Companies have the opportunity to leverage their contact centers to truly address customer needs – even predict and anticipate them – and those that do will optimize customer experience and reap the greatest financial rewards.
Since a contact center is more than just a call center – it’s a multichannel operation that manages customer interactions across touch points – several opportunities exist to improve each customer's experience. In order to do so, the contact center of the future will need to be customer-centric, and it will need to route interactions to and from the “right channel” (not just the least expensive channel).
For people-based interactions, the contact center of the future will route customers to the “right workforce” who will be empathetic “brand stewards,” and for others it will offer intelligent, effortless, self service across channels. In addition, it will serve as a test bed for innovative customer experience strategies.
All of this can be achieved by contact centers becoming technology innovators rather than technology laggards and proactively data driven, instead of reactive observers of data. It requires both an attitudinal shift and an embracing of technology-enabled analytic solutions. And though it may sound like a lot to accomplish, it can be done and probably more quickly and for a lot less expense than you would expect.
Listen, Interpret, and Act to Optimize Customer Experience
Smart customer experience solutions leverage technology-enabled analytics and will listen, interpret and act to solve customer problems.
1. Listen across channels in real time – online, social, call center, mobile apps, and retail stores. The contact center of the future is a listening post where every interaction is considered a source of valuable information
2. Constantly interpret and look for patterns. When a high-value customer has a bad experience – or, multiple bad experiences – the customer experience solution needs to identify those and connect the dots. The solution also needs to identify what to do next (e.g., should the customer be contacted, if so through which channel, who within the workforce should contact the customer, and what should they do?).
3. Act on insights. The action may be an alert to the customer's account manager or advisor, it may trigger a text message with an offer of help or a coupon, or it may post points to the customer loyalty account and send an email notice with an apology.
At the core of the solution is technology-enabled predictive analytics combined with systems integration of existing technology. When you’ve already invested in expensive channel-specific technologies, it’s critical to leverage those technologies, so the job of this solution is to pass the right data through the interpretation engine, make decisions and send it back to the channels, so that you can act.
Delivering outstanding customer experiences is all about exceeding customer expectations – these expectations were set by both your and your competitors' brand promises in the marketplace. With predictive analytics, the contact center of the future can exceed those expectations by anticipating and solving customer issues well before customer frustration sets in. Not only does this create memorable experiences but it also reduces your cost to serve.
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Blog: A Framework for Influencing Customer Experience
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