5 Reasons Contact Centres Are Here To Stay
The contact centre is a resilient animal. Having developed from one-dimensional call centres into jack-of-all-trade-centres juggling multiple channels, today’s contact centre ideally curates a seamless omnichannel for customer experience.
Which means despite the digital revolution, the contact centre is at no risk of extinction. But as contact centre managers, we need to embrace its sophisticated evolution. One which allows the contact centre to remain the beating heart of consistent and quality customer journeys. Which begs the question, which of its other organs are growing and changing? And how do we keep them healthy, and our contact centres indispensable?
1) Set The Bar For Consistency
Customer experience has moved from multi-channel to omnichannel, which means that all of our points of contact such as phone lines, emails, SMS or live chat, frankly need to interconnect like a magical invisible web. We can’t let customers slip through clunky platform gaps just because they’ve moved from our website to the phone. Especially as 70% of customers expect to be able to move between these various channels without any hiccoughs at all (salesforce.com). Cats might have nine lives, but contact centres have the standard one shot only.
Luckily, the contact centre is ideally positioned to ensure consistency by existing as a hub which establishes uniform content, style and tone across our businesses. It’s a place which ensures our objectives are clear, singular and achieved across all of our channels. For example, if our IVR encourages customers to go online but our website’s FAQ’s give out a number to ring, this is not going well. Here at Adexchange, we cross-analyse customer journeys to pick up on any discrepancies which have dodged the radar.
2) Design The Ultimate Omnichannel Experience
Contact centres boast a cross-channel perspective of our businesses that would make a helicopter envious. This centralised HQ is gold dust for viewing the multi-faceted customer journey as a dynamic whole. It also enables contact centre agents to identify issues and opportunities which can slicken up, well, everything.
By the same token, contact centres shouldn’t be seen as a clean-up operation for failed digital solutions. Contact centre agents have the skills, experience and technology to effectively deliver and promote digital content, which prevents these failures. These hubs allow channels to work in symphony rather than isolation, which hints they’re the heart and home of consistent customer experience.
3) Dig The Data
As a hub with access to data from all customer touch points, the contact centre possesses hard evidence to effectively manage and develop our customer journeys. Statistics and analytics are one thing, but the brains to translate them is what makes them actually useful. Here at Adexchange, we’ll often look at data from a less obvious angle to tap into solutions. For example, if a business wants to know if their FAQs are working, we could simply look at FAQ usage, but we could also collect data on customer reasons for contacting by phone....and create a far bigger ‘AHA!’ moments.
4) Value The Agents
Agents often get neglected as the vital signs of contact centres. These days, they might not always be chatting on the phone to customers, but this releases their time to apply expertise and serve customers in other ways. This might be working to optimise digital processes such as self-serve functions, responding to questions on live chat, or writing strong emails which prevent problems from arising in the first place. The future of contact centres is one where our agents aren’t constantly fire-fighting, but have the time to nurture customer needs.
5) Stay Human
Speaking of fire-fighting though…
In moments of complex and emotionally-charged customer issues, nothing beats speaking to a person. When the UK government suspended flights to the UAE, customers were told to call Emirates. Despite the fact the airline had less than 15 hours’ notice to freeze their flights, their preferred method of customer resolution was over the phone. Keeping contact centres manned allows our businesses to shine in our customers’ hours of need. That’s invaluable stuff.
Here at Adexchange, we’re firm in our stance that contact centres are constantly developing and unquestionably relevant to strong customer experience today. But we understand that this adaptive nature means keeping up the pace can be overwhelming. If your business needs a hand ensuring all your channels are singing from the same hymn sheet, that’s our jam, so please get in touch. Use whichever channel you wish - the outcome will be the same, we promise.