New technology: friend or foe?
Welcome to your world
As a Contact Centre Manager on the frontline, you’re no stranger to the new communications possibilities and pressures that today’s ever-evolving technology brings.
You’ve now got more opportunities for creating delightful customer experiences, but you’ve also got to live up to more demanding expectations from digitally savvy consumers and employees.
And as new channels are added to traditional ones, you’ve got to manage increased complexity while still balancing stretched budgets.
So, what’s the way forward? By approaching challenges as opportunities in disguise – and keeping customer satisfaction as the guiding light – the path to creating great relationships becomes clear.
Explore our contact centre manager's guide to customer conversations to find out more.
New technology: friend or foe?
In the rush to digital transformation, new technology is too often implemented without the customer impacts being properly assessed, or the ROI evaluated in more meaningful terms than just direct costs.
If you’re having to deal with too many point solutions, delivering a seamless customer journey can feel like tackling an obstacle course.
"86% of people re-evaluate a relationship following a bad customer experience."
Our research found that 61% of customers have experienced difficulties switching from one channel to another. It’s not the fault of any of the channels, but the lack of integration between them.
As new channels are added to traditional ones, organisations can get swamped trying to manage legacy infrastructures.
That leaves your teams firefighting day-to-day issues, rather than doing what you do best – delighting your callers.
Our research also discovered 86% of people will re-evaluate a relationship following a bad customer experience.
Find out how we can help
For Contact Centre Managers, being at the coalface of customer engagement can sometimes feel like facing a brick wall. Heightened customer expectations.
Demand for longer opening hours. Additional digital channels to integrate with. Advances in self-service processes. Anything else you feel like managing?
How about engaging, motivating and retaining employees to provide rich, personalised and empowered customer experiences?
Overcome these headaches by following our six strategies for success.
6 strategies for success
- Making things simpler
- Joining up your approach
- Aligning with personal preferences
- Understanding end-to-end processes
- Increasing visibility
- Contributing to the long-term strategy
1. Making things simpler
If they can’t communicate with your organisation how, when and where they want, your customers could be taking their business to competitors. Added to which, you’re having to deal with rapid changes in communication technology that can seem relentless.
But you can simplify these complex challenges by following two key principles:
- Integration - fully integrate back and front office to ensure that multi-channel customer journeys are simple and seamless.
- Rationalisation - reducing the technologies within your contact centre, makes your infrastructure easier to manage, reduces your operational costs and allows you to integrate new capabilities quickly and effectively.
2. Joining up your approach
Understanding your KPIs in relation to overall business objectives – and making them tangible to your agents – lets everyone appreciate the value of their work.
And if your KPIs are consistent across your customers’ experience – focusing on the quality, not length, of each contact – better conversations ensue.
Your technology should be augmenting your agents’ role. This means that your communications infrastructure needs to be fully integrated at each agent’s desktop, providing a comprehensive view of your organisation’s relationship with every customer.
That way, your agents can answer questions, anticipate needs and make recommendations based on customer preferences.
3. Aligning with personal preferences
Deeper customer understanding improves engagement and helps define the onward journey.
Deeper understanding of your agents’ needs does the same. You need technology that, rather than dictating behaviour, enhances your understanding, your agents’ capabilities and your customers’ options.
If your technology is primarily aimed at achieving business efficiencies and cost savings, the customer experience inevitably suffers.
Talking the right talk is also fundamental. Your agents need to use language that customers can understand and respond to.
And they also need to be able to communicate with other channels, to ensure those channels are literally speaking the same language.
4. Understanding end-to-end processes
Your ability to deliver seamless, rewarding customer experiences depends on how well your organisation understands all the end-to-end processes.
Who, for example, takes ownership of the processes underpinning the customer experience? And are you in a position to train your teams on the processes, technologies and hand-offs that support this experience?
Communication technologies should enable processes – not become one themselves. They need to be fully integrated – both into the overall infrastructure and with customer experience processes.
If you’re managing global teams to satisfy demand for longer opening hours, you need the follow-the-sun-technology and global integration that keeps customers happy and cuts unsociable working hours.
5. Increasing visibility
When you live or die by your core KPIs and performance, you need management tools that deliver visibility across the whole organisation. And the data has to be meaningful, consistent and free of unnecessary duplication.
With the right tools, you can demonstrate your value by ensuring that core KPIs and SLAs – whether sales or call handling targets – are met. You can also help define future metrics that drive delightful conversations. It’s time to supersede those traditional but increasingly irrelevant metrics – such as call length – that don’t take into account the customer experience.
And with the data to baseline and understand where you are today, you can identify investments that improve customer experiences, and use performance metrics to motivate your people.
6. Contributing to the long-term strategy
With your dirt-under-the-fingernails experience at the coalface of customer conversations, you’re vital to the development of both long-term engagement strategies (including social media activity) and your organisation’s brand image.
Your agents too – often themselves savvy users of digital technology – understand customer frustrations. They can have valuable input on which technologies can improve customer engagement – input that they can channel through you.