As your company evaluates call center applications and other enterprise technologies, you’re likely faced with the hard fact that current capabilities and aging systems are not aligned with the direction your customers are heading – nor the demands they now make for interacting with you.
As 2015 begins, we can see that for consumers, it’s a mobile-first world. At the same time, social networks and digital channels beyond voice are quickly becoming preferred for daily dialogue and the exchange of information. Increasingly, applications and services are cloud-based, accessible from anywhere, on any device. When it comes to customer engagement, contact centers are being required to transform into customer experience centers where the future of relationships and loyalty are determined.
Where do you start?
So, how does your company drive this critical transformation in your business? One of the keys to modernizing your aging contact center is the integration of critical capabilities and functional benefits. The business drivers are clear – integration helps your company connect the dots – both internally, in the elimination of silos, and externally, in fielding customer sales and service inquiries through multiple channels.
According to a recent Forrester Software Survey, almost 40% of companies today plan technology investments in customer service and sales. For most companies, one of the most common reasons to modernize systems and better integrate sales and service is to address the problem of abandoned online shopping carts. It’s no secret that consumers are now buying in record volume using browsers and mobile devices. But, according to Forrester, 52% of consumers will abandon their online purchases if they can’t find a quick answer to product or service questions. This makes it critical to tie the online sales process to your contact center so inquiries through any voice or digital channel can be fielded. According to Forrester, customers wish to use multiple channels in a single interaction – like chatting with a sales agent while viewing your website. Aging contact center applications are ill-equipped for these modern demands and new preferences consumers have for engaging with companies and organizations.
Directly serving customers is not the only reason to modernize and integrate your contact center, however. One of the biggest barriers to great customer experience is the existence of organizational silos. Disparate systems and disconnected teams often mean that customers aren’t served efficiently. According to the recent Global eBusiness and Channel Strategy survey, 44% of companies don’t integrate these functional silos and therefore lack the ability to provide seamless handoffs internally for customer issues. The result: a disconnected customer journey that often leaves customers frustrated and at risk of moving to the competition.
When it comes to breaking down organizational silos of customer engagement, integrating analytics and reporting into contact center operations can transform your business, as you gain 360-degree insights into customer journeys and how your employees are handling interactions. As you modernize and add reporting applications, consider these four categories of analytics that your integrated contact center should employ:
- Statistical Analytics – to mine transactional and operational activities in order to gain a better understanding of trends.
- Speech Analytics – to analyze the conversations your agents have with your customers and improve workforce performance.
- Text Analytics – to ensure that chat, SMS and email communications are efficient, while resolving customer issues and being regulation-compliant to protect your company.
- Social Analytics – to monitor customer interactions on social networks, giving you opportunities for resolving expressed issues which impact your brand.
More than ever, modernizing your contact center capabilities and integrating all this new functionality to gain efficiencies requires the deployment of cloud solutions. With the cloud, new implementations happen faster, capacity and costs scale easier to accommodate unpredictable demand, and technology refreshes happen on a more regular basis.
Successful companies like yours recognize that delivering great CX requires an integrated approach to contact center operations – especially while moving off-premises or to hybrid deployments.
For more details, ideas and info on this topic, check out our latest eBook, 7 Drivers for Buying an Integrated Contact Center Suite. The eBook is a great resource to use when considering and making the case for integrated technology investments. Get it here now!