Customer Experience in a Contact Centre is Everything (2023)

That the customer experience counts is not news to anyone, but it is easy to underestimate just how central to customer retention the experience factor has become.

Today’s connected customers have far lower hurdles when it comes to switching brands: a recent Salesforce survey found that 76% of customers suggested that switching brands is easier than ever before.

It is also widely known that acquiring a new customer is far more expensive than retaining an existing customer.

A poor experience can lead a customer to drop off at any number of contact points, including at your call centre.

To get value from the investment you made in acquiring a new customer, the entire customer journey with your brand, including call centre interaction, must be flawless.

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Customer Experience Expectations Have Changed

Digital transformation has irreversibly changed the expectations of customers. Innovations driven by online behemoths like Amazon and Netflix have trickled down to enough small to medium sized businesses to now create a very different expectation around the customer experience everywhere.

Customers no longer tolerate being treated as a number as they seek out personalised experiences and the reassurance that their custom is valued. In practice this means interactions that are customised to the needs of an individual and not the entire customer cohort.

Rather than quickly dipping in and buying, customers enjoy shopping and seeing their relationship with a retailer develop via personalised recommendations.

However, this relationship is relatively fragile and effectively down to a consistently good customer experience.

In further pressure on companies, technology has also erased so many of the customer experience pain points that customers are now increasingly frustrated when encountering any difficulties whatsoever. In retaining customers there is almost no room for error.

(Video) Evolving Customer Experience with Amazon Connect, An AI-Based Contact Centre Solution

The Impact on Contact Centres

Heightened customer expectations are often matched by improved online shopping facilities, but retailers cannot neglect other channels in the process because the customer experience is a journey.

The contact centre customer experience is therefore just as important as the web-based or in-store experience.

Up to 32% of customers are likely to stop doing business with a brand due to one poor experience and your contact centre must not be the source of these drop-offs.

To avoid contact centre moments of truth becoming a path to customer attrition companies must understand that the contact centre game has shifted over the years.

Crucially, the cost-based model no longer works for contact centres. Customer contact centre encounters are no longer opportunities for cost savings.

In contrast, contact centres are central to the customer experience journey and should be treated as such.

Some companies have always treated their call centres as a customer centre rather than a cost centre, but others will need to adapt their call centres to meet the connected customer’s expectations.

How to Surpass the New Customer Experience Bar

Meeting today’s customer experience expectations requires a different approach from contact centres. Customers are not setting unachievable expectations, but contact centres must get a number of key points right:

Focus on Quality not Speed

Where resources are limited contact centre operators should not sacrifice quality of service in the pursuit of speed.

Yes, your customers expect efficiency, but a poor call centre experience is far more likely to lead to a customer changing brands than a somewhat longer call centre experience.

(Video) Does Your Contact Center Make or Break the Customer Experience?

In practice this means a mix of a sensible, connected automated call centre systems and call centre operators that are unhurried.

Every business is operated for a profit, but the cost imperative should not obstruct a positive customer experience.

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Ensure 24/7 Availability

Online shopping operates 24/7 and so do the shoppers. Some customers will require call centre interaction and restrictive call centre hours can be a frustration.

Where 24/7 call centres are not an option companies could opt to enable at least some functionality via automated systems.

At the very least a call back option should exist so that you can pick up the customer journey the next day. A good call centre platform will easily cope with these requirements.

Joined-up Service

Multi-channel is not just a buzzword, it is an important element of keeping customers on board throughout their journey with your brand. Here too call centres play a role by ensuring that a customer experience that starts online is continued uninterrupted at the call centre.

Technology makes achieving a joined-up service relatively easy as call centre agents can be fully aware of a customer’s previous interactions, including purchases, buying habits and aborted shopping baskets.

A joined-up call centre experience also ensures that customer do not repeat themselves: repeating personal details, order data or other facts that your company should already know about a customer can be a real pain point.

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Anticipate Needs

Just as the online shopping experience anticipates your customer’s next needs, so should the call centre experience.

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Whether it is on the automated segment of a call centre journey or with an operator, the call centre workflow should be customer-aware and bend to the customer’s journey.

Adjusting call centre processes to anticipate the customer’s needs can shorten the call centre experience for the customer, reduce the opportunity for drop-offs and also lead to cost-saving efficiencies.

Don’t Eliminate the Human Aspect

There is a strong role for contact centre automation, particularly where this automation is backed by cutting-edge contact centre technology.

However, customers still expect to be able to make human contact when their customer service requirements are too complex.

Instead, consider offering customers the option to opt out of automated journeys and to reach a capable call centre operator if they prefer the human touch.

Fail to do so and your customer may simply hang up and move their business.

Contact Centre Success Starts with a Customer Experience Strategy

All of the aforementioned points are crucial to getting the contact centre customer experience right, but the key to the optimal contact centre experience lies with a customer experience strategy.

Essentially, it is hard to meet today’s high customer experience expectations by merely ticking boxes.

Instead, contact centres should consider the entire customer journey and build a strategy that takes into account the multi-faceted nature of this journey.

Customer journeys vary too, so contact centre experts should map out their customers and their typical journeys in order to find paint points and indeed those moments of truth that is make or break for your relationship with your customer.

(Video) Delight customers in every interaction with Contact Center AI

In conclusion, call centres can meet high customer expectations but only by understanding that the call centre is but one stop in a longer customer journey. Combine an understanding of your customer’s journey and their expectations with capable technology and your call centre can become a key contributor to customer retention, rather than customer attrition.

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Customer Experience in a Contact Centre is Everything (5)To download the free guide ‘3 Ways Amazon Connect Will Transform Your Customer Service Capabilities’ Click Here

Connect takes a unique approach to help our clients transform their business-critical Contact Centre and Unified Communications environments globally. We provide transformation as a partnership, which we deliver as a managed service.

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Our goal is to manage your existing infrastructure better and more efficiently than anyone else. By doing so, we can put out any fires in your existing estate, giving you the space to look at innovation. We get a deep understanding of your current environment to ensure anything new does not fall short of today’s capabilities. Once complete, we can now start your journey by enhancing your current platform and completely transforming its capabilities so that you can transform your customers’ experiences.

For additional information on Connect Managed Services view their Company Profile

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FAQs

What is customer contact experience? ›

Customer experience (CX) is all the ways a customer interacts with your company and how they perceive those interactions. “Customer experience is how a customer feels about the sum of their interactions with a business,” says Dave Dyson, a community marketing specialist at Zendesk.

What are the benefits of a contact Centre to the customer? ›

Benefits of a Contact Center
  • One voice, a unified approach: Customers want a coherent response. ...
  • Improved customer analytics: Unified responses assist in gaining an understanding of customer needs.
  • Client satisfaction: Convenience breeds consumer satisfaction.

What are the three elements of customer experience? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What is the importance of customer experience? ›

Importance of Customer Experience

A remarkable customer experience is critical to the sustained growth of any business. A positive customer experience promotes loyalty, helps you retain customers, and encourages brand advocacy.

What are the 7 qualities of good customer service? ›

7 Must-Have Qualities of a Stellar Customer Service Rep
  • Problem-Solving Skills. The number one skill you need to excel in for good customer service is problem-solving. ...
  • Clear Communication. ...
  • Friendly Attitude. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Business Acumen. ...
  • Product/Service Knowledge. ...
  • Strong Time Management.

What are the 4 key features of a contact center? ›

Contact center evolution is explored through four key features, identifying how contact centers have changed through the past, present and future.
  • Technology. Where contact centers were. ...
  • Communications channels. Where contact centers were. ...
  • Self-service. ...
  • Data analysis.
19 Jul 2016

What is the main goal of a contact center? ›

Their primary purpose is to offer customers efficient and effective technical support, customer service and sales assistance. Contact centers typically include one or more call centers but may also include other types of customer contact channels, including emails, webchats and social media interactions.

What are the 4 elements of contact center? ›

5 Crucial Contact Center Components
  • #1: Emphasis on Top-of-the-Line Phone Communications. ...
  • #2: Capacity for Email and Text-based Communications. ...
  • #3: Cutting-edge Technology: Hardware, Software and Security. ...
  • #4: Tech-savvy IT Personnel and Customer-friendly Agents. ...
  • #5: Data Tracking, Reporting and Performance Monitoring.
29 Aug 2019

What is the most important aspect of a contact center? ›

Communication skills: Agents need to not only understand customers and the company's offerings, but also have the ability to convey that information in an effective manner. Efficiency: Contact centers are fast-moving places, and agents can only thrive if they are efficient in their customer interactions.

What are the most important skills of a contact center and why? ›

Top Qualities of a Successful Call Center Agent
  • Effective Communication Skills. The nature of the work demands good communication skills. ...
  • Knowledge Retention and Recall. ...
  • Ability to Handle Pressure. ...
  • Speed and Efficiency. ...
  • Creative Problem Solving. ...
  • Emotional Stability. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Organizational Ability.

What are 3 benefits of good customer service? ›

Five benefits of good customer service
  • Customer loyalty. Loyal customers have many benefits for businesses. ...
  • Increase profits. These long-term customer relationships established through customer service can help businesses become more profitable. ...
  • Customer recommendations. ...
  • Increase conversion. ...
  • Improve public image.
28 May 2021

What is an example of customer experience? ›

You can create a personalized customer experience example by sending unique gifts and products to your clients. It cultivates customer loyalty and wins over customer trust. Usually, it's pretty hard to know the interests of a first-time customer.

What is customer contact process? ›

The customer service process is the group of activities that we carry out from the moment we receive the first contact from a user until we solve his or her problem and we say goodbye to him or her, sorted according to the different phases that we will go through throughout the procedure.

What are the 5 customer contact points? ›

As consumers move through the phases that lead them to choose your brand and become loyal customers, they do so because each touchpoint along the way compels them to do so. This journey has five stages: awareness, consideration, decision, action, and loyalty (retention and advocacy).

What is an example of customer contact point? ›

Customer touchpoints are your brand's points of customer contact, from start to finish. For example, customers may find your business online or in an ad, see ratings and reviews, visit your website, shop at your retail store, or contact your customer service.

Videos

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2. Disrupting and transforming the contact center experience
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3. I Was Seduced By Exceptional Customer Service | John Boccuzzi, Jr. | TEDxBryantU
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