The wealth of online content, the popularity of the smartphone and the widespread use and unpredictable possibilities of social media have turned marketing, sales and support upside down – or, perhaps more accurately, downside up. You see, it now seems that it’s the customer who is manning this ship.
Meanwhile, businesses are casting around trying to figure out how to target and engage consumers; deliver products, services and support that keep them on the hook; and avoid hitting any social media icebergs along the way.
This will be no small feat given the sea change we’re experiencing in how consumers prefer to shop and communicate with businesses. But customer care, marketing and even top executives at many organizations are working to introduce and leverage multi-channel contact centers, mobile apps, social listening tools, data analytics, video and more to address the rising tide of customer expectations.
That’s a huge change, considering that contact centers to date have existed primarily as tools of efficiency and problem resolution, as opposed to as a tool with which to target, engage and deliver service in a way that addresses the specific needs and desires of the customer.
However, according to a recent article by Gopal Devanahalli, vice president of products, platforms and solutions at Infosys (News - Alert), there are three things enterprises can do to change the role of the contact center within their organizations to better address the new realities of customer service and expectations.
First, enterprises should integrate customer feedback received by the contact center and other service channels by making it available via a single interface and in a way that is uniform. While everybody likes to talk about multi-channel customer service, Devanahalli in a recent interview with TMC (News - Alert) noted that in most instances, the cross-channel experience is not very good, especially from the customer standpoint, and particularly when customers start the process with self-service. But, he said, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Second, he writes, businesses should strengthen the self-service components of their contact centers. Rather than providing the same questions to all comers, Devanahalli told TMC, should consider implementing solutions that tailor questions used in self-help inquiries for various scenarios, as well as leverage a knowledge base to address new scenarios.
Lastly, enterprises should consider monetizing the very activity of customer-problem resolution at their contact centers.“A customer service solution with a powerful analytics component can process the unified service and transaction history and social preferences of customers into actionable product recommendations to improve cross and up sell rates,” he writes in his piece. “What’s more, these same recommendations can also be made available through the self-service window.”
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo