Contact Center Leaders Still Fail to Understand Customers’ Communication Needs

Posted by Rodney Kuhn

6/10/16 11:30 AM

Do_you_now_your_customers.jpgAs a contact center leader you’re constantly under pressure to drive revenue for your organization by ensuring that your agents are engaged and supporting an environment that effectively satisfies the needs of your customers.

 To do this effectively means first understanding your customers’ preferences and wishes.

 While you may think you know your customers like the back of your hand, findings from a 2015 survey of 576 contact center executives, directors, managers and customers suggest otherwise. That is, some of the key conclusions, listed below, directly contradict what customers indicate are their preferences when interacting with a contact center.

  • Less than one quarter of contact center leaders believe that their organization provides a consistent customer experience across the customer journey.
  • More contact centers use email (85 percent) than live representative calls (77 percent) despite email being one of the slowest channels for response time.
  • Only 11 percent of contact center leaders believe customers prefer to use online channels such as chat and social media instead of calling a company on the phone.

In contrast to what contact center leaders believe, according to the study, more than one third of customers expressed an interest in using text and SMS more often if offered, and two thirds felt online chat was important to support. Based on this and other incongruencies pointed out in the study, a majority of contact center leaders are failing to meet the needs of today’s customers who want consistent, efficient resolution across a variety of channels.

To resolve the disconnect and better serve customers, contact center leaders need to both recalibrate their understanding of what customers expect and evolve their communications infrastructure and operational protocols in line with their new knowledge. The best way to do this is to replace any outdated on-premises hardware in favor of more agile and robust cloud-based solutions that can support your organization’s goal to more fully address customers’ changing needs.

That is, cloud solutions enable you to:

  • Collect customer histories and preferences to promote consistency across channels and efficiently route customer calls to the same agent they chatted with on other channels;
  • Monitor agent-customer interactions across channels and gain valuable insights from real-time analytics to help train agents to more effectively resolve customer inquiries; and
  • Utilize your cloud provider’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools to streamline software updates and security patches, as well as to effectively schedule agents to decrease downtime.

At present, contact center leaders are not taking full advantage of the innovative solutions available today to enhance the customer experience. Some 65 percent of the leaders surveyed report that their contact centers do not collect customer preferences for channels of interaction, with nearly half failing to use segmentation data to route customers to the best agent. 

A cloud-based solution and SaaS tools can help contact center leaders better understand customer expectations and evolve their organizations to address them more optimally—maximizing satisfaction and, ultimately, driving revenues.

To learn more about how your contact center can better understand the needs of your customers, click here.

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