The tides of business keep changing, and being able to connect and collaborate has never felt more important. Customer service organizations are seeking better ways to engage their employees and customers, which is why modern contact centers are popping up in places we would never have expected.
What's Changed in the Modern Contact Center
Today, financial services, manufacturing, and legal industries are using contact centers to engage in new and exciting ways by bringing faster call resolutions, seamless omnichannel options, and increased mobility.
In healthcare, from bill payment to scheduling appointments to speaking with a medical team member, these contact center tools aid in getting patients to the appropriate party or application without having to pass the call around from department to department.
Professional sports teams are also revolutionizing how they interact with fans through the modern contact center, offering seat-side transactions that are more expedient for staff and more satisfying for customers.
Even school districts see the contact center as vital in becoming more connected to their students, parents, and communities, using the platform for mass notification during school closures, and handling high call volumes during enrollment periods or emergencies.
Numerous contact center software features are driving this migration. Here are some that are fueling these new adoptions:
Omnichannel Builds Agent Efficiency and Productivity
Offering customers a way to engage on their terms has been around for a while. Many businesses employ multiple digital channels like email, phone, text, and social media as touchpoints. However, while this approach allows the customer to contact your company in the way they're most comfortable, it could be more seamless. Most likely, reps are using multiple apps that may not communicate with each other, making for a disjointed and potentially frustrating encounter for your customers.
A true omnichannel contact center offers a consistent experience across all channels because all communication resides on one platform. Regardless of the medium, agents receive vital customer data and histories at the start of each interaction and can pick up where the last encounter left off, regardless of channel. That makes every correspondence more personalized and efficient, leading to lower wait times and higher first-contact resolutions.
Or think of it this way, part of the omnichannel experience is the difference between an agent greeting your customer with, "Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with today?" or, better yet, "Hello Patrick, are you calling about the flight you just booked?"
The bottom line is that omnichannel contact centers give agents better tools, helping make them more efficient and productive, translating to cost savings for the company and better customer service.
Mobility Empowers Agents Through Access to Communication Tools
Looking for ways to empower your team? Look no further than the modern contact center. The mobility it provides gives employees a way to work from anywhere with an internet connection. When your communication system is in the cloud, everyone can access the same tools from one platform connecting employees to their peers and supervisors.
Whether remote or on-location, data is present in real-time, so business hums along without missing a beat. Focusing on staff productivity leads to shorter hold times, better customer outcomes, and happier employees and customers all around.
Artificial Intelligence Bolsters Agent Skillset
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the process of machine programming to collect, synthesize, and learn from data, thereby enhancing human input. Will AI replace a human? No, but it can assist humans in performing better.
Interactive voice response (IVR) and skills-based routing are two AI-driven cloud contact center features that help provide higher service levels by generating more valuable insights and more efficient processes. Let's take a look at each:
Even if you don't recognize the term, you probably know what IVR means. Simply put, interactive voice response is a call menu where the system collects customer information, then presents self-service dialing or voice options for their call.
IVRs can provide a host of transactions without a human agent like:
- Taking payments
- Giving account information
- Resetting password
- Providing surveys
It can also impart other essential details to callers, such as promotions, updates, news alerts, or self-help instructions.
IVR systems used to be expensive, complicated, and time-consuming to set up. Today, contact center software has interactive voice response integrated into the platform, meaning it's accessible to companies of any size.
IVR was not developed to replace human agents, but it can help team members by removing the necessity to deal with more minor customer issues. Its overall purpose is to make your staff more effective with less opportunity for burnout.
Skills Based Routing
Skills-based routing ensures your customers get to the person best suited to resolve their issue without having to be transferred or repeat themselves to multiple agents. The goal is to provide smoother, faster resolutions.
When a call is received, the IVR menu offers options for routing to either an automated solution or a live agent based on the customer's initial input. Then the skills-based router determines which agent has the optimal skill set to assist the customer and places the call in the appropriate queue.
Skills-based routing is customizable and determined by analyzing call center data on agent skill sets and availability. With a modern cloud contact system, you'll have the data to know where training opportunities arise and which agents are best skilled in specific instances.
Ultimately, all these new tools combined lead to better customer service due to lower wait times and higher first-call resolutions while improving employee efficiency and morale.
Contact us here to learn more about how the modern cloud contact center and new technologies can help your business.
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