The future of customer experience can be described in one word – seamless.
The 21st century has inundated businesses with the tech advantage and the scramble for digital adoption for products and services is at its peak. E-commerce has played a major role in designing great digital customer experience and smartphones have shrunk physical touchpoints like shops, mom and pop stores, and services to apps. In this digital boom, as businesses struggle to make sense of fast-evolving options, the customer emerges as the winner, finding the power of decision making within a click.
From call center to contact center
An attempt at one-on-one customer connect started with call center proliferation in the 1990s. Call centers have been functioning as remote hubs managing inbound and outbound telephonic communication, handling bulk calls for customer service, technical support and sales for clients. With the growth in multi-channel journeys, traditional call centers have given way to contact centers over the past two decades, accommodating the evolving needs of customers. Enterprise applications, cloud services, workforce optimization, web, email, social media and sms management tools are solutions that have integrated contact center functions to match customer experience expectations. Call distribution is done with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), which distributes calls efficiently and boosts First Call Resolution (FCR). In recent times, cognitive technologies, artificial intelligence, and chatbots have come to be a part of sophisticated contact center function, replacing human agents partly with virtual support. Voice activated and text activated responsiveness is a disruptive trend compelling contact centers to be cognizant of user expectation and speedier resolution. Contact centers are already redefining their CX strategy to include digital channel planning to be present where their customers are. Predictive customer intelligence is leveraging customer behavior analytics for personalized targeting in customer journeys in a bid to deliver exceptional customer experience.
Where will contact centers go from here?
What used to be a more reactive ethos in call centers has now given way to a resolution and proactive ecosystem in contact centers. Outsourcing telemarketing to call centers is becoming obsolete and managing every stage of an omnichannel customer experience with relevant inputs is the present context that only contact centers can own. But even now, there are many deterrents to the complex landscape of omnichannel experience management. To own the full experience, sales, social media marketing, digital marketing, content marketing, analytics and managerial teams are working under a centralized entity but often operating in silos, with infrequent interaction and discussion between each other to stay aligned with the core strategy. To make things worse, vast amounts of data is being collected every minute, analysis and application of which takes time. Due to the heavy pressure of performance or fear of being replaced by virtual assistants, contact center attrition remains high as well.
How will experience become more relevant in future?
The answer to future customer engagement and contact center service innovation lies in a progression towards experience hubs. Experience hubs will allow full blending of channels both at the front end and back end and create agile experiences that will morph according to customer presence and behavior. The personalized journey will advance into a contextualized journey, equipped to create even more authentic experiences awarding digital autonomy to customers with smarter self-service abilities. Instead of being a tertiary arm of a business, contact centers will find themselves at the heart of a business model. By blending channels and obliterating the mammoth task of tracing omnichannel activities, businesses will be able to redirect customers to their preferred engagement, supported by chatbots and AI assistants.
With the enormous growth in digital innovation, smart living is a near future consideration. Smart homes enabled with IoT (Internet of Things) is fast becoming a reality. Voice command or voice interface has been around for some time and remote activation is seeping into daily human life. Lighting, home security, home entertainment and other automation features are once again set to redefine human experience. This allows an even further possibility of deeper interactive experiences where AI agents by virtue of being in close proximity, will provide individualized recommendations and act as personal influencers guiding the customer to purchase decision making. The customer wants to make a connection with the product and aspires to feel safe and rewarded with their decision. Experience hubs will ensure that companies can tap directly into each and every customer’s experience without chasing them on multiple channels for ubiquitous and seamless engagement.
TeleApps has the expertise to deliver relevant and personalized journeys to customers by creating engaging and consistent digital experiences for them and your business. Find out more about how TeleApps can contextualize your product and service within your target customer’s reach.