Technology puts access to information directly in the hands of consumers. And for brands that are doing everything right, that means rethinking the customer experience. Call centers have been a staple feature of customer service for big brands for decades. But today’s customers don’t have the patience to wait in a hold queue, and they are too bright for poorly designed AI chatbots.
In a world where one bad experience can end a relationship with a customer, the focus needs to be on the two things that matter most. 80% of customers report that the speed of customer service is the most critical factor in how they view the brand. And behind speed, 70% of consumers say that getting the correct information in a friendly, helpful manner is essential. This means that your contact center needs to be efficient and effective.
Today’s Contact Center Analytics
What do customers want out of your contact center in 2021? The majority (68%) of them like a variety of self-service channels to solve simple issues. And when things get more complex, they (78%) want to speak to one helpful, knowledgeable person who will solve their problem.
So, how are successful brands meeting the needs of this new brand of consumer?
- Embracing AI technologies to make self-service channels useful.
- Focusing on integrated systems that allow contact centers to provide a seamless contact experience with zero transfers between departments.
- Adopting digital channels to interact with customers.
- Incentivizing friendliness and positive interactions among their staff.
- Cultivating loyalty through transparency.
- Investing big in employee training.
Visaya offers consultative services to help your business grow into the future. If you are looking to embrace new technologies and expanse your contact center services, we can help you map out a plan that works. Learn more today.
The Difference Between Call Center Functions And A Contact Center
Although you may find that many businesses like to use the terms call center and contact center interchangeably, they are actually two different business models for customer support. So, what are the key differences, and which one is right for your business?
A call center focuses on telecommunications, and a contact center blends telecommunications with other channels of customer support like text, chat, and other digital options. These contact options are integrated through a central system so that customers can switch between channels without disrupting their experience.
Key Elements of a Customer Contact Center:
- Combination of voice and non-voice digital communication channels.
- Predictive, customer-focused service solutions.
- Empowering customers through self-service options.
- Dynamic tools for engaging customer interactions.
- Comprehensive customer data files compiled across all channels.
- Advanced call routing features.
Call centers have been around since the 1960s, and while many businesses still use them, the modern consumer demands more options. To meet the expectations of these consumers, many companies are switching to the contact center model in hopes of embracing technology to better connect with their customer base.
Employee Training is the Key to a Successful Contact Center
Contact centers can invest buckets full of money in all of the latest technologies like well-designed predictive service responses and AI chatbots and still lose out on customer interactions. The critical element of a contact center is still the human element. Well-trained, friendly, and knowledgeable staff will win your customers over every time.
Service failures occur when customers get bounced around to different departments, or the information that they receive is incorrect. We have all heard call center horror stories about customer service representatives that guess or provide false information to get a problematic customer off of the line.
The key to preventing those types of negative experiences is to provide extensive onboarding and recurrent training for all employees. How much time does your company currently invest in training new hires from orientation until they are fully proficient? Many contact centers spend a full 90 days to reach proficiency in entry-level skills.
This lengthy training process includes the typical Human Resource orientation, classroom training, shadowing on the job, transitioning to independent work, and achieving full proficiency. And this is just the initial scope of the training. Proficient employees will then pick up additional skills through subsequent training modules until they have completed all of the available opportunities.
How A Contact Center Saves Everyone Time And Money
Contact centers are focused on proactive customer service, whereas call centers are focused on reactive customer service. When your company is proactive in meeting customer needs, you stay ahead of problems before they can do damage. Up to one-third of customers walk away from brands they love after one bad experience. With a hefty customer acquisition price tag averaging between 12 – 15% of your annual revenue, those are relationships that you can’t afford to end.
What’s more, is that up to 92% of customers will leave after 2 or 3 bad experiences. The value is in building long-term relationships, and that is why brands spend so much money on customer acquisition. It also means that your contact center cannot afford any negative experiences. With the technology available today, contact centers can identify and address problems before the customer becomes aware of the problem.
Contact centers that embrace customer loyalty have the potential to save the most time and money. Your brand can spend less time chasing after new customers to replace the ones you have lost. And your customers can spend less time on the phone.
Related: The Evolving Art of Customer Service
Contact centers are quickly replacing call centers as the proactive way to interact with customers. This business model provides brands with the most opportunities for managing customer interactions so that they can continually shape positive customer experiences. Contact centers utilize technology integration, thorough training, and a culture of positivity to infuse their contact centers with the right stuff to keep their customers happy.
Visaya is a Filipino-owned company that makes it simple to outsource your knowledge needs. We can help with contact center solutions that make your company look good. Contact us today to get started.