What do consumers of the world need now? Empathy. A place where their pleas are heard, their requirements are acknowledged, and their preferences are regarded. Can the brilliance of digital technology alone create an environment such as the above? Will human intelligence and its innate ability to comprehend and compartmentalize problems not come in handy in the future?
If we are to really build a contact center for the future that is not only customer-centric, but employee-friendly too, guaranteeing a digital + human experience is the most crucial first step to the journey.
Why Present-Day Contact Centers Aren’t Good Enough
A contact center is designed to administer inbound and outbound communications, concurrently addressing the needs of prospective and existing customers. The most basic expectation is that a potential customer’s interaction and overall experience with an agent should surpass the ordinary, outshining competitors while ensuring favorable business outcomes at the same time. Unfortunately, achieving all of this is a rarity in many contact centers.
Today, contact centers have transformed into crucibles of stress and frustration. Unattainable targets, coupled with a multitude of rising customer expectations, have escalated subpar customer experiences. The situation is worsened by prolonged wait times, incomplete responses, disconnected, or inadequate omnichannel experiences, and promises that often fall short of fulfillment.
Strategies for CX Excellence
Organizations that invest time and effort in creating an efficient, knowledgeable, and productive experience tend to succeed in the field of CX.
Furthermore, CX professionals should recognize that to future-proof and strengthen a contact center, organizations or brands must prioritize the quality of customer experience for their clients. Also, without productive agents, a contact center won’t be able to handle future challenges successfully or as adeptly as it is expected to be. Hence, organizations should concentrate on providing an optimized customer experience, emphasizing the efficiency of customer service agents.
Organizations should look to overhaul the current structure of contact centers and make them future-ready for customers as well as agents by following eight critical guidelines:
- Deployment of Multichannel Contact Center Agents: The importance of diverse communication channels like email, social media, and messaging apps has soared over the last several years, catching many agents off guard. Customers appreciate a consistent brand experience and can get frustrated if they have to constantly repeat themselves or undergo a process from the start during every engagement.
- Emphasizing Agent Training and Technical Skills: Contact center agents serve as the primary spokespersons and advocates for any brand. Investing in their knowledge is an investment in the company.
- Enabling Self-Service for Customers: Agents often find themselves dealing with repetitive queries or common doubts that can be readily addressed in a brand’s FAQ or guideline section on the official website. With tools incorporating AI-backed chatbots and technological features like IVR (Interactive Voice Response), agents can seamlessly redirect customers with probable questions to the bots.
- Ensuring Less Time Consumption for Customers: Contact center leaders often grapple with IVR (interactive voice response) systems. They can classify customers based on their account details, purchase history, requests, and preferences, ensuring they reach the right representative quickly, and ultimately saving time for both the customer and the agent.
- Automating Repetitive Tasks: Utilizing automation in contact centers can significantly reduce the burden on agents by managing repetitive tasks and addressing customer queries.
- Elimination of easy queries: To enhance the efficiency of contact center operations, it is essential to minimize unnecessary agent-to-customer communication. This can be achieved by leveraging AI-powered chatbots, and voice response systems for call-routing.
- Upholding Data-Driven Decisions: Data is a crucial component in contact center operations. Data and analytics tools provide comprehensive reports on an agent’s performance and highlight areas within operations that may need adjustments or enhancements.
- Supporting Cloud-Friendly Infrastructure: Being on the cloud ensures easy accessibility and enhanced cybersecurity for all kinds of business setups. This statement particularly holds for contact centers, as a cloud infrastructure not only ensures a secure remote work option but also provides real-time data, cost savings, and a work environment flexible for scalability.
Present–day customers are smart and always on the lookout for more. To thrive amidst future competition, brands must avoid compromising on the quality of customer experience at all costs. A resilient and future-ready contact center prioritizes customer needs and consistently works to enhance its policies and operations, staying aligned with evolving consumer expectations.
Read the full whitepaper on Building a Contact Center for the Future.