While voice is the interaction type most preferred by customers, it is gradually losing ground to other channels. After voice, email is by far the most dominant channel delivering interactions into the contact center. Many businesses have imagined that email support would be a great way to eliminate costly phone calls, but relatively few have been able to provide a truly remarkable customer experience via email.
E-mail really can and does add value to a lot of customers, but too often the contact center fails to capitalize on its full potential.
So your customers want to talk to you. How are you going to let them? While the majority of customer interactions are still handled over the telephone, it's important to be flexible and sensitive to what your customers need. The business that fails to allow customers to interact using THE CUSTOMER'S preferred method is going to miss opportunities, fall behind the competition, or even worse.
In addition to live-agent help over a telephone, customers often expect options for e-mail, web chat, fax, and "snail mail".
The PEW Internet researchers recently published the results of their Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey with astounding results. Would you like a sneak peek at the next generation of customers who will be calling your contact center? Let me warn you first by saying that the next generation is much different that the current contact center caller. Take a look at the report for yourself.
There is a tremendous amount of information in the report and just reading the numbers doesn’t really do it justice. So I wanted to point you to a terrific infographic that was created by Flowtown based on the data in the report. Now, take a visual tour of the results of the report in this infographic.
Is the IVR voicemail option becoming obsolete due to more advanced and efficient customer service IVR solutions, such as the callback feature where a caller is prompted to a leave a callback number while the system holds their place in queue? I say yes, and thank goodness!
There was once a time when most IVRs offered callers the option of leaving a voicemail message during high call volume periods, or when offices were closed. This practice inevitably causes an impact to service level when agents are faced with the task of listening to voicemail messages rather than handling the next call in queue.
If you are like most contact centers, you have deployed some level of quality management program, whether it is as simple as manually scoring or form or more complex through the deployment of sophisticated systems technologies such as screen recording and analytics. Some of you may have even gone a step further and also deployed a Voice of the Customer program, allowing you to capture customer feedback through some channel, such as feedback surveys.
If you have been lucky enough to be able to deploy both programs, you still may not be maximizing the potential.
Wayne Gretzky, one of the greatest professional hockey players in the history of the NHL once said, “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” In a fast moving sport, the athlete who can read the action well enough to anticipate where the play is going to be and get there first will have the edge over other players. This is what “The Great One” demonstrated when he played the game.
Right now, there is a lot of action in the contact center space. Do you know where the play is going to be next?
In the last installment we discussed the need for a business continuity or disaster recovery plan for any organization or contact center that handles revenue critical work, in the office place.
Now we will focus in on a few best practices to ensure continuity in the event of a disaster, big or small.
First let’s start with the telecommunications component. Many organizations have voice T-1s or multiple T-1s running into their contact center or office environment. One thing your telecom provider can help you investigate is whether the building you inhabit has multiple fiber entrance points into the building. While certainly less common, it is fortunate when two local access providers (usually the incumbent telco or local exchange carrier (LEC) and a newer entrant into the dial tone market, the competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) ) both run feeds into the same building at differing points.