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Article : How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Progression of Contact Centres

#contactcenterworld

Gary Williams, Director of Sales and Consultancy at Spitch, explores the impact of COVID-19 on contact centres and the consumer response during the pandemic

Before the age of landing pages, online forms, and pop-up chatbots, contact centres were the only way we could engage with brands and services. They were the cornerstone of the service industry, and in many ways they still are. According to HubSpot, 90% of consumers argue that one channel alone is not enough in terms of customer service, instead preferring an omnichannel experience consisting of email, live chat, social media and contact centres.

Contact centres have been at the forefront of advancements in customer-facing communication technology. They were the playground for breakthrough legacy technologies such as call routing and interactive voice response (IVR), always in the interest of providing a better, more streamlined customer service model.

In 2020, that customer-centric approach is more vital than ever. As we navigate the so-called ‘new normal’ brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing businesses rise to the challenge and adapt in unique ways. At a time when lockdowns and social distancing are part of day-to-day life, we are all leaning on the internet and contact centres a little bit more. In some ways, the pandemic has provided an ideal lens through which to assess the relevance and effectiveness of contact centres, particularly in terms of customer satisfaction and preferences.


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Keeping customers front of mind

Far from being the end of contact centres, the pandemic is acting as a catalyst for an evolution that was already taking place, with many embracing artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NPL) to help reduce overheads without compromising on service and in some cases, enhancing it. The key question then becomes, do these automation technologies hurt the customer experience or enhance it and what impact, if any, has the pandemic had on people’s interactions with contact centres?

In a recent survey, we asked respondents across Europe about their interactions with contact centres since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of those who took part, only 48% of said they would rather find answers on the internet than phone a contact centre, which is surprisingly low given we all carry the internet around in our pockets. It demonstrates a very real need for contact centres in the omnichannel mix. However, 47% of those asked said they had noticed a decrease in service and efficiency during the pandemic, with 29% finding the contact centre experience "totally disappointing."

While the demand for contact centres is there, customers’ needs are not being met. So, where are businesses going wrong, and what can be done differently?

 

Make the most of automation

First, we need to dispel the preconception that automation is bad. In the same survey, 48% of respondents had at some point interacted with a contact centre during the COVID-19 pandemic, and almost all had a "satisfactory" experience. This was attributed primarily to the increased speed and accuracy of the service, and not needing to be placed on hold. The technology is clearly there and working, and it is becoming more available and affordable for businesses of all sizes, creating a relatively easy-win in the field of phone-based customer service. However, automation is not designed to replace contact centre staff, but rather support them. Of those respondents that used contact centres, 72% said it was "essential" to have their call transferred to a human operator when things got complicated.

What this tells us that customers are surprisingly satisfied with, and in favour of, automated contact centre technology. But by the same token, it also tells us that there is no replacement for the human touch when things get complex, and human input is likely to be needed for the foreseeable future. The mission for contact centre operators will be to get the balance between AI and human input just right, optimising their cost-efficiency without compromising on levels of service.

The contact centres of the future may look very different, but they will always be present in a customer-centric world.

#contactcenterworld

 


About Context Public Relations:
Company LogoThe Spitch R&D team has over 50 years combined experience in R&D for Spoken Language Technologies (SLT), including Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Text-to-Speech Synthesis (TTS), Voice Biometrics (VB), Information Retrieval (IR), and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
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Published: Friday, October 9, 2020

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2023 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

 
1.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.

2.) 
Happitu

Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!

3.) 
Knowmax

Knowmax
Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.

4.) 
LiveAgent

LiveAgent Help Desk
LiveAgent is a cloud-based Help Desk Software with over 195+ compatible integrations. Streamline all customer communication channels and manage them from a single shared company inbox. Enjoy social media integration, unlimited ticket history, call recordings, hybrid ticket streams, and more. Companies like BMW, Yamaha, Huawei, Orange, or Forbesfone use LiveAgent to deliver customer wow to 150M end-users worldwide.

5.) 
Nuxiba Technologies

CenterWare
Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!

6.) 
OneDesk

OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.

7.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.
 

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