The digital consumer. The hybrid, connected employee.
These are two immensely powerful trends shaping how organisations engage with their customers to build long-term loyalty and recognition in noisy markets.
The global pandemic has fundamentally shifted connections and connectivity – consumers prefer to use digital channels and touchpoints to connect with companies; and contact centre agents requires robust connectivity to ensure that they delight these customers.
The experiences you create are just as important as the product or services you sell, which means that the modern contact centre should be seen as more than just a customer service touchpoint, but as an experience centre that delivers customer delight.
McKinsey believes that it is critical to put the customer at the centre of engagements, ensuring that digital is as capable of meeting customer expectations as the traditional physical platforms.
The company describes this as investing into ‘phygital’ – the mix of physical and digital to create experiences that capture customer delight.
As the research giant points out, the past 18 months has rapid customer uptake of digital engagements and solutions, initially because they had to, but now because they have access to a global market and are spoiled for choice.
Companies that pay attention to digital are seeing measurably higher returns but they need to balance this with the right blend of physical touchpoints.
As Forrester points out, it’s customer service that can make or break the relationship that a customer has with the business.
And over the past year, companies have had to deliver this service from remote locations with agents who have had to work with tools and technologies cobbled together at speed.
As Forbes suggested in 2020 – the call centre agent is a hero.
They are. It’s the agents who connect with the customers and ensure that they have the experiences that bring them back, keep them loyal, and ignite word of mouth.
And in 2020 they had to do all this, with limited resources and significantly increased demand.
Forrester captures this perfectly by describing it as a time when the two trends of pandemic and digital collided to create higher call volumes as customers looked to agents to help them get more information.
The agent became a consultant.
Now it’s up to the business to invest in infrastructure and technologies that empower the agent and the customer.
To find a way of overcoming some of the most prevalent pain points that impact contact centre efficiency such as contact centre agents struggling to manage their time and their roles with limited tools and technologies, or a lack of visibility into agent performance and customer trends.
Contact centres are under pressure to find better grips for the customer, that ever consistent need to build stickiness into interactions and touchpoints.
This is one of the reasons why the contact centre as a service has become such a popular tool.
These contact centre solutions are fully managed, capable of handing geographically dispersed customers and workforces, and can be integrated to fit within very specific business mandates.
They allow for companies to reinvent how they approach the customer and engage their workforce.
The contact centre as a service essentially allows for the business to build a world of efficiency and empathy that turns customer engagements into memorable moments.
Sticky memorable moments that are defined by how efficiently the contact centre connects, engages and meets expectations.
And, of course, it ensures that the hybrid workforce has access to systems that are designed to deliver the connectivity and collaboration tools they need to do their jobs more effectively.
The war for customer attention has never been fiercer, or more complex.
Customers aren’t limited by geography or by location.
They can shop anywhere, and they can vote with their digital feet, making now the perfect time to redefine contact centre infrastructure so as to refine customer engagements and create that one great result that every business and individual craves – delight.