Call centers are crucial for businesses to provide enhanced services to their customers. They are highly demanding and fast-paced workspaces pivotal to creating a brand image in the market. While most businesses today use multifaceted call center software to respond to the queries and issues of their customers, it is important to manage the process with a professional approach. According to the Customers 2020 Report by Walker, customer service will be the sole differentiator that will outline the core competencies of a business by overtaking product and price in 2020.
Improving the customer experience will not only help in retaining existing customers, it will also help in attracting new ones. And that is the key to sustainable growth. We are here to tell you all about customer experience and how you can improve it through call center technologies.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience can be defined as a mix of customers’ beliefs, thoughts, and feelings about a business. It is their total perception of a brand and its products, services, delivery, and more. However, the two most fundamental elements that define customer experience are Customer Perception and Customer Interactions with a brand. Simply put, customer experience is how a customer perceives a brand through all the interactions across the customer’s life cycle.
Why is Customer Experience Important?
In today’s digital world, customers have power. With a plethora of options at their fingertips to choose from, customers also have the resources to educate themselves to make purchases.
A Forrester report shows that 72% of businesses are focused on improving customer experience, however, only 63% of business marketers have prioritized implementing technical investments that can help them accomplish this goal. The report ends with the advice that operating with a customer-obsessed model will require technological infrastructure to keep up with the customers’ pace.
By building a flexible technology architecture, companies can continuously adapt to fluctuating customer expectations and be capable of delivering customer value through machine learning and advanced data analytics.
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Call Center Technologies to Improve Customer Experience
Having the latest call center software in place for your business will ensure that operations are run efficiently and smoothly. This is crucial to provide customers with an experience worth repeating. With the following emerging call center technologies, you can set your venture up for long-term success.
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
As an automated phone system in your call center software, IVR allows incoming callers to access the information they require without having to talk to a representative. By entering essential information through a touch-tone keypad or speech recognition, callers can help themselves in no time.
Today, IVR systems are equipped with various levels of natural language speech recognition. From recognizing different dialects to understanding an expansive vocabulary, these systems operate with advanced technologies that undergo continuous tuning based on customer interactions and call flows.
2. Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)
As a telephony system, it identifies, answers, and transfers incoming calls to a representative or terminal that can handle the caller’s requirements successfully. For companies that receive large volumes of calls regularly, redirecting incoming calls without manually answering them helps manage the process more effectively.
3. Call Recording Systems
With call recording systems, call centers can track and capture every customer interaction made by their representatives. This comes in handy should managers ever require the need to review what happened on a call. An advanced recording system can also track other interactions such as emails and chat sessions in addition to calls.
Call recording may be historical or real-time; giving a call center manager the ability to intercept an off-script call and offer on-demand coaching. This technology goes hand-in-hand with representative analytics and reporting in order to deliver instant insight that managers require to enhance customer experience.
4. Cloud Center
With the rise of remote working, call centers are relying on the technology of cloud-based call center software. It enables businesses to use as many communication channels as possible with the power of advanced automated technology. This helps redirect calls faster and guarantees that customer wait-time is reduced significantly. Additionally, it can help expand your operations across geographical borders and time zones. With representatives who are available round the clock, you can provide quality service to customers all over the world!
With workforce management tools that can record and organize data accordingly, managers are provided access to highly detailed analytics like call duration, waiting time, and agent idle time. A VoIP supporting device, a stable Internet connection, and a headset are all that you need to get started.
5. Analytics and Reporting
Customer data analytics and reporting are pivotal for enhancing customer experience. In fact, according to the Cisco Contact Center Global Survey 2020, 90% of call centers consider data analytics associated with a customer’s journey as an essential function of a call center.
Call centers can no longer rely on a manager’s skills to keep track of their representatives’ performances and customer experience. While manual observation is still necessary, far more precise and reliable information through real-time data analytics and reporting would be required to improve customer experience. Through advanced technologies such as Speech Analytics, Text Analytics and Predictive Analytics, process changes can be made spontaneously to elevate customer satisfaction and experience.
6. Outreach through Texts
This equips call center representatives with the ability to answer important queries and send valuable information directly to a customer’s phone through texts. By offering great flexibility for both parties, outreach through texts is a handy call center software tool that can improve customer experience remarkably.
7. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
Most customers are frustrated when a representative does not have immediate access to their account information. This technology enables your computer and communication systems to integrate well and interact together. When call centers implement CTI, they can use computer systems to manage all telephonic calls, thereby, increasing productivity and gaining better results.
Moreover, when representatives are provided with essential customer information before the call, they are equipped to lead the call and solve problems swiftly, saving time for both parties.
8. Blending Call Flows
It is essential to combine outbound and inbound calls to optimize the call flow within a center. With blending call flows, call centers can make outbound calls and receive inbound calls without any disruption. Such technologies enhance the productivity of a call center.
9. Business Intelligence
When Business Intelligence is integrated into the call center metrics, a company can set clear standards for its performance. A few metrics that businesses should consider tracking are:
- Number of Active and Waiting Calls
- Customer Satisfaction Rating
- Call Holding Time
This way, call centers can consistently improve customer experience standards while their representatives go about doing what they are good at.
10. Voice Powered Technology
The practice of using virtual assistants in the workplace is growing. Gartner predicts that 25% of digital workers will use a Virtual Employee Assistant daily. This will be up from less than 2% in 2019. Voice-powered technology integrated with call center software is the need of the hour. Call centers can utilize voice-powered technology as virtual assistants to increase their customer satisfaction and can even operate it as one of their channels.
Contrary to popular belief, this technology will not eliminate call center jobs. Instead, they can be used to upgrade call centers to the next level. Voice-powered technology is highly beneficial for businesses and customers alike.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Enhanced technologies are crucial for every industry; it can boost your business reach and help convert prospects into clients effortlessly. Now that you know the latest call center technologies you can upgrade your call center, go ahead, and implement what best suits your venture.
Through such technologies, you can establish effective communication with your clients while simultaneously increasing your center’s performance and offer yourself a competitive edge in the ever-changing business landscape.