biggest change in the world of contact centre technology over the past several
years has been the rise of mobile and digital channels. It’s been a case of “follow
the consumer”, as organisations frenetically play catch-up to deploy new technology
to feed their customers’ insatiable digital appetites.
and the capacity for organisational change are always limited, and the decision-making
to allocate resources to specific technologies (whether customer or internally
driven) has become more complex and contested. For a start, the cast of
stakeholders goes way beyond the IT department now, with increasingly operations,
marketing, finance, and even compliance pushing for change. In a world of omni-channel
customer experience, the contact centre simply can’t operate in a silo.
How to evaluate the right
an ever growing list of technologies you may want to either adopt or improve,
In-app service and
social media contact
chat and call-me-back
smart agents using
cloud contact centre technology and software-as-a-service commercial arrangements, procuring
and deploying new technologies is easier than it has ever been. However, the ability to join up and integrate these tools, so that your
agents and customer really can benefit from that elusive ‘single view’, is a
growing challenge. Even in the age of the ubiquitous API, the practical
barriers to using new customer technology remain, irrespective of
how easy and cheap (and numerous) the individual solutions have become.
Back to customer basics
forget the basics before you get lured by the shiny new technologies which are
dazzling the market:
call your numbers, follow
the IVR options and see if they a) make sense, b) work the way they’re intended
to (and if you have a voicemail facility call it when you know it will be
triggered [i.e. outside opening hours] and see when you get called back)?
go online and walk through
some customer journeys, check out the appearance of chat buttons or help
contact your brand via email
or social media to test how quickly and satisfactorily your query’s responded
value in doing these exercises in a thorough, consistent – but time-consuming –
manner, but equally there’s insight to be had from just ‘dipping in’ and
carrying out some random checks – or co-opting a willing friendly to do it for
you. Their unbiased ‘outsider’s perspective can be invaluable.
simple to get a pulse of where things are at: make some calls, send some
emails, initiate some chats and see how you’re currently treating your
prospects and customers.
take some time with your team to understand what your customers are looking
for; what is and isn’t working well; and where new or updated contact center technology
might add value. Summarise and review these and you can draw up your ‘Customer
& Business Requirements’ and make some plans.
specialist external consultant – aware of, but not tied to any particular
technology or vendor – can help you do this.
an independent contact centre technology consultant