As our world becomes increasingly more digitalized, every aspect of our day-to-day is touched by technology. From reading the morning news on our mobile device to doing our groceries online, our life has been made easier thanks to the immediate access to information we have reaped from technology.
And why shouldn't we embrace this new digitalized world? After all, it has tackled many everyday challenges that we didn't even realize we faced and sped up our lives as it has centralized and analyzed data, letting us focus on the more important things.
So how exactly does this affect call centers? Well to start off, customers have come to expect increased transparency and communication from the brands they purchase from. Communication with a customer and a brand is now a multichannel, two-way conversation. If done right, customers can turn into ambassadors of the brand. If done wrong, a company's reputation can be on the line.
Customers can share their opinion with their community through social media, forums and blogs to help other users make decisions. With such transparency and access to information, it is crucial that call centers know how to interact with customers in order to turn them into brand advocates and not the opposite.
So as customers have changed the way they are engaging with companies, call centers must adapt and anticipate their clients' next move.
Yet, in 2015, 80% of call centers said their current tools would not be able to meet future needs. If this is the case, call centers need to quickly put in place the correct processes and platforms in order to stay ahead of a dynamic and changing clientele.
Below, we'll take a look at the different ways in which digital platforms are revolutionizing call centers and how companies can use this to their advantage.
Moving away from voice to multi-channel service
According to Dimension Data's '2015 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report', 42% of call centers have seen a decline in voice-based customer service and 87% have seen an increase in non-voice customer service. This is because Generation X and Y are choosing to engage with companies through online chats, social media, and email rather than by phone.
Because of these changes in customer habits, call centers must innovate and use the right tools to interact with their users on these platforms. Being trained and reactive to answer clients through chat and social media is a challenge many call centers face and gives an immediate advantage to those who are able to do so successfully.
Real-time analytics to improve customer service
Now that users are interacting with brands through different channels, it is crucial to listen, keep track, and centralize all of these channels in order to give customers the support they need.
However, a scary 40% of all call centers worldwide don't have a single analytical tool in place.
Through the use of digital platforms, agents have greater control over customer information in order to personalize their conversations and offer continuous added value each time they interact.
Engage employees to improve performance
Gamification software has taken off in the call center world due to its power to motivate employees to improve performance. Today, software with gamification elements is being more frequently used in call centers to engage employees and measure performance data. This type of software dramatically improves customer service as it helps drive visibility and accountability down to the agent and team leader levels in order to reward and coach each individual accordingly.
Engage proactively with customers
Thanks to the different social media, forums and blogs available, digital platforms are revolutionizing call centers in the way agents communicate with customers. Long gone are the days of having to wait for customers or potential leads to approach and make a call. Now companies can approach customers and potential clients with a solution and answer.
Instead of being active, call centers can now be PROactive.
Centralize data across the business
A growing number of call centers hire work-at-home employees. This can sometimes make it difficult to integrate dispersed employees and make them part of the brand and business. Now, software has been created to centralize information within the business to help Managers and Team Leaders manage their teams effectively. Through the use of tools such as chat channels and walls to share information, employees are able to better communicate with their colleagues and access information from a single platform. These very same digital platforms are making it easier to track performance hence resulting in an improved customer service support.
Thanks to digital platforms, call centers have the power to revolutionize and improve customer service by using a proactive approach thanks to the tools and user-friendly software available today. But it's one thing to have access to the tools and another to actually apply and use them efficiently.
But the future is now and customers answers and queries are being left unanswered. Team Leaders and Agents need to be able to reach out to customer and potential leads.
Digital Platforms are moving fast, is your call center operations up to speed?