There are a variety of ways in which companies will elect to communicate with the customer base. Traditional approaches included outbound calling and direct mail, while today the mix includes mobile applications and social media. When e-mail, chat and text channels are included in the interaction opportunities, the engagement strategy must be re-examined. For the customer service organization, it requires a contact center transformation to enable new context-aware engagement strategies.
A recent West Interactive (News - Alert) blog notes that in the market today, companies can no longer simply push information out to customers. Instead, the contact center transformation demands engagement with customers at the time and on the device of their choosing. To accommodate this trend, the contact center must embrace strategies that directly impact operational efficiencies, retention and growth.
Making a new engagement strategy a priority is not enough, however. The organization must be ready to embrace the contact center transformation and the challenges that can arise as a result. For one, the current reporting and analytics platforms in place may not be designed to support the optimization of customer contact strategies. At the same time, the heavily relied upon CRM (customer relationship management) solution and its data may be difficult to link to production-based data, a step that’s critical in analytics.
The customer interacting with the contact center today is very different from the customer of just a decade ago. Today, customers expect personalized service; they want companies to anticipate their needs and make adjustments where necessary to accommodate those needs. As such, the contact center transformation requires the implementation of solutions that enable a sophisticated approach to insight and analysis. For the SMB with a tight budget, such sophistication is often out of reach or must be maintained through self-service options.
Finally, context-aware computing is a requirement for today’s customer base. This, combined with context-enriched services changes the way a company does business. Companies today have access to the sophisticated tools needed to market products and provide services when customers need them. Customers expect these solutions to be relevant to their lives and they expect the same level of delivery and customer care, regardless of the size of the organization.
Capturing and analyzing contextual data allows the company – regardless of size – to design solutions that better meet the personalized needs of the customer. This data can also be used by smaller companies seeking to optimize their contact strategies. If a contact center transformation ensures access to data through cost-effective strategies, a new plan may be put in place.
Regardless of the size of the company or the end motivation to make the change, the bottom line is that customers expect a higher level of sophistication in the care they receive, regardless of the size of the company providing it. For those organizations hoping to thrive in today’s market, there is no other acceptable approach.
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Edited by Rich Steeves