Your business’s contact center often deals with customers under make or break
circumstances for your relationship with that customer forever. Keeping your contact center up to date with the latest trends and smartest best practices plays a crucial role in business growth.
Emphasis on customer experience
There’s never been more reason to emphasize the customer experience in your call center than there is today. Or as much evidence and research supporting the idea that it’s you’re highest priority as a business. Customers won’t quickly forget their experience with your call center, for better or for worse. Thus the quality of your customer support can rapidly become a defining point in your reputation and image.
It’s not uncommon for a customer with a problem resolved satisfactorily to view your company more positively than one who never had a problem. They’re far more likely to share that experience with other potential customers than they otherwise would be.
On the other hand, a repeat customer who has favored your company for years may turn into your harshest critic after a single bad interaction with your call center. Nothing will destroy company growth faster than losing your core base of customers to your own poor support systems.
By setting goals for your call center consistent with improving customer experience, even at the expense of other metrics, you give your business a firmer foundation for growth.
Equipping agents with the tools and decision-making options necessary to successfully satisfy customer calls is crucial to encouraging business growth. This depends on the nature of your business, the types of customer problems your support team deals with, and the structure of your call center. It may be as simple as giving agents latitude in redirecting calls to more appropriate agents without concern about metrics.
Alternatively, it may mean ensuring individual agents are better equipped and trained allowing more freedom when interacting with customers. Regardless of how you empower your contact center agents, it’s important that you do so. Nothing frustrates customers more than waiting to speak to a human being only to find out that person cannot help them.
Both of these can be achieved purely through modern software solutions, which we’ll touch on in later in this article. Suffice to say that a single agent with the full breadth and depth of relevant information on a particular customer or issue a few keystrokes away is far more likely to successfully close a call than one working with a limited script.
Refined customer management solutions
There are many tools available to a forward-thinking contact center in 2019. These are enhanced by decades of research on customer interaction with call centers, the power of machine learning, and multiple generations of try/fail with lesser solutions.
Cutting edge solutions for managing your customers give your contact center—and every other person who contacts your customers for any reason—an unprecedented level of understanding of said customers. Modern customer management tools can rapidly segment incoming customers. They can be redirected to the most optimal agents and presenting those agents with the most optimal information and approach to interacting with that customer.
It’s the same technology which allows marketing materials to grow ever more personalized and relevant with the same amount of human input, or organizes and redirects leads to the most appropriate sales teams. In fact, cutting-edge management solutions of this type can unify data on every customer interaction, from marketing to sales to your third party contact center.
The best call for your customer service team is the one it never needs to deal with. Easy problems may pad your numbers and make your resolution rate look a bit better. Those same easy problems are best handled by thorough documentation and self-service solutions that keep those callers off the phone.
There is, after all, a minimum investment of time and effort in even the simplest of support calls. These countless minor problems which could be self-serviced slow your agents. Without the benefit of satisfied customers, as often these minor problems stem from failures of documentation.
Social media support
Modern call centers need to be able to engage customers in reaching out for help on social media. The longer a question or problem sits unattended on social media, the worse it is for your company. Consequently, your customer may become dissatisfied and move on to a competitor in the future. Accordingly, that failure can rapidly become an extremely public mistake.
Ensure your contact center can capture and react to support requests -or simple complaints- on major social media sites. By doing this you ensure the same quality of answer in all mediums. An agent tied into the general system of customer support and customer management can answer questions posed on social media far more effectively, quickly, and accurately than a social media specialist with no particular capacity in customer support.
Alternative communication routes
Social media isn’t the only new way customers expect to engage your company. It’s important to equip your call center to deal with the many options rising in popularity in recent year. You should be able to receive incoming calls or texts from any number of communication apps.
There’s no reason for your various call center systems to be independent and disconnected in 2018. It slows efficiency and reduces the availability of important data for team members, team managers, and decision-makers outside the call center.
Customers no longer ‘stay in one lane’, if they ever did. Someone who interacts with your company primarily through your website may suddenly make a phone call. Subsequently, they follow up that call with an email or a comment on social media. If these channels aren’t working together in a unified system, the people fielding each incoming message won’t understand the customer’s needs or expectations.
It’s never been easier nor more effective to crunch the numbers on a call center than it is in 2018. At the forefront of contact center trends directly contributing to customer growth are machine-learning driven analytics. They are giving business owners unprecedented levels of information on the efficiency and efficacy of every component of the customer support process.
Not only can modern analytics tell you what’s happening in your call centers, but they can also predict what to expect in your call centers over time with predictive analytics. Furthermore, they can even guide your teams with data-driven suggestions for improvements via prescriptive analytics.
Contact center analytics aren’t just important for managing your customer support. They can offer valuable insight for customer segmentation and consumer behaviors which can shape your marketing, sales, and more.
Remote agents remain one of the contact center trends with the most significant potential for driving business growth. Combined with cloud management, a decentralized network of agents offers flexibility, cost efficiency, and efficacy in managing calls.
The shift to remote agents offers many of the benefits of traditional overseas outsourcing with few of the drawbacks. In addition to advanced analytics and tools for keeping agents on the same page, a company can field a decentralized team of remote agents every bit as competent, organized, and monitored as a team maintained in a single location.
Ultimately, the key to a contact center that can grow your business comes down to two things. Prioritize customer satisfaction, and do so as efficiently and effectively as possible by leveraging cutting-edge technology.