Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Technology Makes 'Fast, Good and Affordable' Customer Support Possible

May 26, 2017

There’s an old saying among parents: you can have a clean home, you can have well-raised children or you can have your sanity…but you can only pick two of these things. Life is often about sacrificing something important for something more important.

In a recent blog post, Aspect’s Chris O’Brien notes that this choice among a triad used to apply to customer service and contact center solutions, as well. You could offer fast customer service, you could offer good customer service, or you could offer cheap customer service, but you couldn’t do all three. Unfortunately, today’s customers probably wouldn’t agree.

“While there might have been a day when this saying actually held true, ask any contact center leader today and they’ll tell you plain and simple: in today’s competitive and service-oriented business environment, you cannot survive if you ask your customers to make such a decision,” wrote O’Brien. “Instead, your contact center must be fast, the service must be great and you’ve got to make it work within a constrained budget.”

With yesterday’s contact center solutions technology, achieving this triple crown might have been about as easy as summoning a unicorn to your garden. Smaller companies couldn’t afford the kind of high-tech premise-based solutions that were necessary for a great experience. Larger companies couldn’t afford to hire the army of contact center reps that were required to make things fast. Today’s cloud-based technologies are changing this paradigm, and O’Brien notes that next-generation self-service solutions are increasingly able to help with “fast, good and cheap” customer service.

“By introducing advanced IVR solutions, deploying chatbots to social channels and empowering customers with SMS messaging, you can give them real-time service wherever they happen to be,” she wrote. “The added benefit is that your other agents will be freed up enough to respond more quickly to complex inquiries too.”

Automation in the form of metrics tracking, reporting and personalized coaching in newer contact center solutions are helping to improve the “good” in the customer support trifecta.

“Giving your customers better service means putting in the time to train your agents,” wrote O’Brien. “By adding contact center software that gives your agents access to metric scorecards, automated coaching and eLearning courses, you can ensure that all your agents continue to improve on the job without having to sacrifice your own workflow to oversee it.”

The ability to cut the cord from inflexible legacy hardware is helping companies build the precise contact center infrastructure that works for them (from anywhere) and customizes service for their customers. Analytics and reporting help you know when things are going wrong, as well as when they’re working out. (Think of it as bio-feedback for the contact center.) And better self-service solutions help customers do what they’ve always wanted to do in the first place: solve their own problems without having to speak with an agent. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle