The contact center is evolving rapidly in terms of technology, agent and customer experience. NovelVox being a contact center solution provider, believes in staying updated with contact center expectations and more to create the best possible solutions. So, we surveyed call and contact center professionals to dive deeper into the day to day requirements, loopholes, scope and more.

Who were the participants?

We had over 100 participants with from contact center industries across the world including profiles such as

  • CTO
  • Sr. Director, IT
  • Sr. Manager Customer Service
  • Solution Engineer
  • Warehouse Associate
  • IT Manager
  • IT System Administrator

Overview

The Contact Center survey was conducted to

  • Cognize psychographic attribute of people working at the contact center
  • Analyzing the parameters delivered and missed by contact centers
  • Monitor audience preferences, challenge, and expectation from the contact center solution
  • Understand how welcoming contact center is about automation
  • Scrutinize contact center solutions concerning customer’s expectations

Following were the topics discussed in the survey

1. Customer satisfaction

The parameter of customer satisfaction had a 100% vote of being a high priority irrespective of the business type and customer queries volume.

In this world of cut-throat competition, every customer is valuable for the business. To retain existing customers and have new ones, it is imperative to resolve every query irrespective of how big or small it is. Additionally, customers look forward to having an insightful conversation. All such things impact how a customer feels about business and this reflection defines customer satisfaction. It is measured with the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) Survey that has a single question for correct interpretation and Net Promoter Score (NPS), which helps determine how likely customers are to recommend the business to others.

Customer satisfaction has a direct impact on ROI and customer experience. Below mentioned ways can help your contact center business better the customer satisfaction level

  • Personalized welcoming

Customers love to be addressed by their name and interact with an agent who has some background of him to continue the conversation. This event can be a success only when your agents are empowered with a unified agent desktop that seamlessly integrates contact center solution with a high-quality CRM to fetch customer details and display in front of the agent even before answering the call.

  • Feedback forms in action

Assembling feedbacks via call, chat, emails, reviews, or social is immensely useful in understanding customer’s satisfaction level from a product or service by the business. Reliable feedback helps you fix issues without losing a penny. Further, your customers feel more involved with the company.

People are talking about everything over the Internet and so about your business. It is necessary to monitor what’s being posted about your brand or product. Hear it to fix it. Get more alert and sign up for tools that help you fetch such discussions on the grounds of keywords.

  • Train your troop

Once you know the loopholes, its time to fill them by training your agents on delivering the best possible customer service. Teach them the techniques of converting an unhappy user into a satisfied customer.

Remember to gauge customer satisfaction scores after a regular interval to never let things go off track.

2. Quality of resolution

Another parameter of the survey, i.e., ‘resolution quality’ bagged 100% upvote from the survey participants. Inappropriate complaint resolution is one of the primary reasons why even the loyal customer thinks of switching over to your competitor. In a customer journey, queries can pop-up at any point in time and it is a must to resolve them instantly for a customer to complete the product purchase or have a pleasing experience with the brand.

Quality resolution eliminates the scope for the re-occurring of similar errors time and again. It also makes the customer feel valued. Here’s the scope of improvement

  • Ignore arrogant attitude is a fallacy

Make your agents understand that the angry behavior of customers does not give you the right to ignore. Instead, hear them out. Issues, especially when repetitive, can blow anyone’s mind out. It is your job responsibility to reduce the stress level of callers and offer them instant resolution. Here, training or relevant scripts can ease the task of agents. Make sure agents say sorry instead of justifying the businesses with clause or excuses.

  • Get personal and informal –effective

It is necessary to know the caller even before answering the call. Details of the customer help agent connect better with the caller and resolve the issues. Also, with a higher level of engagement, it gets easier to calm the aggressive caller’s anger and make him feel valued.

  • Specialists to the rescue

The key to quality resolution is saving the caller from being on hold and routing to the most appropriate agent. Here, inter-team chat gadgets and supervisor desktops play an amazing role. Since agents can get instant help from the team, or supervisor can route the call to the required person with live monitoring. A caller is saved from being landed on various agents and repeating the issue and can get an answer for multiple queries related to the same problem. Phrases like, “Let me connect you to our specialist” work great.

  • An update is a hope

Just acknowledgment is not what a caller wants. The business needs to update the customer of every criticality. Time is everything, and the customer has the right to know how and where the time is being consumed. His wait for resolution is calmed with updates. The story does not end here. After declaration, agents should follow-up if the recommendation provided is worthy enough for the customer.

3. Personalization of experience

Delivering personalization has become a means of building a reputation. On this 3rd parameter of experience personalization, every participant agreed on its importance. Personalization is what makes your service different from your competitors. Every visitor coming to your website or customer calling your contact center wishes to feel essential and personalization is the key to it. To keep up with this expectation of customers, here are ways to offer personalized experience throughout the customer journey

  • The system knows the caller

Equip your agents with a desktop that provides a unified view of customer information. This empowers agents to address the caller by their first name along with a summary of interaction history. Now, formal conversations can be converted into personal ones. A brief description helps in identifying what sort of solution will be the best for the customer.

  • Scripted aptly

It is necessary to frame call center agent script in a way that every customer can have a personalized experience.

The phrases should be convincing enough for a caller to feel valued and focussed upon. Instead of just sorry, come up with substitutes that please the caller.

  • Old is gold

For existing customers, you should always have some special schemes or loyalty programs. Basis their past interaction or a recent purchase, an agent, can pitch something relevant to the customer with an additional discount. This attracts prospects to become your customer and make the existing ones do word of mouth marketing for your business.

  • Present for customers everywhere

Another way to offer personalized experience is by being there for your customers on every possible platform and time they prefer to interact with your business. Don’t limit your support to voice; offer quick resolution with a multichannel presence.

4. Systems do not talk to each other

Another critical aspect of the contact center discussed in the survey was about system integration. Where only 25% said that integration is not a problem for them. Rest considered it as a problem they might or not consider it for the future. This uncertainty exists because contact centers are still either unaware of the benefits of having integration or think of it as hard to achieve.

  • With the right integrations, the agent is more focussed on managing callers instead of toggling systems.

  • An agent can know their caller better with interaction history and contact details fetched from 3rd party applications integrated with contact center solution.

  • Contact centers can map the customer journey and plan things accordingly for higher revenue

  • Systems interact better among themselves and so do the agents with the help of built-in gadgets. Various inter-team chat gadgets integrated with the system allow instant and better interaction of agents or departments.

So, install contact center solutions that offer seamless integration with 3rd party applications. For instance, NovelVox Cisco Finesse Agent Desktop that offers over 70 3rd party application integration for an improved agent and caller experience

5. Agent Need to Access Multiple Screens to Help Customers

From survey results, we found out only 37% of participants have contact center systems where agents don’t need to access multiple screens while handling a call. 25% are ready to update their technology but surprisingly, the remaining are still unaware or unwilling to change the ongoing process. Screen switches is a drawback of poor integration that deviate agents from the call context, and focus more on navigating applications to collect customer information. This further increases AHT and impacts the FCR. The ever-growing complains of customers with contact center is the increased hold time and cueless agents because the systems are not integrated well.

6. Screen Pop Doesn’t Contain Enough Info About Customer issue

Screen pop of customer information is a common thing in the contact center. It is the only support for agents to offer customer personalized experience. Surprisingly over 60% of people agree that it is a problem and still to be addressed. The issue with information displayed on the screen pop is because of the poor integration or fixed interface.

To match the ever-evolving customer expectations with a personalized experience, contact centers are often working on new technologies. In such a scenario, sticking to old screen-pops can risk your agent’s performance. So, explore screen-pop or CTI connectors that offer seamless integration to fetch required data from CRM application, further offering field optimization as per the business needs.

7. Chatbots

Another blooming technology and buzz word in the contact center industry is chatbots, so we thought of collecting views of participants on this too. As expected, over 87% of participants agreed to the importance of having chatbots on priority. A chatbot is capable of doing many things to improve business ROI and achieve customer satisfaction. Benefits of chatbots include

  • Increased agents’ productivity with chatbots automating the time-consuming and repetitive task of answering similar questions

  • Grow response rate to the next level by being on service 24×7 and replying to every customer’s questions.

  • A personalized experience is delivered as chatbots can offer specific and relevant information for the question asked from the website.

  • Smartly chatbots store information of the customer and their interaction or browsing journey to offer suitable pitches and future marketing of products to the relevant customer.

  • Save cost largely as there is no need for training, onboarding, absenteeism and more.

  • Intelligent chatbots are delightful to talk to as they don’t tell the customer to feel bored and even act as an assistant.

8. Better Agent Training

Agents are the lifeblood of a contact center and so the parameter of agent training scored a 100% upvote. Training sessions are often organized at regular intervals on topics such as company policies, products, processes, workplace and more. Training does not mean just to upskill an agent but a lot more than help him grow with the organization as a better individual and professional.

Some amazing benefits of training include

  • Create future leaders – Training on skill development help the agents evolve better as a professional. They get a good understanding of customer expectations and how to deal with it. Thereby improving FCR and business reputation.

  • Increase workforce engagement – Training even acts as an interaction tool among contact center employees and breaks the monotony of just work. They get to know more about their rights, company, other agents, customers and more.

  • Personalized employee development – With customized training programs in place, it is always in favor of each agent individually and appears to be more interesting to attend. It allows employees to choose from the training that suits them the best.

  • Employee retention – It reduces agent attrition. With training focusing skill development, agents feel benefitted. Seeing themselves evolving, agents are less likely to switch company. They feel positive and valued to offer the best of the service to the organization.

9. Mobile, Web, Social Engagement

With omnichannel, the element of mobile, web, and social engagement scored a 100% vote of being critical. Customer prefers companies with omnichannel presence as they look forward to receiving a response from a brand on a choice of channel and their suited time. Voice is no more the only medium of interaction. Social media is no more limited to friends’ reunion but an informative place to discuss anything and everything with the world.

Customers have the right and accessibility to post all good and bad about your brand anywhere on the web. So, be present to deal with it in the best possible way. Being present everywhere makes the customer feel trusted and valued. Even you can handle issues instantly. Omnichannel presence has numerous benefits, some of which are

  • Collection of customer insights – With an omnichannel presence, a business can gain greater customer insights with a wider scope to understand how well a customer would interact on their preferred channel

  • Improve agent performance – Only voice support restricts agent capabilities. With an omnichannel presence, agents can handle multiple customers in a single go.

  • Engaged agents – this breaks the monotony at work. Agents get more options to improve their skills and have better interaction. They feel more involved and stress-free.

  • Cost-effective – With handling customers on multiple channels, a business can save costs largely as present agents can multitask and handle more queries in the given period.

10. To What Extent Will You Use Process Automation to Improve Agent Performance this Year

Last but not least, this 10th question of the survey scored around 87% upvotes. Being a part of the contact center, everyone is well aware of how automation has entered the industry and positively impacting the efficiency of agents and improving customer experience. Read here to know more about automation in the contact center industry and its benefits.

We are already in 2020. Still, many contact centers are yet to explore the remarkable technologies that can improve the agent’s performance and better customer experience. This survey result was enlightening for us as a contact center solution provider on what next needs to be delivered. We would appreciate it if you can come up with other parameters we can discuss and be part of our next survey.