The 60s Called—They Want Their Call Center Back

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Consumers—people like you and me—experience a big disconnect when they move from the world of the web to talking to the customer representatives of the businesses they frequent.

The easy availability of information from almost any location has already transformed our day-to-day lives.  Want to know the hours of your favorite store? When your order shipped? Just look it up online! It’s easy!

But many businesses have trouble meeting these same high expectations for customer service. The most common reason for this?  Complex and outdated customer information systems that aren’t integrated with businesses’ phone systems are the chief culprit.

Is Your Contact Center Style Old Enough for Social Security?

Back in the sixties, if you wanted to interact with a business you had three options:  Go there physically, write a paper letter, or use a phone.  This created a lot of demand for phone based customer service and along with the private branch exchange laid the foundation for call centers, with many agents at one physical location, all handling mostly routine transactions.

Challenge Old Assumptions for Better Results

But nowadays, customers answer the easy questions themselves.  They usually only call with complicated issues or questions—stuff they can’t answer online. And yet many organizations still run call centers just like the ones your grandparents contacted: they are optimized to handle simple and routine, inquiries and changes for their customers.

Give Your Agents What They Need to Satisfy Information-rich Customers

But if the types of inquires are more complex in nature, then why are agents still stuck working with clunky on-premises equipment  with un-integrated information systems that are based on out-of-date technology?

The Cloud Gives You New Options

Complex questions from customers require accurate information systems that are integrated with the communication system.  Most on-premises systems have trouble with this, but here cloud-based systems like 8x8’s excel, offering almost instant integration with Salesforce, Zendesk and others. This makes it easier than ever to link customer conversations with customer data. Plus, there are usually big efficiency gains around customer identification.

Three Ideas for an Upgrade

So if your customer service strategy is getting a little “dated,” here are some ideas that could improve customer service at your organization:

  1. Replace your on premises PBX, ACD, and CRM software with integrated services from the cloud. Many of these services come designed to work together immediately upon deployment. By getting these from the cloud you can focus less on maintenance and integration and more on how your employees actually use these services to provide better customer service.
  2. Recruit contact center workers more widely. Across the world, there are many high-quality potential workers that would love to provide full time or part-time labor to your organization. With cloud-based systems like 8x8’s, they don’t have to be on-premises anymore, which dramatically expands your potential talent pool.
  3. Re-think the nature of the interactions in your business and the types of resources you need for those interactions. What if you taught existing workers to take customer service to the next level? Could they be more effective actually solving customer issues?

With cloud-based contact centers and a few ideas, you can gladly hand the sixties back its contact center. You won’t be needing it anymore.

Beth Carney

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Beth is the Director of the 8x8 Marketing Communications team, proudly helping to spread the word on how 8x8 helps businesses serve their customers better. [...] Read More >

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