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How Contact Centers Turn Employees into Agents


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As the line between customer service, marketing automation, e-commerce, and CRM tools blur, creating unified and seamless customer journeys becomes all the more difficult. While e-commerce has grown significantly over the last two years, in large part accelerated by COVID-19, offline commerce still estimates to account for 80% of all consumer expenditure. As a result, if you are a CX executive many of your customers’ touch points will likely be in brick-and-mortar outlets. While this is true for retail, it’s also true for banking, telecommunications, and even government sectors, all of whom run large retail footprints.
A challenge for many organizations is based on the fact that data collected about a customer in the contact center isn’t accessible to front line staff and vice versa. This leads to a disjointed customer experience, driving up cost for each interaction.
When you think about what makes the Apple retail experience so great, it’s that they have your customer profile, notes from your contact center interactions and even products you’ve purchased online at their fingertips when you arrive in-store. ‘Sure, but that’s Apple,’ I hear you say. ‘They are a multi-trillion-dollar company so we can’t afford their technology.’
That line of thinking was true when businesses required large upfront investments for on-premises communication systems. However, with cloud technologies paid on a consumption basis, coupled with open APIs, this kind of magical omnichannel customer experience doesn’t need to be out of reach for small and medium businesses or those with budget constraints.
Visibility gaps in the omnichannel experience
Have you ever tried ringing your local retailer only to have the call ring out? When you finally reach an agent, you’re often passed around, which prolongs the call time and reduces customer satisfaction.
While contact center executives obsess over time in queue, average handle time, and first call resolution—it’s surprising how few organizations have any visibility of the telephone calls or communications that hit their retail networks. (Or even a sense of how many go unanswered).
A modern CCaaS solution provides phone numbers and telephony on a single system to handle calls at the outlet and in the contact center. This unifies the customer experience across an organization, but more importantly gives CX leaders critical data points on the experience at the edge of their business.
How does a retail network impact the choice of contact center technology?
If your organization has a network of in-person outlets, then technology choices for communications software need to extend beyond the contact center alone. To deliver a seamless customer experience, a business must identify a customer quickly no matter where they choose to engage with a brand. The ability to quickly surface a customer profile with context allows human agents to quickly understand why the customer engages with the business. It also leads to a consistent experience across all touchpoints.
Driving loyalty, recognition, and customer satisfaction requires technology that stores customer data in a single platform, handles multiple communication channels, and delivers them in interfaces that lend themselves to all kinds of front and back-of-house use cases.
What should CX executives be doing to future-proof their customer experience strategy?
Imagine if your agents could see the interactions their caller has had anywhere in your organization, whether online, in-person or by directly calling the outlet. This context would enable your agents to deliver a personalized experience that drives customer satisfaction up, average handle time down, and ultimately helps agents do what they love doing best, serving the customer.
The same holds true in reverse. Seeing a customer’s interactions online and over the phone enables your outlet employees to treat every customer as an individual.
When selecting a CCaaS platform, consider how extensible the solution is and whether it could serve the needs of the whole organization. The value of upgrading a contact center platform to the latest CCaaS solution diminishes if that same technology can’t replace the legacy PBX in your outlets.
If you select a CCaaS platform that can orchestrate customer experiences throughout a customer’s entire journey, the impact can turn your customer experience into a true competitive differentiator.
To learn more about how to manage branch-based engagements along with contact center communications with Engage, click here.