When’s the last time you updated your inbound contact center?
If your technology is still the same as when you installed it 10 years ago, it’s time for a change. New cloud-based solutions offer a more flexible and agile approach than legacy, on-premises systems.
Companies across all industries have made the change to create considerably more rewarding customer interactions. But while new cloud-based technology can play a major role in an organization’s ability to deliver a more effective customer experience, it needs to be grounded in solid strategy.
We put together 10 rules for the new inbound contact center. Follow these 10 steps to get the most from your cloud-based platform:
1. Think multiple inbound channels.
Our research shows only 7 percent of 16 to 24 year olds will call a business regarding a high-value sales query. Furthermore, 20 percent of respondents preferred to buy from businesses that offer multiple channels, and 78 percent were likely to recommend a business they can communicate with. Younger consumers don’t want to call. They want to use all the channels they’re accustomed to.
2. Route customers more intelligently.
This starts with implementation. Leave room to tweak contact flows without involving the IT department. That lets agents manage contacts across channels, and the business can continually import data to make sure every call gets to the right person.
Customers are most likely to go to the web first for answers. Contacting you may be the last resort, but even at that stage, customers can still self-serve. Keep an updated FAQ or give personalized answers, like expected delivery time. This kind of automation frees your agents to handle more complex inquiries, while building long-term relationships with customers.
4. Use dynamic scripting.
Call scripts don’t have to be static anymore. With a cloud-based inbound contact center, scripts can adapt to the needs of customers. In our study, 72 percent of customers would consider switching to a competitor if an agent didn’t adapt to their needs. Dynamic scripting adapts with your data so customers always get the best message.
5. Prioritize your contacts by channel.
Does your response have to be instant, reactive or proactive? In a multi-channel contact center, there’s more than just phone calls to consider. Customers have different expectations across different channels, so make sure you provide the best experience for each of them.
6. Treat your best customers like VIPs.
If you’re like most businesses, 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your customers. So doesn’t it make sense to give those customers special treatment? Identify your common returners or highest spenders, and when their email or phone number shows up in the system, make sure they get a message that shows how much you care.
7. Don’t think “Call Center.” Think “Contact Center.”
Remember the first rule about multiple channels? This is the next step. Customers could contact you from anywhere, and more than 75 percent of customers are likely to recommend a company that doesn’t ask them to re-explain their query. So no matter where the contact comes from, make sure it gets to the right agent quickly and all information is passed along with it.
8. Don’t forget about outbound.
Sure, these are tips for inbound contact centers, but in a cloud-based system, the lines between inbound and outbound are blurred. Great customer experiences come from exceeding expectations. And if you can give them what they need before they ask for it, you’ll stand out in the crowd.
9. Give agents a single view of customers.
This goes back to rule number seven. The smartphone generation not only expects to interact across channels but to have continuity between them. Different channels don’t mean different customers. Make sure to provide a unified experience, even if someone switches from email to text.
10. Close the customer feedback loop.
Finally, use surveys to inspect the service you’re offering. Send surveys on the same channels your customers used so you can find missed chances. You might even see a boost in loyalty.
Before investing in an automated dialing system for your inbound contact center, make sure you have the right combination of processes, people and technology in place to deliver a truly flexible and user-friendly experience. Download the complete guide to explore the 10 new rules of the inbound contact center on a deeper level and learn how you can benefit from an investment in inbound technology.