I cannot help but compare legacy call center application to a Paleolithic man, who had to rely on primitive methods and tools to survive the most vulnerable and trying times of human existence. Having stated that, that time in history (the Stone Age) did lay the foundation of human discovery and development, much like the legacy solution that was the stepping stone for contact center infrastructure.
It allowed the setting up of large BPO’s and customer service teams and facilitated customers to connect with service providers through a self-service IVR system. Then, as a next step, legacy capabilities transgressed to emails and chat. But, again we have reached a point, wherein the customer demands have drastically evolved and communication touch points have expanded.
This change in scenario is compelling businesses to rethink- are traditional premises based call center solution able to keep pace with rising customer demand?
To answer this question, let’s turn our focus on the problems of the legacy system and how it affects business outcome.
Legacy Experience – The Beginning of an End
For an average customer, having to call the contact center of their service provider is a very daunting task. Long queue time, unanswered calls, unattended social media queries are some negative experiences of customer service. On the other hand, the position of agents is no better. They are literally facing the brunt of a redundant technology against changing customer expectation. We are referring to operation silos that come in the way of smooth customer journey.
Operational silos are one of the biggest falters of legacy call center solutions.
Disjointed communication channels and inconsistent customer information is the primary reason for poor customer service. Whether a customer communicates via email, chat, call or social media, he or she should feel that they are dealing with the same company.
For instance, a customer calls her telephone company to change the tariff plan. Her request is processed and an acknowledgment mail is duly sent. Cut to the next billing cycle and she is charged as per the old plan. This is a classic example of customer escalation arising due to lack of collaboration between the customer service desk and the operations team of the organization.
Winning the Social Media Game
We are aware of businesses using social media as platform to shout-out the launch of a new products and service. But, how well have they been able to leverage social media as a formidable window for customer service? This is a question worth pondering for the following reasons –
- 1 in 3 social media (SM) user prefers customer service via SM than over email or call
- An estimated 67% of customer prefer using social media platforms like- Twitter and Facebook to find resolution to their issues
- Customers spend 20-40% more on companies that engage and respond to customers via social media
(Info Courtesy: Socialmediatoday.com)
Furthermore, Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, 90% of companies will offer customer service through social media. And there is a good reason for that. Social media platform is lot more engaging and costs as little as $1 to solve customer issue on social media, which is 1/6th of many call center interaction.
Given the scenario and context, the Omni-channel customer experience solution is more important than ever.
Omni-Channel Solution – The Present and Future of Customer Experience
Although, social media is the most favored communication channel, other traditional mediums of communication namely voice, SMS, web and mobile cannot be ignored. Companies have no choice but to offer multi-channel support to their customers.
This multi-channel service can be taken to the next level with Omni-Channel solution that merges different touch-points to offer consistent customer experience service. This cross channel communication channel preserves the sanctimony of customer interaction and eliminates silos. It is a highly flexible technology and integrates with the needs of modern contact center in the following ways –
- End to end Interaction Management – The Omni experience unifies interactions across channels and ensures that the interaction reaches the best resource in a quick turnaround time. As a result, instances of customer irate are significantly reduced and customers have a pleasant experience.
- Workforce Empowerment- With innate features like unified desktop and AI capabilities that ensures customer intelligence, Omni-channel platform is also a potent source of agent empowerment. Agents can engage smartly with the customers, irrespective of the volume of the data.
- Analytics and Measurement- Access to drill down dashboard that offers both real-time and historical data in the single snapshot allow supervisor and management to take an informed decision in real time. They can essentially generate customized reports that will offer metric into key business metrics.
Modernizing Legacy Infrastructure -
The digital shift or modernizing legacy infrastructure is not just an exercise to revamp customer service, but is also requires a cultural overhaul of an organization. There is a need to adopt a customer centric culture and approach and it cannot be achieved overnight. It has to be on-going processes that usually happen in stages.
To begin with, companies have to choose the right vendor for the job. They also need to understand the business use case and accordingly bring in the team of engineers and consultants to re-platform the company’s existing infrastructure. Staff and agent training is also a very relevant part of the overhaul.
Have questions about Omni-Channel customer experience platform? Looking to empower agents so that they are better equipped to handle large customer queries? Or looking to offer consistent customer experience? Wondering about the changing dynamics of customer service in emerging markets, namely Africa? Listen to the Ultimate CX webinar, Digital Shift: Moving from Legacy Experience to Omnichannel experience.*
The webinar concluded on 15th Feb, 2018. The recording of the webinar will be available soon.