Preparing Your Contact Center to Meet Customer Expectations of Today and Tomorrow
Meeting customer expectations once meant having a skilled team of agents under one roof that could efficiently answer calls. While the voice channel continues to be critical for delivering great customer experiences, it’s no longer enough. Forrester data indicates that two-fifths of U.S. adults now prefer using digital customer service rather than speaking on the phone with a live agent. Digital communication channels include chat, email, social media, etc., and customers often use more than one channel to communicate with companies.
Today’s success is defined by providing hassle-free, personalized service across all digital and voice channels. And, because new channels continue to be added at a rapid pace, achieving the level of service required to differentiate your brand is no simple feat – especially when you’re hindered by an outdated voice-centric contact center system.
Companies across every industry are focused on digital transformation to meet rapidly evolving customer expectations and to stay competitive. This requires having the right technology in place to enable today’s omni-channel customer experience. The right integrated software and infrastructure is essential to bridge communication channels and systems, drive data-driven customer journeys and continue to evolve with the addition of emerging technologies, such as bots powered by IBM Watson or the Internet of Things.
Develop a Future-Proof Plan for Digital Transformation
To prepare for what’s already here and what is just around the corner for customer experience, your contact center needs a plan of action that includes identifying present and future goals, as well as sourcing the right technology to make this happen. This means learning what is possible with an omni-channel customer experience platform and how it overcomes the challenges of an outdated, voice-centric system. Some questions to consider include:
- What could you achieve with more intelligent, omni-channel routing that matches customers to the best agent based on context and history?
- Could you discover new opportunities for cross-selling or upselling if you had a holistic view of your customers and how they connect with you for service, sales or support?
- Could you gain a competitive edge by adopting applications that blend artificial intelligence and machine learning to guide better experiences across every channel?
- How can you align your customer service delivery with your overall business processes?
Answers to these questions can help you determine your customer experience focus, goals and ultimately help you develop a plan. You’ll be amazed how far a customer experience platform offering transformative functionality and solutions, with the finesse of the human touch and integrated capabilities, can take your business to new heights of customer service success.
Create a Timeline
Digital transformation is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that best happens with a modular, scalable platform supporting you every step of the way. Few businesses have the resources to tackle a total transformation as a single project. Nor is it recommended.
Fortunately, digital transformation can happen in stages to support specific business needs. For example, you may have existing legacy infrastructure with years of remaining life, or you simply want to roll out new capabilities within select portions of the business over time to meet certain service levels. With a flexible contact center platform, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing, rip and replace approach. In fact, a platform can be deployed to offer greater functionality now while you continue to realize benefits from the remaining life of existing technology. Digital channels can be integrated, and you can start benefitting from improved routing capabilities and the ability to offer an omni-channel experience that supports customers wherever their journeys take them.
Of course, you will gain the maximum benefits from the platform once you completely eliminate reliance on outdated technologies. And, you’ll be strategically positioned to add new solutions and extend your customer experience beyond traditional channels, such as voice, email, chat and social. With a platform that dramatically reduces the time and effort for integrations, you can add exactly what you need, when you need it – from digital channels and agent desktop applications to workforce optimization and case management systems.
Partner for Success
Contact centers have become more complex than ever. It takes more than just purchasing the right solution to support your digital transformation. You need the right technology partner working alongside you every step of the way to ensure you maximize the value of new contact center investments and achieve the customer experience goals you established. A partner’s expertise and experience can be leveraged to guide decisions and drive the best possible outcomes. With the right team and technologies, you are well-positioned to create the contact center you want now while having exactly what you need to support your future vision.