Contact center modernization: The time is now - TEO Technologies - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Once upon a time, the telephone was the primary mode of communication, especially when customers needed to reach out to company brands. This made things relatively easy for businesses - all they needed to do was set up a call center and enable consumers to call whenever they had a problem, question or concern.
Times have changed considerably, though, and for many customers, picking up the phone to make a call isn't high on their list of preferred communication channels. With mobile capabilities and digital experiences being increasingly demanded, the time to modernize enterprise contact centers is now.
Call center vs. contact center
As TechTarget pointed out, most businesses have already taken steps to update their customer-facing communications by implementing new technologies that open up additional communication channels. It's at this time that brands shift from call center to contact center.
"In today's high-touch, constantly connected work where information spreads instantaneously, the term call center is limiting," TechTarget stated. "[A]gents must adapt to new technologies and communication channels that extend beyond the phone."
In this way, if your organization only offers phone communication capabilities to your customers, the time to upgrade and bring your service into the contact center age was yesterday.
The consequences of poor customer service
For many businesses, the contact center represents the central jewel within the customer service crown. This essential piece of the puzzle enables clients to have their questions answered, get any issues resolved or obtain assistance with their orders or services.
However, when the contact center cannot provide service that is up to the level consumers are expecting, it can take a significant toll on the business:
- Higher expectations: 68 percent of Millennials, as well as 56 percent of all age groups, note that they expect more from brands today than they did in 2015, according to data gathered by customer strategy expert Brad Cleveland. Businesses that haven't or don't make efforts to raise the bar suffer in this kind of climate.
- Losing out on business opportunities: After experiencing poor service, almost half of all consumers - 47 percent - will reach out to a competitor within a single day. An additional 79 percent would turn to a competitor within a week.
- Not making extra efforts: Even after a poor experience, 80 percent of customers who did switch to a competitor said the initial company could have taken steps to retain their business, but didn't.
- Experience is king: 89 percent of marketing experts believe customer experience is now a main market differentiator, overtaking price and product options.
Overall, contact center modernization can create a resource that's more than just a touchpoint for customers - the contact center can actually become a main force propelling and supporting a beneficial consumer experience.
Best practices for modernization
When it comes to carrying out modernization efforts, where should your organization begin?
First and foremost, it's critical that if your business has not made the move from call center to contact center, you do so immediately. Your customers have spoken, and they no longer want only one option for communication - they seek out omnichannel support and the means to use the most preferred and most convenient channel for their needs.
Current statistics show that there will be more than 5 billion mobile phone users by 2019. Alienating these users by not supporting text, live chat and video is a huge mistake in the current technology landscape. Your call center should include multiple different channels for customer communication, providing a choice for consumers.
Options for self-service
Today, it's all about aligning capabilities with customer demands. In the same vein as providing additional communication channels, you should also consider providing self-service options for
"70 percent of today's consumers now expect a self-service application."
clients. CGS reported that 70 percent of today's consumers now expect the availability of a self-service application. Best of all, a system like this can help customers get the assistance or answers they need quickly, and more complex issues can be addressed by live agents.
Reporting and analytics
Another critical step for contact center modernization is to ensure that supervisors and stakeholders have a clear picture of the activity taking place here. Organizations are leveraging data analytics for all kinds of purposes these days, and the contact center should be included in these initiatives.
Advanced call center solutions can support robust reporting and analytics about the number of connections and engagements made as well as the services provided. Key performance indicators can tell an in-depth story about the contact center and the ways in which customers reach out, helping stakeholders create goals for the company and improve client services.
Trained service agents
A contact center is only as good as its staff members, and it's important that your service agents aren't overlooked during modernization efforts. This is especially critical when new systems and technologies are put into place: Take the time to train your employees on the best ways to leverage these in order to get the best return on investment and the highest overall value.
Contact center modernization should be high on your list of company priorities, but you don't have to go this road alone. Reach out to the experts at Teo Technologies to learn what your contact center needs and how to get there.
Publish Date: January 19, 2018 5:00 AM
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