How Well Do You Know Your Customers—Really?

Most companies touch customers at multiple points along their journeys—starting with marketing and sales, moving through customer service and support, and on to retention and renewals. All these touch points engage customers—but are they providing a great, seamless, always-on experience? If not, customer loyalty and long-term revenues will be impacted—and it will be increasingly difficult for your business to keep up with, let alone beat, the competition.

blog cc_554140066A modern contact center should engage customers via their channel of choice; leverage all employees, not just agents, to deliver customized engagements; optimize experiences to increase loyalty, sales and revenues; and make the customer journey priority number-one for all employees. This involves not just new technology, but also a new approach: one that is clear, agile and authentic, so that you can respond to your customers where they live—online, on mobile devices, via voice or right in front of you. Smart companies are also involving back-office employees in the customer interaction itself, to share their expertise and create a more effective experience. This requires giving them the tools they need to support agents and managers any time their input would be helpful—and then capturing those engagements for review and training in the future.

To do all this, you need a modern customer engagement solution that supports an integrated view of all interaction channels, including social and mobile, as well as data analytics and integration with CRM and other back-end systems; and which tracks every customer interaction, starting with marketing and sales, moving through customer service and support, and on to retention. To enable this approach, many companies are embracing the cloud for the benefits it can deliver: faster deployment, fixed monthly costs, scalability, flexibility, built-in management and support, and the ability to access new applications, features and functions as soon as they are needed.

When companies are considering a new investment in the contact center, we at Frost & Sullivan recommend they focus on several key elements:

  • Support for any channel—now, and into the future.
  • Enabling interactions with agents and employees based on skills and experience.
  • Always-on customer engagement.
  • Integration with CRM, marketing automation and other back-office systems.
  • Simple, self-service operations.
  • Ongoing training and feedback.
  • Data analytics to improve business decisions.
  • Deployment in the cloud.

For more on how you can jump-start your contact center for this year and beyond, read the new Frost & Sullivan whitepaper, Rethinking Your Contact Center: How to Engage the Modern Customer.

Check out the webinar to hear 8x8 and Frost & Sullivan talk best practices with customer examples.

Melanie Turek

Melanie Turek

As a Fellow and VP of Research for Connected Work at Frost & Sullivan, Melanie covers a broad range of markets, leveraging long-standing relationships with leading industry participants’ senior executives and customer organizations. Melanie has more than 25 years' experience covering video and web conferencing, social networking, unified communications, voice, IP communications, instant messaging and presence, and the end-to-end customer experience, as well as a wide range of business software and services. Melanie brings deep technical expertise and in-depth understanding of the ways in which technology can positively impact business processes and performance. She studied social anthropology at Harvard, and she views technology transformation through that lens. Read More>

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