Rob Denton, Managing Director, Navigator Customer Management, comments has told Comms Business Magazine that with any innovation in the contact centre industry, the main thing to keep in mind is whether the use of data or new technology enhances the customer experience.
“Technological advances should never impinge on achieving a superb brand experience. Therefore deciding if it is appropriate to use live interaction or to use automated systems depends entirely upon the client requirements. And where there is an element of uncertainty, there should be scope in the budget to carry out live or automated testing to establish what is most effective in each instance.
Timing and scheduling such testing should become a regular component of the campaign building process. Bottom line is asking your customers how they want to talk to you and be talked to. Focus groups normally concentrate on how a product will be received, the packaging and advertising but never what the customer’s expectation is of being able to have a dialogue with a brand.
Notwithstanding the importance of systems, the absolute key is to maintain customer and brand experience in an intelligent way and achieve a balance between using live agents and technology where appropriate to essentially improve the customer experience at all points of contact. But real-time or near real-time updates (often unaffordable) are less essential than proper people training.
We make sure our agents whether on the phone or in person – are steeped in the products they are supporting, providing knowledgeable, erudite responses with the very latest information. The industry is in danger of ignoring contact centre staff just when they need to be nurtured, with most agents needing to be re-skilled and their jobs re-packaged if expected high standards are to be met across the board.”