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Digital customer service

Making the Case for Digital-First Contact Center Communication — And Why it Matters More than Ever

Gone are the days where consumers are sat at desktop computers for hours on end. We are a society on-the-go, and customers expect businesses to follow suit. What does that mean for contact centers that have yet to transition into digital-first service? And how can you begin to pivot?

Especially in these uncertain times, being responsive to your customers matters more than ever. With consumers expecting to engage on their terms, in a way that’s easy and efficient, the flexibility and convenience of digital channels are an essential offering. For many organisations, this means making the business case for going digital to organisational leadership.

Keep reading to learn why introducing digital customer service is so critical and grab four impactful statistics from the 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark that will show leadership why digital can’t wait.

What is Digital First?

A truly digital-first approach is rooted in an excellent customer experience, positioning your brand to be responsive to those you serve. But let’s be clear: a digital-first contact center does not mean creating digital channels for your contact center and promptly pushing them to the side. The purpose isn’t to silo off digital channels in your contact center, but to weave them into the fabric of your contact center's operations and the way you serve your customers.

As you’re making the business case for introducing digital, it’s critical to keep this perspective. Digital channels aren’t the contact center's sideshow, but rather the main event. A digital first contact center offers asynchronous service options that provide a convenience that traditional contact centers never will. It’s all about meeting your customers’ expectations.

Four Compelling Contact Center Statistics for Introducing Digital

Defining Digital Demographics

Millennials and Generation Z exhibit a higher preference for mobile apps, chatbots and text in the customer experience than any previous generation (2019 NICE inContact

Customer Experience (CX) Transformation Benchmark).

What demographic does your business serve? For those appealing to digitally-literate generations, introducing digital is a no-brainer. Businesses are getting the message: customers want to connect, but not through a traditional phone call. Consumers prefer their transactions quick and painless.

While contact centers have existed for decades using voice alone, consumers are asking for something more. If your audience’s demographics lean toward Millennials and Generation Z (ages 18-38), you will have a plethora of statistics to show leadership how important digital-first service is to this age group.

Unlike any generation before, Millennials and Generation Z have experienced nearly every stage of life with mobility. These dominant demographic groups are often called “digital natives,” and they’re driving the demand for digital-first. It’s no surprise they have a strong tendency toward digital. As these populations become the largest consumer groups, organisations strive to meet their digital expectations.

Transitioning traditional contact centers to digital pays off for these generations. Our 2019 NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark revealed that Millennials and Generation Z are willing to pay more and recommend your company on social media if you meet their CX standards. Making the move to digital has the potential to capture a generation’s loyalty and advocacy.

Seamless Switching

Most consumers (73%) feel that companies are doing a poor job allowing customers to switch seamlessly between methods of communication.

With the consumer’s on-the-go lifestyle, more contact centers are finding CX experiences vacillate from email to phone to SMS and all the way back again. Research shows that a strategy to build a higher experience rating is ensuring the transition between methods of communication is seamless.

Contact centers may be surprised to find how much omnichannel support matters to consumers. In fact, consumers are more likely to give a poor rating to organisations that don’t enable seamless switching.

In the past several years, more consumers have noticed disruptions between switching channels. Our study shows the proportion of consumers who feel companies are doing a poor job providing an omnichannel experience has increased significantly since 2018 (67%). Contact centers who deliver seamless switching between channels will undoubtedly see the impact on their CX ratings.

Reducing Effort, Maximizing Connectivity

Consumers find digital communications the easiest way to communicate, as they rate private social messaging apps, online chat, email and text among the easiest methods to use.

Sitting in a queue, listening to hold music is not practical by today’s standards. In order to maximize our ability to connect, activating digital channels is imperative. As brands and consumers connect digitally, a new synergy of brand interaction and brand advocacy is formed.

When organisations are willing to reduce the effort necessary for interaction and provide multiple communication methods, consumers are more willing to do business. At the same time, agents want to be able to provide the fast resolutions consumers demand. Reducing the effort of customer service interactions enables agents and consumers to meet in exceptional customer experience.

Organisations across industries are accelerating the push to go digital as consumers call for agility and accessibility in the midst of COVID-19. Contact centers have found that they are able to function efficiently on digital as they are on voice — making it a wise investment from not only a customer experience perspective, but from an agent experience perspective too.

Meeting Expectations Pays

87% of consumers are willing to purchase more products and services from a company that provides an exceptional customer experience.

Why transition your contact center to meet consumers’ digital demands? The pay-off is clear. Consumers are more likely to purchase more products from and recommend a company that provides exceptional customer service. By delivering digital-first service, you not only support your contact center's financial goals, but you also increase potential for customer advocacy of your brand.

For Millennials and Generation Z, this advocacy is digital. Consumers are willing to share their experiences on social media and amplify the voice of your brand online. By simply going digital-first, your organisation opens up the possibility for increased awareness through a domino-effect of referral.

The move to digital has implications beyond how organisations provide service today, but also how much more change is coming in the very near future. Customer Service as we know it will have to be completely reimagined. Going digital is the next best step in this direction contact centers can take today.

Your Next Step Toward Digital

Transitioning from traditional to digital can seem like an enormous leap to make. Shorten the learning curve by listening to the experts. In our upcoming webinar, Mobile-First Customer Care, you’ll discover the keys to deliver digital in today’s fast-paced landscape.

Register to uncover:

  • Insights on implementing a digital culture into a non-digital contact center
  • Tips on empowering agents to deliver digital-first service after years on the phone
  • Best practices to deploy digital, avoid pitfalls on agent enablement and thoughtfully introduce digital into the contact center as a whole

Click here to register for Mobile-First Customer Care: Many Channels, One Deviceand take a huge leap toward delivering digital-first service in your contact center.