Consumers today are increasingly sophisticated and expect a consistent high quality of experience across all channels – online, telephony, mobile or in person, regardless of their device or location. Social media has also created a new dimension to customer service and every business has an online footprint that shows if they have succeeded or failed. Contact centers are central in delivering consistent and personal services. Here are five ways that they can achieve it.
1. Building relationships
The contact center is no longer just about problem solving, it has become the ‘relationship center’ for omnichannel contact. It plays a key role in understanding customer demand (why they are contacting the center) and proactively guards the customer experience to deliver the best interaction possible. Read Forrester’s playbook on transforming the contact center for some ideas.
2. Delivering proactive responses
Analyst Forrester predicts that in 2015 we will see a rise in in proactive engagement – whether it's proactive chat, proactive offers, or proactive content. This move from reactive to proactive is possible because contact centers can get a better view of customer demand via big data and analytics tools. This makes contact centers better prepared to deal with customers and provide them with a seamless communication experience. Agents can tailor responses and deal with customers as individuals.
3. Harnessing the Internet of Things
The contact center and the Internet of Things (IoT) are a natural match that can deliver more personalization. The information from devices and sensors that form part of the IoT will fuel the databases that drive personalized customer service. Customer experience consultant Brad Cleveland, suggests that IoT information “can enhance the level of service agents provide and decrease overall handling and resolution times.”
4. Rise of the “Super Agent”
As the contact center becomes more important, so will the people that work in them. Enter the so called ‘super agent’ of the future. With an increase in self-help and user communities, contact centers will be dealing with more complex queries and agents will need the right skillset and technological know-how. At the same time they will need to be empowered to deep dive into queries on the customer’s behalf.
5. Keeping it real with video chat
Web chat has made in-roads into the domain of telephone support. Now video-based live chat is coming down the line, enabling agents to develop a more personal connection with customers and also provide a ‘show and tell’ if required, which isn’t possible with telephone or web chat.