4 Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience

Providing an excellent customer experience is hard work, but it's essential to your business's success. As the face of the customer service department, your contact center is an instrumental tool to address any problems with your customer's satisfaction. Improving the customer experience is a multi-step process and will often require some retooling along the way. Below, we have four ways to improve your customer experience.

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How to Coach Your Contact Center Agents

If you want to facilitate an environment for your contact center agents to succeed, you need to start coaching. Coaching is a great way to encourage, enable, and empower your agents to not only want to be better at their jobs but perform better. Coaching is also a great opportunity for your agents to learn new skills, get feedback on the work they are doing, and resolve the problems they might be having with calls.

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Transitioning Back to the Contact Center

With the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, everyone needs to understand exactly what it means to come back to the office. Contact centers are at an especially high-risk for transmission due to the number of people on each shift and the sharing of equipment between team members throughout the day. There need to be strict safety guidelines in place for businesses that are bringing their workforce back into the office. In this blog, we go into detail on what bringing your staff back to the contact center should look like.

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What's next? Future proofing your contact center

 

Adaptability is the key to survival for all businesses, and none more so than contact centers.

With consumer habits changing constantly, and the continuing influence of technology on customer-business interactions, looking to the future isn't an option, it's a necessity.

Here we'll do just that. This article will examine a few trends that are already occurring in the contact center industry, and some that you're likely to see in the years to come.

Call Design has solutions to help contact centres navigate the complex world of technology.Technological innovations will play a huge role in the future of contact centers.

1. Increased personalization

The likes of Spotify and Netflix long ago cottoned on to the fact that personalization is the key to customer satisfaction, and this is a trend that's branching out far beyond the entertainment industry.

There are numerous ways that contact centers can personalize the experiences their customers have. These include:

  • Omni-channel approaches: Social media has revolutionized the way people talk to each other, and to businesses. These days, customers expect to be able to reach agents through the medium that's most convenient to them, so establishing which platforms are favored by your consumer base is a great way to show you understand their habits.
  • Empathetic agents: Training your agents to understand a product or service is one thing, ensuring they get this information across in a manner that creates trust with a customer is quite another. Managing the quality of your staff's service should remain an utmost priority for workforce leaders.

2. New technologies

We've already discussed the impact of social media, but there are plenty of other tech-based innovations that have a part to play in the future of contact centers.

Artificial Intelligence: 

Many contact centers are already taking advantages of the benefits offered by artificial intelligence (AI), and its capabilities are only going to increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

A few examples of how AI can be used in contact centers include:

  • Helping customers find useful information: In the digital age, consumers will often turn to the internet before picking up the phone. Virtual assistants can be used to direct these users to an FAQ page based on their query, or connect them with the best qualified agent.
  • Taking the place of interactive voice response (IVR) processes: The machine learning capabilities of AI means that it can go beyond presenting a caller with a set of choices, as is seen with IVR. Instead bots can begin to understand statements and therefore provide a better level of customer experience.

Biometric security:

Customers are often asked to give out sensitive information when interacting with contact centers, so it's imperative they trust you. As a result, It's likely that simple identification questions such as full name, age and address will soon become a thing of the past.

Instead, voice biometrics will provide agents with a quick and efficient method of flagging suspicious behavior that could denote fraud. This works through speech recognition, meaning that even the most advanced fraudsters would struggle to gain access to the information they need.

Voice biometrics could have an important role to play in the future of contact centres.Voice biometrics can help contact centers protect their customers from fraudsters.

3. Changing work patterns

It's no secret that sitting at a desk all day isn't great for your body, or your productivity. Well, even that could be set to change.

Computers and headsets are so ingrained into the stereotypical contact center environment that it's difficult to imagine life without them, but as speech-text technology keeps improving these items may be consigned to the history books. Agents will be free to move around the office, creating a more dynamic workplace and fewer manual administrative tasks.

Going a step beyond this, the numbers of remote workers are also likely to increase. Flexible work arrangements featured in the top five factors that make an employer attractive, according to PwC's Millennials At Work survey. Therefore, finding techniques that enable staff to take greater control over both how and where they work is an important consideration for any contact center manager.

Call Design's ME Mobile App can help with this. Accessible from your agents' smart devices, this piece of software allows employees to keep track of their schedules, apply for leave and swap shifts with colleagues to create timetables that work for them and you. They can do all of this while on the go, which also reduces the pressure on your workforce management team.

While the day-to-day takes up the majority of your time as a contact manager, it's important to keep an eye on the horizon. Call Design has a raft of training and solutions that you can leverage to ensure your contact center is prepared for anything the future might throw at you. For more information, get in touch with our team today.


Inbound vs. outbound contact center channels

 

There used to be a clear division between inbound and outbound contact centers - one was for customer service, the other for sales. But with the increase in initiatives like inbound marketing and a greater call for proactive customer support, these lines have blurred. Sales people are as likely to receive inbound communication as to reach out themselves, and to some degree, the opposite applies to customer support agents.

So in this contemporary contact center space, what channels are most important? We examine inbound versus outbound channels and discuss how agents can be prepared to use them.

47 per cent of customers would sooner go online to complain than place a phone call.

Inbound contact center channels

Social media

All modern contact centers should incorporate social media into their business. And we're not just talking about direct chat, but monitoring comments, tweets and the like, too. According to an eGain report, 47 per cent of consumers would sooner go online to complain than place a phone call, and 18-35-year-old customers are twice as likely to use the web for complaints than those over 55 years.

But do you create a dedicated social media monitoring team or train your existing agents on the relevant platforms? There are mixed recommendations in the industry on this. Where the former may let you hone the expertise of your team, the latter integrates social media into the wider business - which might help you track queries and record data alongside other channels.

Chatbots

Chatbots are a growing trend. This is where customers talk with a system powered by artificial intelligence instead of an agent. Chatbots solve simple problems and let humans focus on more complex, important duties, allowing you to improve customer turnaround and increase their satisfaction.

That said, a business has to be ready for chatbots. They require a team of engineers (in-house or otherwise) and regular upgrading in order to operate effectively. On top of that, chatbots tend to work best when limited in scope; if a chatbot has to do too much, it can struggle, but a simple task it can repeat over and over will help it excel. For anything more complex, it must escalate to a human handler - which is where your agents will require additional training.

Inbound contact centres are increasingly featuring social media and chatbots.Chatbots and social media are becoming increasingly prominent in the inbound contact center space.

Content

Content - i.e. blogs, whitepapers and the like - may not seem like channels for your sales or customer service agents, but it's vital that your contact center staff keep up-to-date on what content is being published.

This is because the goal of content marketing is typically to attract more users to your website, answering their queries and educating them on topics relating to your product. Many of these customers will continue through the marketing pipeline to your contact center staff with questions relating to what they've just read or watched. If your agents aren't aware of what is being promoted, they may be unable to help further and this could cause a negative customer experience.

Traditional channels

Of course, no inbound versus outbound list would be complete without the traditional channels. Phone calls, emails and IVR remain important parts of the inbound contact center environment even as new technology takes greater importance - this is especially true of older generations, who eGain found still prefer phone calls. So while chatbot and social media training may be exciting, it's important never to let your fundamentals drop.

When was the last time you optimized your forecasting and scheduling system, or your IVR software?

Social media can be an effective tool for outbound contact centers chasing warm leads.

Outbound contact center channels

Social media and email

Social media and email have grown into strong inbound channels, but they should be integrated into your outbound center as well. This is to fit in with a warm calling strategy, where agents are reaching out to sales prospects who they've already made contact with online.

Most warm calls will likely follow an email request for a quote or demo, but contact center agents can also start warm relationships with social media. This could be in the form of replying to prospects' posts, or sending direct messages. Achieving this in your business will require basic social media training for agents, plus expanded training on how to research relevant prospects online (i.e. via LinkedIn).

Advanced dialers

Dialers have of course been around for years, but modern systems greatly surpass their legacy counterparts in terms of functionality. Modern computer algorithms allow systems like Aspect Predictive Dialer to be forward-thinking tools, detecting busy signals and no-answers, modifying campaigns dynamically, tracking and managing consent, and providing proactive outreach via voice, email or SMS.

These features are designed to maximize agent effectiveness and productivity, and they fit readily into a modern data-centric contact center.

Advanced predictive diallers are a valuable asset to outbound contact centres hoping to improve productivity.With a predictive dialer, your outbound agents would spend more time on calls and less time waiting between them.

In conclusion

Inbound contact centers are growing in size and importance, but outbound centers are still going strong and their success rates can be bolstered with smart digital channels. For local contact centers looking to improve their services, technology and training is a must.

If you need help installing either of these in your business, reach out to Call Design today. We've been a leading consultancy in the Australian contact center space since 1999, with a raft of advanced technology solutions and best-practice training sessions available to optimize your workforce and improve your customer experience.

To learn more, contact us today.