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Article : COVID-19 Cemented, Not Started, Our Digital CX Transformation

Direct, Product and Segment Marketing
NICE inContact
Add Contact

#contactcenterworld, @inContact

Author: Brian Mistretta, Direct, Product and Segment Marketing,NICE inContact

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way consumers interact with the world. From how they shop to how they consume entertainment, people are spending more time online than ever before. While the use of digital channels has certainly been accelerated due to the public health crisis, the trend did not begin overnight. Consumer surveys, pre-COVID-19, had already detected a dramatic shift to digital service.

As businesses prepare for a post-pandemic future, they need a clear understanding of what recovery will look like. While studying consumer behavior over the past six months will help provide color, it does not paint the full picture. In order to identify which trends will stick and which will fade, it’s important to see where the trendline was heading in the months leading up to the pandemic.

Based on the findings in the NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark from 2019, it’s safe to project that COVID-19 recovery will start and end with digital. Here are a few examples of key trends that will inform the future of customer engagement:

Digital-First Interactions

Prior to the pandemic, consumers wanted channel choice. They wanted the ability to ask one question on Facebook and follow-up via text message. If those channels didn’t resolve the issue, they further expected the option to engage over voice or real-time chat. The NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark study traced this expectation year over year. Compared to 2018, more consumers in 2019 said they would be more willing to do business with a company that offers more ways to communicate. In fact, more than 60 percent of Millennials and Generation Z expect companies to allow them to interact with customer service using private social messaging apps, per NICE inContact’s study. For the past six months, this expectation became a prerequisite, as quarantine forced consumers and businesses to connect digitally.

Since the public health crisis started, many companies have upped their customer service capabilities by adopting solutions that enable digital interactions. Some have piecemealed a customer experience (CX) strategy through website Q&As and SMS text. Others have deployed enterprise-grade contact center software that can deliver native experiences across 30 messaging channels. Either way, the value these tools provide has been immeasurable and, in some cases, the difference between crippling disruption and business continuity. The flexibility and agility companies of all sizes have demonstrated throughout all of this has been inspiring, but this innovation cannot stop once the landscape returns to normal.

Seamless Omnichannel Experience

For the businesses that took a more bespoke approach to their COVID-19 response, CX was likely more than adequate, considering most people were grateful that social distancing did not disrupt service. After this is all over, however, organizations should anticipate an increased demand for seamless omnichannel experiences. This means changing channels without having to restart the entire support process. The organizations with contact centers that have true omnichannel functionality will be best prepared to handle the transition into a post-COVID-19 economy. These companies can service a growing segment of the population, Millennials and Generation Z, who were already trending heavily in the digital-first direction. The data proves that. According to the CX Transformation Benchmark study, 60 percent of Millennials and Generation Z had used private social messaging, such as Facebook Messenger, for customer service.

Omnichannel enables companies to engage customers by providing contact center agents the tools needed to channel hop across any and all options. Just last year, the CX Transformation Benchmark study showed that customers were docking businesses that failed to offer an omnichannel experience, with 73 percent of consumers giving companies a poor rating on seamlessly switching between channels, a worse performance compared to 2018.

Maintaining the Human Element

Businesses have learned that the best way to engage the younger generations is by replicating the experience they’re used to having in their personal lives. It appears that customer service operations will have to do the same for Generation X and Baby Boomers because the coronavirus pandemic has turned them into digital mavens as well. Per a McKinsey survey on digital sentiment in the U.S., 75 percent of people using digital channels for the first time say that they will continue to use them when things return to "normal."

But just because consumers have embraced digital doesn’t mean that customer service has to completely abandon the human element. The human touch is still important. According to the CX Transformation Benchmark study in 2019, half of consumers that begin their interaction with AI have to be transferred to a service agent. While digital tools like chatbots and interactive voice response effectively handle simpler tasks and support issues, consumers still desire human intervention when the problem is more complex.

In the post-COVID-19 world, the customer experience will be almost entirely influenced by digital. To have an open dialogue with customers, businesses need to implement an omnichannel system that prop up human and digital experiences.

#contactcenterworld, @inContact

About NICE inContact:
Company LogoNICE inContact CXone™ is a unified cloud customer experience platform. CXone combines Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence on an Open Cloud Foundation. NICE inContact’s solution empowers organizations to provide exceptional customer experiences by acting smarter and responding faster to consumer expectations. NICE inContact’s DEVone developer program is the industry’s largest partner ecosystem, providing applications from partner companies on the CXexchange marketplace that are designed to integrate with CXone.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Answering Customers’ Questions

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Monday, October 12, 2020

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2020 Buyers Guide Consultancies

Call Center Masters

Giving consulting services to call centers

CC-CMM Certification Institute

CC-CMM Certification


Service Journey Thinking
Service Journey Thinking is a comprehensive approach for improving the experience customers have along the service journey. It considers the service journey not only from the customer’s perspective, but it also examines the components that support the experience, including people, technology, processes and policies. By applying Service Journey Thinking, COPC Inc. helps brands promote greater efficiency, improved performance and reduced cost within their operations. For customers, this means reduced effort, improved satisfaction and enhanced loyalty.
PH: 1.407.304.9032


Genesys PureConnect
Call Centers, Contact Centers and Cloud Solutions Consultancies

Customer Support Asia

Customer Support Asia assures the success of service offshoring initiatives in the Philippines. Our consultancy serves both:
- clients that have service partners in the Philippines, and need to implement a major service initiative (performance/CX improvement, service change, site expansion, etc); and
- clients that desire to outsource services to the Philippines for the first time, and need expert help to qualify an an "ideal fit" partner, and manage an end-to-end service transition

We support both contact center services and "back office" BPO projects, limiting our practice to sites in the Philippines
PH: +1 919 446 5114

CX Central

Contact Centre Specialist Consulting
CX Consult provides specialist contact centre consulting with decades of experience across Australia and Asia/Pacific lead by industry expert Justin Tippett. Services include health checks, optimisation, outsourcing (local and offshore), technology upgrades, strategy and more.

Whether you have a 5 seat contact centre or a large multi-site operation we'll provide you with expert advice to ensure you can achieve your business objectives.
PH: +61 3 9008 7287

ERIC YOUNG ASSOCIATES (Tele-Centre Assist Inc.)

Contact Center Consulting & Profit Improvement (Lean Six Sigma), Inside Sales, Efficiencies, Call Center Audit, Technology & vendor selection, Telephony, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management, Customer Journey Mapping, Software (CRM) Implementations
PH: (416) 498-9440

Lieber & Associates

Contact Center Consulting
Lieber & Associates assists organizations with contact center issues.This includes management, processes, training, and technology. The firm's assessments evaluate and make recommendations for 15 call center areas ranging from call seasonalities to staffing to better use of the telephone systems. Contact center technology services range from new technology selection and implementation to problem-solving and optimization to technical trouble-shooting. Senior consultants have more than 20 years of experience each and are leaders in their discipline. Clients span most business sectors.
PH: +1-773-325-0608

Mpathy Plus

Mpathy Plus transform service, improve performance and provide operational support. We work in all areas of customer service and contact centres from initial strategy, feasibility studies, business cases, project management through to operational reviews, resource planning etc. We are independent and have vast experience of implementing, managing and changing contact centres and the customer experience.
PH: 08450 569800

Outsourcing Solutions Europe

Outsourcing Solutions Europe is an advisory firm that helps companies to find the right contact center/BPO partner to serve European customers


We can help You boost Your business results by:

- Building or developing high performing multi-channel customer care operations

- Improving metrics like Customer Satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), First Contact Resolution (FCR), Customer Retention rate, Inbound conversions

- Developing Your teams' skills to excel front and back-office operations and Customer relations

- Preparing and executing efficient Voice of the Customer and Customer Advocacy approach

- We will help You manage challenges and risks when changes affect people, operations and technology.


PT VADS Indonesia provides consultancies with trainers, modules, a development programs for individuals and/or teams. Types of consultancies provided by PT VADS: Knowledge Process, Transformation Consultancy, Customer Services, Contact Center, Leadership, Interpersonal Development, Motivation, Training for Trainers and Digital Marketing.
PH: 0217991445

SCC Services Group

Contact Center Operations Performance Management
In today’s competitive business environment, contact center and marketing professionals are constantly challenged to manage a growing business, achieve superior performance levels and at times are asked to support services and products that are becoming more complex.

Faced with this reality, the consulting disciplines that SCC Services Group focuses on are operations management and service delivery excellence in the customer service, contact center and brand marketing arenas.

Our consulting practice puts emphasis on:

- Contact Center Operational Assessments
- Human Capital Management
- Organizational Structure
- Brand Marketing
- Strategic Planning
- Sales and Customer Care Tra...
(read more)
PH: 954-444-3668

The Taylor Reach Group

Established in 2003, The Taylor Reach Group is an award winning, call, contact centre and customer experience consulting and advisory firm. The company is based in Toronto and has offices in New York, Atlanta, Washington, Ottawa, London, Bangalore, Hong Kong and Beijing. We are vendor agnostic and do not partner with technology or outsource agencies. The only one who pays us are our clients. Each of our consultants possess a minimum of 20 years of ‘hands-on’ call/contact center operational management experience. We do not sell the pyramid, the seasoned experts you deal with through the sales process are the same people who will complete your project.
Taylor Reach has worked with contact cen...
(read more)
PH: 8663343739

Triad Services

Services Triad is a consulting firm with experience in the field of customer relations. He will celebrate his 25th professional anniversary in 2021. His facilitation skills and creativity allow him to work on many transformations related to the operational management challenges of customer contact centers.
With the support of his consulting team, he collaborates to many projects in Canada and abroad for public and private sector organizations. More than 275 consulting assignments and 150 benchmarking studies are part of his curriculum.
PH: 514-738-2197

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