Perhaps one of the most intriguing findings recently published in the Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report (GCCBR) is that Customer Experience (Cx) is finally being cited as the primary reason for organizations’ strategic development, investment and deployment of digital channels and solutions. In previous years, cost reduction was the primary motivator.
On the one hand, customer preferences (and in certain cases, customer demands) for digital channel services and self-service options are rapidly becoming the battleground for brand, product and service differentiation and supremacy. The other side of the coin, however, is that organizations are fast realizing the massive potential for gleaning incredibly valuable analytics and business intelligence from the ‘big data’ that digitization delivers.
Customer demand and the realization of valuable analytics has spawned a dangerous trend to deploy not true omnichannel platforms but in far too many cases, a hodgepodge of disparate multi-channel technologies. One of the key finding of the GCCBR1 clearly indicates that a mere 17.4% of the research participants can actually track a customer’s journey spanning multiple channels. Fewer are able to use analytics to identify customer journey ‘hot spots’ or bottle necks in the processes. This is surprising as ‘Customer Journey’ has clearly emerged as the second most important and critical trend affecting contact centre and customer service operations and operating models.
Going forward into the complex and challenging transition that organisations will be compelled to make to remain competitive whilst maintaining cost effective and efficient, is the reality that today’s customers demand a series of very clear promises: The promise of Speed. The promise of Self-Service. The promise of Access to Information. The promise of Minimized Effort. The promise of Omnichannel Bi-directional Access. Above all, customers are demanding a high degree of personal control.
The proliferation of channels during the past few years has unquestionably thrown the cat amongst the pigeons for contact centre management. The GCCBR1 has already predicted that by the end of 2017 the average number of channels to be serviced by contact centres will be nine. In certain market sectors and geographies there could in fact be as many as twenty channels requiring high quality customer engagement. The challenges are daunting, to say the least!
The solution unquestionably lies in the deployment of a true omnichannel platform; one that can provide a centralized and readily available contact or interaction history; a genuine single-view-of-customer incorporating intelligent, channel-independent routing as well as having universal queuing functionalities. A platform that will allow for sophisticated workforce planning and reporting across all channels. To ensure efficiencies, effectiveness and operational buy-in, these functionalities will all need to be deployed with a greatly simplified agent desktop.
“Developing your contact centre to support digital channels is an essential first step in the journey to redefining the contact centre’s role in customer service”2
[About the author] Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Uniphore. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Uniphore’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.
1 Dimension Data’s 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, © Dimension Data 2013-2016 2 Source: Delivering the Digital Contact Centre 2015 – Deloitte UK