What Role Should Your Contact Center Play in Your Overall Customer Experience?
Contact centers can play a critical role when it comes to delivering the kind of positive experience that keeps customers coming back. These days, it is almost impossible to develop an effective business growth plan without including a clear customer experience strategy. So, when we strategize about customer experience, we must understand how and when to incorporate a contact center.
Consider these three facts to help create a customer experience strategy that acknowledges and supports the contact center’s crucial role in customer experience:
1. The contact center is the front line.
The contact center is the face of your company, in voice and action. It makes an impression that can determine whether a customer becomes a long-term loyalist or an opportunity lost. Customers judge contact centers on response speed, knowledge, demeanor, and ability to assist or resolve problems quickly and positively.
According to Gladly's 2018 Customer Service Expectation Survey, 92% of the 935 respondents said they would stop buying from a company after three or fewer poor customer service experiences. What can cause such a disastrous effect on customer experience? Key factors that erase any chance of a good first impression include:
Inability to get to the right person (or a live person)
Lack of a quick resolution
Contact center's inability to smoothly handle volume spikes, thereby exacerbating other existing negatives
2. It takes expertise in personnel and technology.
When customers judge contact centers against all the factors noted above, they are basing their opinions on interactions with agents and with the process itself. If your company does not have:
- the time or the personnel to properly train contact center agents so that they are Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with the interpersonal skills to manage customer interactions, and/or
- state-of-the-art contact center technology help you successfully manage your personnel,
the best customer experience strategy may well dictate that you stick to your core business and outsource to an expert.
Businesses of all sizes, in all industries, now rely on outsourcing to supply non-core professional expertise and functions. That certainly includes contact center management with its heavy dose of technology and personnel.
However, because contact center interactions directly affect customer relationships, it is essential to choose an outsource partner whose customer experience strategy aligns with yours. A contact center that cannot meet the desired quality and performance standards could be more likely to harm customer relations rather than enhance them.
3. Customer retention beats the heck out of customer acquisition.
Acquiring new customers can be fiercely competitive, no matter the industry. And it is always expensive — several times the cost of retaining customers. Therefore, the first goal of any customer experience strategy should be client retention. Objectives and tactics should address both personnel and functionality to support:
Response time improvements
Deeper training that makes agents more helpful and enables them to remain upbeat and friendly
Rewards and incentives that encourage employee retention because “veterans” have the experience as well as the knowledge to give customers better service
First call resolution
Technology investments that assure seamless, omnichannel service
The role of contact centers in determining overall customer experience cannot be overstated. However, the strategy for success is simple: treat customers right. Providing a great customer experience makes all the difference, so choose wisely between an internal investment in personnel and technology and all their associated functions and processes, and a top-notch outsource partner that has done it all successfully before.