The contact centre environment has changed drastically over the years.
In the past, contact centres were seen primarily as “cost centres.” Though you needed these solutions to engage with your customers and drive sales, they were costly to run, with vast amounts of hardware to worry about, on-site equipment, and even software for recording and call queue purposes. Combine those expenses with the prices for maintenance, agent salary, and high turnover, and you have a very cost-intensive business model.
Today, the quest for greater cost efficiency, combined with a demand for better customer experiences has forced the contact centre into a new mould. Today’s customer contact leaders know that customer experience will be the only key differentiator by 2020, according to Walker. Fortunately, with the right strategies in place, businesses can use this focus on CX to drive greater revenue, all while reducing the operating costs of the standard call centre environment.
Today, we’ll look at the ways the contact centre is changing and how we’re evolving from the days of the “cost centre” into the era of the profit centre.
Contact centres and the demand for better experiences
The most significant transformative shift we’re seeing in contact centre environments today is the move away from call centres into customer engagement centres.
The traditional call centre was born somewhere in the 1960s, and it was often little more than a chaotic room filled with phones and headsets. Eventually, new technology emerged to help with handling large volumes of calls, like ACD systems. However, the call environment still only knew how to support voice as a method of communication. They couldn’t provide their customers with the freedom to choose a preferred option for contact.
Any organisation that can provide their customers with the ability to choose the communication strategy that suits them is instantly one step ahead of the competition. Click To Tweet
Today, the call centre is practically extinct, replaced by an omnichannel contact centre that supports multiple avenues of discussion, all the way from voice and email, to chat, SMS, and social media. Cloud contact centre environments and contact centre as a service (CCaaS) mean that businesses can unify multiple modes of contact into the same simplified system for customer management, adhering to the new consumer demands for personalisation, convenience, and immediacy.
Customers demand better contact centres
As we continue to move into a world driven by digital natives like millennials, the old-fashioned contact centre can’t directly provide the level of service today’s consumers expect. Your audience doesn’t just prefer a contact centre that focuses on engagement and experience—they demand it.
Any organisation that can provide their customers with the ability to choose the communication strategy that suits them is instantly one step ahead of the competition. What’s more, many CCaaS solutions today provide companies with a chance to get a better insight into their customers, by giving them visibility and allowing them to track key metrics like customer loyalty, Net Promoter Score, and abandonment rates. Some services can even follow the sentiment in a client’s voice.
The result of these cloud-based centres for engagement is, first and foremost, a happier consumer base. However, the enhanced contact centre environment also controls costs, reduces turnover, and provides companies with the analytical information they need to evolve rapidly.
The new face of the contact centre
Ultimately, the contact centre of today and tomorrow is more than just an environment where agents can take calls. They’re an environment built on support, satisfaction, and memorable interactions between companies and their clients. Used correctly, your contact centre can be the foundation of lucrative relationships with repeat customers and brand ambassadors.
The quest for greater cost efficiency, combined with a demand for better customer experiences has forced the contact centre into a new mould. Click To Tweet
The world around us is changing, with new technology, new consumer demands, and new roles for the average contact centre agent. Today’s contact centres aren’t just a source of expense for companies; they’re a critical component in the growth and development of your brand.
As we move forward into the business world of the future, the question isn’t whether contact centres need to evolve, but how quickly they can adapt to the changing demands of the era. If you can stay one step ahead of the new trends in the contact centre environment, like omnichannel support, customer experience management, and engagement, then you can easily outperform the competition.