According to Dave Adamson, CTO at Espria, the modern contact centre is the driving force behind customer experience, not PR and Marketing.
There is an irony that in 2023, we confidently and enthusiastically talk about metaverse brand experiences and community engagement. However, we still need help to make it easy for the customer to pick up the phone to speak with us.
A term that’s less familiar than Web3 today is CCaaS: contact centre as a service. Yet despite its anonymity, it quietly underpins the reputation of any customer-facing organisation.
Whilst telecoms communications touch points were levelled down during the pandemic, customers were temporarily tolerant of lowered service levels. It is now an expectation that businesses have moved beyond this and are more digitally transformed. People’s expectations of speed of access and personalisation have been raised thanks to how we interact with technology. Customers expect choice, speed, and personalisation.
Multiple contact forms are not enough. Customers expect the organisation to provide integrated opti-channel touchpoints.
Customers expect integrated opti-channel touch points from organisations seeking a smooth experience across all channels. Whilst omnichannel seeks to provide a seamless experience across multiple channels, opti-channel looks to streamline the experience further by selecting the right channel for the customer’s enquiry. For example, a time-sensitive enquiry will route the customer to voice as the best option, whilst a less urgent enquiry would be routed to an alternative channel such as chat. This enables better queuing and call handling overall, with less time waiting and customers given the right option for them – a more personalised and tailored experience. Companies that provide integrated opti-channel touch points can access data regarding customer behaviour that further enhances the customer experience. By having an uninterrupted journey across all channels, customers are more content and likely to remain to do business with that organisation.
The modern contact centre plays a crucial role in providing the unified face of an organisation undergoing a major transformation.
The contact centre can ensure that all customers receive consistent messaging and support by having a centralised location for customer interactions. This is particularly important when customers have questions or concerns during change. The contact centre helps build customer trust and confidence by providing a unified front, increasing both loyalty and revenue.
Integrating contact centres with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enables businesses to drive sales
Integrated contact centres can bolster sales by integrating with CRM in multiple ways. Agents are able to provide more personalised support by accessing customer data, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Furthermore, through customer data analysis, it is possible to identify potential upsell or cross-sell opportunities for products and services. Additionally, integrating with CRM allows contact centres to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour that can inform marketing and sales strategies. Finally, streamlining the sales process through CRM integration simplifies the overall customer experience, leading to an increased sales rate.
Intelligent contact centres provide businesses with data that helps them to understand the customer experience better
Data from intelligent contact centres provide valuable insights into the customer experience and help businesses scale their communications for changing customer needs. By analysing customer interactions, organisations can identify patterns and behaviour trends, preferences, and pain points. This information can inform product development, marketing strategies, and customer support processes.
An intelligent contact centre will improve company agility, enabling them to adapt to their customers’ evolving needs and requirements: a necessity in today’s rapidly changing commercial landscape. By effectively identifying and responding to customers’ changing needs, monitoring feedback and sentiment, the customer experience can be enhanced to generate greater satisfaction and loyalty.
Leveraging artificial intelligence in contact centres supports boosting performance and customer experience
Through the use of AI in contact centres it is possible to increase productivity, save costs, and upgrade the customer experience. For instance, AI-driven chatbots can manage typical customer queries, permitting human agents to concentrate on more complex tasks. AI will also assess customer data and provide insights into consumer behaviour, allowing contact centres to identify opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products and services. Furthermore, AI can personalise the customer experience by providing tailored advice and support. However, it is essential to guarantee that AI is used ethically and clearly and that customers are conscious when communicating with a robot instead of a human agent.
Optichannel customer touch points offer an opportunity to get a step ahead of the customer. Imagine, instead of being on hold for 40 minutes then being fed through different teams, the customer’s number automatically pulls up all of their info for the call responder, or chatbot, social media team or IT support. Every time data is not captured and synchronised across all channels, the customer journey can become unnecessarily long and more frictions are created.
Too many organisations get side-tracked by complex CX marketing and overlook the essential first point of contact. You might have a fantastic marketing campaign online, and impressive PR coverage but your customers are your biggest advocates. Happy customers will always be your best PR – but a bad phone call can make all the difference.