The contact center has come a long way since those old days of cluttered rooms full of ringing phones. Today’s CCaaS environment is more than just a place where people manage calls. Contact centers are experience centers, built for delivering customer value and building brand reputation.
So, what changed?
Well, there are a lot of answers to that.
The contact center has always been the heart of the consumer/brand conversation. No matter what your contact center looks like, it bridges the gap between your company and customers. As clients have changed, and enterprises have evolved, the contact center has naturally transformed too.
What is Digital Transformation in the Contact Center?
Digital transformation is a common term in the modern world.
Basically, “digital transformation” refers to the process of altering procedures, strategies, and workflows with the support of digital technology. For instance, being able to offer employee training over the cloud is an example of digitally transformed coaching.
Digital channels are now shaping the way we live, work, and communicate on a massive scale. In the contact center, digital solutions are emerging in various forms, such as:
Digital transformation in the contact center involves moving away from old-fashioned, manual, and on-premises strategies for customer management. Today’s companies can deliver better experiences with the help of digital channels.
This could mean installing new digital connection points for customers, such as live chat or social media communication. Alternatively, it could simply involve expanding the workforce with remote employees who continue to thrive outside of the contact center space.
Let’s look at some of the major components of a digitally transformed contact center.
Omnichannel Customer Service
Today’s customers are living increasingly digitized lives. They expect to connect with companies not just through voice, but via SMS, email, messenger apps, and social media too. The digitally transformed contact center begins with a strategy to combine all of these platforms.
The contact center of the future isn’t a siloed environment with multiple channels. Modern companies need to be able to maintain their view of the customer throughout the entire journey, regardless of where their inquiry might take them.
A key aspect of successful digital transformation is easy channel management. Today’s leading CCaaS solutions deliver chat and call management across multiple channels in one environment. This allows agents to track the context of a conversation and deliver an experience tailor-made to the customer.
With all channels connected in a single cloud environment, it’s easier for employees to reach the customer on a deeper level, offering better experiences through things like intelligent call-back, IVR self service solutions and AI bots.
Empowered and Augmented Agents
No matter how the contact center may digitally transform, agents will always be at the heart of any strategy for success. A well-designed future contact center will leverage agents correctly by intelligently routing the right conversation to the correct employee. Smart systems can detect information about a caller during the early stages of a conversation, and direct them to the person best suited to address their needs.
Agents are further empowered by their connected back-end agent environment. Even when working form home, or a remote location, agents can access all of the information they need about a customer in one, unified environment. In this landscape, agents can access insights into customers through connections to critical apps like CRMs and ticket management tools.
Teams can use bots to access information quickly and track their performance using dashboards which demonstrate the most valuable metrics of the business. This ensures that every team member stays engaged, even when they’re not in the office itself.
Aligned Remote Staff
It’s not just a full view of the customer journey that business leaders can get with a digitally transformed contact center, but an enhanced view of their team too.
Many companies are even looking into connecting their contact center with existing collaboration tools that teams use every day, like Microsoft Teams. Direct routing technology with Microsoft Teams allows users to connect their unified communication and contact center space. This means that team members can more efficiently work together on issues in a familiar backend.
With robust tracking and reporting metrics, supervisors and their teams can also keep an eye on important information like time to resolution or customer sentiment. Even in the age where people are working more commonly from home, this ensures that companies can track the overall performance of their staff, and the needs of individual team members.
Wallboards and dashboards help remote workers to track their productivity. However, they’re also ideal for showing supervisors when they need to step in and offer assistance with a difficult conversation.
Data Insights and Analytics
Data is at the heart of a digitally transformed contact center.
The right information informs the wallboards you use to empower and engage your staff. However, it also offers valuable insights into business operations and how your company works. Business leaders can keep track of things like customer sentiment and pay attention to changes in client trends.
Tracking the data collected in an omnichannel CCaaS environment shows businesses where they should be investing extra time and effort in serving customers. Organizations can even use the data collected to predict when potential increases in call volume might happen.
The more information businesses collect about their clients in the contact center landscape, the easier it is to build entire customer journeys around the expectations of your target audience. You can access data to help you see which of your channels your customers use to contact you on the most or which of your agents are best suited to dealing with certain problems.
Your analytics and insights can inform the kind of questions you need to prepare your bots and automated tools to answer or give you an overview of how to train future employees.
The Rise of AI and Automation
The increase of AI and automation-focused tools in the digital landscape is a significant part of the new contact center. When your contact center digitally transforms, it doesn’t just empower the human employees you have in your team. The right solution can also provide augmentation in the form of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation.
As companies continue to prepare for the “future of work”, the role of the contact center agent is evolving. Today’s customers prefer having the opportunity to serve themselves and address their own problems when possible, often using chatbots and IVR systems to handle simple processes.
With automated systems in place, you can reduce the amount of pressure on your human agents, and ensure your customers have quick access to the solutions they need. At the same time, automated tools can also help with various other essential tasks, like recording important calls for compliance purposes or arranging call-backs.
Far form simply replacing human agents, intelligent tools get rid of the repetitive tasks that would otherwise take up agent time, so they can focus on calls where human voice is still crucial.
Perhaps the most valuable feature of the digitally transformed contact center is its versatility, and ability to adapt. Unlike clunky, old-fashioned contact centers which required heavy on-premises investment and maintenance, the future contact center is flexible.
Built-in the cloud, modern contact centers can adapt to suit the needs of any company and its customers. The right Microsoft-certified contact center solution, for instance, could use an API-first architecture to help businesses to build a full contact center within Teams. Not only would this environment be available within a familiar space: the Microsoft Teams ecosystem, but it would work with all the tools that make Teams such a valuable tool for productivity.
At the same time, the API flexible environment would allow business leaders to transform and adapt their technology however they choose, with additional integrations to things like Salesforce and Power BI reporting, or connections to custom-made apps and bots.
All the while, the cloud-based contact center can grow seamlessly with the business as it continues to evolve. With technology in the cloud, provisioning new tools and numbers is as simple as pressing a couple of buttons. There’s no complex in-person installation required.
Can Your Contact Center Digitally Transform?
As the world grows more digitally focused, the question isn’t whether companies should be digitally transforming their contact center, but whether they can afford not to. The reality is that your customers are going to continue demanding more flexible, advanced, and informed customer experiences. The only way to keep up with the changing marketplace, and ensure ongoing business continuity, is to embrace digital transformation.
The shift into digital is already happening for companies all around the globe. Are you ready to help your contact center evolve? Contact Geomant today to learn more.