When asked, most executives would indicate that one of their strategic priorities is to deliver an excellent customer experience (CX). Research supports that organizations increasingly acknowledge that the CX is an important competitive differentiator that must be leveraged at all available opportunities. One of the most important places to ensure that people, processes, and technologies align with customer experience strategy is in the contact center. That warrants asking, is the contact center ready to handle the needs and expectations of the modern consumer?
Ventana Research discovered that organizations support an average of eight customer engagement channels, not just traditional calls and email but also chat, social, messaging and others. Additionally, these same organizations expect to see volumes increase across all channels. This presents a difficult challenge for contact center leaders as the systems used to manage these channels are often disparate and uncoordinated. The associated complications with routing contacts, integrating customer data and creating effective reporting lead to undesirable customer experiences. In an era when connectedness and ease of service are critical to a successful customer experience, disconnected systems are preventing the contact center from delivering on expectations.
To move ahead and excel at the customer experience, organizations must find a way to use systems that are enablers of success. This is where the complex and truly challenging part of the customer experience happens. The contact center must excel at the human-to-human interactions while mastering the use of automation and intelligence as appropriate. Furthermore, it has to coordinate it all into seamless cross-channel experiences that are powered by robust business intelligence and the thoughtful application of customer data. This can’t happen without investing in technology that enables seamless interactions, powered by a mix of relevant data and automated decision making. The expectation that advisors will toggle between half a dozen screens for a single customer interaction is outdated and must change for organizations to thrive on the CX battleground.
The good news is that it is possible for contact center teams to work smarter and deliver a cohesive customer experience without the extra time and complication of disconnected systems. The right platform can direct customers to their ‘best’ resource through the use of relevant data and automated decision making. In the context of omni-channel service, this could be live assistance, self-service or proactive service. And by combing an omni-channel experience and a unified agent desktop, organizations are able to scale their ability to deliver a personalized customer experience.
The reality is that for any company to deliver a truly great customer experience, it must ensure that it is deploying effective systems that place efficiency and access to information at the top of the list of priorities. This begins with a consolidation of the multiple disparate platforms that are utilized by agents and are unable to meet the needs of today’s consumers. Then, and only then, will companies begin the realize the total potential of delivering great customer experiences.
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