Experiences are never stagnant. Demands are changing, growing at the scale of business. Along with that contact centers and BPOs have to evolve. It is imperative to accommodate the modern customer demands, to sustain in this economy.
When I speak about customer demands, I specifically want to focus on the contact centers. Contact centers are no longer just for customer support. These are information hubs, whose primary task is now to build relationships based on the data collected. Leveraging information to offer a conflict-free relationship is the goal of every modern business now. For this, contact centers have to grow out of the typical support mindset. Agents have to go beyond the script, AI-driven tools should assist in empathizing, and lastly, the customers must feel that they are heard.
The Future of Customer Experience
Evolution of Contact Centers For Next-Gen Customers
The future of customer experience is modern, sleek, and minimal. I mean, contact centers have evolved from just handling phone calls to becoming relationship managers. The entire growth has been assisted with technology and leadership. In other words, with less interference, the customer must get what they want from a brand. For example, if I am shopping for black jeans and I see a few black jeans in the app, I would expect recommendations on shirts that go along with it. If I see the right recommendation, I will purchase my complete look and be satisfied with the experience. In return, the business gets more revenue. Imagine this module being replicated across touchpoints, and you end up having a successful customer-centric ecosystem.
The first question to ask ourselves is who are we going to serve. The businesses are no longer going to serve baby boomers who witnessed the internet being revolutionized. No, we are now selling to a new generation of customers who are spoiled for choice. These customers are mobile-driven, intelligent, and are aware of all kinds of information. The age-old technique of courteous service and politeness is no longer the selling factor. These new-age customers want an immersive experience. They want solutions at the tip of their fingers. And it is why contact centers must adapt to these changes sooner than before.
As a millennial myself, I expect a perceptive experience. I expect things to be digitally available, quick-witted service, and professional behavior from every brand. Such as me, millions of new generation customers are also expecting the same. They prefer faster responses, holistic treatment, and above all a connected experience. To dwell on these points better, I have created a list. Here it goes:
Customers are no longer contained to a few channels like telephony or emails. They want convenience when communicating with their respective brands. They do not want to repeat their information across the channels and waste time. In fact, with so many social media channels being open, different demography prefers different platforms. While I prefer communicating with all my brands on Instagram, my uncle prefers Facebook and email.
Approaching customers across different platforms also enables you to gather information such as which device they are on, where are they from and what are their social likes/dislikes. Such information allows you to target your marketing strategies and support method better than before. You can meet your customers where they are and deliver exactly what they expect. This is how to diversify your brand through multiple channels.
Through omnichannel, your agents will develop a holistic mindset. They would always do their due research in a few minutes and communicate accordingly. With all information about the customer at hand, they can go beyond scripts and personalize every conversation and develop life-long advocacy.
Contact centers are becoming essential to every business. No business can run successfully without a myriad of agents analyzing and gathering information to further excel customer relationships. However, there is an evolution here as well. As customer demands are changing, people are switching to self-help solutions. In other words, when customers face an issue they first try to Google a solution, then read the FAQ on the company blog, and finally, if they didn’t have any luck, they would contact the support agent.
With this trend on the rise, agents can no longer be reduced to just support. Agents have to go beyond just fixing the bug. In every communication, the agent has to represent the brand, upsell if possible, resolve the issue and ensure that the customer won’t leave. Agents have to develop stronger analytical skills to recognize market trends, customer emotions, and utilize that data to perform better. All-in-all agents will be using every part of their skills to forge relationships with customers, where the experience is built with utmost attention and care.
As customer service grows to become the key differentiator in every industry, building empathy becomes an important factor. Building empathy isn’t restricted to just politeness and greetings. It goes beyond gift vouchers and discount coupons. Creating a perceptive experience is all about predicting customer behaviors.
To predict customer behaviors you need AI integration across your channels to analyze conversations and semantics. These tools will analyze all your customer chats and calls to understand what every customer feels about your products and services and generate a single CSAT score. It will understand all the major and minor issues your customers face, for you to communicate it to the respective teams. Artificial intelligence will enable your leadership team to have predictive and prescriptive insights. Such insights will help in better decision-making and superior customer experience.
Contact centers are evolving faster than ever. Riding on a cloud, it is scaling at a brilliant pace. Thanks to the pandemic, contact centers have become more essential and now is the right time to invest in its growth. Engaging your agents and employees in a growth mindset will allow your team to innovate and adapt better for the forthcoming trends in the industry.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.