If you're operating a contact center, you know the importance of contact center technology in improving customer experience. Without the right tools & technology framework to support the contact center infrastructure, your contact center is powerless. Let's talk a bit more about contact center technology in modern contact centers.
What is Contact Center Technology
Every Contact Center needs the right technology to power core operations, improve customer experience and reduce costs. This is what comprises contact center technology in a contact center - what makes up and complements the underlying infrastructure.
Difference Between Contact Center Technology and Contact Center Infrastructure
We recently did an interesting piece on contact center infrastructure. Those who read it might be asking the difference between contact center technology and CCI - as they are very similar in nature, and are often used interchangebly.
Contact Center Infrastructure refers to the set of hardware, software and network components to efficiently operate a contact center, such as VOIP Telephony and LAN Network. On the other hand, contact center technology usually refers to the various set of technologies implemented to improve customer experience and operations in a contact center, such as Intelligent Contact Center Routing, Automatic Call Distributor, etc.
Technology Essentials in a Contact Center
When it comes to contact center technologies, here are some essential technologies you must have in your contact center:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
With a contact center, your agents are going to come into contact with a wide variety of customers. Effectively managing them with a CRM tool is one of the best ways to interact with customers on a daily basis. Why? Because your marketing & operations teams are going to need to access the contact data on a regular basis.
If you're looking for the best CRM to handle your customer experience, Ameyo Fusion CX Customer Experience Platform has a fully-encompassing 360 degree customer view to gain a holistic view of all customer interactions.
Automatic Call Distributor, or ACD, manages all the incoming calls that a contact center recieves and applies pre-set rules to forward it to the best agent. Intelligent skills-based routing is the most advanced form of modern contact center routing.
Contact Center Routing can greatly enhance first call response, or the rate at which queries are answered the first time. According to SQM Group, a 1% improvement in first Call Response amounts to $276,000 in annual operational savings for the average contact center.
A predictive dialer is used for outbound call automation, where a system automatically dials a defined set of numbers while calculating which contact center agent will be ready to attend the call when it successfully connects.
Computer Telephony Integration, or CTI, allows agents to control their call dialing without dealing with physical telephones. There are many advantages of using computer telephony integration in a contact center.
Customers today aren't looking for help with their problems, they are looking to solve their problems themselves. With the help of intelligent self service options such as chatbots or self service IVR, customers can solve their problems easily without much effort.
According to The Harris Poll, 44% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to press a button to initiate a text conversation immediately, rather than waiting on hold to speak with an agent.
A case management system is used to efficiently handle customer queries via ticket management system to log the issue at every step along the progress in real-time. Having a customer experience platform with integrated case management system can greatly improve customer satisfaction in a contact center.
Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning are all hot topics in the contact center industry. Not only that, AI can also be used to improve customer experience. Having the ability to extract valuable business intelligence from large sets of data in real-time can provide crucial insights for customer experience improvement. Social Media Sentiment Analysis can be incorporated to understand the visitor's emotion at the specific stage of the customer journey.
By 2020, the customer will be able to maintain 85% of the relationship with a company without interacting with a human according to Gartner.
Rather than call an agent for a query, customers would rather go online on social media channels, such as Twitter or Facebook, to get real-time information about their problems. It is much easier to check if a website is offline by checking on social media, rather than calling a contact center agent.
In more difficult customer service situations, customers can leave their Order ID and inform the company about their query directly on social media.
If you want to read more about the ideal customer-agent interaction, check out our latest ebook on delivering a 360 degree customer experience.
Real-Time Analytics & Reporting
Without real-time inputs from a robust reporting tool, you're left to assume your efforts are hopefully paying off. With data coming in from every touch point, agent, and team - your agents are in a much better position to service customers effectively by analyzing and understanding incoming data.
Most customer experience software has real-time customer experience analytics to understand and improve customer experience in their industry.
Where Does Your Company Stand
Due to the ever-evolving nature of contact center technology, it is hard to pin-point exactly where a company stands in terms of contact center technology. Do you need more advanced contact center software to power your business to greater heights, or just a small system upgrade to address a departmental hurdle? Performing a customer experience assessment might be the most effective start.