Building the future-proof contact centre

What’s the best way to lose your customers? Poor service and bad communication are certainly at the top of the list. Consumers have become experts in the art of complaining and their power of influence is striking fear into the hearts of companies. 

Why are they so frightened? Because the reputation of their brand is measured by goodwill. To protect that goodwill, boards are beginning to understand that their IT teams need to have solutions in place which can prevent their brands being hit by a wave of bad publicity. Never has it been more important for businesses to listen to what their customers are saying, treat them as individuals and resolve their issues first time, every time.

> See also: Companies must crack 'social' customer service in order to survive

Take just a moment to consider the ever growing threat of the determined ‘detractor’ who has a large social media following. Before you know it your brand is quickly at the centre of an in-bound communications storm. From a single detractor i.e. one unhappy customer grows an army, often influenced by opinion, rather than fact. Suddenly, your brand, is no longer the domain of your marketing team, it is quickly ‘owned’ by your unhappy customers and the communication mediums they choose to express their frustrations.

The fear of a communications attack on their brand has already driven the smart companies to turn to their contact centre. Why the contact centre? That’s simple. Where else do you focus the incoming communication from your customers?

But, the problem is that today’s contact centres rarely have all of the tools to enable agents to perform the every increasingly high levels of customer service which today’s customers expect, let alone the ability to deal with social media interaction.

Roll forward five years, when even more customer contact will come from new media channels i.e. web chat, Twitter, Facebook, social media forums etc., and it is easy to see the importance of ensuring that your contact centre is able to deal with in-bound communication, wherever it comes from, now!

Contact centres need to become a key element of your business communications infrastructure. Those companies that rate highly in the customer satisfaction stakes are already planning their future contact methodology and ever higher on their priority list is the ability to handle social media and web interaction.

However, to deal with social media and the other communications channels, we don’t yet know about, carries a staffing overhead and an associated transactional cost. But, by stepping back from making the necessary investment companies are putting their brands at risk.

> See also: Tableau and the future of social media analytics

At 8×8 Solutions many of our customers, who understand the importance of retaining their own customers’ goodwill, are already planning the way forward. They are working with us on how to deploy flexible and integrated cloud-based contact centres that are nimble, agile and easily scalable in both directions and which integrate with the best CRM and workforce management solutions. But perhaps, most importantly, a future-proof contact centre will be able to deal within increased levels of in-bound communication regardless of the source.

Moving to a cloud-based contact centre and harnessing the flexibility and power of the Internet greatly improves customer service levels. The cloud helps to bring together all the necessary tools an organisation needs to ensure in-bound communications are quickly and easily routed to the agent who is best skilled to answer queries by having access to each and every customers’ case history.

Agents who have access to the tools they need are able to execute positive customer interaction, which results in successful first call resolution. First call resolution leads to happy customers and happy customers are a crucial element in preventing brand detractors.

The first step in moving your contact centre to the cloud is the choice of your cloud communications provider. You must be certain that your chosen provider has a proven track record of successfully delivering cloud-based contact centre solutions- a provider who can deliver integration with the leading CRM and workforce management tools.

To make sure that your business is delivering the best possible customer experience (CX) which will go a long way to prevent your brand being at the centre of a negative communications storm, make sure your contact centre is fit for purpose. 


Sourced from David Rowlands, Lead Virtual Contact Centres, 8×8 Solutions

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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