Once upon a time, when your customers had a question, a complaint or other issue, they picked up the phone and called you. You either solved it or you didn’t, but if you didn’t, you only risked losing a customer. One customer.
Those days are over. Today’s customers are mobile, multichannel, socially networked and savvy, and have higher expectations than ever of the quality of customer service they deserve. They may engage you in one media channel, such as e-mail, only to continue in another (by picking up the phone, for example). They may try and engage with you via Web chat after using self-service tools. They may not even contact you directly, but instead air their gripes to a few thousand friends on Facebook or Twitter.
The bottom line is that if you’re still running a traditional, single-channel telephone-based contact center, you may want to start measuring for the “Going Out of Business” or “Acquisition Partner Wanted” signs. No business today can afford to continue to offer twentieth century customer service in a twenty-first century communications environment.
At the upcoming ITEXPO to be held in Miami, Fla., a session entitled, “From Call to Contact: The Next Generation Customer Service Center,” will be held on Wed., Jan. 29 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. EST to identify the most critical issues involved in developing a twenty-first century multimedia contact center. The session speakers, 8X8 Inc.’s Max Ball and Voice4Net’s Rick McFarland, together with moderator Jon Arnold, will discuss not only the technical steps required to make the move from legacy call center to next gen contact center, but also the technology options available, as well as strategies for quickly driving results through user and agent understanding of these new tools.
It’s a daunting prospect, to be sure. It involves changing many things: your software solutions and the way employees access them, your contact center platform, your agent hiring and training protocols, your management and even your business telephone system. There is some good news, however (there’s always a silver lining): today’s cloud-based contact center solutions and VoIP telephone systems make it easier to make the changes necessary, and they come with a whole host of benefits that never could have been imagined, let alone attained, by twentieth century technology. This includes multisite deployments, scalability, easy disaster recovery in storms and power outages, low upfront capital outlay and the ability to integrate all contact channels into the same queue to offer a better quality customer experience.