Customer service is more important than ever in today’s competitive marketplace. Retaining customers and enhancing their relationship with you is just as important to the business bottom line as attracting new customers. However, increasingly, the contact center is the key point of customer interaction, with technology more and more being used to drive the customer relationship. Optimizing contact center performance is therefore an ever more important challenge, as this is how organizations can differentiate their service, and add value to the customer relationship, often critical in encouraging a customer to choose one offering over another.
The contact center is a complicated beast. It is the opportunity to convert interest into a customer when a prospect calls in, as well as the place where customers bring their problems, and where a speedy resolution to an issue is vital. It also offers a golden opportunity for upselling by leveraging personalization and knowledge on existing customers. Balancing all of these areas can be challenging, however state-of-the-art contact center technologies and services are becoming ever more vital to help businesses address these issues and maintain an edge.
Any analysis of the contact center environment should begin with an investigation into the strategic relationship between customer service drivers, customers, culture, technology stack and indeed the organization’s direction as a whole. For best results, agents, technologies and processes must work together effectively; only by analyzing the relationship between strategy and goals, the customer and technology, can areas that yield greater efficiencies, benefits, and cost savings be identified. For example, how lines-of-business interoperate and share resources, acquisition and divestiture plans, and cost-priorities can inform how multi-tenancy features should be accommodated in the platform. By understanding the daily work of agents, supervisors and managers, the appropriate level of security, access and automation to enable your staff to perform their daily role can be properly established.
An effective call center environment should enable customers to obtain service via multiple communications channels—including voice, video and chat. Key is providing efficient service access, and routing to the most appropriate form of assistance. From the organizational perspective, resources should also be able to be quickly and easily scaled to meet fluctuations in demand, increasing the number of call center agents in response to surges in calls, and dynamically decide the best resource to handle activity, including whether to handle calls, park them to a stream manager, send to the IVR, send to an agent or more. It’s important to capture this level of performance and establish effective performance metrics for agents and callers, to look at resolution rates, and also to the contribution of agent activities to your cost model.
Most importantly though, the contact center needs to be a place of continuous improvement. Working methods and workflow must be regarded with constant reference to success and performance metrics, and perhaps even more importantly, the customer experience. The contact center is increasingly the beating heart of the organization, keeping it strong and healthy is vital to keep the customer experience alive.
For more information about how we can help improve your contact center, visit us online atverizonenterprise.com/products/advanced-communications/.