How a Contact Center Helps Improve Customer Experience
Above all else, the customer experience is king. You certainly need a great product or service. Still, customers will make decisions based on experiences if all other things are equal. As a result, this has a substantial impact on your business! One of the best ways to improve it is by implementing a contact center. SMBs can benefit from establishing a team and using technology to manage it, track customer interactions, and continuously improve.
If your goals include making changes to elevate customer experiences, you’ll want to learn about what a contact center is, why it is important for SMBs, and how to establish one effectively.
What Is a Contact Center?
A contact center describes a department or team that handles customer interactions across various channels. Those include voice, email, chat, social media, and other options customers have to contact a business.
While the term is often interchangeable with call center, they are different. A call center is only for inbound and outbound calls. Most organizations moved to a contact center to enable an omnichannel approach to meet the needs of their customers.
Why Should SMBs Have a Contact Center?
Does an SMB really need a contact center? The short answer is yes, especially if customer experience is something you consider a differentiator. It could actually be a competitive advantage to have one, as it demonstrates your commitment to customer needs. However, that investment doesn’t need to be substantial. What you need are people, processes, and technology.
Your SMB can benefit from a contact center for several reasons:
- Customer support has ownership: If no one has this responsibility, then customers can quickly become frustrated. To avoid this, a contact center ensures there’s a point of contact.
- Customers have access to experts: Some SMBs outsource customer support or don’t have it at all. With a contact center, your customers can interact with professionals that know your business, products, and services. There’s no runaround — just answers and help.
- Contact centers enable better productivity: If everyone plays the role of customer support, then they may not get to their actual duties every day, which can cause lots of problems. With a dedicated team, your people can focus on their work.
- Responses are consistent: With a contact center, you train people to respond in specific ways. They also continue to learn as new questions arise. Without this structure, the information provided to customers may be inconsistent and inaccurate.
- Insights from contact center interactions can be good for business: Because you’re tracking these communications, you can glean vital information from your customers. That may inform how you communicate in the future or design your products.
Of course, the biggest benefit of all is how a contact center improves the customer experience.
How Does a Contact Center Improve the Customer Experience?
By deploying technology like contact center software, you can reimagine the customer experience. Doing so could turn negatives into positives, earn you customers for life, and make a customer’s day a bit easier. Here’s how to do it well.
Know Your Customer
Customers appreciate it if you know something about them, especially if they’ve been one for a long time and had other interactions. While you can’t magically know who’s calling or emailing you, contact center software that integrates with a CRM (customer relationship management) tool gives you a good backstory.
Having access to this gives your contact center employees context. They can start the conversation by mentioning past calls or referencing the product or service they purchased. Such genuine interactions can go a long way in building trust.
Get the Customer to the Right Person
Even small businesses may have product specialists in a contact center. Routing calls to the right person the first time saves time and makes things less exasperating for customers. By using IVR (interactive voice response), callers can enter information that puts them in the correct queue.
It makes the entire process more efficient. Customers don’t get passed around, and your agents can be more productive.
Learn from Your Data
Contact center platforms have robust analytics capabilities. You can look at various metrics to gauge customer experiences beyond surveys they answer post-interaction. These include agent and queue performance, first-call resolution, talk time intervals, and daily transfers. You can eventually see patterns that may be the cause of bad experiences.
For example, if you see a correlation between longer call times relating to a specific issue, that could mean your agents need more training. You could also be proactive and add these repeated questions to an online knowledge base. Or, if hold times and call volume are higher at some times of the day, you can staff up to reduce wait time.
Make It Easy for Customers to Connect
Having a contact center and integrating all channels — voice, email, chat, social media, etc. — is another way to create better experiences. Many no longer want to interact by phone, so businesses needed to adapt to make it easy for their customers. You, in turn, provide an easy way to manage with omnichannel routing.
Customers use their preferred channel, and there’s no need for multiple applications to keep up with this.
Enable Contact Center Customer Experiences with the Right Tools
Contact center customer experiences can be positive, creating lifelong customers. To optimize these interactions, you’ll need a robust, affordable, and easy-to-scale solution. Learn more by reading our guide on choosing the best contact center software.