The latest research by Salesforce states that 75% of people now expect a consistent experience wherever they engage with brands either through social media, mobile, or even in person. This clearly upholds that customer engagement is extremely complex and crucial in the current market scenario, where customers are highly flexible in shifting from one brand to another if their superior service needs are not met quickly and effectively.
Mere contact centers offering reactive customer service can no longer help brands retain their customers, smart customer engagement platform is needed to evolve contact centers into Customer Engagement Centers (CEC) to delight customers and ensure brand loyalty.
The Customer Engagement Gap
One of the major deterrents in customer engagement is the traditional obsolete contact center technology infrastructure. Many contact center technology stacks are just a collection of disconnected applications. Each of this customer engagement tools interact with customers in isolation with other applications and collect different data sets which is stored in separate silos. Due to this fragmented technology stack and data silos, contact centers usually struggle to have a complete view of customer’s journey for delivering personalized and context based service to drive engagement.
What the is needed by the organizations to meet today’s customer needs is a unified customer engagement platform which brings together all the required contact center tools and technology as one integrated solution to eliminate data silos and overlapping applications to streamline customer support and strengthen customer interactions.
What is Customer Engagement Platform?
Customer engagement platform can be defined as software that facilitates brands to interact with customers at each touch point of customer journey across multiple channels like phone, email, social media, live chat, etc. in a consistent and personalized manner.
With powerful customer engagement software, organizations aim to transform contact centers into customer engagement centers by doing away with customer engagement barriers like long wait time, unnecessary call transfers to wrong agents and repeating themselves every time, to list a few from the long list of customer frustrations.
Customer Engagement Center Definition by Gartner
Gartner defines Customer Engagement Center (CEC) as a logical set of technologies and business applications that are engineered to provide customer service and support, regardless of the interaction (or engagement) channel. The goal of the CEC is not only to provide service to customers as they move among communications channels — including social media and community forums — while retaining the customers’ context, but also to deliver the appropriate business rule to determine the next best action, information or process with which to engage the customers.
Why You Should Invest In Customer Engagement Platform NOW
Gartner has predicted that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations. So it won’t be wrong to state that if you are not planning to invest in tools like customer engagement platform to improve your customer experience, then you would lose on your customer base and brand positioning.
Without much ado let’s identify 5 signs why investing in a customer engagement platform is a must for a contact center:
1. Lack of Omnichannel Interactions Hampering Your Customer Reach
As per Aberdeen Group, companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average 89% of their customers, against 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies. Millennial customers swiftly hop from one interaction channels to another across their buying journey and expect the brands to be available and interact throughout these channels. If your brand is not available at any of the channels where your customers are present, then it will directly impact your customer reach and eventually business revenue.
Customer engagement platform enables to drive omnichannel interactions to streamline customer journey across multiple channels.
2. Slow Responses and Delayed Service Costing Your Business
Customers reach out to contact centers to get quick resolution of their queries, but in a real scenario, they end up wasting their time by waiting online to get connected to the right agent. This leaves customers aggravated and results in high churn rate. As per the research data, 82% of customers leave a brand because of bad customer service experience. This directly hits your bottom line in terms of wasted acquisition cost plus the loss the repeat business from an existing customer.
Customer engagement platform reduces the customer wait time in multiple ways like- intelligently routing the service calls to the right agent at the right time, offering self-service options to reduce dependency on call center agents and live chat option to provide instant support.
3. Disintegrated Systems and Siloed Customer Data Inhibiting Service Delivery
According to research by Accenture, 89% of customers get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues to multiple representatives. When multiple systems store customer data in silos and hardly interact with each other, customers suffer and get frustrated. Fragmented systems with the lack of previous conversation records and other related information being easily accessible to agents leads multiple call transfers from one agent to another, and repeating the same information every single time.
Customer engagement software provides a unified agent desktop to present single 360-degree customer view. A unified customer view not only speeds up the service delivery but also ensures personalized customer interactions as agents have a fair context before initiating conversations.
4. Manual Tasks Limiting Your Agents’ Productivity
Traditional contact center technology burdens the agents with tedious repetitive manual tasks on a daily basis which eats into their working hours and hampers productivity. For instance, agents might be wasting their time manually dialing numbers for an outbound campaign. In addition to reduced productivity, it also leads to high attrition in contact centers. Customer engagement software rescues agents from this monotonous loop of insignificant manual activities with the help of automation.
Powerful customer engagement platforms can automate various contact center processes through smart technology like auto-dialers, automated call distribution, and artificial intelligence-based chatbots to assist customers, and many other features can be enabled with the help of customer engagement technology. This helps to free-up the agents from manual tasks and focus more on complex customer service issues.
5. Missing Data Insight Restricting Performance Improvement
Limited data reporting restricts the scope of performance improvement because you cannot improve what you cannot measure. When the contact center data resides in various disintegrated systems, it becomes difficult to present cohesive data reports and analyze the results. But with intuitive customer engagement software, generating customized reports becomes easy as all the customer data like interaction on calls, tickets, etc are stored in a centralized repository.
Customer engagement platform helps to identify customer service gaps through real-time dashboards quickly in real-time and lets you take actions to make necessary changes to improve customer service. Also, recorded calls help in monitoring and agent training for further improvement.
If you are witnessing any of the above-listed signs, then it is time to implement a customer engagement software for improving your contact center processes and empower your agents to deliver memorable customer experience.