Thriving in the new normal means deploying the right technology at the right time to unlock effortless experiences and meet customer expectations. But not everyone is there yet. Findings from McKinsey revealed that more than 60 percent of respondents have stalled their digital transformation.
To get to the bottom of this, we chatted with our partner at CISCO, Erwin-Paul Bouma, in our latest webinar on the six steps necessary to restart meaningful digital transformation. Here’s a preview of the strategies we discussed.
To get the full discussion watch, “How to restart the digital transformation engine in your contact centre”.
1: Unite your omnichannel contact centre
People want to be served whenever, wherever, on the channel of their choice. That means understanding that the buyer’s journey doesn’t neatly begin or end from one channel to the next, especially in today’s environment where relationships with brick-and-mortar locations have been rewritten. CX leaders need to consider the entire customer journey.
Without a clear understanding of the customer journey your organisation will be serving fragmented, disconnected services across all channels. You need to move beyond what’s right for the company, to what is right for the customer.
Utilising predictive analytics and surveys needs to be at the forefront of understanding people during and after your conversations. Your contact centre agents need to able to use intelligent automation to augment their work capabilities and serve customers with relevant suggestions and insights.
2: Accelerate cloud adoption
The pandemic put cloud migration into hyperdrive. It’s no longer a question of when centres move to cloud, but how. This doesn’t mean that the focus on brick-and-mortar is gone, rather it’s navigating to an environment that is finding the right mix between physical and remote locations.
CX leaders need to deploy flexible, geo-diverse, cloud capabilities in a world where the rulebook on workplaces has been rewritten. The ability to train and deploy agents through one centralised system will be an incredible opportunity to meet future surges and times of uncertainty. This will be critical in battling the long deployment times of traditional on-premise environments.
3: Unify all customer interactions and channels
There is an overwhelming amount of interactions across multiple channels that customers navigate through daily. As a result, contact centres have rushed to introduce digitilisation for digitalisation’s sake. As messaging channels like WhatsApp and Messenger grow in popularity, we need to ensure that communication is seamless. This means bringing all the tools together in a single platform, or in other words a collaborative contact centre.
Using messaging capabilities isn’t enough to win over customers, organisations need to understand that customers want channels that can fit their needs as quickly as possible. When customers and agents navigate between channels they do not want to start from ‘zero’ every time they are handed off to an agent. Connected conversations are the key to differentiating from a competitor’s digital experiences.
4: Orchestrate the customer journey
The modern contact centre conversation starts and ends with analytics, but data that is deployed irresponsibly or without purpose can turn away customers. Constant sales pitches based off generalisations will be perceived as needless if they doesn’t pertain to your customer’s needs. Show them that you know them.
Whatever data you deploy, make sure that it is used at the right moment, at the right time. Proactively reaching out to serve customers on specific needs can provide moments of delight and personalisation. Customers can always switch off to your competition, and it’s easy to find a sale somewhere else, but people will always go the extra mile to be with the brands that understand their needs.
5: Embed AI
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have had an increased role in decreasing agent effort for low-tier, common tasks. But while automated applications are growing, it doesn’t mean that a contact centre can operate without people.
What we need to consider is not how AI will replace people, but how it’ll strengthen them into what we call: AI Augmented Super Agents.
AI can empower agents by acting as a virtual assistant that helps them unlock moments of personalisation with relevant suggestions and real-time analytics. The best tools not only make your customers’ lives easier, but your agents’ lives as well.
6: Advance automation
The backbone to empowering super agents is increasing efficiencies through automation. We’ve discussed how automation can tackle the menial tasks, but let’s take a quick dive into software that makes the magic happen:
- RPA: Software that combines AI and Machine Learning to handle common, high-volume, repetitive tasks. It’s mainly used to help back office work become more efficient.
- RDA: Automation used by front-line agents who need to use AI to help alleviate simple tasks to allow them to focus on situations that require empathy.
- Email Automation: Software that can eliminate delays and increase routing accuracy with the assistance of a bot. The bot can provide automation, analysis, agent assistance and self-learning through all components of an email processing lifecycle.
These solutions create a far greater experience for the employee and customer by making their tasks simpler, proficient, and quick.
Kick open the digital front door
Deploying and managing a united omnichannel contact centre is key to thriving in this new day and age. Digital transformation is no longer an option, now is the time to get the engine running up again and go forward with full speed.