Revolutionizing the Contact Center: Turning Cost into Value
In an increasingly competitive market, it is the holistic customer experience you provide that holds all the power.
As a vehicle for delivering this experience, your contact center should be a central priority, helping you know what levers to pull and where your best opportunities might be. In essence, understanding the contact center means you understand your overall business objectives.
Sutherland contact center experts, Jeff Mortlock and Noah Beltran , joined by guest speaker and Forrester principal analyst Max Ball, hosted a session on interpreting today’s customer needs, in order to better maximize the value of your contact center. Let’s dive into the recap:
The Three Elements of Customer Experience
Your contact center is the central cog in your operations and the best place to start addressing customer experience gaps. Yet it’s vital to employ a holistic viewpoint across systems, noting everything from how customers begin to engage with self-service, what channels they are using, and how effective those channels are, and what emotions they evoke.
What happens when your contact center makes customers feel appreciated?
88% will keep business with the brand
83% will spend more
87% will recommend you
According to Forrester analyst Max Ball, to measure success for customer interactions, we can break it down into three key pillars:
Effective. Customers don’t want to waste their time, and you shouldn’t either. Introducing digital infrastructure into your operations will help to meet customer needs quickly and simply, as well as free up your agents’ time.
Ease. How easy is it for customers to resolve queries or issues with your company? Consider how customers are not only initially accessing support but also receiving the feedback they need.
Emotion. Providing customers with a friendly, personalized service doesn’t just make them feel good but builds deeper connections and loyalty to your brand. It’s also essential to consider the employee experience you’re providing, giving your agents the tools and the time they need to be empathetic and supportive.
The Impact of AI
To address all of the above things, you need the right way to leverage evolving digital technologies. Artificial intelligence, for example, can help you offer customers a more personalized and efficient experience, while streamlined operations become more accessible than ever. Now, failing to embrace this technology may risk your competitive edge.
Despite this, implementing AI across your customer-facing operations overnight is a tall ask, making the contact center a great testbed to start using these capabilities. It can help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of customer profiles, while freeing up your agents to spend more time on direct customer care.
Whilst introducing AI in contact centers will streamline and enhance your operations, it’s crucial to safeguard your brand and customer experience. Ensure you are keeping pace with the regulatory or data privacy issues that AI can pose, to avoid risking unsatisfied customers or frustrated employees.
Best Practices for Common Contact Center Challenges
So far, we know that there are plenty of opportunities to drive value from your contact center. But cost-effective transformation can be complex. Let’s look at the main challenges organizations face and best practices to address each in turn:
Quality Assurance. Don’t jump straight into testing out new technologies with your customers. Let your agents iron out any initial issues, and you can use their experience and insights to give you the best framework for your customers.
Leadership Commitment. Remember to take a step back and look at your organization from the top down. Ignorance of operations at the bottom level can lead to oversights, so your top-level executives must have firsthand experience with contact centers to understand their agents’ work and expertise.
Measurement and Metrics. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in traditional KPIs. With new data available, attention should be focused on customer experience insights. Focus on customer ease and emotion as opposed to call length time.
Shifting Mindset. Undertaking a proactive approach that emphasizes process improvement and issue prevention is a significant change. Make sure employees are on board with the new systems and are willing to engage in fresh practices. It’s common for organizations to neglect feedback from frontline staff, yet they can provide valuable insights into how operations are functioning.
Creating Customer Contact Center Success
In today’s business landscape, transforming your contact center is no longer just a goal. It is a necessity. Shifting to new customer demands is fundamental to keeping competitive and reaping the associated benefits. To stay ahead of the curve, providing personable, easy, and efficient customer service should be considered a crucial step on your ongoing journey to a seamless customer experience.
If you’re looking for the essential knowledge and tools required to build a highly successful contact center, hear directly from the experts on our on-demand webinar!