People hate calling contact centers. However, many companies that seek to create a customer experience strategy that leads to an improved experience are often hindered by the use of flat success measurements such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). A better solution is to change your contact center’s approach to customer engagement and how you measure success.
A contact center manager’s worst habit is to focus on continuous improvement of purely financial metrics. The fundamental flaw in this approach is assuming that current contact center metrics are generating loyalty and increasing sales. Numerous studies show that many contact centers are out of date with customer’s expectations to the point that some companies are beginning to eliminate or significantly reduce center size in lieu of alternative solutions.
Does this mean that centers are going away? Unlikely, but they face an uncertain future. One of the main reasons is persistence in hanging on to legacy approaches to call center management. We think there are three keys to breaking the mold.
Think like your customers
While it may seem obvious, thinking like your customers is often the best first step you can take to transform your call center and strengthen your customer experience strategy. Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes may help you rethink your entire approach to delivering service. While Voice of the Customer (VOC) approaches have been in place for many years, we find they rarely deliver transformational results. Companies that are serious about keeping their contact centers relevant must take customer feedback seriously.
Most customers believe that organizations should be able to anticipate and understand some of their future needs based on past activities, behaviors, history and possibly even market trends. Expectations for a higher level of personalized treatments continue to grow: “Know me, know what I want before I have to tell you, offer me something that makes sense for me and interact with me based on my individual preferences.”
The more organizations provide customers with targeted and personalized interactions, the more that customers expect and even demand this personalized approach from other organizations, regardless of industry. In addition, recent advancements in predictive analytic technologies are expediting the enablement of more proactive engagement, leveraging historical enterprise and marketing data coupled with predicted customer behaviors.
Outbound is cheaper than inbound
Today, many organizations are structured to handle inbound customer-initiated inquiries rather than provide proactive services. The irony is that contacting a customer is three to four times cheaper than taking an inbound call. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other application integrations are, in many cases, forcing organizations to become more proactive in their handling of customer requests.
Typically, proactive customer engagement is maintained by marketing teams through various email and outreach campaigns or delivery resources such as claims and order management to follow up and resolve customer requests. Going forward, organizations need to ensure alignment with enterprise activities such as sales, marketing, fulfillment, and claims to enable a customer experience strategy that encompasses both proactive and reactive considerations.
Managing a center with a proactive approach means knowing your customers and knowing that you can realize transformational cost reductions while building loyalty.
Know your customers
When predictive modeling is combined with an understanding of customer history, organizations are able to proactively reach out to customers within their preferred channel before having the customer initiate incoming interactions via traditional inbound calls, email, chat or other methods. The associated business benefits of this improved customer experience strategy can be significant and may include reduced authentication, documentation and intent discovery while decreasing average handle time, staffing and operating costs across channels.
This benefit, however, comes with an initial upfront cost. Knowing your customers requires knowing more than their channel of preference. It means knowing when they like to be contacted, what events may generate a contact and being able to quickly identify those events. Events might include a doctor retiring, a product recall being issued, a claim being denied and so forth. These types of servicing strategies require near real-time notification of events and then a detailed understanding of how to respond to these events on a customer-by-customer basis.
A personalized approach will result in both a lower cost of service and more loyalty, but it requires a more individualized approach to technical segmentation. The good news is that technology exists to create these types of experiences. But companies need to change their approach and, in many cases, break down internal barriers between marketing, servicing, sales and fulfillment.
Fortunately, companies don’t need to make this change alone. For support in driving this transformation, contact Eventus.
Built In today announced that Eventus Solutions Group was honored in its 2023 Best Places To Work Awards. Specifically, Eventus earned a place on Best Midsized Places to Work in Colorado AND the Best Places to Work in Colorado. The annual awards program includes companies of all sizes, from startups to those in the enterprise, and honors both remote-first employers as well as companies in large tech markets across the U.S.
Consumers have more options than ever for reaching out to a company with questions or concerns, but with more options comes higher expectations. Customers whose expectations aren’t met are increasingly proving that they will go elsewhere for their service.