Rachael Glynne - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
The digital age means that many contact centers have switched to intelligent automated systems to replace real voices.
For many customers this is understandably a frustrating, and even scary, prospect.
But let’s not think of it as the death of personal contact. We’ll always need real people – not machines.
Reach out to marginalized groups
Automated systems do work well for answering basic and common queries, freeing up the time of advisers for customers who need more specific help. This could include asking for information on a particular subject or reporting an issue – or it could be much more sensitive, a mental or physical helpline, for example. So you can see where automated options are helpful in some situations but would be totally unsuitable in others.
Keeping calls going through to advisers, rather than being met by an entirely automated system, is the first obvious step in aiding the customer experience for these marginalized groups.
But it’s the next step - actively reaching out to people – that really makes the difference between customer service and customer care.
Some people are not online - either by choice or circumstance - and it's the role of contact centers to ensure they are still able to access all services. Simple measures, such as ensuring automated messages sound personable and sincere or providing a hard copy IVR guide for customers in order to help guide callers through the system can all help.
The value of people
The knowledge and experience of your staff and advisers holds great potential for improving business operation as well as improving customer service.
Automated systems work well for improving contact center efficiency, weeding out the simple and common queries either with recorded messages or with an online FAQ section. However, what they can’t do is take qualitative information from customers. The feedback gathered by advisers when dealing in-person with customers really is invaluable. It might be ways to improve the service, to news about projects or potential new business mentioned in conversation – the smallest nuances that would be lost in an automated system.
Build positive relationships, boost reputation
Every single person will, at some point in his or her life, have had to deal with a contact center. How many times have you been stuck in an automated loop? Or finally spoken to a person, who then couldn't answer your query? How annoyed does this make you feel?
Impenetrable automated walls serve only to make the reputation of your business begin to crumble. Investing in the knowledge of advisers, by sharing the feedback gathered through conversations with customers, boosts the customer journey for anyone accessing your service.
Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest forms of recommendation for any business, so a positive experience for customers through the contact journey is important for company reputation. We believe that dedicated advisers for each brand mean they act and feel like part of that organisation, and their training means they have as much knowledge as internal staff - and our long-term partnerships demonstrate the value our people bring to both customers and organisations.
To find out more about how contact centers can dramatically improve customer relations, take a look at some of these sources below:
Publish Date: October 2, 2013 12:30 PM