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Contact Centres: The Complete Guide

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.

Read on to understand more about:

1. What is 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.

 


In this guide, we look at the next-generation approach to customer contact and discuss the key market drivers, principles and architecture of this new solution and how to adopt this new approach.

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2. Creating a Contact Centre Customer Experience Strategy

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.

Consider the following questions a starting point to what you need to discover.

Question:

What channels does the customer use to engage with your brand?

Question:

How does the customer move between these channels?

Question:

How do these channels complement one another?

Question:

What expectations does the customer have around each channel?

Question:

What will deter them from engaging with a channel or cause them to drop out?

Question:

Where are the moments of truth in the customer journey, those key points of interaction that could leave a positive or negative impression of you?

Question:

Where are the opportunities for you to delight your customers?

Question:

How can you plan to achieve these outcomes?

3. Your Customer Journey Map

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.

Consumers want a valued interaction, not to be treated like a number. What does this mean for the traditional contact centre environment and cost-driven model powering it, and how can your contact centre environment evolve to deliver better customer service? 

Map Your Contact Centre Environment to the Customer Journey

4. The Journey From Call Centre to Contact Centre

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.

 

Conn3ct - Call Centre to Contact Centre Journey

 

5. Next-Generation Customer Contact: Omnichannel to Optichannel

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.

 

Conn3ct - Next Generation Customer Contact

 

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.

6. Personalised Customer Journeys

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.)

The role of the contact centre is evolving rapidly. Businesses are finding new innovative ways to use the vast amounts of data produced in their contact centre environments. Download our guide, "Everything You Need To Know About Contact Centre Technology" to learn more.DOWNLOAD

7. Natural Language Processing

Rarely does a ‘one size fits all’ approach satisfy the specific needs of an organisation; however, whilst all voice bot applications are unique there are, of course, applications with a common purpose where virtual agents and automation can step in, such as:

 

  • Identifying a customer’s reason for making contact – ‘intent’
  • Identification & Verification
  • Automated Payments
  • Parcel Tracking
  • Balance Transfers
  • Top-ups
  • Meter Readings

 

Conn3ct successfully designs and delivers natural language automation to improve the customer experience and operational efficiency by drawing on many years of knowledge and experience of:

 

  • Speech bot design and development
  • Available technologies and approaches
  • Context-aware intelligent automation
  • Customer expectations

 

Modern speech or voice bot design and development techniques and new technologies from cloud vendors such as Google and Amazon provide more flexibility and options for end-to-end solution design, integration with contact centre and IVR platforms and commercial models.

 

Conn3ct offers cloud natural language automation services and on-premise solutions or a hybrid of both, even within one voice bot if required for where sensitive information is being processed, e.g. ID&V and payments.

 

To find out more please visit our Natural Language Processing page.

8. Contact Centre Solutions

Your contact centre is essential to the success of your business. Making it efficient and integrated will allow you to handle more customer interactions and provide a better customer experience to your customers. It will also allow you to collect valuable information about your products that the rest of the business can use to improve and expand.

As you would expect, there are multiple options for your contact centre solution.

Below we talk about two options:

 

 

 

 

9. Genesys Cloud

Genesys Cloud is an all-in-one cloud-based contact centre software solution built to improve the customer experience. The platform serves as a single hub for all your customer interactions be it SMS, email, voice call or social media messaging. Genesys Cloud offers incredibly fast internal adoption for small- to mid-market organisations, as well as a growing list of larger customers. With impressive functionality and a true cloud architecture that supports continuous improvements that are automatically implemented with no downtime, Genesys Cloud meets your needs now and wherever you want to go in the future.

Get up and running fast for long-term benefits

Future-proof contact centre technology

A customer experience technology with a proven transition roadmap from a provider with a track record of investment in innovation. 

Easy to deploy, Easy to use

An intuitive interface enables fast account setup and seamless integration with existing systems. No complicated training needed.

The power to grow

Genesys Cloud gives you a flexible environment that instantly scales to meet peak demands. Meet evolving customer demands with continuous feature and capability updates.

Understand what’s happening

Interactive dashboards give you a consolidated view of customers, call centre agents and interactions—across all channels and locations. Reap the benefits of proactive contact centre analytics and insights.

 

To learn more about Conn3ct's Genesys capability please visit our Genesys page.

 

10. Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is an on-demand contact centre service that helps businesses of all sizes deliver an enhanced customer experience at lower cost. Operating on the globally recognised AWS cloud infrastructure, Amazon Connect offers built-in high availability, dynamic scaling and global reach.

The underlying technology for Amazon Connect has been used by Amazon customer service executives around the world to power millions of customer conversations for over a decade. Through an intuitive, graphical self-service interface, Amazon Connect allows a non-technical user to design contact flows, manage agents and track performance metrics.

How Could Amazon Connect Help You?

By using an Amazon Lex conversation bot in your call centre, callers can perform tasks such as changing a password, requesting a balance on an account, or scheduling an appointment, without needing to speak to an agent. These conversation bots use automatic speech recognition and natural language understanding to recognise the intent of the caller.

Amazon Lex can query your business applications to provide information back to callers, and make automated updates as requested without agent intervention. Amazon Lex conversation bots also maintain context and manage the dialogue, dynamically adjusting responses based on the conversation.

 

To find out more about our Amazon Connect capability, please visit our Amazon page.

11. How Conn3ct can help

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.

 

Customer Experience Revolution

At Conn3ct, we understand the importance of digital engagement, and the increasing demand on businesses to be more connected with their employees and customers. 

No two users are the same, and with a multi-generational audience base, the need to provide both traditional telephony and IVR systems and digital communication solutions — such as social media messaging and web chat — is greater than ever. By combining these approaches, we can help you create a unified, consistent experience for your employees and customers through digital transformation — without sacrificing the need for a more flexible, tailored service.

SET Approach

Drawing on over 30 years’ experience, our tried and tested methodology — Stabilise, Enhance, Transform — offers an in-depth consultation of every aspect of your clients’ needs.

Stabilise

Stabilise

Our unique proprietary monitoring and automation toolsets stabilise your existing estate, improve efficiency and performance, and make immediate cost savings.

Enhance

Enhance

Tell us your challenges. We listen and learn so that we can enhance what is already in place with best of breed adjunct technologies.

Stabilise

Transform

Our unique, truly vendor-agnostic approach allows us to deliver a fully customised, best of breed solution at your pace and in line with your budget.

Through our unique blended operational and technical consulting programme, and vendor-agnostic method, we can define your plan for digital transformation and evolve your Contact Centre technology. We work in partnership with key stakeholders to develop clear outputs at every stage.

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your business challenges, so we can
deliver the best solution that will fix them.

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