The top 4 challenges for contact centres in the digital age

How to navigate the challenges for contact centres in an increasingly digital world

As with every area of modern life, technology is having an enormous impact on customer service.

The foundation of great customer service hasn’t changed.

We still need to give our customers the answers they need, quickly and accurately.

However, the challenge we face now is that our customers’ expect to access information whenever they want and across a variety of channels.

There are four key elements that make up this challenge that we have outlined below.

The challenge for contact centres 

 1. Omnichannel

As consumers, we all want to connect with businesses through any of the communication channels available to us – over the counter, by phone (both direct and through an IVR), through websites, over chat, email, SMS and through social media.

The real challenge is not only engaging with customers through all of these channels but also making sure the information is consistent and the process is seamless if customers want to move from one channel to the next.

2. Mobile

The need for instant answers is being driven by the explosion in the use of smartphones and electronic devices.

Customers can now connect with us in so many ways and all through one device.

They expect to get the answers they need quickly and through the channel of their choosing.

While these devices bring a lot of challenges they also provide a lot of opportunity.

The fact that mobile phones facilitate different ways for customers to contact us means we can reach them more quickly and more cost effectively if we do it right.

It’s about having one central area for your business knowledge so it is consistent, while having it available through a growing number of access points.

 3. Self-Serve

In a study by the Gartner Research Group, they found 70% of customers prefer to use a business’s website to get answers rather than making a call to an agent.

We have an increase in the expectation of customers who want to be able to answer their own questions without any help.

What we need to do is make sure that they are able to access the information they need in a simple, readable way.

4. People

Regardless of the increases in self-serve and omnichannel experiences, customer service staff still have a huge role to play in ensuring customer satisfaction – we’ll just be connecting in different ways.

One of the biggest changes will be the need to expand the skill base of agents to make sure the self-serve experience is the best it can be by authoring and grouping the information in a manner that suits the client base.

We’ll also be connecting more with customers after they’ve exhausted their self-serve attempts.

Some businesses look at how they can have all of the information they might need on a customer so when they give up on the self-serve attempts we will already know what they have tried, be able to show them some empathy and find the final answer really quickly.

This is how omnichannel should work, and work well.

Recommended reads: 

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About Brad Shaw 2 Articles

Brad Shaw is the CEO of livepro, a Customer Service Knowledge Management organisation.

Brad has spent the last ten years coaching CEOs to focus on customer satisfaction and cost efficiencies and ensuring his livepro clients are getting better outcomes from the system.

When he isn’'t championing livepro, you can find Brad cruising Sydney on his Vespa or spending time with his grandsons (yep, you heard that right!)

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