CX has rocketed up the business agenda since the pandemic, and it’s about time for many organisations within the contact centre environment and beyond. Here, Edward Winfield, Director of Global Partnerships at Content Guru, explores the role that tech can play in meeting mounting customer expectations…
There isn’t a single one of us that enjoyed the vast adverse effect that the pandemic had on people, businesses and society in general over the last two years.
But as humans are undoubtedly becoming more adaptable and resilient, much can be said for the positive and permanent change that has augmented the way customer service is perceived and delivered. And digital technology is front-and-centre.
It may seem obvious, but as organisations were forced to operate with less resources – and in some cases close their doors completely – customer experience fell drastically. As such, poor service is now more intolerable than ever. If alternative ways to interact with an organisation aren’t offered, people are willing to walk away and find a more dynamic offering.
Necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention, and the acceleration we have seen in the adoption of new ways of interacting, is now permanent. We will speak to a machine and ‘tell them why we are calling today’, we will use a chatbot to get an enquiry underway, and we expect to be able to use social media platforms as a mechanism to resolve our brand-related queries.
What is even more surprising is how we are happy not to talk to – or even interact with – a human, if a machine can deliver the answer that we need. And in many cases, “what”, “where” and “when” type enquiries can be handled in a much more efficient and effective way by an automated chatbot.
So, what does this mean? With artificially intelligent platforms able to understand what we say and write – as well as how we feel at times – comes an opportunity to augment customers service even further. If you can identify and verify a person, understand what they want, maybe interpret what mood they are in, and then deliver a piece of information to them, on their terms, in the way that they want, then new heights of satisfaction can be reached.
That’s not to say that all enquires can be simply resolved in this way. To deliver a truly frictionless service, it’s important to leave the option open to speak to a real person – don’t use technology as a way of forcing people down routes that don’t offer positive outcomes.
The point is, if an organisation can offer these tech-driven services to citizens and customers, then you can focus your human resources on those that are more vulnerable or enquiries that are more complex. But tech plays a crucial role in facilitating this paradigm shift too – not least by making the all-important connections that shave precious time and energy from interactions.
From voice and webchat to social media and email – you name it, and feature-rich cloud contact centre solutions will connect customers to a brand. With digital efforts focused on drawing any and all interactive platforms together, innovative technology is enabling service levels to become more in-keeping with demands of the modern day consumer.
In particular, omni-channel approaches enable agents to deliver a more streamlined and personalised experience. Why? Because all interaction history for recognised customers is stored within the integrated CRM – and across all channels of engagement too.
Let’s take Gen Zs as an example. It’s a stereotypical one, but data suggests younger generations don’t like picking up the phone – they like their needs to be met with just a few taps of the keyboard instead. And when it comes to raising a query, you’ll often find platforms like Twitter and Instagram to be their preferred channel of communication.
By integrating channels into the contact centre stack, agents can create a better experience for customers – serving them in the exact way they wish to be served. And the more data available through these multiple channels of engagement, the more the contact centre can tailor the CX to specific customers. It’s a win-win.