21st century solutions give organizations the opportunity to make the customer service experience much more efficient.
Every business has a contact center, whether they know it or not. From small, help-desk contact centers to large-scale, multisite, multimedia contact centers, businesses need contact center solutions that enable remote workers, integrate business processes, control costs, and ensure business continuity.
The contact center has always played the essential role of being a centralized space for sending and receiving a high volume of phone requests. Through all the technological changes over the years, the one constant that remains is the customer itself. Creating a good (and lasting) first impression is still what businesses strive for and the ‘rule of thumb’ is to never let the customer go without solving their problem. That relationship is all about the culture and philosophy rather than metrics and technology. Creating an efficient and effective customer service experience is of the utmost importance.
Businesses need solutions that streamline operations and processes, improve communications, and are self-managed with minimal intervention. Once the customers know they can trust your company and your product, the next step is to simplify the technology. Contact center technology has become unbelievably sophisticated over the years, so companies need to be sure that their agents are properly equipped to represent the brand and be able to relay the message to their customers.
Here are some solutions that will make the customer experience more fulfilling and user friendly:
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
A contact center solution can help you enhance the customer experience from the moment calls reach your (IVR) system to call resolution. Your customers expect consistent, dependable communications despite accidents or unplanned emergencies that may occur—they need to know they can still reach you, and you need to know you can continue to perform critical business functions.
Integrate business processes
With forecasting tools and integrated workforce management tools, supervisors can ensure the right number of skilled agents are available to handle the forecasted call volume and help contact centers optimize resource use and effectively control costs.
Ensuring continuity in service and communications requires planning and strategy
It requires a sound communications infrastructure and daily activities that support business requirements for disaster recovery, business resumption, and emergency preparedness
Your business should be anticipatory, sophisticated, visionary and proactive, among many other things. In nurturing these critical elements, one inevitably reaps the benefits of everything that secures contact center success and longevity; strengthened customer service, augmented sales, maximized productivity and more. Below are a few additional best practices and tips for ensuring the success of your contact center.
Implement a Comprehensive, Unified Agent Desktop
There is undoubtedly a proliferation of live chat, online, mobile and social media across service channels, continually reinventing the customer choice and defining contact center success. Ensure that your customers are able to begin a transaction via one platform and then seamlessly move to another with full channel integration. Doing so requires a comprehensive, unified agent desktop that allows your agents to follow customers throughout their entire journey, no matter where it begins or ends.
Leverage the Power of Remote or At-Home Employees
Not only do at-home employees save you money (a study by Stanford University shows that call centers save an average $2,000 per year for every work-at-home employee) but strengthening your remote employee base keeps you at the forefront of contact center success by reducing employee turnover and strengthening your accessibility during peak and seasonal calling times.
Hone Your First-Call Resolution Strategy
Your customers demand fast, reliable and efficient service. By this, we mean precise, timely and complete answers to every single question asked and, most importantly, answers handled at a customer’s first contact with a company. This means your first call resolution strategy should be razor sharp. If not, your customers will undoubtedly meander to your competitors. Don’t believe us? Eighty-nine percent of consumers say they’ll begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience, according to a RightNow Customer Experience Report.
As noted, Contact center technology has become unbelievably sophisticated over the years, introducing its leaders to a wide array of spectacular solutions for accelerating business and seeing a more positive bottom line. Practically every organization can benefit from the continued evolution of contact center technology—from the small, “full-fledged” contact center to the enterprise facility employing tens of thousands of users. Each of the above features and functionalities will help aid your contact center in its pursuit of ultimate service success. At the end of the day, that’s most important feature of all.
Martyn Etherington is theChief Marketing Officer and Chief of Staff at Mitel. Etherington is responsible for all aspects of the company’s corporate marketing strategy, brand, and digital programs globally. As Chief of Staff, he is responsible for the execution and follow-through of the CEO and Mitel’s business priorities. Prior to joining Mitel®, Martyn served for 11 years as Tektronix Vice President of Marketing. In addition, he had responsibility for business operations and general management of the Latin America region. In this role, he provided leadership for all Tektronix marketing and business operations worldwide and was responsible for the development and execution of the company’s go-to-market and marketing growth strategies.