It’s the start of another new year, which means people all across the country are making resolutions to become the best versions of themselves. But it’s not just people; even businesses are looking at ways they can improve. And one area that is being meticulously scrutinized is a company’s call center technology used to communicate with customers, along with their agents’ performance.
The contact center is a primary source for delivering one of, if not THE most important piece of a company’s success: the customer experience. The customer experience drives repeat business, loyalty, and referrals.
Here are three of the top trends in 2017 that businesses are adopting in order to ensure they provide their customers with the best experience possible.
1. Provide Customers with The Right Call Center Communication Channels
More people are reaching out to customer service than ever before. Is this because the quality of goods and services has declined, and more people need help? Not at all. It just means customers these days have more options when it comes to choosing how they receive the assistance they seek. With computers, smartphones, and other devices that put information literally right at people’s fingertips, most people will first try to resolve an issue on their own by looking for answers online or sending a quick email. Companies are heeding this preference by offering communication channels such as live chat, email, and FAQ’s, all of which are designed to provide customers with fast, reliable service.
But with all these new choices people have when it comes to customer service, there is still one method that remains at the top of the list: the reliable telephone.
Recent studies show over 70% of people still view a phone number as the most important contact option for a business to have.  This is because even though many customers prefer a self-service approach initially, there are often times when a problem is too complex to be solved online. When this happens, most people elect to call a business so they can speak with someone directly. Speaking with a live person provides more of a guarantee that a customer will be heard, and their problem will be fixed. Also, four out of five people still believe human interaction is a crucial part of contact centers. There is something about the human touch that customers crave, and it simply cannot be replicated by a computer, or even a virtual chat with a person. So while businesses should provide as many choices as possible to customers when it comes to service, they should always make sure customers have the ability to pick up the phone and call them whenever needed.
2. Have the Right Call Center Technology in Place
Businesses must be sure the call center technology they are using is current and up-to-date, particularly when it comes to dealing with customers and their complex needs and demands. Companies that implement speech analytics and other speech monitoring solutions have a potent tool that can scan thousands of phone conversations in minutes, looking for common words and phrases which can reveal patterns and trends. Speech analytics allows businesses to really hear the Voice of the Customer, so they can take the next best course of action. Using speech analytics, businesses can extract unstructured data and convert it into critical business insights, allowing businesses to make informed strategic decisions.
Many companies are acknowledging the requirement for better technology through the use of cloud-based contact center solutions. Six out of 10 companies currently use some variation of a cloud contact center technology, and that number is expected to increase dramatically over the next several years. In fact, contact centers using cloud-based solutions like cloud call recording and cloud-based speech analytics, are expected to grow nearly three times by 2021. And no wonder, when not only are cloud contact centers more cost effective, but they also provide such benefits as data security, global scalability, and boosts in efficiency. By moving to a cloud-based system call center technology, contact centers can address and solve the problems of both today and tomorrow.
3. Resolve Customers’ Issues Efficiently and Exceptionally with Call Center Technology
With practically everything being automated these days, the modern consumer expects things quickly (many people get annoyed when a web page takes more than five seconds to load), and this holds true even when they call a contact center. It should come as no surprise that a large portion of people believe “quick issue resolution” is imperative to a good experience when they reach out to a contact center. The majority of consumers expect the same efficiency from a contact center as they would from an online solution. This means customers have little to no patience for acts they view as inane such as tedious information gathering; they just want the agent to help them with their current dilemma.
Contact centers can help agents get data without wasting the customer’s time by implementing such tools as fields that automatically populate in computer databases, rather than have the customer wait while the agent manually fills in each field. This is especially helpful when an agent is interacting with a repeat caller, or someone who has an account with the company, as their information can and should be instantly available to the agent. With the right means, agents can quickly get the information they need so they can focus on what truly matters: the customer.
However, it will not matter how quickly an agent can address a customer’s problem if they cannot resolve it well. As previously mentioned, most people call a business when there is something they are unable to fix on their own, which means the issue they are dealing with tends to be more complicated. Therefore, customers expect a more advanced level of knowledge and assistance from call center agents, making ongoing agent training an absolute necessity. By incorporating automated quality monitoring tools such as speech analytics, contact centers can use data gathered in phone conversations to provide agents with more in-depth knowledge of how best to help customers, as well as polish any rough edges agents may have in their interactions with customers. With speech analytics, agents can gain the tools and knowledge they need to help make them confident in their abilities, and this confidence will help them gain the trust of consumers when they call. Customers are placing themselves in agents’ hands; companies must be sure their agents never lets a customer down.
Powerful, Affordable, Easy Call Center Technology Is At Your Fingertips
The trends of contact centers for 2017 appear to revolve around two primary goals: Making it easy for people to reach them, and resolving their issues quickly, both of which play key roles in the customer experience. The customer experience a contact center provides can determine such results as whether not a customer patronizes the business again, if they go to a competitor, and the likelihood of a customer to recommend a business to other people. Make sure your contact center is starting 2017 on the right foot and with the right call center technology in place!
Learn more about our cloud-based speech analytics solution that seamlessly works with any phone system or call center technologies already in place.