Consumers worldwide have radically changed their buying and service-request behavior over the past 10 years – from using multiple channels to reading reviews on social media to increasingly relying on family and friends for recommendations. At the same time, companies understandably attempted to reduce operational costs as economic conditions added pressure. For many, this meant pushing customers away from a key engagement touch point: the contact center. This was achieved through automation of interactions and processes.
Automating simpler tasks makes a lot of sense, but it also comes at a price – a disconnected customer journey. As consumers hit your website or mobile app first, the contact center has effectively been “demoted” from first in line to second in line. Your customers are already in touch with your brand, but it’s likely a one-way engagement vs. a two-way conversation.
This phenomena increases the importance of your customer routing strategy. As your customers fail to achieve first contact resolution, they will no doubt call or email your contact center or attempt a chat session through your website to connect with a real person. While your customer is already well in to their customer journey, your contact center may be under the impression this is the “first contact” with the customer.
Chances are that when customers do reach out to you for live contact, it’s for a more complex matter that the customer could not resolve on their own, so finding the right agent immediately is of critical importance. But, it’s also more complicated. This is due to the cross-channel nature of today’s customer experience and overall customer journeys.
Traditional hardware-based contact center solutions and CRM-like digital channel solutions often lack the ability to see across these channels, as well as across the journey with customer context and history of interactions. If your customer routing strategy is not able to preserve customer context and interaction state across the customer journey, your customers will feel you are not in control and are not keeping up with their pace and meeting their needs.
To check if your contact routing solution is up to the task, ask yourself these three questions:
- Can your routing solution look across all channels and connect customers to the best available resource – in real time?
- Does your routing solution store interaction history and preserve interaction state for all channels and provide it to your agents across the customer journey?
- Do you have a single platform that manages all your interactions?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, check out the whitepaper ‘Best Practices for Contact Center Routing‘ now! It provides a great view on how to both optimize the customer experience and meet internal business objectives like reducing cost with advanced customer routing.
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