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How the Contact Center Can Drive Customer Experience

In today’s Amazon-driven world, expectations are high when it comes to customer experience.  With access to data at their fingertips, customers want quick turnaround times on requests, the ability to answer questions on their own and to be treated with the utmost respect throughout the customer journey. Meeting these demands is no easy task. In an overcrowded market, companies must work toward attracting and retaining loyal customers. The best way to increase customer retention is to improve customer experience. Below are three proven ways contact centers can elevate the customer experience in the short and long term.

Tuning Into The Right Channel 

Before reaching out to existing or potential customers, companies need to identify a customer’s preferred mode of communication – i.e., email, phone call, text message, direct mail, Twitter, etc. With a handful of ways to directly engage with customers, companies need to pinpoint the most effective channel to reach customers or risk wasting valuable time and resources conducting outreach that is never received.  For example, the average American’s email inbox has 199 unread messages at any given time.

Once a company verifies each customer’s preferred channel, contact center agents should actively and routinely engage with customers within that channel. One consistent method for staying in contact with customers is to automate outreach.  When deploying automated, outbound communication tools, consider features such as predictive dialers - automatic dialing with the power to screen out busy signals, voicemail, no-answers, and disconnected numbers – as well as cell phone scrubbing for TCPA compliance. Both of these technologies ensure contact centers are conducting outreach to customers who want to be contacted and removing the contacts that prefer to be left alone.  A critical component of customer experience is paying close attention to customers’ preferences, whether that be contacting them on a particular communications channel or no channel at all.

Targeted, Authentic Outreach 

Contacting customers on the right channel is one way to enhance customer experience, but knowing how to engage and develop a personalized rapport with customers can propel contact centers to the next level of customer service and care. Productive, meaningful conversations begin with understanding a customer’s needs, expectations, and wants. By leveraging Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools - such as call recording, keyword monitoring, speech transcription, and sentiment analysis - contact centers can seamlessly capture, compile and analyze customer experience data on each customer.  Equipped with deep customer insights (based on previous conversations and purchase history), contact center agents can disseminate relevant messaging with tailored offers for each customer. Furthermore, engaging with customers on interests that resonate with their personal or work lives will deliver more qualified sales leads and potentially turn infrequent users/buyers into loyal customers.

Feedback For Change

For businesses to remain relevant, compiling and monitoring customers’ feedback is key to learning what a company is doing well and where there is room for improvement. Contact centers should be actively promoting and soliciting feedback from their customers to gather comprehensive insights on what is being said about their products, services and/or agents. Through social listening, reflection, and workforce optimization, contact centers can uncover what drives customer behavior.  They can also unearth systematic pain points and bottlenecks with a company’s employees, policies, and procedures. Once identified, contact centers can work toward making the necessary changes. In general, being made aware of how its customers perceive a company is an essential step to improving customer experience.

In the “Age of the Customer,” consumers wield more power than ever before over a company’s business processes and success. With instant access to information and the ability to easily compare businesses, “driving customer experience” should be a top priority for contact centers. With the right customer service tools and metrics in place, contact centers can exponentially increase sales and revenue by focusing on improving customer satisfaction.