The author of this post is located in the UK.
The demise of the traditional call centre has been predicted for a while now. Is it ever really likely to happen? Well, there is definitely no doubt that call volumes are declining. But at the same time we are seeing an increase in digital interactions.
In fact, our 2017 benchmark industry report shows that 88 percent of customer experience professionals expect digital customer interactions to overtake voice by 2020.
In spite of this, our study uncovered a massive cynicism about the ability of the technology infrastructure to keep pace with changing customer behaviours. The biggest obstacles revolve around flexibility, the ability to integrate, and the costs linked to creating the required architecture.
3 Things Customer Experience Leaders Can Do To Bridge the Technology Gap in the Contact Centre
1. Explore New Buying Options
The emergence of cloud technology platforms offers exciting new choices for brands. Cloud-based contact centres help lower costs, are designed to manage digital interactions alongside voice, and can open the door to a more integrated customer engagement strategy. Make the most of this opportunity, but do it right. Invite cloud providers to show you how their technology works. Find out about their business models. Talk to their customers. Ask about their product roadmap. The industry is changing rapidly and it’s likely the future customer experience winners will be the ones who get the technology choice right. There has never been a wider discrepancy between providers, or a greater range of choices, so it’s important you do your homework so you can make the right decision.
2. Flexibility and Scalability – A Plan for the Future
Take some time to step back and think about the capability you will need in the next five years, or even ten years. The one thing that’s clear is that flexibility and speed are going to be paramount. You might choose to adopt a hybrid approach in the short term so that you adopt cloud technologies at a pace that is right for your organisation. That way priority elements can be deployed first to help you create a business case for further investment. The important thing is that you consider how to invest in technology that not only meets today’s needs, but will also meet your customers’ future communications preferences.
3. Create a Multi-disciplinary Team
Do you know what systems other departments in your organisation are investigating or even investing in? The customer experience touches many departments so it is vital that both your thinking and your technology is joined up. It is time to tackle information silos and overcome the integration challenge. Involve your IT department and encourage organisation-wide collaboration by proactively instigating a multi-departmental team to specify the technology you need to deliver winning customer experiences that will make your CEO happy.
Download the State of Customer Experience 2017 benchmark report: