Every year, typically at the end of a business’s formal budget period, contact centers assess their current strategies and plan for what lies ahead. It’s no easy task. High staff turnover, clunky tech systems and overworked staff are the familiar frustrations that return year after year.
And recently, contact centers continue to contend with declining call quality, disconnected support channels and a lack of cohesion. When these issues arise, it has serious business consequences, from a potential loss of a sale to negative customer relationships.
If all of this sounds painfully familiar, you are not alone –– the struggle is, indeed, real. Here are some of the challenges the future will bring and helpful solutions to overcome them.
Improving Call Queues
According to data obtained by AIMultiple, customers report two main problems communicating with customer service:
They experienced trouble connecting with the right agent.
They wasted too much time clarifying the problem.
Often, customers spend extra time getting passed to the incorrect department or repeating themselves to the point of frustration. Luckily, Intelligent Call Routing (ICR) grows more sophisticated each year, with a bright outlook for 2021.
If you invest in the right ICR tech, you’ll help customers talk to the correct person the first time. ICR helps direct customers to their best-suited agent by accessing historical data and allowing customers to specify their intent through tools like Interactive Voice Response (IVR).
ICR and IVR technology can help beyond the traditional phone call. If you incorporate a cloud-based system for your contact center, it becomes easier to manage and implement this sort of technology functionality. The combined power of smarter ICR and a cloud-based system means a dramatically better customer experience.
Contact centers need to realize that their solutions should enable routing based on any channel the inbound contact occurs, such as web chat, bots, web forms or even social media.
Contact centers can take it a step further by routing not just to a department (customer service, tech support), but to personnel or departments that have special skill sets, such as customer repair on specific product models vs a general customer service department.
This is called skill-based routing, and helps to improve resolution response rates dramatically, which in turn provides a better customer experience. They sky is the limit on how you can incorporate this into your own line of business.
Adopting a Unified Omnichannel Strategy
These days, customers reach out to support teams in various ways, from social media to email to web chat. But if all of your communication lines are disconnected, it can create unnecessary confusion and frustration for your customers and your staff.
Adopt a strong unified omnichannel strategy to keep customers happy. Omnichannel is different than multichannel communications because all communications through the various channels are accessible and visible through a single platform vs multiple systems.
Evidence from the Aberdeen Group shows that brands with robust omnichannel communications retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for brands with weak omnichannel communications.
This strategy can be used to ensure that the same representative works through all communication lines, whether a customer reaches out through social media, webchat, phone, email or whatever other methods of contact are available. If the customer must be transferred from one channel to another, or disconnects and reconnects via an alternate channel than the original, all their history will move with them. Unified omnichannel communication streamlines the entire contact process.
Moving to a Cloud-Based Contact Center
Legacy systems have long been a staple of contact centers, but with a legacy system comes the increased likelihood of daily maintenance work for IT teams, potential hardware meltdowns and vulnerability to business disruption. And with unprecedented events like the pandemic, on-premise systems don’t provide the highest business flexibility.
One of the ways a cloud-based system mitigates disruptions is by allowing your staff to work from anywhere on any device. This opens the door for work from home initiatives whether for the short or long term. This is useful because it helps further business continuity in the face of natural disasters, pandemics or other upheavals.
Additionally, a cloud-based system mitigates the risk of hardware malfunctions and simplifies system deployment and management. A cloud-based solution opens up communication opportunities and can help streamline your contact center operations.
Pro Tip: If you’re considering moving from a legacy system to a cloud-based solution, you don’t have to go it alone. Enlist the help of trained professionals who will help you navigate the entire migration from start to finish. Learn More.
Enhancing Security Throughout All Communications
Contact centers must do their part to protect customer data and sensitive company information. As data privacy concerns grow more prevalent, contact centers must prioritize security, especially for companies in the medical, legal and financial fields.
Look for a communications vendor who has a proven record of security and data safety. One of the best ways to protect information is through obtaining a HITRUST Certification. It’s a globally recognized program that provides organizations with a comprehensive, flexible, and efficient approach to regulatory compliance and risk management.
For example, RingCentral is HITRUST Certified. They meet the highest level of privacy and security requirements built-in across all communications channels, so all customer data remains secure regardless of where the employee is located.
Reduce New Employee Onboarding Time
The Contact Center Pipeline magazine surveyed 275 contact centers asking about top pain points and challenges. In 2020, the number one challenge was staff attrition. When contact centers lose employees, a sizable chunk of time and resources goes into training new employees on phone systems.
By using a cloud solution that has unified communications and collaboration functionality, agents can communicate with co-workers and managers to have access to the tools and information they need to perform their duties, making the onboarding and training process easier.
Likewise, supervisors and trainers can use features that assist with training new agents so they can have better monitoring and coaching. From call monitoring features to detailed agent performance analytics, supervisors can pinpoint the challenges a particular agent might be struggling with. The earlier the issue is resolved, the less likely the agent’s job satisfaction will suffer.
Conquer the Future With Converged Technology Professionals
Converged Technology Professionals can help you face the future of your contact center with confidence. Our expert support, professional guidance and our top-rated IT Team will help you meet your goals. Contact us to learn more about emerging contact center solutions.
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