Spring 2020. Say goodbye to your list of projects to improve customer service. Suddenly the telephone lines are bombarded with calls. A large part of your staff has to work from home, and you have other things to arrange. Summer 2021. Normal life is slowly returning. Time to get back to last year’s project list. What’s on it and where do you start?
A project that is on the list of many companies is the implementation of an omnichannel contact center platform. Where customer service was once only accessible by telephone and fax, there are now a multitude of channels. And new ones are still being added.
Until now, those channels were often added one by one via separate tools. As a result, many channels are on an island and agents do not have a complete picture of the customer contact history. The recent Dutch Inspire Sector Survey 2020-2021 confirms this. When asked if respondents already work with an integrated total package for customer contact, over 64% indicated that they don’t.
Time to prioritize this project because a well-implemented omnichannel platform has many advantages:
- Improves the accessibility and quality of customer service
- Increases first call resolution and customer satisfaction
- Reduces wait time and average call duration
- Provides a better overview of and more insight into customer service KPIs and statistics
Another project is the smart use of automation. Do you already use a chatbot to answer the simple frequently asked questions? And what about speech recognition to faster and easier assist callers (and reduce the average call duration)? Can things like updating customer data and order status be automated more effectively? When it comes to distributing phone calls across the different contact centers, is this always done in the most efficient way?
These days, tools exist that use a smart algorithm to ensure that the best performing contact center gets the most calls. This shortens wait time, improves customer satisfaction, and ensures a more efficient use of your employees. And depending on your service, it also increases conversion. In other words, save money and earn more.
Many customer service departments play with the same thoughts; how can we improve customer satisfaction while saving costs? Improving customer satisfaction has a direct impact on revenue. Satisfied customers return faster and stay longer. And it costs less to keep a customer than to win a new one.
Focusing on customer satisfaction is therefore important, but not something you can pick up as a separate project. It’s the result of other projects such as organizing processes more efficiently, smartly deploying automation and using the right tools such as an omnichannel platform.
If you place too much emphasis on saving costs, you run the risk of compromising customer satisfaction. That’s why it’s rarely clever to cut costs aggressively (unless it’s the only option you have left of course). It often leads to problems in the long term or in other areas. As contradictory as it sounds, making an investment can also help reduce costs.
Think of the implementation of an omnichannel platform. This means additional costs in the short term but saves costs in the long term. An omnichannel platform helps your employees work easier and faster. It makes reporting and analyzing a lot easier. Both save considerable time and money. And it makes other stand-alone tools obsolete. If the investment is too much as a whole, you can also choose to implement it step-by-step. This way you build up the costs slowly but still take advantage of the benefits.
Whatever project you start with, make sure you keep an eye on the complete picture. What is your goal and what do you have to do to get there? And keep your employees up to date. After all, they do the real work. Informing them of what is going to change and what role they play in it, helps make the project more successful. And that’s what you’re after, right?
This article was originally published in Dutch on Emerce.nl