The Future of the Contact Centre
By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)
Much has been written over the last several years about Millennials and their customer service preferences. One article I read recently discussed the irony of the millennial generation’s hatred of making phone calls, despite them constantly using their phones. Another credited their digitally native approach to customer service for bringing about better customer experiences for all of us. The fact of the matter is, Millennials and the generation following them, sometimes referred to as iGen, are used to having instant access to information and prefer to find answers on their own rather than interacting with a live person. So what does that mean for the future of customer service and the contact centre?
In an interview with CRMXchange, Patrick Gallagher, Managing Director ANZ & North Asia at Creative Virtual, drew from his many years of experience in contact centres, IVR and customer experience applications to describe the change he is seeing:
“Over the past three decades, companies have invested millions in their contact centres, offering support to their customers that call to purchase, enquire, complain, apply or just need assistance. Traditionally this has been the ‘tried-and-tested’ option as companies continued to invest in their contact centre in order to build their customer support capability. But as customers move into digital channels (and the majority have already moved there), what are companies doing to ensure they are continuing to support their customers in the new digital channels and offer true online support to their customers? They now face a pressing need to be prioritising investments in online customer service tools, communicating and supporting their customers where they now live, in the online channels.”
Technology is altering the way customers engage with brands and increasing their demands for instant 24/7 customer service. They want effortless interactions with organisations and are increasingly leveraging self-service and digital channels for this reason. The traditional model for call centres and contact centres is no longer providing the experience customers have begun to demand, and customers won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere when their expectations aren’t met. 2017 is going to be an important year for customer service as organisations look to meet – and exceed – the expectations of digitally-savvy, empowered customers, and changes in the contact centre and the job descriptions of customer service agents are going to be a key part of these transitions.
The new guide titled The Future of the Contact Centre: The Transitioning Role of Agents to Knowledge Experts explores what organisations can do to create and keep happy, loyal customers. It breaks down:
- What changes contact centres are facing in 2017 and beyond
- How virtual agents and chatbots fit perfectly with customer expectations
- Why live agents taking on the role of knowledge experts benefits organisations, customers and the agents
While these contact centre changes won’t happen overnight, it’s important for organisations to shift their attitudes towards customer engagement and begin the transition now. The future of customer service lies in a combination of virtual and real support, and there are enormous opportunities for organisations in this new approach – not only in customer experience improvements but also on the cost savings and sales fronts. Download the new contact centre guide to learn more and help you start the discussion about the future of your contact centre.