Disruptions in business fundamentals happen in sudden, sharp shifts which open unexpected opportunities for the companies. At the same time, they are pushed into a do or die situation for maintaining relevance in the market.
Today, the emergence of social media is one such shift that has disrupted the way businesses are done. Operational efficiency and price advantage which were once the indicators for business successes have been taken over by the consumer-centric nature of the emerging business environment which give a lot of prominence to customer engagement. Already, quick response, internal collaboration, and flexibility are trumping traditional competitive advantages. And this is just the beginning.
”Digital transformation is causing a tectonic shift in how companies are structured and led, and how they perform and compete…Digitization is increasing the pace of change throughout the economy, even in sleepy mainstream industries” notes Pierre-Yves Cros, Chief Development Officer of international consulting firm CapGemini. “These shifts are broad and deep and they’re just getting under way… No firm is immune from digital transformation.”
This has led to changes, not just in the structure of contact centers, but also across the broader service industry. The digital revolution is forcing us to adapt or die. It’s time to help your contact center face the change and take the first steps towards a dawning future.
The keys to digital transformation in a call center industry have come down to how companies strategize and innovate their customer’s experience, their technological investments and the operational efficiency using a mix of technology and their employees.
Technology for Contact Centers Transformation:
The biggest blockages to contact center’s advancement of their technology capabilities revolve around flexibility, the ability to integrate, and the costs linked to creating the required architecture. Remember that businesses are yet to come out of the mindset that call centers are cost centers.
The most important technology needed at present is the omnichannel management followed by BI analytics systems. Did you know that 61% of core BI analytics systems are not integrated across departments? This is forcing vendors and consumers alike to explore new buying options and design innovative technology frameworks. The emergence of cloud technology platforms offers new choices to contact center providers. In fact 89% of current users with an opinion agree cloud has reduced costs and 88% believe they have received access to new functionality.
Vendor-based analytics platforms have affected the call center industry in the following ways:
Source: Link (pdf)
Operations for Contact Centers Transformation:
Operational efficiency in call centers is determined by the cost of functioning and customer satisfaction. Ease of resolution is ranked the top factor affecting CSAT scores. Customers expect agents to have all the information and records of their previous interactions with their companies across channels. This has made new technology investments a necessary compulsion. However, the increase in CSAT scores is directly proportional to the increase in revenues and companies that look for an increase in revenue over a reduction in cost have traditionally succeeded in the past.
Unfortunately quality of service has not been up to the mark. It is due to lack of consistent support across channels or lack of quality metrics to measure success. Big data and predictive analytics could go a long way in sorting this out. Identifying early insights and trends could help in solving generic issues proactively at the same time offer personalized solutions to an individual customer.
Strategy for Contact Centers Transformation:
Customer experience requires a cultural change in the company. Calculated risks need to be taken and innovations have to happen on a regular basis. The increase in channels and applications that customers use for work, home, and play means that the channel strategy needs to be extensible. The capability to produce an outcome for the customer in all areas of the process is critical. Channel silos need to be removed, support strategies using bridging technologies such as web chat and call-back need to be understood and incorporated.
Empowered customer engagement teams require insights and real-time analytics to support the resolution of complex requests. The point of success is when the customer’s desired outcome is achieved through an effortless experience. Adding new channels without considering the omnichannel experience will create a confusion of contact options, which will only frustrate the customer.
One must remember that digital transformation isn’t an end goal; it’s a continuous journey. It’s the result of learning more about the relationship between technology and customer behavior to ultimately earn relevance among them. Also, innovation doesn’t always correlate to technology. Most of the time, it starts with perspective: seeing things differently. It is something that touches processes, models, and corporate vision. This is a key area of focus.
(This is the part 2 of a 3-part series – ‘Future of Enterprise Contact Centers’. Read the Part 1 here.)