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A Spectacular Call Center Experience – Technology Applied The Right Way

eCommerce is complicated, and that includes handling customer problems after purchase. Specifically, your inbound call center is one of the most important parts of the post-purchase customer experience. Indeed, it is critical that your business provides a positive call center experience.  In this article, find out about the importance of increasing the maturity of your call center. Also, what technology is needed for your call center to implement multichannel communications, Lastly, what is an omnichannel contact center and the importance of implementing an unified data view of your customer’s order status.

Planning And Assessing – Set The Stage For A Spectacular Call Center Experience

Store clerks used to be the main form of customer service, but with eCommerce this has changed. Now customer contact centers take the lead, but many of these operations need an upgrade. In particular, inbound call centers are not providing excellent customer service. Examples of poor experiences include customers being on hold for too long, customer service agents not having enough information, and customers getting passed from one agent to another without resolution.

If your eCommerce business is not providing excellent customer service, you need to do some planning now rather than later. Specifically, one good idea is for you to assess your operation using a call center maturity model. This is a good way to assess and address deficiencies affecting your customers’ call center experience. For specifics, see SC Tech Insights, More Excellent Customer Service Results From Your eCommerce Contact Center. This article explains how to assess your customer contact center using a call center maturity model and set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to start delighting your customers

Implement Multichannel Technology To Improve Your Customers’ Call Center Experience.

Your customers are online and connected. Hence, implementing multichannel technology is critical to your customers’ positive call center experience. Accordingly to implement, you need to be thinking of your call center as a contact center with multiple communications channels. Additionally, you need to know your options with multichannel communications technology and software and tailor to your specific business. To detail see below.

1. Multichannel Implementation – What Is A Contact Center And Why Implement?

call center experience - delivering a bad customer experience
Delivering a Bad Customer Experience

First, times have changed where customer communications choices were only by face-to-face or over the phone.  Especially for eCommerce businesses, you need to be using a whole range of multichannel communications. Obviously, these communications channels need to be the same ones that your customers normally use. Specifically, when customers contact you, you must quickly and efficiently get their customer’s problems resolved. For example, this can include via web, e-mail, text, or their favorite social media communications channel.

2. Multichannel Implementation – Communications Technology.

There is a wide range of communications technology you can use to have an effective multichannel call center. Unquestionably, these technologies, if effectively used and managed, can go a long way to increase your call center’s maturity level and to delight your customers. Also, even if you are a small business, you can start using most of these communications technologies at little cost. Specifically, below is a list of multichannel communications options.

List of Multichannel Communications Channels
a. Telephone / Voice Over IP (VoIP).

VoIP is basically a digital phone system. In particular for a call center, this has a lot of advantages over traditional phones as you can integrate numerous software add-ons and capture data about calls. 

b. Social Media.

Many businesses use social media such as Facebook to communicate with their customers.

c. Text / Short Message Service (SMS)

You can provide a text address for customers to contact you.

d. Chatbots.

You should be able to add a simple live chatbot to your web site working with your hosting provider. Of note, more advanced chatbots are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). For more details, See section below on multichannel software and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems.

e. Mobile Apps / Video Calls.

This can include communications software such as WhatsApps or apps like Zoom. Also if you are a larger business, you could also get your own branded app to facilitate customer communications and troubleshooting.

f. Online Video.

Many small businesses use YouTube for customer training and self- troubleshooting videos.

g. Multi-lingual Support. 

More and more software can facilitate communications in different languages or use bilingual agents where justified.

Note: If you set up a customer communications channel, you need to have an effective method to respond when a customer contacts you. Undeniably, there is nothing worse than not responding to a customer, especially one that has a problem..

3. Multichannel Implementation – Contact Center Software.

Most call centers use some type of call center management software. Also, most call center software is cloud-based where a business incurs a subscription charge for each call center agent using the software. Subsequently, most businesses can quickly start using advanced call center software. Additionally, there is even open source software you can use. Lastly depending on the size and nature of your business, there are a lot of different features that your business needs to have a mature call center.

Multichannel Contact Center Software – Key Features.

Below is a list of key software features to support call center staff.

a. Hosted IVR / Chatbots.

An interactive voice response (IVR) ties into a VoIP system. Specifically in its simplest form, it acts as a business answering machine and routes calls to the appropriate department. Also, more and more IVRs, chatbots, and Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) systems are powered by AI to actually interact with customers and even resolve problems effectively. 

b. Customized Call Queues.

This feature is needed, but ideally you should plan for customers to not be put on hold. Specifically, this software can help set customer expectations on wait times or even promote products and offers.

c. Call Back Reminders.

This software feature helps agents to follow-up and close out tickets with customers

d. Dynamic Scripting.

This software capability enables businesses to use tailored templates to guide customer service agents’ communications and troubleshooting. Consequently, this streamlines agent training and problem resolution.

e. Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).

This capability provides the agents with immediate information about the caller and the trouble ticket. Hence, this speeds up response time by the agent not having to type in information to get customer information..

f. Skills-Based Routing.

This software working with IVR can gather information about the call. As an example depending on the nature of the problem, this software can automatically route the call to the appropriate department.

g. Live Coaching/Whisper.

This capability enables managers or other agents to listen into a call, and coach agents if necessary to resolve customer problem.

h. Historical and Real Time Reporting.

This is key for keeping a log of customer problem history. Additionally, this data is key for measuring employee effectiveness, and generating KPIs to identify operational improvement areas.

For more information on call center technology, see Convoso’s 9 Inbound Call Center Software Features You Need to Have and Freshworks’ Call Center Experience. Also, see Capterra’s List of Call Center Software. This is a good starting point for evaluating different software capabilities.

Implementing An Omnichannel Contact Center – An Unified View Of Customer Order Status.

We have described mutichannel call center operations above and there is a subtle, but significant difference between multichannel and omnichannel. For instance, omnichannel call center capability is usually built over a multichannel capability. Also, omnichannel enables internal coordination within the business and ideally provides stakeholders a unified view of the customer’s order and call history.

If you are ready to go to the next step with your call center operations, see SC Tech Insights’ article, The Delighted, Connected Customer: Reasons Call Centers Need To Be Omnichannel. This article explains how to get a unified view of the customer experience, the importance of connecting to your customers, and the capabilities needed to make it all happen.

For more information from Unvarnished Facts, see our articles on business innovation and tech impacts. Also, see Supply Chain Tech Insights’ Is Your Customer Delivery Experience In A Tailspin? – Know The 6 Steps For More Delighted Customers and Want To Integrate Data For Better Business Visibility? Here’s How To Do It.

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