Jaime Bailey

A Contact Center Expert’s Guide to Improving CX in 2019

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Contact center managers face the constant challenge of serving customers efficiently while maximizing their convenience and making the experience enjoyable. These five proven technologies will help meet that challenge, especially when deployed in innovative, customer-savvy applications.

Chatbots

People love using chatbots for simple tasks. They answer questions fast, help select products, offer simple support and share procedural information. They work 24/7 across web, mobile, text and social channels. Chatbots using natural language processing (NLP) can conduct email or text conversations that promote add-on products, offer extended warranties or link to entertaining and educational videos.

These smart little applications can even engage customers in fun and unusual ways. Casper Mattresses, for example, has developed the insomnobot-3000 which chats with people between 11 pm and 5 am to keep them company if they can’t sleep. The bot features a cheeky personality and will discuss late-night snacks, tv re-runs and weekend plans to help the involuntarily awake pass the time.

Knowledge Management Systems

Google has taught us that answers should be at our fingertips. So when customers interact with your business, they expect you to have details and solutions as fast as a browser search.

With a good knowledge management system (KMS), agents and bots can easily find answers to customer questions or identify other subject matter experts who can help. They can also access customer history, account information and product lists to personalize service or offer upsells.

A KMS working in contact with data analytics will pop other useful information to agents as they talk with customers. For example, it can notify agents of popular accessories for products or advise customers on useful maintenance tips. Customers not only get their questions answered quickly; they also enjoy the unexpected value of information or deals designed specifically for them.

Callback

Even with excellent self-service options, people still need to talk to a person every now and then, especially for a sensitive or complex issue. They’re already worried or frustrated about a problem, and parking them in a long phone queue makes them feel unimportant.

Callback platforms, like VHT Callback, give them control over the process, so they can choose to get off the phone knowing they’ll be able to talk with someone soon. When they do connect, they’re calmer and happier for avoiding the hold experience.

The advantage of callbacks extends beyond the phone. For example, if online users can’t find billing information, have questions about a purchase or get lost in the reservation process, they can activate a callback widget for immediate access to personal help. Online conversions increase, and customers are less likely to churn from frustration.

Callbacks can even encourage people to try new automation by giving them an easy back-up. A major European telecommunications provider wanted to maintain their high-touch, premium brand while encouraging people to use self-service. They deployed highly usable mobile applications that included a “magic button” for scheduling a callback or live chat at any point. With the safety net of easy access to agents available at all times, people were more willing to explore the applications. The business lowered costs while maintaining superior customer experience (CX).

Social Media Customer Care

According to a 2018 Pew Internet Survey, 68% of US adults use Facebook and 24% use Twitter. And those numbers have increased steadily in the last 6 years.

Social media has traditionally been managed by marketing and sales, but once customers establish a relationship with the business via these channels, they want to get service and support there as well.

The key is responsiveness – people are used to getting fast answers from friends and family over social media, so they expect businesses to react promptly as well.

Employee Engagement Technology

CX experts cannot ignore employees who interact directly with customers. A 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark study found that companies with the highest rated CX had 1.5 times as many engaged employees as others.

Managers can encourage employee engagement with collaboration platforms like Slack and Google Docs to help build support networks. Remote work platforms open up more flexible schedules. And training that includes gamification and microlearning motivates agents to improve their skills and advance their careers.

As every contact center expert knows, it takes more than one technology or one department to create an outstanding CX. You have to show up where your customers already are, make it easy for them to get answers and connect with representatives, make it easy for representatives to solve their problems and make everyone involved feel appreciated. It’s a tall order, but the tools mentioned here and dedication to CX principles will get you there in the end.