At the recent G-Force Vienna event I was encouraging a customer to attend one of our sessions about virtualization and how to “make it real.” Imagine my surprise when he told me: “We have been doing virtualization for the last 7 years or more.” I was astonished to say the least!
However, it got me thinking. Do all of us mean the same thing when we use the term Contact Center Virtualization? To what extent is the concept internalized and implemented within organizations?
As we were continuing with the conversation I discovered that this company used a blend of internal contact center resources with some outsourced services, and they handle overflow with back-of-the-house advisors during peak periods. In a nutshell, they utilized a broad range of resources inside and outside the company.
But is this enough in an environment where practically all products and services are commoditized and customer engagement and service are left as a company’s key differentiators? How do managers deal with the constant pressure to deliver great customer experiences, while reducing operational costs at the same time? How to they handle infrastructure limitations that increase the complexity of processes, while also being unable to support the flexibility and agility that today’s customer engagement demands?
Enter Contact Center Virtualization, which is not only about utilizing all the resources in the organization, but also doing it in an optimized way. When your customers contact you they want to be assisted by someone who has the right capabilities to solve their problem, and with the right amount of authority to make decisions. The reality is that these people could be located anywhere in your company or organization – or externally.
And you need to ensure your customer’s inquiry is going to be addressed effectively and efficiently, meeting your customers’ satisfaction. Here are some tips that will help you to achieve this:
- Segment your customers based on basic attributes and the value that they bring to your company. You need to focus on those customers who impact the most on your revenues.
- Define your resource skills model to provide service to those valuable customers segments and address their needs. Identify which capabilities your resources need to have, what they’re good at, and coach and train them to enable handling of new types of interactions.
- Break the boundaries of the contact center by operating under a unique pool of resources, considering in-sourced and outsourced resources, home workers, back office, branches Offices and retail stores. This is possible with a single customer engagement platform that can manage all interactions, across all channels, across all sites and resource pools.
- Design your business rules around your entire resource pool. Consider the value of the interaction (based on attributes like the customer value of who is calling, the interaction type, the interaction channel, etc.) and define the strategy to prioritize and distribute them.
- Implement a common and centralized customer engagement platform for managing your customer interactions, allowing you to have an enterprise wide view of available employees ready to receive customer questions and to increase control of the quality of the experience delivered to your customers.
Follow this link if interested to learn more about Virtual Customer Service and how it can improve the effectiveness of your contact center.
If you have a comments, I’d love to hear from you!