The telephone used to be the primary device to connect companies with customers. If a problem arose with a product or service, a customer often picked up the phone to get the issue resolved. As new communication technologies become available, it's imperative for companies to broaden their capabilities.
In today's high-touch, constantly connected world where information spreads instantaneously, the term call center is limiting. Many companies have replaced theirs with a contact center, where agents must adapt to new technologies and communication channels that extend beyond the phone. Companies need to service customers regardless of the communication method they use, including voice, text, email, live chat, the company website or social media.
This guide examines the upgrades and strategies contact centers need to navigate this challenging terrain. Whether it's a new infrastructure or a plan for integrating multichannel CRM or just making sure your customers have the best possible experience when interacting with you, taking steps to create a modern contact center is essential for surviving in today's business world.
Upgrading contact center infrastructure and technology
Infrastructure is the engine of modern contact centers, the thing that makes everything run. With new technologies comes the imperative for contact centers to adapt and upgrade their capabilities as necessary to keep pace with customer demand in an ever-connected world. But there are still myriad questions about the best way to staff and outfit contact centers for maximum efficiency, productivity and high-quality customer service.
Customers now determine which communication channel they will use to contact a company. Modern contact centers need to make sure their infrastructure is upgraded and can communicate with customers across all channels. Continue Reading
Would your business prefer a do-it-yourself approach to building a contact center or outsource all the work? The big question is cost and, depending on the company's size, this factor will drive the decision to go with a hosted or on-premises structure. Continue Reading
Beyond Verbal software measures speakers' vocal intonation to determine their emotional state. It can do this for both the customer and the contact center agent, and display the visual data in real time, tracking the mood of their interaction with advanced analytics. Continue Reading
Tips for success for modern multichannel contact centers
The telephone is no longer the only device that connects customers and companies. Rather than one single channel, modern contact centers need to be versatile in their scope as they communicate with customers across a broad range of channels, from voice to text to social media. Metrics and strategies for success with this new mandate can be difficult to pinpoint.
In the rush to convert to multichannel customer service, companies are jumping headlong into the fray without considering how this new strategy will integrate with their existing structures. It's hard enough to connect data between different channels, but a company's inability to communicate information between departments could be the death knell for its reputation. Continue Reading
A step forward from multichannel customer service is omnichannel, or the ability for companies to quickly pivot among channels -- whether social, phone, email or a company's website – to communicate with customers. It's a difficult concept to achieve in practice, however, as both vendors and companies still have a lot of work to do to make it a reality. Continue Reading
Community forums have replaced focus groups as a means for customers to communicate actionable product information to companies, which then use that feedback to solve issues and impact other areas of business. Find out why these forums have become powerful in today's customer age. Continue Reading
Customer experience and modern contact centers
The customer experience is paramount to the objectives of any modern contact center. Customers come to contact centers through many different channels but seeking one thing: quick, positive solutions to their problems. A negative experience can have far-reaching repercussions in today's interconnected world, where a single social post can go viral instantly and hurt a company's brand. Automation, hosted contact centers and practices to keep employees engaged can all have different impacts, positive or negative, on the customer experience.
The cloud is an enticing feature that has caused enterprises to move to hosted contact centers. This requires ceding control to an external entity, a move that makes some companies gun-shy. On the positive end, there is no discernable difference in the customer experience inherent in employing a hosted model, and there are advantages to those who do. Continue Reading
BSkyB, a London-based satellite TV and telecommunications provider, wanted to connect its 15,000 global employees who had trouble finding answers to difficult questions. It found a solution in an employee social network that improved internal communication and consequently improved customer service and satisfaction. Continue Reading