Technology contact centers must have before 2018


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Did you feel the shift in 2016? Business innovators heard the jaded cries of unsatisfied customers and poured resources into new technology to help. Ecommerce engines and social media paired up for easy shop functions, chat got an AI upgrade, and the internet of things (IoT) cracked the door for proactive customer support.

Yes, 2016 had a remarkable amount of customer service innovation. But companies need to adopt these new support technologies and quickly.

Customers want better service, and those who deliver it will see remarkable growth sooner rather than later. Research by NewVoiceMedia shows that in 2014, 49 percent of people reported leaving a business due to inadequate customer service. Likewise, 70 percent of respondents indicated they would be more loyal if provided with good service.

Good service is an ever-moving benchmark. Each year, customers expect more. Companies update their customer service programs and subsequently set new expectations. “Best” is the Bar, and tech is the platform to reach it.

According to Gartner, “Through 2018, an ecosystem containing at least four types of product will be required to build the ideal customer engagement center, the core of which will be an intelligent system for CRM case management¹.”

Cloud customer relationship management (CRM) has proven the vertex of modern business practice. Businesses have shifted resources toward systems like Salesforce so that they can benefit from quick and easy-to-deploy management applications.

Within those platforms, Gartner explains, “there are seven main categories of technology that can be considered to help improve operational performance and employee engagement. Some are established domains, albeit with low market penetration, while others are only just emerging.”

• Intelligent scripting
• Process guidance
• Process automation
• Desktop unification
• Virtual personal assistant
• Task assignment
• Internal collaboration

When evaluating your own contact center, consider what tools will most benefit your team. Many contact center vendors have or will soon add the technologies that reflect the seven categories above. Your company won’t likely opt for a top-to-bottom upgrade, but they may consider new features to increase your bottom line.
When considering your contact center tech, here is a list of questions you should ask yourself:

1) Do you have an organized CRM?

Personally, I feel that “desktop unification” should be a top priority for any business.

Lots of companies have made the mistake of adding new technology that doesn’t work or communicate well with their existing processes. If tasks and applications require multiple windows and or concurrent actions, service agents are likely to abandon the tools or make mistakes.

At very least companies should have a coherent organizational structure – something easy for agents to follow. Consolidate what technology you can, and add tech that simplifies processes.

2) Can customers reach support or find answers quickly?

Sometimes less is more. Many companies deploy tools to simplify their backend process but simultaneously muddy their user experience. Sure, having an advanced dial directory might lessen the workload for agents. But if customers have to spend 10 minutes mashing their way through yes/no questions, is it worth it?

As stated above, look for technology that simplifies – this means both for the back and front end of your business. Don’t sacrifice user experience when improving agent efficiency. Instead, look for tools that can better both.

3) How much information do you collect on your customers?

Future business will involve closer and more personal relationships with customers. Consequently, companies need to up their data collection process.

No, this does not mean you need to know John’s favorite hiking trail (unless maybe you’re a camping outlet). But you should have a good grasp of each customer’s interests and habits as they pertain to your business.

Look for tools that can improve your customer data collection. Streamline preference collection and minimalize customer effort. Deploy applications that can quickly transform data into prescriptive suggestions.

To learn more about How to choose a cloud contact center provider, and why early adopters are racing ahead of their competition, check out “Cloud Contact Centers: What to look for and how to choose,” a NewVoiceMedia white paper featuring research from Forrester.

Tim Pickard
Tim joined NewVoiceMedia in July 2011 as the SVP of Marketing. He has over 20 years' experience as a leader in the IT industry. He served as VP and board member of RSA Security's international business for seven years where he ran marketing in EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan. He spent two years as Chief Marketing Officer for SaaS/Cloud-based email management provider Mimecast.


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