06 February 2018
In my last blog, I followed up on a G3 seminar featuring Frost & Sullivan’s digital transformation specialist, Alexander Michael, who focused on the need to modernise the contact centre and the benefits that can accrue. The fact is that the proliferation of communication channels and the expectations of a seamless omnichannel experience have made the customer journey a competitive battleground. So what are the imperatives for customer experience transformation and what is the technology you need to get there?
Understanding the route and mapping your journey
We work closely with a lot of companies on their transformation journey and, for most, the first step is a thorough assessment of their contact centre needs in the context of overall business goals. Within this assessment, the main considerations include asking who the service is aimed at, what are the objectives for improvement, where is the focus for action, and when will changes need to be implemented? From past experience, front-line contact centre agents and managers can give you some great insights on these areas and have the inside track on what’s working well, and what isn’t.
A comprehensive understanding of the contact centre systems, processes and applications that are in place is also a priority. You need to know exactly how your current set-up works, so you can benchmark your position before moving towards a new end-state. Anything that might have an impact on the customer experience should be documented. That includes all the front and back-office processes that affect how customer support is delivered – right down to bought-in employee tech and any tech work-arounds that agents may be using.
Aligning technology and resources with your needs
With the groundwork completed, end-goals established and current status benchmarked, the next stage involves identifying any technology gaps that will need to be filled to enable transformation. Without the right capabilities you won’t be able to deliver a slick and seamless multi-channel customer experience – and that’s where I’ve seen a lot of companies get left behind and lose business. Your contact centre applications must be able to integrate with back-office systems, support multi-channel engagement and ensure that all relevant parties can access real-time customer data in a single version of the truth.
We frequently work alongside our clients to help them identify contact centre technology and capability gaps, before collaborating on developing a detailed implementation plan. We help them set ROI targets and performance metrics for transformation, access the critical features and resources they need to support new channels and processes, and ensure that management and training procedures are in place to support transition.
Optimising efficiency and ease of operation
One of the most common areas we advise on is the need for a single technology platform to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience. An integrated system allows you to easily add in features to support new channels or customer requirements, while providing consolidated reporting and administration to simplify management. In our experience, it’s worth investing in advanced analytics capabilities that give you a handle on the performance of your agents, a better understanding of your customers, and help deliver a more personalised experience. A platform that’s fully interoperable with back-office systems including CRM applications will ensure you always get a complete, real-time 360-degree view of the customer.
All the companies I talk to these days say that flexibility and simplicity are two of the key requirements for new contact centre tech. This is where cloud-based solutions really score. With a cloud platform, you don’t need to be a specialist IT technician to manage most day-to-day contact centre tasks. Plus, application deployment is fast and easy. You can scale up and down and add new channels and features in an instant, and you get built-in reliability with round-the-clock support. It’s all on a flexible, opex-based payment model too, which makes the latest technology more accessible and affordable.
Making the right choices
Who are you talking to about modernising your contact centre and transforming the customer journey? How well do they understand the challenges? Have they got the ability to deliver the products and services you need now and are likely to need in the future, and do they have a clear roadmap for adding new, more advanced features further down the line? Perhaps most importantly, do they have a track record of innovation, proven technology, and the integration expertise required for seamless operations?
Make sense of your options. Learn more from Alexander Michael’s original presentation by webcast or white paper. Or get in touch to arrange a demonstration of G3comms customer experience solutions from Genesys, market leader in omnichannel contact centre technology.