If you have customers you want them to have the best possible experience. One of the biggest key elements in creating incomparable customer experiences is the quality of your customer Contact Center.
In many cases it is the Contact Center that has the most interaction with customers and owns the greatest responsibility for creating and maintaining the highest possible quality of customer experience. Creating and maintaining the kind of quality contact center that creates those customer experiences requires a combination of constant training, innovative technology, and a commitment to contact center best practices, including:
- Any interaction between your Contact Center and your customers should be as smooth as possible. No disruption, no delay. And they should be able to reach your Contact Center any way they prefer; phone, email, text, web portal, social networks like Twitter or Facebook, or any other popular channel. When the customer asks a question the Contact Center rep should have the answer at their fingertips. Any time spent looking anything up is time the customer spends hanging on the phone.
- When your Contact Center rep answers any customer request, the more personally they can greet their customer the better, which means supplying the agent with as much relevant information as possible, as automatically as possible.When the phone rings and the screen pops up the customer’s full information your agent greets them by name, asks about their family, or how they’re enjoying their last specific purchase. If there’s a current open issue, the agent can dive right in and provide updated information on the status of the solution. For example, “I see that you have an order placed with us 4 days ago and it is in transit for delivery, is that the reason for your inquiry? It’s scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday.”
- Making it easy for the customer to contact the Contact Center using whatever communication channel they prefer whether phone, text, email, web portal, social media, or other, is critical to today’s customer. It’s important to keep it easy to escalate from one to another easily and effortlessly to create a very different and stimulating experience for the customer.Often the Contact Center agent needs to consult with experts from various departments within their company to help answer a customer’s question. They want to reach out even while on the phone talking with the customer, learning more about them, and making them feel more comfortable. Messaging with a product manager or service manager enables them to provide meaningful response with no lapse in conversation. Switching from text to screen sharing to see documents takes just a click. All pertinent information needed to serve the customer is captured and preserved even as they move from one way of communicating to another with with their colleagues.
- During the discussion as much information should be collected about the customer as possible and added to the knowledge base. Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) enable deeper analysis of real time voice sentiment to reveal deeper insights. Combining this with the ability to recognize and associate key words the AI provides “cue cards” suggesting things to bring up. Perhaps the customer mentioned a competitor, or the end of a recent promotion. When the agent brings the issue up before the customer complains about it they usually defuse potential arguments and turn them into positive conversation.
- Include in the information gathering the recording of key performance indicators such as average time to answer, time on hold, retention time, interaction wrapup and time to resolution. Reviewing the analytics generated from all this data and more serves to help each agent pay closer attention to where their performance may be somewhat substandard, while enabling managers to identify and address weaknesses in a more timely manner.
- There will be times when the number of agents in your Contact Center lags behind the growing volume of customer requests. This may be seasonal based on your customer buying patterns. It may be caused by your latest Resource Planning informed by the analytics will keep this from impacting your ability to respond. You may decide to add more agents, provide more training, or even implement an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to automate queuing of inbound customers.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is at its best when its completely integrated with the systems that run your business. Ultimately, the data captured by your integrated CRM system create the single repository, the single source of truth across sales, services, human resources, and any other department. As such, everyone involved with customers can input and also access data to help guide and coordinate everyone’s interactions. This can only serve to further improve the customer’s experience with your entire company.
The Best Tools in the Best Hands
Everything we’ve discussed so far requires excellent information management system support. Strong contact center management software. Strong resource management. Strong inter-departmental communication and collaboration. These systems, well-integrated, pave the path to improved customer service and lubricate the tracks to help everything move through the system with minimal or no friction.
The thing that can most easily derail your best system investments is downtime. The cost of a software failure, a communications breakdown, or other technical difficulties that cause the system to go down and stay down is almost incalculable. Beyond the service failures caused by this lies the lost business and lost customer confidence that results. These may further result in losing customers completely.
Here again we encounter the key importance of strategic planning both in proactive and reactive mode. Customers definition of great customer experience changes. A disruptive new approach to a specific service may completely alter customer expectations. The successful company must be perceptive to identify these as early as possible, and agile enough to expand, contract, or change resources as necessary.
Cloud Computer Delivers Better Service at Lower Cost
Cloud computing took time to catch on. Many people were wary because customers thought it was too good to be true, promising better service at lower cost. But the cloud computing value proposition with automated provisioning of shared resources, self-service, and removing actual system operations from the company’s plate proved to be even better than anticipated. This enabled the high-level, expensive, sophisticated resources who were previously running the infrastructure to be deployed even more profitably elsewhere.
Cloud-based Contact Center as a service (CCaaS) shares that distinction. While your Contact Center delivers incredible value to your business, you’re not in the business of operating Contact Center or any other IT systems. The resources required to do so would be far more productively and far more profitably deployed elsewhere.
CCaaS provides the best of everything. Professionally operated by experienced experts, cloud-based automated Contact Center systems optimize the enablement of your Contact Center staff with minimal impact on anyone else. Your staff enjoys using the most effective tools with minimal effort thanks to the invisibility of the underlying operations. Since its all cloud-based you can instantly provision increased resources when needed to respond to increased demand and release those resources when done to avoid unnecessary expense.
But wait! There’s More…
Contact Center operations delivered from the cloud are far more easily managed with much less burden on your own staff. Disaster Recovery is enabled by the CCaaS provider with redundant servers, storage, and even data centers. No longer will anyone need to worry about whether or not the most recent patches and upgrades have been applied. Uptime becomes your provider’s responsibility. Even onboarding, orienting, and training new CSRs become easier!
Talk to Packet Fusion about how to get started with CCaaS Contact us at https://www.packetfusion.com/contact-centers/contact-center-solutions/ for more details.