The impacts of a digital-first society are significant when the focus on digital filters down to contact centre operations. It has considerable impacts on technology, workforce planning, and other business priorities. The accelerated shift to hybrid working also created new challenges for contact centre environments.
This, coupled with changing customer expectations and preferences and technology advancements, has highlighted the increased need for digital to be put at the heart of the customer journey. Contact centre organisations need to prioritise a digital-first customer experience strategy to keep up with their competitors.
The shift to a more digitally connected society has had far-reaching implications in virtually every facet of life. Customers are used to having information at their fingertips, and their expectations for contact centres align with this, meaning there is also an expectation for contact centre agents to also have information immediately available.
Failing to keep up with these expectations is risky for businesses as they can potentially lag behind their competitors and fail to deliver the customer experiences they need to. Digital increasingly needs to take centre stage in the customer experience strategy for businesses to continue to deliver excellent support and customer experiences.
There are three primary areas contact centre organisations should consider when developing a digital-first customer experience strategy:
1. Identify where engagement starts
It’s short-sighted to think that customer interactions begin when a customer engages with the contact centre. Customers will have likely made efforts to solve challenges themselves prior to engaging with customer support. As such, contact centre organisations need to expand their focus to understand what steps customers take before engaging with the contact centre to fully understand the customer journey and needs. It’s also essential to invest in solutions that facilitate an omnichannel experience that lets customers contact businesses when and how they prefer.
2. Prioritise the agent experience
The customer experience is directly influenced by the agent a customer engages with, so it’s pertinent to assess the customer and agent experiences in tandem. Contact centre organisations should consider how they can create an agent experience that encourages engagement and drives agent satisfaction. This includes bolstering the agent experience with digital solutions that let them access knowledge more readily in order to better help customers as well as empower them to grow and develop their skills.
3. Invest in analytics
Data analysis has been an essential part of the customer experience for a long time; behaviour and sentiment analyses can uncover key insights that help contact centre agents and organisations better support their customers. Investing in real-time interaction analytics software lets contact centre agents and managers gain a deeper understanding of how customers feel during interactions and whether this has changed by the conclusion of their engagement. Leveraging real-time analytics solutions can also go beyond measuring customer sentiment and be used to coach agents on developing soft skills that can improve customer satisfaction.
Technology continues to change how people engage on a personal and professional level as well as how customers and businesses interact. Investing in digital solutions and prioritising a digital-first customer experience strategy can help businesses better support their agents and customers alike by ensuring that the right tools are in place to support a digitally focused economic and social environment.