Customers are increasingly comfortable with the digital-first experience when they have a question or problem, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies and customers to adopt digital experiences much more rapidly. Still, even with great strides in technology, the role of the customer support agent remains critical. Contact center agents must continue to make a good impression on callers to maintain customer satisfaction.
Speaking to a representative is still the top preferred engagement channel for customers. While many customer queries can be answered with digital assistance, more complicated matters still require the personal touch. The Verint Experience Index recently found that 73% of banking customers who reached out to a contact center had first tried a digital channel but were unable to accomplish their task online. And, according to another Verint article, 83% of customers expect to engage with someone immediately when contacting a company.
Not only do customers expect more from call center technology, but they also have higher expectations for their interactions with agents. This can be a challenging trend for call centers. In this environment, leaders will find that the customer experience is ripe for innovation. Supporting your agents with the right technology allows them to access valuable customer information and do their job more confidently — improving the customer experience and potentially driving revenue.
Uncover Valuable CX Insights
A robust analytics function can give you access to actionable CX insights. To be successful in upcoming years, forward-thinking call centers will increase their use of analytics to predict future issues and be proactive in their responses. When call center agents have data related to both the individual customers and the overall customer experience, they have more relevant information to give customers a personalized, helpful interaction. This helps improve customer satisfaction, which is one of the top three measurements for companies analyzing the success of their digital workplace improvement efforts, according to Simpler Media Group’s 2021 “State of the Digital Workplace” report.
Technology solutions that utilize automation are a great way to gain valuable insights. Speech analytics and voice analytics help you gather data from customer exchanges without requiring your employees to do extra work. Instead, employees can spend their time putting these insights into action and getting quantifiable results from it.
Capture Key Metrics
Collecting and integrating data is key to getting these insights. 90% of organizations cited data silos as a persistent challenge, according to a 2022 survey. As long as data is siloed, getting valuable insights becomes that much more difficult.
Be sure to capture key metrics across the customer journey to help improve the employee and customer experiences — from the moment a customer reaches out for support to the moment their issues are resolved. Some of these key metrics include: average call duration, call abandonment rate, first call resolution, daily call volume, call quality, customer sentiment, customer retention and customer satisfaction. Once you integrate all this data, improving operations is more seamless.
Boost Your Digital Transformation Efforts
According to McKinsey, 75% of people who used digital channels for the first time during the pandemic said that they plan on continuing to use them when things return to “normal.” The speed at which customers adapted to new channels when the pandemic began is a good indicator that organizations can begin ramping up their efforts to upgrade their digital strategy. What’s especially important here is that organizations have technology that allows them to connect data from across the entire organization.
There are many types of technology to consider, if your organization does not already utilize them. As just one example, conversational AI technology in chatbots can understand multiple languages and can respond to customers’ questions. Gartner predicts that the market for virtual assistants like chatbots will grow 15% this year to more than $7 billion.
Upgrade Your CX Program Today
The market for contact center services and software will reach $18.1 billion by 2026, up from $13.8 billion in 2019, according to CX market intelligence firm Dash Research. A CX program with the right technologies and solutions can help you boost your digital transformation efforts, helping you deflect more calls while also improving the overall customer experience and potentially driving revenue.
A good CX program will take into account what metrics you need to get insight on customers and streamline call center agents’ jobs. With so many different ways for people to get support to contact your team, look for a solution that allows you to analyze all streams of customer experience data — including chat, email, phone calls, among others. With the right insights, understanding your customers and improving call center operations become much more manageable goals.
Learn how Verint can boost your digital transformation efforts here.
Ram Swery is the vice president of Experience Management Solution Consulting & Onboarding at Verint, where he is responsible for driving adoption and accelerating time to value of the Experience Management portfolio.