Improvements to contact centre environment should be incremental

With new or greater demands, the business offering and its supporting processes must be developed to retain and attract more customers. This has become particularly apparent in the shift to digital, especially within the environment of customer service through contact centres.
There are different elements to improving the customer service offering. The technology, systems and processes incorporated into the business solution must enhance the workflow, aiding in boosting efficiency and productivity and this in turn must also have a positive impact on customer experience. Tech solutions are only one part of this and must complement all other elements in order to achieve the desired outcomes.

In business, tech is no longer solely the province of an IT department working in isolation, but is an integral part of everything the business does. IT enthusiasts may seek ways to incorporate the latest apps, software and hardware, but if these work contrary to existing tech or they are not implemented with customer experience in mind, it is possible that the entire workflow can grind to a virtual halt.

All generations must be considered


Customer IT preferences do drive change; a recent study found that 80% of consumers are using digital devices to contact customer service. With this shift to digital, these social-media savvy millennials are becoming more demanding; they say it is faster and easier to contact companies via social media, email or chat.

Baby boomers (aged 45 – 69), on the other hand, still prefer to use the phone to call for customer service. A superficial analysis would indicate that it is best to drive a strategy aimed at these millennials, however, it must not be forgotten that the older market are peak earners, contributing significantly to the bottom line.

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Unless a company is introducing an entirely new contact centre environment, it is likely that new business solutions will be inclusive of legacy hardware and software and these solutions must be designed to work in harmony within the legacy contact centre environment, while futureproofing for potential market shifts and developments.

It is recognised by companies that with the desire to interact across different channels, the need for a multi-channel solution exists, breaking down the silos of each channels so that a seamless form of communication is available and experienced, whether the customer contacts the company via chat, email, social media, online or via voice. Emerging technology (as well as the thoughtful application of this technology) is a necessary consideration, as this can contribute to removing pain points such as repeated calls, time spent on hold or repeating information and more.

Voice authentication reduces fraud


An example could include the use of voice authentication in a contact centre. Its primary role is to reduce identity theft and its associated fraud risk. This is achieved by cross-referencing the customer’s voice with the voice registered on a customer database, as well as checking the voice against a database of known fraudsters. While this reduces business risk, the process can be up to 30% faster than obtaining identity verification by asking questions – a massive benefit for customers as it shortens talk time and improves the overall service experience. This is not just tech for the sake of it – customers benefit too.

With this in mind, improvements to the contact centre environment should be made incrementally to test existing solutions’ effectiveness and to build on a working foundation, thereby disrupting business operations as little as possible while improving the technology.

Just because some customers are early adopters of technology, it does not mean that the late adopters should be ignored when incorporating business solutions into the contact centre environment.

About Wynand Smit

Wynand Smit is CEO at INOVO, a leading contact centre business solutions provider.
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