Published: November 10, 2021 | Comments
Today’s contact center leaders face overwhelming challenges as they navigate the cascading impact of the pandemic. They must build sustainable remote work structures and manage through labor shortages all while creating operating efficiencies and meeting customer expectations. Despite the tremendous amount of upheaval experienced by customer service organizations over the past 20 months, they have accomplished many digital advancements and will continue to plan for increased opportunities in the months ahead.
During Omdia’s annual survey, IT Drivers and Technology Priorities – IT Enterprise Insights 2022, survey respondents were asked about the impact of COVID-19 on the importance of technology investments. A combined 62% responded they have strategic or minor investments planned for intelligent virtual agents, a combined 62% have strategic or minor investments planned for video engagement, and 69% have strategic or minor investments planned for voice-based apps.
Such investment plans point to a continued focus on technologies that enable automation while providing self-service options. These changes require enterprises to take a fresh look at the role of agents in their contact centers. They must reimagine how they can coexist harmoniously with digital technologies to proactively interact with customers in relevant ways while enabling a frictionless journey for the customers.
But how do enterprises adapt to providing real-time responses to inquiries or issues via digital while making agents available for high-touch or complex interactions?
Make data a priority
Becoming a data-driven organization is essential in today’s digital-first environment. One of the biggest obstacles to customer experience personalization is simply accessing the data itself and at the right moments. Getting this wrong, or even with some latency, could create creepy, irrelevant, or invasive experiences for customers. When centralized data is unified from multiple systems and channels and partners, service organizations will have the foundation in place to become data-driven.
Organize employees around the customer
The only way to sustain customer lifetime value is to make customers loyal and profitable and to serve them efficiently. To succeed, enterprises must organize strategically and functionally around the customer. Also, operationalize the customer journeys by aligning them to employee processes. This often entails an internal journey mapping exercise and initial discovery workshops. Get employees’ feedback first and decipher exactly how they interact with customers.
Analyze insights to predict behaviors and engage proactively
Analysis of customer behaviors and transactions can let enterprises view the macro customer journeys, as well as provide opportunities to drill down and discover the micro-steps that comprise them. With analysis, CX teams will ultimately be able to prioritize specific journeys, and automatically engage with each customer at the right time, through the best channel, and in personalized ways.
With the new digital focus and empowered agents equipped with the right tools to proactively engage, customers will no longer tolerate poor customer experiences. Enterprises must not only embrace new digital technologies; they should reconsider all aspects of the organization. In their efforts to establish the structural foundation to meet the new standards of delivering AI-powered digital-first engagement and self-serve options, contact centers that continue to further their digital investments will also reimagine their contact centers and ultimately find themselves on the leading edge of customer service.