Christmas is a time of giving, sharing, peace on Earth and goodwill towards humanity. For many in western society, it’s also a period of purchasing, of pressures on infrastructure, and of reduced services and premium rates. It’s a time to relax and be thankful for what we have and who we have to share it with, but on the other hand, Christmas can be a stressful time with businesses trying to end the year as close to KPIs as possible.
Spikes in purchasing make Christmas a busy period for retail companies and service providers, which can put a strain on customer service representatives and those working in contact centres. From a consumer perspective, the frustrations are well-documented: poorly developed voice recognition causes routing delays, incomplete contact records mean customers have to repeatedly describe their problems to multiple agents, and poorly integrated communication channels mean customers can’t talk to companies using their preferred means.
Customers can be left unsatisfied, service agents burnt out and off sick, and contact centre managers traumatised by the experience. It’s avoidable, of course – and the solution isn’t a Christmas miracle. Today’s technology provides valuable toolkits to help contact centres deliver painless, efficient and effective services to customers through a combination of data integration and improved operational processes.
Customer service agents want to do a good job by providing a quality service. Many feel hampered by inefficient processes and complicated tools that are heavy on administration but light on action. Too many existing tools don’t empower agents to solve their own issues and provide a consistent service, instead requiring them to raise support request tickets or toggle through multiple interfaces.
A truly unified contact centre can increase operational efficiency by integrating tools, offering an intuitive interface and providing easy access to CRM records to give agents the context they need to do their best work. For example, some key features of leading contact centre software include:
- Connect with customers on any channel (email, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.)
- Boost agent performance with integrated, user-friendly team messaging
- Solve complex customer issues quickly with one-click access to experts
- Monitor service levels in real-time with intelligent bots
Technology is finally at a stage where AI can truly complement human intelligence to create an enhanced service rather than a fragmented one. Voice recognition can speed up call routing, interaction analytics can provide meaningful qualitative data in tracking satisfaction levels, and automation can help route channel-specific queries to specialist support agents.
Operating via a fully web-based contact centre allows agents to work remotely, which can greatly aid in fulfilling non-standard shift patterns over the festive period. By logging in to work within a web-based interface, agents are able to access exactly the same tools as they would in the office, or in a café, or on the North Face of the Eiger.
Integration of a team messaging application allows agents to help customers quicker by asking questions in the app and getting instant answers from anyone in the company. The consistency in platform used, whether in the office or from a remote location, helps maintain consistency in the service the customer receives.
The benefits aren’t only felt in the immediate interactions between customers and agents. Lower staff attrition puts a smile on the HR manager’s face, while automation can create a level of operational efficiency that helps avoid snowballing last-minute temporary staff costs, allowing the CFO to relax a little. An omnichannel contact centre means lower software costs and fewer maintenance tickets for the IT department, and of course better customer experience leads to an improved Net Promoter Score, which helps the company in all departments.
In today’s competitive business environment, it’s more critical than ever to stay in tune with the service needs of your customers. A unified contact centre can really help you to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet and achieve perfect harmony this Christmas. Let us put our money where our mouth is – book a demo with us and we’ll show you exactly how we can help you improve your customer and employee experience to boost your bottom line.
We’ll be at Contact Centre Expo in ExCel London, from 18-19 March 2020, with lots more to say about RingCentral Contact Centre. See you there!
Originally published Nov 29, 2019, updated Jan 17, 2023