When we think ‘effortless’, the likes of gymnasts, dancers, and figure skaters come to mind: a complex routine, performed without errors. The perfect performance looks easier than it is – simple, clean. The same can be said for good customer experience. We know how hard it is to deliver a smooth service for people who might interact with our brand via email, social, chat, and phone. Behind the scenes, we need practice, knowledge, training, and the right technology to underpin it all.
For our customers, the ‘human experience’ or sentiment in a call is important. Customers have issues and want quick solutions. Most businesses genuinely want to resolve their customers’ issues: technology then becomes either a roadblock or an enabler.
Most of us can recall countless ‘clunky’ interactions as a consumer: awkward IVR systems that take five minutes to route us correctly; dropped calls; the same question asked three times by three different people in the same conversation. We possibly felt that our service provider did not care about their customers, the people on the other end of the phone were less-than-bright, and that our time was being wasted deliberately. It is likely that none of this was true: outdated systems cobbled together poorly were almost certainly the cause.
Investing in Contact Centre Technology
We cannot see CX in isolation if we are to make the right choices and the correct investment in technology. We must join the dots: customer experience should have a measurable return in the way of better retention, increased sales, or brand value in the long term. The ‘effortless’ experience we are aiming for comes at a cost. We should have a well-considered plan of our desired outcomes and their value before we budget for our future contact centre technology platform.
In general, any contact centre should be aiming for:
- Higher customer satisfaction than competitors for the same cost of service,
- Equivalent customer satisfaction for a lower cost per customer, or
- Superior customer satisfaction that leads to revenue growth, which justifies a higher cost of service.
Where competition is irrelevant or non-existent, such as in the case of many government-operated contact centres, benchmarks should be set based on comparable entities. Responsible use of public sector funds can and should lead to positive customer experience without excessive budgets.
In this blog post, we will explore the various ways you can measurably lift the performance of a contact centre through technology. We also bear employee satisfaction in mind. Reduced call times, the power to solve problems on the spot, and more accessible customer information can save thousands of valuable hours otherwise spent on low-value work and have an additional impact of keeping staff motivated and retained.
How to Make Good CX Seem Effortless
Many companies spend a lot of their time, effort and resources to make sure customers have a good experience. The truth is, you do not have to go over the top to keep customers satisfied. With the right tools, you can make good CX seem effortless.
Whether we are talking about a core phone system, a CRM, applications that enable productivity, or even AI and speech analytics – cloud-based, extensible infrastructure and applications are vital to achieving this.
As we write in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our thoughts are particularly coloured by the need to enable remote working, something that derailed many enterprises in the early days of lockdowns and work from home orders.
Below are some of the ways you can leverage technology to deliver good customer experience.
1. Understand Who Your Customers Are
Few things can improve your contact centre performance than putting a face to your client. It allows your contact centre employees to understand better how customers interact with your brand and how they can serve them better.
The cloud provides an excellent platform for customer data. With the help of AI, you can analyse that data and create CX-driven customer personas for quick decision-making. Cloud-based contact centres also easily integrate with CRM, providing your agents with quick access to customer information.
2. Reduce Average Handle Time
Average handle time (AHT) is one of the key performance indicators in a call centre. When AHT is low, it is a sign that your call centre processes are streamlined. But how exactly can you efficiently reduce call times?
Remember, rushing customers off the phone might do more harm than good. Yes, low AHT will reduce hold times, but you also want to make sure customers actually get their issues resolved.
One of the best ways you can reduce your average handle time is by aggregating all customer information in a single, integrated interface. You further lower AHT by routing calls based on agent skills or by quickly suggesting self-help solutions in the IVR system.
3. Leverage Automation Technology
From connecting customers to the right departments to helping with onboarding, automation can help you deliver consistent customer experience. Today’s automation technologies like IVR and chatbots can help you standardise customer engagements and reduce your employee’s workload.
When integrated with CRM platforms, chatbots can tap into customer information and provide real-time personalised experiences. They use natural language processing to understand the context and respond appropriately.
Chatbots are flexible and can effectively be used to personify your brand. You can program whatever conversation style you prefer, be it friendly, technical, or even humorous.
4. Multi-Channel Solutions
Customers are leveraging multiple channels to communicate with businesses, and each time they expect you to engage with them on their channel of choice. Customers also expect the same experience regardless of how they contact you.
Multi-Channel solutions enable you to be where your customers are at all times. They make it easy to engage with customers across different channels and provide a seamless customer experience.
With omnichannel software, you can manage all client channels on a single interface. It integrates everything, from chat and SMS to social media and video with voice applications. If a customer moves from one channel to another, your agents can keep up and continue the interaction.
Multi-Channel is not just beneficial to your customers. Contact centre staff also benefit from the reduced workload. Multi-Channel in contact centres improves response time and makes it easier to manage customer inquiries.
5. Act Upon Regular Employee Feedback
Technology is crucial, but employees are the driving force behind good CX. Many businesses direct much of their attention towards customer-facing systems – and understandably so – but it is also just as essential to digitise the back-end processes.
Taking regular employee feedback can not only make your staff feel appreciated, but it can also help you identify training gaps.
6. Empower Your Employees
Giving employees the power to solve problems on the spot can help achieve contact centre fluidity. By training and providing your agents with access to customer data, they can react faster and improve response times. Using Workforce Optimisation and Quality Monitoring programs, you can identify weak points and align agents’ skills with customers.
Improve your CX play with CCNA
We understand that to maintain your competitive edge and deliver outstanding CX, your contact centre and its agents need the right technology. At CCNA, we can provide you with the right Multi-Channel, IVR, Workforce Optimisation and Quality Monitoring programs.
To learn more about our solutions, technologies and capabilities, please visit our CC Experience page.