Shifting the Strategy & Creating a Dynamic Contact Center

By Chris Recio, Inflow Communications Director of Contact Center & Advanced Applications

As a customer, we’re all familiar with the tried and true process of connecting to a contact center. We initiate the contact, we listen and make choices, we fall in line — we know the drill all too well. We go through the same process like every other customer making contact with the contact center.

It’s a proven method that has worked well but many contact centers are missing a tremendous opportunity to seize the moment and change the strategy, and more importantly, alter the course of the customer experience. Many businesses are missing a golden opportunity to BRAND THE EXPERIENCE for the customer.

In my mind, I am special. We are all special. Every customer is special. We’ve fought hard for the customer, yet we often miss opportunities to continually build the loyalty and the customer experience, and the power to change this is right under our noses – to use an old cliché.

The game has changed. With one simple strategy, we can change the experience and influence the business of contact center with one magical tactic: data.

Sure, we have talked about data for presenting customer information to our well-trained customer service representative as the customer interaction is answered, usually with the wildly popular screen pop. This has been used to great benefit for many years to enhance agent efficiency. But what about the customer? The screen pop means nothing to the customer on the front end. There is so much more we can offer.

We’ve all heard that perception is reality. With data, we can change anything we desire – on the fly – without intervention from the customer or the customer service representative. Branding the customer experience can have a dramatic impact on customer perception.  It can be a simple one-step process or it can be a multi-tiered, multi-faceted process driven by heavy analytics. This all depends upon many factors, but either way, it can impact the overall experience of the customer. That being said, let’s talk about a couple of easy, real-life scenarios, through examples.

Example 1: The VIP customer: Our most valuable customer reaches out to us through normal channels. We recognize the customer’s caller ID, we look into the CRM database – or any database for that matter – seeking more information about this customer. We see that this particular VIP customer has been our customer for many years, we immediately greet the customer with, “Thank you for being our loyal customer for over 10 years. Your assigned Account Manager is Mary. Mary is ready to take your call,” at which time the call is moved directly to Mary for handling – along with all the relevant client information.

Instead of offering the same canned message to our VIP customer that all other callers hear, why not offer a custom greeting to VIP customers? Thanking him/her for their loyalty, providing them some key information, and immediately moving the call to his/her assigned Account Manager, while placing him/her at a higher priority in Mary’s queue.

This process circumvents the standard contact center Auto Attendant feel that most every other customer will hear. The added benefit, the VIP customer, who likely already knows Mary, has a greater perception of his/her worth with our business.

Example 2: Joanne is a Spanish-speaking customer. She has been a customer for a short period of time. Every time Joanne reaches out to the contact center, she makes a selection for assistance in Spanish. We know this because our intro greeting asks Joanne and she offers her reply, usually by pressing a digit. So, why are we not using this valuable information to change her experience going forward?

If we had a strategy to gather and monitor Joanne’s option choices, we might make decisions about how we present options rather than greet Joanne with a standard greeting of “Thank you for calling. If you’d like assistance in English, please press 1. If you’d like assistance in Spanish, press 2.” Instead, we could use the information we have gathered about Joanne’s habits and automatically greet Joanne in Spanish. Additionally, we could automatically route the call to those agents that will greet Joanne in Spanish – her preferred language.

This is a simple gesture, but has the benefit of impacting Joanne’s experience, her loyalty, and most importantly, her perception of importance and her personal customer experience. After all, every customer is important to any business.

Accomplishing the above examples may take a bit more planning and thought. However, the benefits and impact to customer service and loyalty could be well worth the exercise and effort. Today, the number one issue affecting contact centers is the level of service. Service and the perception of service directly impacts your customer and their future desire to continue doing business with you.

There are endless examples and opportunities to use data to impact your contact center operations. Each industry will be driven by its own set of criteria and goals.

While data is often reserved for the techy in mind, it is quickly becoming the driver for many contact centers. Yet many contact centers underutilize this available asset, often readily available at their fingertips.

Here at Inflow Communications, we look beneath the surface to help our customers leverage technology to enhance their operations. This always involves considering available data within an organization, how data is used, and more importantly, how that data can be utilized to create a dynamic environment – an environment as dynamic as their customers.

If you’d like more examples of how data can help you enhance your specific contact center operation, follow the link below to register for our online Contact Center Education Series provided by Inflow Communications, or contact us at www.inflowcommunications.com to discuss your contact center operations customer service and business goals.

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About Inflow

Founded in 1997, Inflow is one of the nation’s top Unified Communications and Contact Center consultants in today’s market. Pioneers in cloud unified communications and cloud contact center success, Inflow is the first company to provide contact center consulting and training focused solely on helping you elevate your customer experience.

With over 200,000 endpoints supported under Inflow’s innovative success programs around the world, Inflow built its brand and reputation around providing unrivaled customer support. Inflow is in Mitel/ShoreTel’s top 2% in global customer satisfaction, and quickly acquiring a top spot with RingCentral, Genesys PureCloud and NICE inContact.

By partnering with Inflow, you can expect the highest level of strategic consultation, execution, and optimization available in the industry.