Looking Ahead: Five Contact Center Trends to Know and Use in 2019 (Part 2)

By Michelle Burrows | December 27, 2018
Contact Center Trends Part 2

In my last post, I addressed the first of five trends outlined in Contact Center Trends You Need to Know 2019, an e-book we developed based on data collected from a variety of sources, including hundreds of our contact center customers.

Today, let’s talk about the second trend, Self-Service Reset. The idea behind this is that while today’s consumers are short on time and patience—and increasingly accustomed to the control and efficiency that comes with self-service—reports of the demise of the live call center have been greatly exaggerated.

Self-Service as One (Seamless) Step in the Customer Journey

Self-service is only a means to the real goal: a world-class experience that keeps customers happy, loyal and coming back to buy again—and again. Simply using self-service to deflect calls will backfire.

An extraordinary customer experience is a central competitive differentiator. And self-service can help as one of many tools in your arsenal. Self-service has the power to deliver big benefits, but the approach must be holistic and thoughtful.

Ensure you’re not alienating customers by leading them through an auto-attendant nightmare that frustrates, confuses and pushes back when they ask to speak to a live agent. Your customers want to seamlessly navigate across channels on their terms. The transition to an agent can be an opportunity to win them over, or it can be a damaging misstep.

In one example of this, a large telecom company removed contact numbers from its website, triggering frustrated customers to call into various other company phone numbers, only to reach employees who couldn’t offer help.

The key to getting the customer experience right is to always consider the customer’s perspective. Eliminate the need to repeat steps in your IVR system.  When agents are connected to already-frustrated customers, ensure they have all necessary information about their complete journey—across channels— at their fingertips so they can quickly get to resolving issues.

When it comes to leveraging the trend toward self-service, keep your customer experience front and center because it can have an enormous impact on your profitability.  According to Forrester Research, a 10-percentage-point improvement in a company’s customer experience score—across industries—can translate into more than a million dollars. That means combining smart self-service with agents empowered to bridge frustration into positive interactions is an approach that will deliver measurable financial results.

To download the complete e-book, Contact Center Trends You Need to Know 2019, click here.  Ready to Improve Your Customer Experience Now? Request a demo.

Michelle Burrows is Chief Marketing Officer at Serenova, where she leads the company’s global marketing strategy, brand development, communications and demand generation.  Prior to joining Serenova, Michelle was Vice President of Marketing and Analytics at Comcast Business, leading the customer loyalty contact center.  Prior to Comcast, she served as Vice President of Demand Marketing for inContact (NICE inContact) and held key leadership positions at Rally Software (CA Technologies), Verint Systems and Genesys Conferencing (West Corporation).