Building a Modern Customer Experience
Providing great customer service is no longer enough for contact centers to meet the evolving expectations of your customers.
By Tarek Wiley
Providing great customer service is no longer enough for contact centers to meet the evolving expectations of your customers. They demand a streamlined, consistent support experience across channels and throughout the customer journey. They demand great customer experience (CX).
Though customer service is still crucial, it should not make up your entire CX strategy. It’s important to consider all touchpoints along the customer journey to achieve true differentiation and longevity.
To meet the high expectations of your customers, you must first understand those expectations. Do they prefer phone, chat or email support? Do they prefer talking to a machine or a live agent?
No two customers are the same. Needs, preferred channels and workflows will differ from customer to customer, so your contact center platform should allow for customization based on individual preferences. These preferences should be considered across the entire customer journey, not just the individual interactions along the way.
To build omnichannel experiences, organizations must make changes to both business operations and technology:
- Utilize a cloud-based platform to host your communications applications.
- Cross-train agents to move between communication channels.
- Provide a simple interface to pivot seamlessly between channels.
- Implement better tools for monitoring and forecasting demand across all channels.
- Automate processes like call routing and alerts.
Creating a CX Roadmap
To assess and roadmap a company’s customer experience strategy, CX advisory firm Walker developed a Maturity Model with six key areas of CX competency:
- Strategy – Be thoughtful about your customer experience, planning and designing your strategy to drive success and maintain a competitive advantage.
- Culture – Establish a customer-centric way of doing things that influences how employees think and act.
- Resources – To effectively execute and manage your CX, make sure you have the personnel and financial resources you need.
- Insights – Implement a system for gathering and analyzing data using the insights to guide decision making and long-term strategies.
- Action – Make decisions based on customer insights, tracking employee actions to ensure proper follow-through.
- Impact – Monitor CX impact and ROI.
Your customer experience is evaluated on both the quality and efficiency of support. Successful contact centers find the right balance between the two, providing solutions to customer problems while reducing call times, limiting transfers, improving agent performance, etc.
Striking the perfect CX balance requires proper measurement and analysis of customer interactions to identify opportunities for improvement. Are agent call scripts effective? Are customers bypassing your IVR to speak with live agents? Contact center analytics can provide valuable customer insights, leading to better revenue growth and customer retention rates.
Data can also be used to analyze and improve agent performance. For example, call recordings are a great tool for agent training and coaching. And, contact centers can use analytics to measure CX efficacy throughout the customer journey and across each touchpoint.