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We’re a far cry from the days when a company contact centre consisted of a bank of desks and phone lines. A place for customers to call with a complaint or when they wanted information about your opening times. Today’s contact centre is a hub of customer communication and information. It’s the engine of your customer service, and as such, needs much more than some fixed phone lines in order to be the omnichannel comms centre it needs to be.
The term ‘digital transformation’ gets thrown around a lot today, but the evolution of the modern contact centre truly has been a digital transformation. It’s seen the contact centre turn from a single channel department into a complete network of voice, video, instant messaging and live chat that can handle any customer enquiry, however it comes in. At Elite Group we’ve helped hundreds of contact centres transform using our contact centre as a service offering. In this blog we pull out the key learnings we’ve had along the way to explain how – and where – digital transformation is changing contact centres.
A digital transformation is a change in the technology, outlook and culture of a company. Something that looks at the real problems going on within the business and identifying where new technology, better processes or more training can improve the experience for customers. For a contact centre, this means moving away from the outdated fixed phone lines and disconnected communications channels, and towards a cloud based, data rich, omnichannel environment. While this should be the aim of a digital transformation, they’re not always successful.
In fact, around 70% of digital transformations fail, according to global management consulting firm, McKinsey. In our experience, this happens for a few common reasons:
Outdated call centres are built on fixed phone lines running into a series of static phones that can only deal with voice calls. Separate systems may have been adopted to take advantage of new communications like live chat, video and instant messaging. However, these ‘multichannel’ systems are often set up in isolation from each other and don’t create a connected customer experience.
For example, you may be able to change between voice calls and video calls, but it means disconnecting the voice call and setting up a separate video call, rather than seamlessly switching between the two within the same system. It also means your contact centre is limited in where and how it can operate (because agents need to be at single desks in order to handle enquiries).
Cloud based contact centre as a service offerings change that. Hosting your telephone system in the cloud means teams have the flexibility to work and access the network from anywhere they have a mobile device and an internet connection. With the incoming switch to VOIP telephone systems, this cloud-based environment is going to become non-negotiable in a few years, so not switching now will only put you on the back foot. You’ll also be missing out on the financial benefits, too. That’s the main reason why so many businesses have made the switch to CCaaS.
CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) eliminates the need for numerous costly subscriptions for different communication channels.Instead it brings everything together in one simple system that everyone in your business can use. Phone, text, email, social media and video conferencing are all included and are easily interchangeable. Meaning you could start a conversation with a customer using one method of communication and switch to another with ease, without ever dropping connection.
If your contact centre is still running on outdated hardware, PCs and phones, you’re limiting your own scalability, but that’s not the case with CCaaS. As all the services are hosted in the cloud, making changes to your business, as it grows, is a simple case of updating your services through your chosen CCaaS provider.
Not every customer wants to pick up the phone to get the answers they need. Many customers are happy to self-solve problems when they can (some actually prefer it). This is why it makes sense for you to have automated online resources at the ready to give customers a hand. In-depth FAQ boards and intelligent automated chatbots can take over answering basic or common enquiries customers have, freeing up your human agents to deal with more complex issues.
CCaaS systems take advantage of intelligent customer service chatbots to not only answer questions, but also update databases and even fulfil orders, in some cases. This doesn’t just save your team time and effort, it allows them to spend their time in more productive ways, further pushing the business forward.
Automated call routing has been around for a while. A customer calls your business, is greeted for an automated response asking them to pick a number based on the department they want (or to verbally say what the call is about) and then – hopefully – they’re transferred to the right person.
However, this type of generic call routing doesn’t fit with modern customer expectations. This is where intelligent call routing comes in. Intelligent call routing uses not only customer prompts to route calls through to the right person, but it can also use previous call history to prioritise which calls are moved further up the queue and answered first.
For example, if you’ve had a customer who has called multiple times with a complaint, intelligent call routing built into CCaaS can identify the number and move the caller up the queue so they’re not kept waiting for long periods. This creates a much more streamlined approach to automated customer service and could slash your current call times and waiting times, as well as reducing the potential for customer complaints to escalate. It also drastically cuts the chance of human error in call transfers, if you still have call operators dealing with that side of the business.
Ready to start the digital transformation of your contact centre? Speak to us at Elite Group. Our experienced and highly-accredited specialists are here to help you successfully transform your contact centre with state-of-the-art CCaaS solutions that enhance the experience of your customers and set you apart from the competition.