Contact center: an essential hub in enhancing customer experience

In today’s world of instantaneous communications, consumers expect high-quality experiences powered by seamlessly connected channels, wherever they are, at any time of day. This customer expectation powers modern customer experience (CX) and places greater emphasis and demand on your contact center. Do it right, and your contact center can be a powerful tool in helping you beat the competition.

Since the early 1970s, contact centers have been in a state of continuous improvement, embracing new developments and advancements to try and keep customers happy and loyal. Today, cloud and omnichannel communications, artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and automation all power a contact center at the heart of customer service.

Transformation, not rework

In any CX improvement strategy, it’s important to recognize that the majority of contact center projects do not start from a greenfield situation. Most companies we work with already have a contact center in place and want to improve it.

For example, the COVID-19 emergency is demonstrating the importance of being able to have your workers work from home, quickly. Flexibility and scalability were suddenly crucial elements of a contact center, and so was remote working capability. If companies wanted to continue to deliver great CX to customers, this had to be enabled.

COVID-19 changed the contact center imperative dramatically: according to Gartner, “pre-outbreak, nearly 7 in 10 (68%) customer service and support organizations worked from traditional call centers,” and less than 10% of staff worked from home. That’s now changed, and moving forward, Gartner forecasts that 71% of contact centers will be remote.

To help you take this step, we offer a transformative contact center solution that upgrades your contact center and integrates it seamlessly with all your other business functions with CX as the focal point. We can also help you enable massive remote contact center operations quickly.

Current trends and expectations

It’s no longer enough to think of your contact center as a standalone operation. Your customers expect omnichannel, not being told to “Please hold while I try to find the right person to transfer you to.” Consumers see your company as a single, unified entity, and they are not interested in your internal silos or how your customer services systems work. You need to make sure you meet their expectations across all channels.

It’s a challenge for many companies. According to research, only 1% of contact centers believes their strategy is perfect, with others citing issues like data being siloed in disparate systems, not paying enough attention to the voice of customers, and not putting data to sufficient use to enhance customer experience. To address this, 60% of contact centers say they expect to intelligently route customers based on agent skills, urgency, lifetime value or personality by 2025. If this holds true, it means that in the next five years, contact centers will be the driving force behind CX strategies.

The automation factor

Rising customer expectations and the use of digital channels to solve simple questions in real time increases pressure on contact center agents. They now have to be more skilled than before and able to address and handle more complex issues or exception handling in processes. Bots can make life easier for them by handling simpler, more routine tasks.

Enhancing your contact center using automation is vital. But you must remember that as advanced as bots have become, and as useful as they can be at solving basic customer inquiries, they are not yet able to be empathetic. Human agents are needed to de-escalate emotional engagements with customers and make decisions about compensation or replacements.

Bots are a significant part of the contact center mix, AI is essential in today’s contact centers, and robotic process automation (RPA) is a hugely useful tool. RPA, for example, can enable a more efficient, quicker-reacting service for customers. Bots can detect where bottlenecks, information siloes or lack of standardization or scalability are happening, helping companies deliver services faster and meet service level agreements (SLAs). RPA also drives better engagement and higher agent satisfaction by eliminating manual tasks that can hinder productivity, job satisfaction and activity growth.

That said, bots cannot resolve all issues that your contact center must manage or complete a process from start to finish. Orange believes that a mix of technology and human agents gives you the right blend: digital augments human agents and helps them work better and smarter, it doesn’t replace them.

To deliver success, we integrate bots from end to end, help you optimize your processes accordingly, and ensure you get the best ROI from automation in your contact center. And we don’t just deploy bots in your organization for the sake of it: Orange knows your business, your industry and the challenges you face, and we tailor a solution that is best fit for you. We do this by analyzing feedback from your organization’s customers and users and automating the process or interactions that can bring quick wins and valuable results first.

While AI and automation have become essential tools in the transformation of your contact center, you must not forget voice. Voice still makes up a significant part of your interactions with customers, and it is frequently an escalation channel. If a customer hasn’t resolved their issue through automated tools and has a complex query, a voice call with a live agent can help resolve matters.

Use your contact center to optimize CX

Your contact center is a more valuable tool today than it has ever been. Orange can optimize your customer experience offering with your contact center at the heart of that transformation. According to Deloitte, 85% of contact center leaders say that CX is the number one factor driving their investment. Your contact center, underpinned by AI and automation and other tools to maximize your data, can help you keep improving your service and meeting customer expectations.

Alice Severe
Alice Sévère

As an International Communication Manager, Alice focuses on converting messages into compelling stories to take the Orange Business Services Customer Experience portfolio one step closer to companies. In this position, she spent the last five years orchestrating marketing plans across channels and regions to generate and nurture leads. She has passionate curiosity for how brands leverage new technologies to transform the way they engage with their audience and stay ahead of their competitors.