At face value, providing seamless customer service should be the goal of every contact center. With so many technologies to manage, along with rising customer expectations, this can be harder than it seems. By extension, the easier you can make this look to the customer, the better the outcomes. However, this requires orchestration across your entire contact center operation.
This will all be transparent to customers, and you can’t do it by stringing point solutions together or patching add-ons to an aging system. Instead, a holistic approach needs to be put in place to understand where complexity is impacting customer experience (CX), and which technologies can address that to support seamless customer service. Understanding and then managing that complexity is another key 2020 trend we’re seeing in this space. As a starting point for developing that holistic approach, the following are two forms of complexity that all contact centers must address.
Complexity of Technology
There have never been more technologies for contact centers to manage, and new technologies are transforming every aspect of contact center operation including support for omnichannel engagements. Although telephony may still be the dominant channel for customer interaction, new technologies make other channels viable options, such as video, web chat, mobile messaging, and various forms of social media. These offerings are complex for IT in different ways, but they provide new elements that makes seamless CX possible.
Digital transformation and the emerging world of AI is also bringing chatbots and new forms of self-service, along with predictive analytics that drive more personalized customer interactions. In all of these cases, the technologies are complex by nature, but with the right vision from IT, they can be deployed in ways that reduce complexity for agents and enable them to provide seamless CX, where the customer journey can be understood in ways never before possible.
Complexity of Meeting Customer Needs
On the receiving end of customer service, your customers are being impacted by these same technologies, and that adds another layer of complexity. They now expect the same CX regardless of how they engage with your contact center – via mobile, from a home phone, PC, or even social channels – and sometimes a mix of these during the same session. Not only must agents have omnichannel capabilities to seamlessly roll with this in real time, but they must also have a broader mix of communication skills, as each of these channels has distinct rules of engagement.
With these new technologies, we have a far greater range of touchpoints for collecting data about customers. There are numerous repositories of customer data that feed into the contact center’s collective understanding of customers. Agents are supported by multiple information sources including databases, contact center and business applications including CRMs – all adding to the complexity of the agent desktop and the understanding of the customer journey. As buying behaviors shift online, AI applications are now able to map out complete customer journeys and provide agents with highly specific and prescriptive guidance that extend their role beyond being reactive problem solvers.
How to Move Forward
A holistic approach is needed to reduce the complexity on the agent desktop, leverage existing and emerging technologies to streamline and automate workstreams for greater efficiency.
These are just a few examples of the increasing complexity in contact centers and the need to understand and support customer needs. The relationship between agents and customers has never been so complicated, and it’s increasingly being shaped by today’s technologies. IT decision-makers don’t need to have a granular understanding of all this complexity but need to understand how these technologies can make that complexity manageable.
What’s most important is being able to deploy complex technologies in a way that both enables and empowers agents to provide a seamless CX. This is harder than it looks, and the process begins with focusing on the end result – seamless CX – and working backwards to collaborate with the right technology partners who know how to support that.
Upstream Works provides enhanced omnichannel contact center solutions that make CX personal, seamless, and effortless. We empower agents with a feature-rich, unified desktop and seamless integration across multiple applications and CRMs for data-driven CX engagements and better outcomes.
Contact us and see how we assist organizations like yours reduce contact center complexity with a holistic approach to an amazing, seamless customer experience.