When it comes to digital transformation and corporate innovation, one of the top catalysts for change in companies is exploring how to better serve today’s digital customer. The fact of the matter is, legacy contact centers are unable to support evolving customer needs. Businesses that want to be successful and keep up with technology will require a new generation of contact center.
The contact center of the future represents an integrated approach to unified communications that brings business experts and contact center agents together across every channel — not just voice – to deliver modern, real-time customer experiences in a cloud-based, collaborative customer engagement structure.
Digital transformation projects often get stuck in the pilot stage because leaders are wary of replacing legacy systems. This is mostly due to existing investments, knowledge gaps, competing priorities and a lack of resources. There is no longer any time to wait. A digital technology plan must be tightly integrated with core business goals and strategic objectives. Technologies change rapidly and new offerings evolve regularly.
Your contact center is the heart of your operation. It needs to be conditioned to give your business peak performance. The work requires it and customers demand it. Outdated equipment, connections and systems just won’t do. With the help from an IT consulting firm focusing on digital transformation, you can deliver upgraded customer experiences with a collaborative contact center. The good news is that this contact center can be built on the foundations of the systems used prior to transformation.
Omnichannel Digital Strategy (Collaborative Contact Center)
Selectively choosing the best existing elements and augmenting them with new, cutting-edge technology builds collaborative contact centers that allow organizations to deliver what customers want. Here are the three key elements of this strategy:
1. Cloud Technology
Cloud technology upgrades the way organizations manage customer engagement by giving them a centralized platform to connect anywhere, anytime. Breaking from locally maintained software, cloud technology allows for continuous improvement and innovation, whereas before it required heavy, disruptive upgrades. Cloud technology allows organizations to build integrations with other cloud platforms and harness innovations from other companies.
2. Digital Channels
When the call center originated, phone interactions dominated the communication space. If you wanted to contact your bank, you phoned your local branch. If you wanted to book tickets to a play, you called the local theater. But with the evolution of technology, these types of communication channels didn’t stay on top for long.
As new channels emerge and existing channels evolve, it’s essential that your contact center is able to adapt and align to your customers’ needs.
Customers don’t just pick one communication channel and stick to it. Their needs ebb and flow, depending on the context. They want you to meet them on their channel of choice. Customers expect their experience with a business to match the rest of their life. Similar to being able to watch shows on-demand or instantaneously message friends via text or WhatsApp, customers expect your service and support to be equally on-demand.
Customers are pushing back against the proliferation of poor automated systems as well, demanding real human agents. According to PwC, 82 percent of U.S. and 74 percent of non-U.S. consumers demand more human interaction going forward. This makes it critical that the technology supporting human interaction is unobtrusive and works seamlessly across platforms.
Shifting focus toward innovation and equipping employees with technology and the information they need to best serve consumers could help close the gap between legacy and future contact centers. So could incentivizing employees to provide a good experience, boosting relevant training for employees and fostering a corporate culture of empowerment.
Understanding the Benefits of Upgrading Your Contact Center
Implementing an omnichannel digital strategy starts with tearing down your preconceptions of the call center. Between 2000 and 2010, people saw call centers as a necessary evil. It was a functional entity; there to solve problems as fast as possible. For a full decade, managers tried to shrink call times and minimize costs. But that has all changed and modern contact centers deliver three distinct benefits over their legacy counterparts:
- Increased Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Collaborative contact centers create happier customers, which has a tangible effect on metrics used to gauge the loyalty of a company’s customers.
- Improved efficiencies
Contemporary contact centers significantly reduce the amount of work required of human agents—answering calls, triaging problems, routing the customer to the correct department and finally solving their problem. With clever automation and smarter routing, machines can shoulder the bulk of the busywork, leaving human agents to focus on the stuff that only they can do — fix problems.
- Added sales
As physical retail sites continue to decline, contact centers are taking over many of their functions— including upselling. Consider the insurance industry: few insurers have physical stores these days, so customers don’t have easy access to an adviser or sales rep to guide them through buying decisions. That’s where the contact center comes in.
It’s important that business leaders understand the potential benefits of contemporary contact centers. Adapt your mindset to stop seeing contact centers as a necessary evil: view them as an invaluable business asset that needs to sit closely alongside other departments within your organization.
Digitally Transform Your Technology with ATC
ATC builds next-gen infrastructures and communication highways that connect people, processes and systems. They are purpose-built, agile, resilient and secure. ATC will empower you to drive transformation by tying strategy and technology to business outcomes and goals.
Building an effective digital strategy requires a deep understanding of the technology of today and tomorrow. Successful digital transformations start with a phone call to ATC. Because we do this day in and day out, we understand the platforms and functionality sets across the complicated technology and provider landscape.