was associated with low skills, low morale and low pay. When technology was introduced to lower staffing levels through indiscriminate automation – without thought for the impact on the customer.

Tomorrow’s hero brands know that simplified and exceptional customer experience is the only way to ride out the current economic challenges, to differentiate and even claim more market share. And that this can only be provided when contact centre employees are valued, trained and supported to provide exceptional customer experiences.

Here’s to the Chief Customer Officer who harnesses the power of technology and automation to free their team of customer heroes to build a happy customer base and increase lifetime value. Here’s to our customer hero’s being proud of their skills and their contribution to their chosen career.

Our commitment to you…

For 2023 our aim is clear. We will continue developing our solutions and bringing new, innovative products to the market to help brands, including public authorities, better serve their customers freeing them to focus on what really matters. We want to give our customers the space to excel, joining them on the journey as they continuously improve the way you serve their customers.

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