Empowering Contact Centres: Embracing Customer Choice (Part 1 of 3)
By CoTé Software and Solutions
In today’s business landscape, contact centres play a crucial role in shaping the overall customer experience. Customers appreciate the personal touch of interacting with experienced agents who tailor their service. However, contact centres face challenges due to the evolving demands of customers who prefer self-service options. It is imperative for organisations to adapt quickly to meet these growing expectations. In many cases, customers resort to making phone calls when their requests cannot be fulfilled through digital channels or automated processes. Starting a customer journey on the wrong foot often leads to frustration. Therefore, organisations need to enhance their customer interactions and empower their front-line and customers to adapt to omni-channel experiences.
Despite the availability of digital channels for customer interactions, numerous organisations continue to face challenges in successfully transforming these interactions. This prompts us to question why such struggles persist. Are organisations overly reliant on chatbots and AI as a panacea? Can customer interactions be improved without undergoing complex core system transformations or making significant CRM investments? Moreover, how can we equip the operational front line with the agility needed to adapt to omni-channel experiences? Lastly, how can contact centres effectively prioritise and enhance the vital experiences delivered through voice?
Contact centres operate in highly demanding environments, constantly striving to enhance the customer experience while working with limited resources. Some of the top challenges they encounter include:
- High attrition rates among staff members.
- Large call volumes clogging phone lines for simple customer queries.
- Lack of integration among various tools, leading to increased average handling time (AHT).
- Volatile voice channels resulting in long wait times.
- Insufficient reporting and analytics capabilities to drive improvements.
- Contributing to poor customer satisfaction and metrics.
Technology serves as a critical component in achieving a harmonious blend of personalised voice interactions and convenient digital experiences. However, organisations must be cautious not to unintentionally compromise the customer experience while integrating digital technology into their operations. Failure to ensure seamless integration can result in a disjointed experience across digital and voice channels, leading to customer frustration.
Why aren’t customers using other channels more frequently? One common reason is the lack of adoption, which can be attributed to various factors such as poor user experience design, inadequate resolution of queries to their satisfaction, or heightened concerns about security risks and scams. While chatbots powered by AI have been widely hailed as a silver bullet solution in the contact centre market, their adoption has yielded mixed results. Although chatbot technology continues to improve and is a crucial element in the future roadmap of contact centres due to its speed, automation capabilities, and availability 24/7, it is essential to recognise that chatbots, similar to voice channels, should redirect customers to other channels when necessary. This redirection could involve summarising the conversation in a system of record, transitioning to a more secure communication channel, or guiding the customer to a more appropriate interface, such as a smart form, to optimise the overall process experience.
A recent study by Qualtircs as a part of their 2023 Contact Centre Trends, when customers are left unsure if their issue has been resolved, CSAT drops 26%. We cannot afford to leave a customer uncertain through any channel.
It is not uncommon for contact centres to grapple with outdated manual “workaround” tools or solutions as they await the realisation of extensive enterprise transformations. This prolonged wait can be taxing, cumbersome, and detrimental to the customer experience.
Thankfully, modern platforms offer a swift solution for transforming customer interactions. By focusing on the seamless orchestration of customer experiences across all channels and harnessing automation capabilities, these platforms enable organisations to expedite their evolution. The key lies in pinpointing targeted pain points for both the business and customers, and subsequently crafting a clear roadmap for change that delineates the progression towards a desired target state.
In a recent market study titled ‘Future of the Contact Centre 2021: A Forecast’ conducted by Customer Contact Week Digital, two predominant pain points were identified in contact centres. The study revealed that 51.28% of respondents experienced frustration due to fragmented and disconnected contact centre systems and tools. Additionally, 42.65% of respondents highlighted the need for seamless integration and an omni-channel experience across various communication channels. To address these pain points effectively, technology solutions must prioritise integration, simplicity, and alignment with the contact centre’s operating model.
Part 1: Modern Contact Centres: Breaking down the Challenges (This Blog)
- The blog begins by highlighting the critical role that contact centres play in shaping the overall customer experience.
- It acknowledges the evolving demands of customers who increasingly prefer self-service options.
- It stresses the need for organisations to adapt quickly to meet these growing expectations and avoid customer frustration.
- The challenges faced by contact centres are outlined, including high staff attrition, large call volumes, lack of integration among tools, volatile voice channels, insufficient reporting and analytics capabilities, and their impact on customer satisfaction and metrics.
Part 2: Modern Contact Centres: How to find the right solution (Coming Soon)
- The second part of the series discusses the need to find the right solutions to address the challenges mentioned in Part 1.
- It questions the reliance on chatbots and AI as a panacea and explores how to improve customer interactions without complex system transformations.
- It emphasises the importance of equipping the operational front line with the agility to adapt to omni-channel experiences.
- It highlights the need to prioritise and enhance voice channel experiences effectively and efficiently.
Part 3: Modern Contact Centres: Latest solutions at work (Coming Soon)
- In the final part of the series, the blog delves into how modern platforms can transform customer interactions in contact centres.
- It introduces Virsaic, a platform that simplifies implementation, supports digital communication channels, and enables smooth channel transitions.
- The blog provides real-world examples of how Virsaic has brought measurable benefits in terms of reducing average handling time, increasing straight-through processing, and enabling rapid digital campaign execution.
- It also addresses how Virsaic can alleviate common pain points faced by contact centres, such as high staff attrition rates and long wait times.
- The blog concludes by stressing the importance of strategic planning, a roadmap focused on transitioning to digital self-service, and the role of technology in modernising the operating model to deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Overall, this blog series offers a comprehensive exploration of the challenges faced by contact centres in the modern business environment and presents Virsaic as a solution to streamline operations, enhance customer experiences, and adapt to the dynamic market conditions.