Contact Center Services to Improve Customer Experience
The business world is all abuzz with the concept of customer experience (CX). Operations, sales and support models that strive for optimal customer experience have been shown to increase brand loyalty, market relevancy and increase sales. For these reasons, businesses are wise to invest in systems and policies that favor customer engagement and actively attract connection and long-term relationships.
The growing number of cloud-based contact center options, such as Contact Center as a Service (CCaas), makes this investment in customer experience much less expensive for many organizations. There are numerous available contact center services, and each plays a role in not only improving customer experience but also optimizing employee productivity. When contact center agents have effective customer service tools, the customer experience is further augmented. Let's take a closer look at the services available in modern contact center solutions.
Contact Center Technology
What is a contact center? While the terms call center and contact center are often used interchangeably, there are some subtle differences between the two. A call center focuses on communications. Features of a call center might include the ability to rout calls based on customer need and agent availability. Call center systems have been used as a customer support tool for decades and are examples of some of the earliest adopted business technologies.
A contact center takes the features of a traditional call center solution and adds integration of customer information. For example, with contact service software a call agent not only sees their phone ring, but they also have access to a fuller picture of the customer's needs. This broader view comes from integration with customer relationship management (CRM) software. Also, a contact center solution provides more than just call capability, adding full multi-channel communications functionality.
Some of the unique features of a contact center solution include:
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to allow more intelligent call routing and self-service options
- Workflow automation, to ensure that issues are handled once the call ends
- Virtual call queue with callback, so customers can spend less time waiting
- Skills-based routing, so calls go to those who can help right away
Cloud Contact Center Solutions
While the features available in contact center software are beneficial to businesses, migrating these functions and more in a cloud environment untaps a new universe of customer experience and employee productivity. Today's CCaaS solutions are no longer individual point products, but instead offer cloud-based, fully integrated enterprise management. These solutions allow both employees and customers to move from a chat window to a phone call, then to a follow-up email or text with no interruption.
A cloud-based solution also is flexible for future demands. Just as changes in customer preferences created the customer experience model, evolutions in technology are continuously changing the face of customer support. Some of the exciting changes either on the horizon or that are being currently implemented in cloud contact centers include the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict and analyze customer needs and employee performance and increases in natural langue and speech recognition technologies. Today's businesses can not only listen to a customer's voice responses to determine their issue but can also analyze certain elements of their voice patterns and inflections to assess mood. If a customer seems distressed by the tone of their voice, intelligent cloud-based CCaaS can identify and route the call accordingly.
CCaaS Blends with Unified communications
Most importantly, contact center technology and unified communications are blending. Unified communications (UC) is a similar approach as optimized call center technology. UC takes all the forms of communications that an organization uses and combines them for efficiency and productivity. UC can be useful as an internal tool, but can also improve customer experience, as in the example of moving from one form of communication to another in the midst of a support session. But, UC is still focused on communications while CCaaS brings the power of an organization into front-line customer support. Previously, difficult issues required an escalation process that was time-consuming and difficult to manage. CCaaS allows agents to access expertise quickly, and involve direct customer interaction with seasoned experts.
8x8's contact center as a service solutions offer these rich features and more. Customer experience thrives in a Virtual Contact Center environment, and organizations experience workforce optimization. Also, since these solutions are cloud-based, they are scalable and require less of an investment in equipment and maintenance.
With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world class technology and everything your domestic or international business needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.