Integrated contact centres work better and smarter.
Have you tried lodging a query with your service provider and it sounded like the person on the other side of the line has no idea what they’re doing and they don’t have a clue about what you’re asking for? It’s frustrating, right?
Imagine having to start a new business and you want to switch your vehicle from personal insurance to business and going through a long and dreadful (and probably unnecessary) process?
Imagine having to wait for over an hour on the line trying to get some and when as you are finally being attended to, the agent at the end of the line does not have all your information as the client and does not even understand the process of switching your assets from personal to business insurance?
If this scenario does not show a huge gap within the organisation about integrated and holistic communication then we’re not sure what will.
This type of experience is worth losing a lifetime client in an instant.
So, how can businesses better integrate customer service departments with the rest of the business?
ENFORCE CUSTOMER DATA INTEGRATION (CDI)
Customer data integration (CDI) is the process of defining, consolidating and managing customer information across an organization’s business units and systems to achieve a “single version of the truth” for customer data. This golden record is generated by integrating information from all available source systems, including contact details, customer valuation data and information gathered through interactions such as direct marketing.
A customer data integration strategy can improve business processes and enable better information sharing among departments. As a result of this focus on improving customer service, CDI efforts are an essential element of customer relationship management (CRM) and reduces the chances of frustrating customers and leaving a bad taste.
This is the most important factor in customer service integration because although many companies may have been gathering customer data for a good number of years, it hasn’t always been managed effectively. As a result, companies may maintain outdated, redundant and inconsistent customer data that was gathered via phone calls, emails, websites, webchats, surveys or in-person engagements with customers.
Customer data integration policies can help establish order over the data generated by these disparate source systems. This can lead to the following benefits:
Improved sales: Accurate customer data enables organizations to better understand customers and focus on personalizing cross-selling and upselling opportunities.
Better customer service: Customer service agents can better understand the entire customer journey when responding to service calls.
MORE MULTIMEDIA USAGE
As the prevalence of multimedia channels in contact centres continues to increase, the need to ensure complete integration becomes ever more crucial. Without comprehensive and effective integration, the use of disparate systems for each channel such as voice, e-mail and chat make it near impossible to access meaningful productivity reports for work done by an agent or to effectively manage customer interactions.
The aspect of managing productivity and quality is paramount for contact centres to ensure success, and system integration is key to making this possible.
Where multimedia is managed by the CRM system, integration is focused on updating the CRM records with the history of telephone calls so that all reporting can be managed from the CRM reporting system. This means, regardless of the channel of communication, an agent is able to access the query history and is better equipped to provide a seamless and positive customer experience. This saves time and eliminates the process of having two or more agents calling the same customer for the same query.
Reducing the number of calls remains a core focus for contact centres as a means of keeping operational costs under control and ensuring a high standard of customer assistance is maintained.
There have been numerous technologies implemented over the years to help customers manage their own queries without the need for speaking to an agent. However, while there seems to be a desire for self-service options from the customer, redirecting callers to websites and other channels to handle their issue has limited effect, as this feels like an added and unnecessary step to the customer who is already on the phone.
The emergence of cognitive services, along with vast improvements in artificial intelligence and speech analytics, have created a new generation of self-service options. Chatbots, where the customer interacts via chat with a computer, has changed the landscape of customer care.
This needs a high level of integration to databases, CRM and any other data repository that offers to the profile of the customer, the agent, the issue in question and the most relevant answer.
Proper data collection and management are absolutely essential for ensuring that your company avoids data breach issues and the resulting loss of customer trust. Furthermore, effective customer data management is beneficial for your business, period.
Regardless of the approach taken or the business focus of an organisation, the trend that remains paramount for any contact centre is that of customer experience. With this comes the need to find the delicate balance between agent productivity, service quality and cost, which can be best achieved through looking closely at the integration options available and implementing a carefully considered solution that meets the unique needs of the organisation.
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