February 25, 2022
6 mins read

Customer Experience-Driven Contact Centre: The Key Differentiator Hiding in Plain Sight

February 25, 2022
6 mins read
V K Sanjeed V K Sanjeed
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When it comes to building stellar customer experiences (CX) that delight customers and keep them coming back for more, the stakes have never been higher. According to a recent Zendesk CX report, as many as 61% of customers would leave for a competitor after just one bad experience. Add to that the fact that more than 60% of customers say they have higher customer service standards, and you’d be hard pressed to find a business that doesn’t have CX improvement in their cross-hairs.

The thing is… which part of the customer experience should an enterprise target?

For years, it was the customer’s experience of the product / service itself that management prioritised for customer success.

As the pandemic hit entire industries though, it was quickly revealed that those businesses with outstanding customer support were better able to handle the sudden influx of calls from customers, which led to better customer retention rates. Thanks to this, 71% of APAC customers, according to the CX Trends 2022 Report , say the pandemic has raised their expected customer service standards.

Therefore, managers at the highest levels have started to realise that their contact centres could truly be a potent differentiator in helping them achieve their CX goals.

But things were not always so rosy in the contact centre realm.

Why have contact centres been neglected?

The brutal reality of customer service is that support agent roles can be extremely challenging, and employees often feel they are not adequately recognised for their work. The common perception in the past was that contact centres were “cost centres”, rather than centres that drive innovation and business growth.

Furthermore, because agents are under tremendous pressure to always be available, proper training to improve service standards can sometimes take a backseat. The problem is exacerbated if the enterprise has not invested in the latest technology to handle calls – a common result of being seen as a “cost-centre” not worthy of better tech. When this happens, the customer experience suffers as they have to wait for a slow system to respond, or for the agent to constantly switch between systems to solve a problem.

With increasing awareness at the highest levels of management that providing just speed and convenience in CX is no longer enough, many enterprises are ready to ditch the “call centre is a cost-centre” mindset in favour of a customer experience-driven contact centre. This perspective more accurately captures the hidden potential in the modern contact centre for any business looking to adopt a customer experience-led growth strategy.

This shift has been accompanied by some truly advanced contact centre features in CCaaS solutions that make life easier for agents and managers, enhance productivity, reduce friction in the customer journey, and improve transparency.

Let’s take a look at some of these nifty features, shall we?

Connect to the right agents faster with call-forwarding and IVR

According to the CX Trends 2022 Report, 76% of customers expect all experiences to be personalised.

Part of this involves resolving specific queries as fast as possible without having to go through an endless number of agents. The solution? Call-forwarding! With call-forwarding, it’s easy for the enterprise to seamlessly forward customers to the right agent with the right expertise to handle the query. Another benefit of call-forwarding that allows businesses to provide a more localised customer experience is, being able to forward all incoming calls from a particular country or region to an agent with the relevant language skills.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is another great feature every modern CCaaS must have in order to help callers self-serve or match them to the right recipient at any given time. IVR-powered contact centres are a quick win for businesses looking to dip their toes into automation, build self-service options in their CX, and improve contact centre productivity, all in one swoop.

Better trained agents with whisper coaching and live call monitoring

In whisper coaching, the Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) platform allows a supervisor or manager to talk to their agent while the latter is on a call without being heard by the caller.

With this invaluable feature, managers can easily coach more inexperienced agents during a live call without having to wait for the call to be over (it might be too late to rescue the situation once the phone is put down).

Apart from whisper coaching, most modern CCaaS solutions provide live call monitoring which allows managers to observe agents’ performance, and barge in to intervene during a call where it’s necessary for a more experienced hand to deliver a first-class customer support experience.

Faster, more seamless customer experience with powerful integrations

Customers don’t like to repeat information they’ve already provided during an interaction. One of the most striking revelations in Toku’s Consumer Engagement Report 2022 is that over 60% of consumers expect companies to keep a history of their previous interactions.

The only way this is possible is through better CCaaS integrations with your CRM, ticketing system and other critical business tools. Having a well-integrated contact centre is vital to success as it breaks down the silos in your business that are stifling your customer experience.

A good CRM integration, for instance, can ensure that you meet the expectations of customers who contact the company via multiple channels and need fast, relevant answers. It ensures relevant information about a customer will pop up before the call is answered, so that agents have all the details to respond effectively and deliver a seamless customer experience that fits each customer’s unique context.

How does this improve a business’s CX?

Let’s use a Salesforce integration for example. With one centralised view, everyone including agents and supervisors are able to view customer data in Salesforce without having to leave the Salesforce interface – which is a huge relief for agents who no longer have to waste time opening separate windows for multiple tools. This enables them to resolve calls for customers faster, and access customer information like contact history more readily. Ultimately, a customer waits less time, doesn’t waste time repeating information during an interaction, and gets their issue solved faster.

Contact Centre integrations don’t end with your CRM.

If you are serious about customer experience, it’s vital to integrate your ticketing system with your contact centre. With a smooth contact centre–ticketing system integration equipped with good call queuing software, enterprises can prioritise customer calls and provide callers with accurate estimates of waiting time. This is yet another example of empowering your customers with helpful information – a key component of improving the customer experience.

Customer experience is a strategic differentiator

No matter how you look at it, the pandemic has changed the nature of customer support for good.

Gone are the days when contact centres were neglected entities whose budgets were constantly under intense scrutiny. Business leaders now recognise them as a strategic differentiator long-overlooked in the quest for market dominance.

Now that cloud contact centre solutions have come of age with truly advanced features that enable service agents to play a role in the entire customer journey from product discovery to purchase, enterprises have more options than ever to empower their support teams.

There’s never been a better time for enterprises to capitalise on the advancements in CCaaS technology and deliver a truly superlative customer experience that delights customers from start to finish.

Ready to build a truly customer experience-driven contact centre?

Toku Contact Centre lets you deliver a first-rate customer experience backed by robust connectivity in APAC.