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January 23, 2013

Because, Contact is No Longer Centered

Posted by Gopal Devanahalli (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:41 AM

It's interesting how stories of contact center excellence are still few and far between. And that only makes me wonder what it'll take to "customerize" these centers, and raise their standard of service and experience. And even more importantly, why this must even be prioritized. This one's simple - A great line-up of contact centers significantly improves customer satisfaction, and derivatively, those of right-selling. But, of course, it's important to determine that opportune moment to right sell - because no one ever managed to sell more to a dissatisfied customer seeking assistance.
So, what does it take to build your "customerized" centers?  I'd say, get started with seamlessly integrating these with the other customer service channels. Then enhance this ecosystem with self-service features to improve customer service experience.

The first, because today's customers are channel-mobile. When they're expected to repeat a problem to a contact center agent that they've already detailed, perhaps on Facebook or a mail, it understandably annoys them. Indeed, research indicates that this is their biggest source of contact center frustration. The way around that is to deploy a customer service solution, which can capture and integrate customer interactions on every channel, and present it to the contact center agent in a single window.

Survey also indicates that customers are willing to use a self-service service channel, provided it works. And that's the catch. A little probing reveals that less than half of those customers find current self-service options accurate and comprehensive. I believe, that issue can be readily resolved with a customer service solution that sits atop a central knowledge base, updated in real-time with new service scenarios. The solution's self-service capability can be upped to the next level by augmenting it with social capability.

Yet, very often I hear businesses rant about how hard it is to justify the long payback period on their contact center investments. But, if you can significantly improve customer satisfaction rates, think and act like these centers are revenue generators of the business, wouldn't that change the paradigm significantly?

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