In these lean economic times, inbound and outbound call centers are driven to provide a more enhanced customer experience then previously provided or that of their competition. With reduced volume of potential customers out there, when contact is made this must be more effective and efficient then ever before. To retain existing customers ensuring accurate brand messaging and a positive experience is equally important. To accomplish this the center must provide customers multiple avenues to communicate with simple internal information flow for superior customer service. Newer digital architectures are bringing technologies together to meet the demand for call centers all around the globe ensuring the right tools are available to provide an exceptional experience. Implementing these unified channels of communication is the must have for call centers to stay competitive and flourish in the years to come.
Traditional inbound and outbound call centers use a variety of technologies to communicate with existing and prospective customers it is these must have(s) which some change is required to compete.
Inbound ACD and IVR (PBX functions): provide queuing and call routing to ensure responses are timely and handled by the proper department. Most of our experiences though when calling a center result in attempting to enter in an account number or phone number to have the IVR not use the information. Then when we are connected to the CSR we are asked for the exact information we were requested to enter, then provide basic contact information to confirm identity. Once all that is accomplished, most times, another transfer is required starting the process all over again. Unfortunately this level of customer experience is very common and no longer acceptable to consumers. The concept is great, execution of the technology and information flow create road blocks to that great customer experience we seek.
Outbound dialing: there are various technologies for this task all with the same goal; contact existing and prospective customers to convey a message. The difficulty here can be once contact is made, having the ability to dynamically share this information internally. Also if the outbound contact is the is the first stage of a process; transferring the customer seamlessly to another department or stage may not be possible. This seamless interaction essential for heightened business development.
Auto Dialer: great tool for reconnecting with customers for a variety of reasons. There are limited capabilities at this time for recording dial results or reciprocal communication from the contact. Example: the customer entering keytones to provide feedback or additional information in an automated process, this information is not tied to main CRM.
Chat: great for answers to simple questions or quick inquires. Not easy to track the communication and tie into other forms of connecting.
Messaging: simple convenient form of conveying a message while lacking a way to add the communication to the client record.
CRM: must be an intuitive system allowing for easy review and updates. CRM programs traditionally are difficult to navigate with each department having their own “system” or individual CRM for recording information.
Call Centers already have access to all these technologies, which when run independently are somewhat effective and provided close to efficient communication. Unified Communication solutions bring all these must have technologies together providing a superior customer experience over the competition.
These technologies should be embraced by all contact centers no matter the size. To better understand which of these must haves will help you achieve your goals, you first have to understand and document what the customer experience should be. Ordinarily call center executives reply NO when asked if the expected customer experience is documented. It is imperative especially in tough economic times to define and document what the experience expectation is. This will allow you to measure where the company stands to achieving the right customer experience. From documentation you can move to implement the solution which will bring your customer the right experience. Building your customer experience roadmap and implementing these technologies will not only enhance the customer experience but it will also help to retain customers and grow your business.
Publish Date: December 10, 2010 3:55 PM