Contact Center Customer Experience Best Practices

Customer experience (CX) is evolving. Change isn’t necessarily bad, but it certainly is confusing when you have to cut through the noise and determine which best practices and trends will launch your contact center ahead of the competition. As a CX leader, you also need to know which technologies will help you achieve your core objectives in managing the customer experience. This post will help you zero-in on those technologies and best practices proven to produce results.

  1. Adopt Technologies That Align with Your Customers’ Expectations
  2. Combine the Right Processes with Those Technologies
  3. Closely Monitor the Performance of Your Processes and Technologies

Continue reading to learn more about the best practices that will help your contact center deliver outstanding customer experience and beat the competition.

  1. Adopt Technologies that Align with Your Customers’ Expectations

Each contact center has its own priorities and goals, each of which is influenced by customer expectations. As such, contact centers must adopt technologies that align with customer expectations. As your customers demand to address less complex issues with self-service, for example, you should adopt self-service analytics using business intelligence to analyze self-service interactions via interactive voice response (IVR), self-service websites, and chatbots. You’ll be in a better position to gauge your success in helping customers help themselves with self-service analytics.

Customers also expect to have their needs met in a timely, effective fashion. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are two technologies that have proven to be much more than passing trends for contact centers. Used together, machine learning and AI empower contact centers to analyze data and use it to make decisions to enhance the customer experience. For example, these technologies help contact center managers keep staff at adequate levels while continuing to meet customer needs quickly and effectively.

Unified agent desktop tools are another technology worth adopting to meet customer expectations. Using these tools, agents access multiple enterprise systems using a single agent desktop while decreasing the time spent navigating multiple applications to do their job and deliver a seamless customer experience. Speech analytics and text analytics tools especially are helpful in gauging customer sentiment by identifying certain words used in interactions and determining the context of those interactions.

The key is for contact center leaders to realize that certain technologies no longer are nice to have; they now are must-have tools if they hope to manage all elements of customer experience programs successfully.

  1. Combine the Right Processes with Those Technologies

For best-in-class results, you must combine the right processes with the technologies that best align with your customers’ expectations. According to Aberdeen, CX executives increasingly are focusing on four process trends that extend beyond 2018:

  • Customer journey mapping – Customers interact with companies and contact centers using a variety of methods and channels. As companies strive to meet customers on their own terms, they must know whether they are delivering consistent, personalized interactions across all channels. That’s why contact center leaders must manage the entire customer lifecycle by mapping the entire customer journey. Keep in mind that journey mapping should not be a one-time exercise because journeys are dynamic and customer behavior evolves.
  • Automation – As customer expectations evolve more quickly and companies utilize more channels to interact with existing and potential customers, customer experience programs become more complex. Managing interactions across channels to deliver omnichannel conversations now requires automation if contact centers hope to do so efficiently.
  • Drill down to the fundamentals of CX programs – In order to advance your customer experience program, everyone must be responsible for customer experience. From the CEO down to entry-level associates, everyone must recognize the importance and value of CX and understand how to incorporate it throughout the company. Show agents how focusing on customer experience helps them become more successful and then incorporate CX performance measures as metrics to measure employee performance.
  • Augmented intelligence – Not even today’s AI systems are sophisticated to handle complex customer needs. Augmented intelligence enables contact centers to incorporate machine learning and AI to help human workers perform their jobs better. With augmented intelligence, contact centers empower agents to get answers more quickly with decreased average handle time and little customer effort.

  1. Closely Monitor the Performance of Your Processes and Technologies

You can purchase all the technology in the world and implement as few or as many processes as you think you need, but you won’t get the return you expect or satisfy your customers without monitoring their performance. Close monitoring is required for you to maximize your investment.

One way to monitor your all interactions customers have with agents is to use a platform that turns them into searchable text. You’ll gain access to data on customer preferences and sentiment analysis to learn exactly how customers feel about various products, promotions, and brands. Top platforms analyze sentiment based on the language used in conversations in addition to the tone, amount of stress in the voice, and rate and volume of speech. You’ll get all the feedback necessary for improving the customer experience nearly in real time across all contact center engagements when you use this type of platform.

To become a best-in-class contact center, you must wade through the hype and focus on the best practices that deliver true results. Customer experience must be at the center of all you do, and that is why you should adopt technologies that align with your customers’ expectations. You also need to ensure you combine the right processes with those technologies and then monitor the performance of your technologies and processes. For more insights on the latest customer experience trends in the call center industry, download our recent white paper, Contact Center & Customer Experience Trends 2018.

What customer experience best practices to you leverage in your contact center?