Think of how customers seek information today. At dinner out with friends, the subject of a favorite old movie might come up. “What was the name of that 1984 movie with Rob Lowe?” A consult with Siri, or a quick search on a nearby iPad would reveal the answer in seconds: “Oxford Blues.” A shopper buying groceries inspired to make a special meal reaches into his pocket and pulls out his smartphone for a list of ingredients. Seconds later, it’s in his hand. A customer receives her bill digitally on her tablet computer and finds an unexpected charge, so she emails a query to her service provider, only to be told that her question will be answered within four days. What’s wrong with this picture?
Customers have expectations of immediacy today that are simply not being met by many companies when it comes to customer support. These organizations continue to do business like it’s 1999, and it’s not working for today’s customer.
According to Aspect’s Stephen Ball in a recent blog post, too many companies today are being held back by the boundaries of the past and failing to establish a limitless, omni-channel strategy based on contact center solutions that can engage with customers on any platform, at any time.
“Companies now need to be available 24/7 on whatever channel consumers are more comfortable using,” wrote Ball. “They need to provide strong self-service solutions, as well as knowledgeable, capable agents for more complex interactions. And they need to do it all at a time when demand to become more efficient and cost-effective is high.”
Faced with such a prospect, companies might think: “It’s too difficult. It’s too expensive. People should be more patient.” The truth, however, is that customers are getting less patient, less loyal and quicker to switch providers when they run into a roadblock. Essentially, no company can afford to make customers wait if it hopes to have customers in the future.
To address the issue, Aspect will soon introduce Aspect Via, a new cloud-based solution that offers all the tools businesses need to take control of omnichannel customer interactions and ensure they’re providing the services today’s customers expect. The goal is to help Aspect customers transform the contact center into a complete customer engagement center.
To introduce Aspect Via, the company recently held a roundtable (you can watch the video of it here) to discuss what an up-to-date customer engagement strategy looks like. The panel talked about new innovations and technologies that are set to cause disruption to the contact center solutions industry in the coming years and what it will mean for traditional methods of engagement. The panel also discussed what businesses need to do to ensure that their move from contact center to customer engagement center is successful.
Customer service is the definitive competitive differentiator, and today, no company can afford to not make the transition. Customers, when happy with the dynamics and outcomes of business interactions, become loyal customers. If the organization fails to rally around the customer experience, customers quickly become ex-customers.