Customer Experience Modernization Through Next-Generation Contact Centers

BrandPost By Manish Govil, Ravi Mhapankar
Feb 18, 2021
Cloud ComputingIT Leadership

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Credit: istock

Today’s new-age customers have ushered in the need for redefined technology enhancements for the contact center that are all about conversational interfaces and AI (artificial intelligence)-assisted services. On the operational level, traditional metrics continue to be driven by productivity, and finally, at the emotional needs level, there is a requirement to address the emotional quotient of both the customer and the agent.

Digital consumers want to use all available channels as they interact with the services of a brand. And they want to do so seamlessly, without losing context, as they move from one channel to another.  

Given these complex requirements, it is critical that we address customer experience requirements on multiple fronts. Hence our approach cuts across the following components:

Design > Technology > People and Process > Data and Analytics

We fit everything together to drive end-to-end transformation through our contact center on the cloud, powered by Amazon Connect.

Most enterprises offer multiple channels of interactions and have invested significantly in a plethora of systems.

However, we still find that:

  • 60% of contact centers do not provide customer information proactively to agents.
  • 69% of agents have to go through multiple systems and screens to find information that is contextual to their interaction with the customer, to help them provide a better experience.

So if the problem is clear, why are organizations not able to meet these expectations?

Several challenges contribute towards this:

  • Multiple channels do not equate to an omnichannel experience. In fact, if interaction across different channels like voice and chat is not seamless, it makes the user frustrated.
  • When it comes to providing contextual data to agents during interactions, there are always considerations of privacy and compliance. However, the tradeoff between privacy and responsiveness is a tough choice.
  • A significant impediment to providing a quick and accurate response to the customer is an inability to contextualize the situation.
  • We talked about organizations investing in multiple systems. However, integration of your contact center system with all these systems is key. Does your contact center system have the capability to integrate easily with other systems?
  • Then there is the monetary part. Do I have the budget to make capital investments in new systems to meet shortfalls? Can I justify the business case?
  • Last, but not the least, is the issue of skill sets in an organization. Most new age solutions leverage the power of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning. Does the organization have the resources to optimally leverage the immense power in their hands?

So what should be the next step?

It is necessary to step back and look at three streams:

The first is to reimagine customer interaction.

  • Begin by designing what new customer journeys will look like in an omnichannel world. Then map these designs to the corresponding journeys for employees and agents.
  • This should result in a personalized experience center of your omnichannel interface.

You don’t have to do all this in one go. If your core design is future ready, you can implement these advanced capabilities over a period of time, using a structured roadmap.

Second, start executing on this reimagined journey by reinforcing it with systems that align with your roadmap:

  • Personalize automation and provide enhanced self-service capabilities.
  • It is important to remember that technology doesn’t always guarantee success.  It has to be complemented with time-tested operational measures.
  • Leverage the capabilities around chatbots and text-to-speech features, to provide human-like interactions when customers are in a self-service mode.
  • Leverage the power of analytics to drive real-time governances of customer interactions.

Finally, there is the pillar of resiliency. Our biggest learning from the COVID-19 pandemic has been to build nimble and future-ready architecture. It should be able to scale up or down without putting stress on resources or budgets. It should be able to plug and play easily with third-party solutions, to take advantage of the innovation that the ecosystem brings. Also, special attention should be paid to service continuity, in case of physical and system disruptions.

To conclude, we always have to look at the intersection of Design/Technology/Business operations in order to learn from each aspect, and to  create a resilient and personalized contact center that satisfies not just the customer but also the agents, to provide a superior experience every time.

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