When Customer Experience Is Lacking, Disruption Follows

Disruption rarely comes from within an industry, no one in the transportation industry came up with the idea to let the passenger become the taxi driver. Uber was created because there was a severe disconnect between convenience and what was normal for cab rides. If you never had to experience ordering a cab in your life, count your blessings. Customer Experience was not even a consideration for years, and “we will be there in 30-60 minutes” was often wrong by an hour.

No one in the hospitality industry thought of having everyday property owners rent their homes or vacation homes that were used a few months out of the year. While hospitality often leads the way in defining what makes for a great customer experience, they got it wrong thinking that they made the rules on where people could stay.

Customer And Agent Experience Was Lacking In The Contact Center

What seems like just a few short years ago the biggest question facing IT Directors and call center operations managers was cloud or premise-based when it came to solutions. Once that was decided you chose between the handful of manufacturers and you were on your way. If you didn’t get all of the features you needed you accepted it, because you had no other choice.

We made it work here at Inflow, and we delivered on what we could given the limitations of the technology. Make no mistake, our technicians work just as hard today as they did fifteen years ago, however, it is on elevating the customer experience in our customer’s contact center. Our team used hard work and innovation to meet requirements, and that cutting-edge mindset is propelling us in our next phase as true consultants in the contact center industry.

The explosion of innovation in the contact center has allowed our amazing team to focus on ways to make our customer’s environments customer experience arena’s as opposed to just making it meet their basic requirements. The cloud has accelerated the pace of innovation and the pace of competition entering the industry, which is a good thing because ultimately the customer and the agent benefit. This means once again customer experience wins.

When Salesforce & Amazon Compete In The Contact Center, We All Win

If Amazon and Salesforce were both entering an industry, that industry would automatically get better overnight because at a minimum the legacy players would take notice and innovation would increase due to competition. That is what is happening in the contact center and companies like Five9 and Genesys are definitely taking notice. Traditionally this has been their territory, being able to outlast newcomers because of their market presence and expertise.

The key difference between the past newcomers and present-day newcomers like Salesforce, Amazon & Zoom is Capital. They all have deep pocketbooks, investors, or a combination of both so they are here to stay. What that means for all of us in the contact center space is that the contact center wars have just begun.

The research and development budgets of these tech giants are massive, and when they enter a space they enter with double-digit market share and market dominance as their measuring stick for success.

AI In The Contact Center Is Everywhere And Just Getting Started

While some have feared that AI will replace agents, the reality is that AI has helped elevate the agent and customer experience simultaneously. Agents are not robots, and they do not want to have repetitive tasks for eight hours straight. Artificial Intelligence in the contact center has removed those mundane responsibilities and enabled the agent to focus on the more intricate customer issues.

Having a call or message automatically routed to the right agent, knowledge-based chat integrations, predictive conversational analytics, and intuitive pop-up screens are a few of the many ways that AI is becoming commonplace in the contact center. We will continue to see the adoption of AI however in larger chunks than we have seen in the past. Contact center leaders are seeing the benefits and the efficiencies are needed to streamline operations.

Customer Experience trumps all, and AI has been able to save a lot of agents time and burnout from tasks that should have been automated years ago. The cost-effectiveness coupled with the ability to enhance and not disrupt the agent or customer experience is a trend we see growing in the next few years, at a rapid pace.

Conversation Analytics & Data Provide Answers To The Challenges Facing The Contact Center

While customers were understanding as contact centers scrambled to set up agents at the beginning of the pandemic, that patience has worn thin as there has been ample time to get the work from anywhere set up in place. Couple this with staffing shortages in the contact center and you have serious disruption to the agent and customer experience. The time for band-aids to piece together a solution for working from home, omnichannel solutions, or integrations has passed. There are too many tools that make life easier in the contact center and if you are not utilizing those tools customers can feel the void.

Coming up with innovative solutions to solve the staffing issues nationwide in the contact center will be the priority because it is a universal issue. This is where the industry will benefit from the influx of innovative players and capital being deployed. Diving hard into the new age of conversation analytics, business intelligence and mounds of contact center data will be beneficial for traditional and new players to find the solution.

Customer Experience Is Our Obsession

From “The Good The Bad & The Ugly” to our stories of waiting on hold forever with a company we are passionate about customer experience. If you are in need of a customer experience audit or want to learn more about how we are helping companies delight their customers let’s chat. At Inflow this isn’t something we also do, customer experience is in everything we do.