Optimizing a contact center to drive customer loyalty

Establishing customer loyalty can be tricky. Customers are notoriously unforgiving when they experience poor service — one survey conducted by American Express showed that 91 percent of customers won’t willingly return from a bad experience. Similarly, a separate survey conducted by American Express showed that they’re more likely to tell others about a bad customer service experience than they are to talk about a good one, and 50 percent of customers report that they’ll switch brands if their needs aren’t being anticipated. Contact centers must optimize their operations in anticipation of customer needs in order to minimize customer loss, which in turn maximizes the gains that accompany a robust customer experience. A quality customer experience truly is a powerful revenue driver.

Keeping customers around relies on several major factors: speed, accessibility, and quality of the interaction. Statistics abound showing the lack of second chances most transactions have among consumers, so nailing these three elements is at the heart of driving loyalty.

Cut out tedious processes and hone in on customer interactions

Modern contact centers don’t facilitate relationships with customers based on humans alone, but there is still a critical element of a customer service representative’s presence that can make or break the customer experience. A well-integrated omnichannel system enables effective collaboration and strengthens both the human element and automated parts of the interaction. When automated processes manage and sort data and eliminate repetitive, tedious work, live representatives are able to funnel more energy and resources into the more unpredictable side of customer interactions.

Speed things up with omnichannel integration

Time is everything. Companies that make customers feel like they can appreciate and respect their time is likely to drive a longer lasting relationship. Omnichannel contact center systems cut out redundancies that take up customers’ time and create hurdles to the modern demand for smooth, simplified service. Since most consumers are willing to wait only about five minutes on hold, an expedited process can mean the difference between a frustrated departure from the interaction or satisfaction that equates with repeat returns.

Brick and mortar is here to stay for now

Although some prediction models, like this one from Gartner, show significant reductions in human interactions during customer service, there is still a strong tie between human presence and optimal service provisions. Humach previously wrote about that tie, highlighting the importance of integration above replacement and developing a solid framework for data to be utilized most advantageously. Contact centers today need technology integration, but not at the expense of high-quality customer service strategies that emphasize the ability of human representatives to handle more nuanced or unpredictable scenarios with more fluidity than a machine.

Over-the-phone service experiences don’t always work perfectly, and many people are inclined to take their business to the web, but they’ll likely do so from a mobile device. In fact, consumers widely demand mobile options today, so having a well-established mobile site and presence with carefully selected mixtures of automation and human representation will have the most impact.

There is an art and a science to gauging the ever-changing needs and demands of customers, but turning to omnichannel solutions is an increasingly accessible way of accomplishing that goal. True success requires much more than meeting the basics, but an integrated system can build on itself and place focus back on the customer.

 

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