No matter your age, brand preferences, or purchasing habits, it’s a given that you’ve called and engaged with a call center at some point. Call centers originated in the 1950s with women who worked out of the home operating phones in their living rooms. While technology in the coming years made it easy for workers to accept and route calls, the term “call center” wouldn’t be used until the early 80s.
Decades later, as the internet’s popularity soared and consumers surfed the web for answers to their questions, the next great evolution was taking place. “Call centers” would become “contact centers” as new consumer outreach methods like email, chat, and social media came into fashion. Now, again, the industry is in the throes of another significant advancement, thanks to the latest wave of digital technology—with these four initiatives leading the charge for the contact centers of the future.
Proactive customer service is an emerging concept changing how brands solve customers’ problems. And also, how customers think of the brands they engage with. In order to make this happen, brands are utilizing big data and analytics to anticipate customer complaints. Even before the customer makes contact.
Anticipating customers’ needs requires the brand to know how its customers think, feel and act. Tactics like surveying and measuring engagement rates on tailored outreach efforts help brands get a good pulse on the customer. Further, heat mapping and web analytics showing where visitors are going on the brand’s website. (and for how long) Helping the brand pinpoint areas of both interest and ambiguity. Armed in advance with that information, contact center representatives can be better equipped with the correct answers.
This next tip goes hand in hand with anticipating customer concerns. The reality is that modern contact centers should be able to solve problems faster, even if they don’t know what the customer will ask. Contact centers can do this by having clearly defined processes for routing calls. The last thing an annoyed or irritated customer wants is to bounce from representative to representative, each less helpful than the last.
A customer-centric approach ensures specialized representatives are ready to take particular types of calls or emails. This concept eliminates the idea of a generalist, opting instead to utilize representatives who have been trained in a particular aspect of the business. However, processes are only as good as the employees working through them. That means it’s important to train representatives on the ins and outs of the business and its processes. Making them feel comfortable and confident in handling customer outreach. Sophisticated routing software and intensive online learning and training modules make these goals possible.
Sure, your business might close up shop at 5 p.m. on Friday, but your customers’ thirst for answers surely doesn’t. Thankfully, digital technology specifically artificial intelligence (AI) is making it possible for that thirst to be quenched 24/7/365. Developers can use AI to create chatbots, software applications that conduct online chat conversations without the need for humans.
These two-way communication streams will often start by asking the customer what kind of help they need. The chatbot then scans the customer’s response in search of keywords. (i.e., hours of operation and location or product information). In the event the chatbot can’t help, a polite response is given to the customer, asking them to call back during regular business hours. While chatbots aren’t 100% effective, they do represent a viable way for brands to answer customer questions after hours when fed with the right data.
If you’re focusing on the points mentioned above, there’s a good chance your representatives will do a fine job serving your customers. Using quality assurance technology makes improving your representatives’ skill sets easier than ever before. Quality assurance software can monitor and track your employees’ work, shining a light on their strengths and weaknesses.
The most robust quality assurance solutions also feature technology that enables you to record representatives at work so you can review their performance during teaching moments. This data can be extrapolated, empowering the organization to build a digital scorecard. Evaluating the contact center as a whole.
A modern contact center is one way to enhance your brand’s relationship with the customer, but not the only way. Field service management software like EnSight+ can assist you in better serving your customers and improving first-time fix rates. Learn how by booking your demo of EnSight+ today.
All monitored by you, in real time. Are you ready to take control?