Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Seamless and Personalized Customer Experience Focus of Today's Contact Center

October 13, 2017

Customers are what should drive a contact center and FCR a key objective. But, in this ever-changing market, it is extremely hard to pinpoint exactly what will satisfy each individual customer. Information Services Group (ISG) released its ISG Provider Lens Contact Center Customer Experience Archetype Report, which speaks the opportunity for contact centers to build environments that will make it easier to achieve that objective.

ISG evaluated 19 contact center services with four buyer archetypes to draw its conclusions. Importantly, ISG notes that we are living in a customer-dominated market, redirecting the way contact centers traditionally functioned.

“With ever-changing customer expectations and increasing use of technology, especially among tech-savvy millennials, the contact center industry has had to rapidly embrace digital technology and solutions – even before other industries. Contact center services have evolved from merely addressing customer queries to providing a seamless customer experience that is highly personalized. Along the way, they are transforming traditional call centers into opportunity centers that are also responsible for brand-building, selling and marketing,” said Jan Erik Aase, director and principal analyst with ISG Research, and editor of the report.

Agents are not just being looked at through familiar metrics: FCR, Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, and average handle time (AHT). It is now what each agent can bring to the table, if they can assist in selling, and positive feedback. All of this breeds a positive customer experience and brand loyalty.

“Digital is no longer a differentiator in customer service; it's an imperative. Omnichannel solutions and cloud capabilities are now table stakes for contact center services. Among new, cutting-edge approaches, the use of automation technologies like chat bots and intelligent self-service are on the rise, as is the use of advanced analytics to better understand customer needs and make the entire service experience more personalized and pro-active,” said Namratha Dharshan, a principal analyst with ISG Research and co-author of the report.

Eighty-two percent of businesses admit to being reliant on AI and automation, and 30 percent of customer questions get solved via automation.  By 2019, almost half of all agents will be virtual, according to ISG.

There were four buyer archetypes that ISG focused on: customer service buyer, peak-season buyer, digital enthusiasts, and automation seekers. Customer service buyers take a traditional approach and do not think of the contact center as a vital part of operations while peak-season buyers want 24/7 assistance. Virtual assistance is key to this archetype. Digital enthusiasts seem to want a balance but embrace personalization and use multiple platforms.

Automation seekers want to reduce costs in the call center as much as possible by eliminating agents as much as possible, replacing them with analytics and automation. The ultimate goal for automation archetype is like the digital enthusiast as it aims to deliver custom, personal, and quick responses to customers.

Easy, quick, and personalized are the buzz words for an efficient contact center, according to ISG’s report. Just calling and speaking to a generic agent is not enough for consumers; that is old news and a traditional method. There is a whole new world of contact center solutions out there addressing these different customer models.

Where do your customers fall among these buyer archetypes?

Edited by Erik Linask