In the world of customer service, there have been two extreme goals that have defined corporate strategies over the years: maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Of course, most companies rarely focus all of their customer service strategies and technology purchasing on either extreme, but they have tended towards one end of the spectrum or the other. In tight economic conditions, the general trend was towards taking costs out of the business and this led to a strong emphasis on efficiency. But for the past several years, the general trend has been moving away from an efficiency focus and swinging more towards an effectiveness focus, with companies aiming to drive much richer customer experiences and to build greater customer loyalty. In fact, providing excellent customer experiences, with a focus on end-to-end customer journeys made up of personalized individual interactions, has become a driving force in many companies’ top-level strategies today.
But in today’s world of social, mobile and multi-channel customers, it has become more difficult to actually meet customers’ expectations. Today’s consumers insist on receiving consistent customer experiences, no matter which of the dozens of channels available to them that they choose use at that specific moment. But traditional contact center technology has created separate silos for each channel and each supporting technology, making it tricky to provide consistency across those channels.
In the past, companies managed customer care in organization silos, and supported those operations with equally siloed technologies. Call center operations teams were dependent upon disparate systems for reporting and for managing their workforces, giving them limited visibility into outsourcer partner environments. Reporting for each of these systems was separate, so enterprises had no comprehensive end-to-end reports and, therefore, no way to understand the full customer journey or to provide consistent experiences across channels and touchpoints. And, of course, each of these silos required its own IT support and development teams.
The problems caused by this tangle of disconnected technologies were exacerbated by increasingly distributed customer service organizations; companies had customer-facing employees in centralized in-house contact centers, with outsourcers, with work-at-home agents, in branch offices and retail locations or, most typically, in a combination of these customer touchpoints.
Fortunately for companies truly focused on driving great customer experiences, the technological landscape has shifted. Enterprises today can begin the process of modernizing their legacy call center infrastructure, moving from those multiple silos to a customer-centric, multi-channel contact center built atop an all-in-one platform based on SIP and other open standards.
Attend and learn more about one company’s journey towards centralizing its customer service on an all-in-one Customer Experience Platform based on open standards at our On Demand webinar with Visa – one of the most widely-known acknowledged leader in providing consistently excellent customer experiences. Click here to view the webinar.