Well hello, reader, I understand that you’re looking to upgrade your contact centre to something, ahem, a little more sophisticated. C’est fantastique! Well come on in and take a seat, I’ll pour you a glass of your favorite Sauvignon blanc. Let’s begin.
Cutting edge technology can only do so much, sometimes you need a little bit more insight to implement a successful contact centre in the cloud. That’s where we come in. And as a special treat, (and added authenticity), I’ve dragged Excell Group’s Technical Sales Lead Simon Picken into the conversation to give you some money-can’t-buy pointers. After all, he understands technology so much so that he was hired to work with it!
Question 1: How will you improve customer experience (and how will you measure improvement?)
History tells us that customers tell others when they have a negative experience with a company. This means that a business must prioritise customer experience to create satisfaction and loyalty.
“Any restaurant can buy the best ingredients, hire a great chef and have beautiful décor. That’s not a differentiator anymore. How you make your customers feel that builds loyalty and creates repeat business. It’s the experience that resonates.”
– Gavin Kowalski, Sales Director at Excell Group.
Improving your customer experience can be as straightforward as training agents to be more emphatic on the phone (tone is crucial!). However, you could also consider automating repetitive administrative tasks that take up time, such as ticket logging, payments and automatic call routing. The less time an agent spends bogged down in systems, the more time they can spend delighting customers.
Then measure success by creating an automated feedback system where every customer (because they are all important) is asked to score the experience they’ve had, before completing the loop with regular satisfaction reviews where you plan to improve. Even better, tie agent bonuses and KPIs into customer satisfaction scores and watch your scores go through the roof.
Picken’s Top Pick:
Sending a survey every 6 months won’t give you a proper indication of customer satisfaction. Make sure you identify a good range of customers to dive into the detail with every couple of months. Let the customer guide you on what works and what doesn’t. This way, you’ll get personalised feedback from your target audience and show customers that you care about what they think!
Question 2: How important is Omni-Channel to your business strategy?
The explosion of the smartphone in the last decade has meant that customers now have a hundred different ways to talk to businesses and, I’m sorry to break this to you but you need to have a plan for all of them.
“Customers frequently experience a tale of two worlds when interacting with a brand. For example, if you tweet at an airline, you may get a reply within minutes, but if you submit feedback via a post-flight survey, you may never hear back. Companies must treat social, surveys, calls, emails and any other customer correspondences with the same level of attention.”
– Lorraine Schumacher, CMS Wire
How do you do this? Well, you could make agents responsible for managing responses across different channels and not just calls. By prioritising all channels of communication, you create a seamless, interactive experience for every customer, no matter how they get in touch.
Picken’s Top Pick:
For omni-channel to really work, you need a good ERP that stores all your data in one place. Visibility of your data as a whole will allow you to influence how to approach each channel (and how each channel influences each other).
Remember, omni-channel communication isn’t just about the customer but can also be about your suppliers too. Understanding how you fulfill sub-contractors or suppliers’ requests can help you to automate processes. For example, do you operate with a supplier by email mostly? This could be fully automated from now on with no touch points at all.
Question 2: Have you mapped out your customer journey?
Ah cartography, I love it. Defining and understanding customer touch points is crucial to analysing and improving each step on a customer journey. A common mistake is in not mapping it end-to-end, or in thinking it starts later than it does.
For example, a customer may already be peeved by the time they reach a voice on the phone (stuck on hold too long, been through a confusing IVR with more branches than a pine tree), so you’re already on the back foot before you’ve even begun. By understanding your customer journey from start to finish, you can start to optimise and streamline the experience a customer gets from your business.
“Customer journeys are at the core of customer experience, as customers interact with companies across touchpoints, channels, and over time. Only by looking at a customer journey in its entirety across channels and over time can real pain points—and therefore opportunities for positive change—become visible.”
– Steve Offsey, How to Improve Customer Experience Using Journey Analytics.
As a contact centre, it’s your responsibility to check all the boxes in your call flow process and mark it down, measure and optimise. This way you’ll understand their journey thoroughly from their perspective and make positive continuous improvements.
Picken’s Top Pick:
Don’t rush this! Get one channel right at a time – pay attention to what works and what doesn’t and think about the customer when making decisions. For example, a techie might design a form with how they are going to process it in mind, but it needs to be thought about from the point of the view of the customer filling it out. Optimise towards the customer and not the business!
That’s it for now. Of course, that’s not all the questions you need to find out. You could also think about:
- How do you get buy-in from key stakeholders (and how do they measure success?)
- Is your underlying technology ready for a new gen contact centre?
- What is your ISDN to SIP strategy?
- How will you train and support end users?
Okay, that really is it! Have you got a contact centre that you want to migrate to the cloud? Excell Group has been migrating contact centres for the past 26 years, so we’ve got money-can’t-buy insight into what works and what doesn’t. Contact us now to start your cloud migration journey.