7 trends in contact center planning

Original author: Paul Lang
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We all know that trends come and go, both in fashion and in the world of contact centers. However, preparing for these trends gives the contact center a competitive edge. In 2013, customer service became the key to competition. Dissatisfied customers poured their complaints through social networks, and the problem of contact and call center managers was how to balance the best customer service at a low price.

So what do we expect in the coming years? The multi-channel contact center is again at the height of fashion, but at the same time there is a twist: social media and mobile applications are also joining the multi-channel party. In addition to recurring trends, some emerging trends are seriously changing the traditional call center model.

Trend No. 1. Introduction to the "contactless" center

As contact center technology spins towards distributed personnel, virtual and distributed skills are becoming the norm. Supervisors no longer meet face-to-face with a large part of the staff. This is a new world, giving rise to new problems of personnel management. A new paradigm of employee interaction permeates enterprises. The low cost of integrating video and social tools of the enterprise leads to the fact that these tools are increasingly used in contact centers to improve customer service.

The statement that “everyone participates in sales” and “everyone serves the customer” is valid today in call centers. The walls that surround the traditional contact center are now crumbling like organizational obstacles between the nominal staff of the contact center, and information processing personnel are merging into a single, collaborative environment. Presence in communication and instant messaging will help operators find the best resources no matter where they are or what equipment they use. In the future, the contact center will combine the traditional centralized location and the new model, in which the staff sits at home and receives targeted questions, say, through the website.

Trend No. 2. Customers will promote your brand.

According to HarrisInteractive research, 72% of adult shoppers who “had a memorable shopping, product, service experience” say they continue to follow the same path with a positive attitude, 57% report positive experiences to others and 41% recommend a similar purchase. to others. Continuing to develop this idea, we note that unified communications allow the company to find the best way to address the needs of the client in an addressable way, whether inside or outside the contact center.

Clients will join in interest groups, either to promote your brand, or to destroy it. There is a dramatic mismatch between what customers say about your business and what they say about you, especially if their attitude is unfavorable. Your contact center must proactively seek out positive and negative reviews about your brand, which took so much effort to build.

Another example of “a customer is a contact center” is the area of ​​support. A growing number of companies are shifting their functions to online communities or forums that host articles written by "superusers" of the company's products. Do you support your operators and customers protecting your brand?

Trend No. 3. Customer wants to solve their own problems.

To get the approval of the majority of users buying or ordering something, conducting banking operations, asking questions, receiving technical support, make them easy to connect to you. Today's customer expects full and continuous contact. They want to easily communicate via online chat, phone or email. You will make them happier by providing them with interactive contact through an Internet browser (webRTC). The client simply clicks on the link and connects to the contact center where and when he wants. Once a contact is established, information about what the client wants is analyzed and transmitted to the appropriate operator. Waiting in line for operator response is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

It is necessary to ensure a stable connection with the operator through the web-service even if the client uses a smartphone or tablet to communicate with you. After the contact is established, say, by phone, add communication methods such as video, chat, email, screen or file sharing, etc., this will only improve the situation. The contact center must ensure that the agent responds and uses these new tools appropriately. Operators need to train and learn to keep up with the increasing pace of new mobile devices.

Trend No. 4. Reincarnation of the operator

Today's operators must masterfully master the new ways of communication. In the past, customers were transferred from one operator to another, which often caused them discontent. The generation of the new millennium presents new requirements for connection methods in accordance with its needs and encourages organizations to look for new ways to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. To match the time, the contact center must use new technologies, provide effective training for staff. If your customers belong to different generations, does this make you feel that your operators should also belong to different generations? Different age groups prefer different modes of communication. 30 any subscribers and 30 any operators - this is an important need, Providing a competitive advantage for your contact center. Will the method of call distribution in your contact center satisfy the “customer-operator” correspondence? It is possible that tomorrow some consultants and operators will change the area in your company to a new one, while others will serve customers both in terms of their knowledge and bring new knowledge and ideas into their area.

Trend No. 5. 360 degree view is a must

Today, a client can contact the company in various ways: chat, phone, Internet, email, and even meet face to face with a sales representative. Today, the contact center needs to look 360 degrees to anticipate customer needs. All switching flows must be taken into account and collected for the needs of the client (the most effective voice interaction model). Traditional operational metrics recede into the background due to the “gold rush” of contextual and behavioral data transmitted by an increased number of new subscriber devices (smartphones, tablets).

Whether you are launching a new product, solving customer service problems, have the ability to process large amounts of data to advance your goals. Many organizations now use large amounts of data not only to assess the past, but also to predict the future, and as a result, they proactively build customer interactions to counter the storm. Are you able to analyze a lot of data related to the client in order to actively improve all areas of your business?

Trend No. 6. Uninterrupted disaster recovery should be a priority

Your disaster recovery strategy should be seamless, painless, not only for users, but more importantly for your customers. The days of a paper-written disaster recovery plan and data centers in the same geographical region are passing. Your PR department will not be able to defend a failed disaster recovery strategy. Many organizations see cloud technology as the latest solution to disaster recovery. Organizations should evaluate how close they came to zero exposure. Due to the effects of natural disasters, epidemics, weather anomalies, locally established contact centers must either be embedded in a cloud-based disaster recovery architecture, or migrated to a private or public cloud system, which have a disaster recovery system built into the platform. Does your disaster recovery system achieve the flexibility, security, and reliability of the cloud.

Trend No. 7. Mobile apps become new self-service channels

Mobile applications have moved from entertainment and games to significant tools for the purchase of goods, services, and financial transactions. The average client prefers self-service via the Internet to an operator. With the proliferation of mobile phones in the hands of customers, mobile applications are becoming new channels for self-service. When customers avoid talking to a live operator using a mobile application, they always hold their phones in their hands - a successful enterprise should be able to smoothly switch from self-service to communicating with a live operator. Can your “app for everything” serve customer service?

Social networks, mobile communications, large amounts of data today are hot technologies that require the organizational efforts of a multifunctional development team with a solid understanding of customer behavior, combined with tools to improve customer support. In order to benefit from these new trends, contact center management must be imbued with this new “fashion” for contact centers. Today's contact center will achieve high results if developers take into account new trends.

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