The role of the Contact Centre is evolving at a rapid rate, driven in no small part by the customer experience (CX) revolution. The old, cost-based model by which many Contact Centres are still operating today does not accommodate for customer experience. Instead it is shaped by KPIs centred around the speed of service and cost.
To better retain customers, remain competitive, and adapt to the customer experience revolution, your Contact Centre needs a customer experience strategy.
A customer experience strategy provides you with the opportunity to craft a series of interactions using multiple channels to support a more personalised customer experience.
Bring your organisation onboard with the customer experience revolution by looking at the data you currently have on how your customers interact with you and making a customer journey map to identify the pressure points. You can then fix those pressure points.
For example, could self-service channels improve customer satisfaction? If your IT teams are finding themselves challenged to keep up with developments and the growing array of communications channels used for customer interactions, multimedia might be key to a better customer experience.
An effective customer experience strategy is designed around the ways your customers are interacting with your Contact Centres, enabling you to adapt your Contact Centre environment to better meet their expectations across the different touchpoints.
Key to a successful strategy is a customer journey map, revealing which touchpoints your customers experience when interacting with you and what their expectations are as they move along this journey.
A journey map offers a visual representation from which you can draw actionable insights into moments of customer truth and or pain points where customers drop off. A customer journey map should be both recognisable in the eyes of a customer and easy for the delivery team to take action from, but that isn’t to say a standard blueprint exists.
How you design and present the map is up to you; what matters is its content and the key steps it touches on to most accurately map the customer journey.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, the challenge is to provide all the communication channels your customers want to interact with your business. Traditionally this may start with proving a voice-only channel before over time more communication channels are added such as email and chat (multichannel).
The challenge at the multichannel stage is although having more channels is good, they need to be fully integrated, i.e. talk to each other. For example, a customer may start a customer service query via an email but subsequently, make a voice call for an update the next day. If your system is not integrated then the agent will be unaware of the previous interaction. That means the customer has to repeat their query, wasting their time and your agent's as well as providing a poor customer experience.
The solution? Omnichannel.
At the omnichannel stage, your business still has multiple communication channels for your customers to choose from but the key difference is all channels talk to each other. This makes your operation more efficient, providing cost-savings, freeing up resources and perhaps most importantly empowering your agents to provide an excellent customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are having a significant influence on the contact centre space. Not only have these toolsets matured to a level that they can be incredibly useful in a contact centre, but the Cloud delivery models available now make them very cost-effective to deploy.
AI and ML provide businesses with the ability to both assist the agent in servicing customers, but also to address many of the interactions directly with the customer without even needing to speak with an agent.
Something else that is changing the contact centre landscape is CRM vendors. Historically, customer relationship management (CRM) and Contact Centre technology purchases were separate decisions for separate areas of the process.
Where Contact Centre technology dealt with the channels and interactions, the CRM dealt with the business processes that resulted from those interactions. However, this is now changing.
CRM and customer service management (CSM) systems are now taking on the delivery of digital channels such as chat, messaging, and email. This dictates a different role for the Contact Centre platform, which is reduced to providing the voice and occasionally the video channel, but now with a tight, customised, and deep integration into the CRM/CSM system.
That brings us to the optichannel stage.
Optichannel can be thought of as an improvement on omnichannel. Offering every channel possible to the customer, even if that channel is not appropriate for completing their request, is not a sensible approach.
Optichannel means providing the optimum channel to deliver the correct outcome at that stage of the customer’s journey.
Another key facet of next generation customer contact is personalisation and being context aware.
Call centres have historically provided a linear customer experience — just think of a typical IVR experience: press 1 for sales, 2 for support, etc.
The menu is always the same, whatever the reason you’re calling in.
The future of customer contact is a personalised service, which identifies the customer, anticipates why the customer is making contact, and offers them a different option based on the context of that interaction.
This context typically comes from two sources: the Contact Centre technology itself (typically previous contacts and interaction histories with each channel), and backend systems (CRM/CSN system, logistics systems, billing system, warranty system, marketing, etc.)
There is no one size fits all solution to your business challenges, that's why we use a consultative approach.
Our approach is to understand the business goals and the customers’ journey across all touchpoints, so we can design the best solution to help deliver exceptional customer experience.
Our vendor-agnostic capability allows us to build completely bespoke solutions for your business.
Conn3ct delivers end-to-end digital transformation by refining the people, processes, and technology required to implement your chosen solution. We will help to ensure your transformation journey is seamless, cost-effective, and pain-free.