January 8, 2019 by Siobhan Climer
Customers today have more interactions with brands than ever before, with the number of customer service interactions handled by people expected to hit 300 billion in the next eight years, if not sooner. Increased customer interactions bring with them opportunities – to succeed or fail – in developing a positive customer experience, which is why it is important for contact center leaders to analyze and act on the kinds of customer interactions they receive.
Why are there increased customer interactions? The rise of IoT and smart tech means more products in homes, more customers needing assistance, and more access to that assistance. The streamlining of customer service means customers now also have increased expectations for resolving their issue quickly.
Another factor causing customers to reach out more? Review-based retailers give nuanced and individualized assistance to customers. Your customers are interconnected, seeking advice and recommendations through one another and retailers. These changes are leading to technology adjustments in the contact center, which in turn affect the number and kind of customer interactions happening daily.
Every Customer Interaction Chance To Build Loyalty
Increased customer interactions aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Though the hope is support documentation and self-service tools enable customers to solve problems before reaching out to your contact center, the reality is that every time a customer interacts with your service team an opportunity exists to improve their experience. This comes down to the customer service provided by representatives.
As the number of interactions with customers increases, it is important that contact center leadership have a renewed focus on customer service. The information your contact center needs to succeed is readily available. Don’t make callers repeat their information or complaints multiple times. Don’t force customers through complicated IVRs. Decrease hold times. Increase first-call resolutions. The fact is the power to provide great customer service rests squarely in the hands of contact center leaders.
What can you do? Ensure the technology you use meets the needs of your contact center business. Does your contact center platform offer you seamless analytics and workforce management tools? Are you able to provide superb training, decrease attrition, and improve first-call resolution numbers using these tools? If not, 2019 is the year to bring your contact center into the future and build a successful service-based customer experience model that will buoy your business for years to come.
Increased Customer Interactions = Increased Agent Resources
As the number of customer interactions increases, so, too, do the expectations on contact center agents. More interactions mean agents will need to resolve concerns and provide assistance more quickly, more accurately, and with improved results.
Enabling agents to be successful in this requires contact center management to provide the necessary resources, support, and training. Pay and benefits will need to increase to ensure agent retention. Training will need to be thorough and experience-based. The tools you offer your agents will need to facilitate the desired customer experience.
Contact center platforms have changed significantly in the last decade, and cloud-based tools enable improved connectivity and omnichannel support. Make sure your platform allows you to:
- Call recording
- Call reporting
- Intelligent call-routing
- Omnichannel support
- Speech-enabled IVR
- Outbound campaigns
- CRM integrations
- Customizable desktop interfaces
- Remote agent capabilities
- Queueing and courtesy callback
- Whisper/Barge functions
These are the types of capabilities your contact center platform needs to respond to the increased customer interactions expected in 2019. Consider Genesys PureCloud or Cisco UCCE, which not only include these functions, but also come with the support of dedicated contact center experts. To find out more, contact us today.
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About The Author
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin two-year old daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.