In a world that’s increasingly digital, we can fall into the trap of thinking that our customers will always opt for a self-serve journey. Sure, at times we may like to pretend we’re strong enough, smart enough and capable enough to do things by ourselves, and for certain things we are. But when we’re in a bind, or when we need guidance or reassurance, we always ask for help. With that in mind, here’s why you still need a customer contact centre in 2019.
In a business sense, of course, the ideal scenario would be for customers to never have problems, to never have to ask questions. In this corporate utopia, customers would complete applications, purchase products, renew contracts entirely on their own, and never have any difficulty along the way.
In the real world, however, when we do have a problem or query, we always ask for help, because we value the benefits, expertise and empathy that only our human brethren can provide.
The sheer number of online and offline channels where airing our concerns or posing questions is now possible – from forums and live chats, to customer contact centres and branches – shows this human desire to connect with others when seeking a solution, reassurance, or guidance.
However, branches and stores invariably have inconvenient opening hours; live chats offer quite linear and limited experiences, and posting comments on a forum or message board, and waiting for a response, can often prove quite a long, drawn-out process.
That leaves the customer contact centre, which is often where you will go when all other channels have failed. And in this era where we’re expected to do even more on our own, when we do contact someone, we’re invariably going to do so for complex, complicated matters that we can’t complete on our own.
Smart enterprises recognise that as customers are now calling contact centres to ask more complicated questions or to seek reassurance or guidance about something, the customer contact centre agent needs to improve their service, to not only meet these increasing customer expectations, but also improve efficiency.
However, recent evidence suggests that the call centre customer experience could be vastly improved to become more effective.
According to a study from New Voice Media, although 61% of respondents designated calls as the quickest way to resolve an issue, only 27% of respondents thought calls were the most effective way to resolve them. The top reasons cited for customers not picking up the phone for help include being put on hold (48%); not speaking to a “real” person (42%); having to repeat info to multiple agents (39%); cost of calling (38%); and needing to navigate multiple channels (36%).
So, as mentioned in our last post, neglect the customer contact centre at your peril.
The implication, counter-intuitive as it might sound, is that being serious about digital transformation means being serious about the customer contact centre. Rather than seeing it as the last net in which to catch your digital misfits before they fall, a customer contact centre in 2019 should instead be used to offer the definitive customer experience.
At Vizolution, we believe that the customer contact centre of the future should combine the high-touch qualities of face-to-face interactions with the convenience and cost of digital to offer more engaging, and ultimately more human interactions.
In order to do this, customer contact agents need to be empowered with technology that unleashes their full potential, because limiting a telephone conversation to just the telephone is like fighting a battle with one hand tied behind their back.
Instead, why not equip the customer contact agent with the digital tools to be able to explain, share, show and collect documentation as if they were there in person?
After all, when we need help, guidance or reassurance we want to feel like we’re communicating with a human, because we’re all sociable animals, really, aren’t we?