There is a fundamental shift underway in how consumers interact with businesses. According to research from Ovum on consumer preferences for customer service, the use of email, web chat, web self-service, social media, mobile and SMS for customer service have more than doubled in the past two years. And, they expect these conversations to continue, at the same time consumers rely upon picking up the telephone to call an agent to resolve the same issue.
What’s the secret to interacting with your voice customers with emerging customer preferences across social, mobile and web?
New Channels = New Challenges
Companies now have an opportunity to better engage customers through a variety of communications channels and devices. These new opportunities come with significant challenges, as individual voice, web, mobile and social channels require different technologies, processes, and resources. For example, companies need to meet the needs of cross-channel customers that often seek resolution online, and then jump to traditional phone channels – for the same problem – when their initial needs are not met.
The Fastest Path May be in the Cloud
The findings from Ovum illustrate that every customer-centric company needs to support any channel demanded by their customers. This means that companies need to rapidly bolster their existing contact center infrastructures to support and compliment emerging web, mobile and social channels. And, a cloud-based contact center may make the most sense for many businesses. Using a cloud-based contact center gives companies a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to fine-tuning customer support strategies across multiple channels. For example, you can try out a new channel like chat or social media for a specific subset of customers and learn what works well alongside your traditional voice channel in a matter of weeks.
The Three Secrets in the Cloud
Cloud contact center solutions are rapidly helping companies engage customers across voice web, social and mobile channels. While there’s a lot to be excited about, there are three secrets to maximize your business effectiveness in the Cloud:
- Rip down conversation silos: Most companies have initially invested in their voice contact center – which is still the bread-and-butter of most customer relationships. Make sure that these voice customer interactions can now cross web, mobile and social interaction channels so you can create the ideal customer experience though one conversation. And, these interactions should be managed by one – not multiple – organizations.
- Leverage best practices: Why start from scratch? As you integrate your many channels in the cloud, ensure that your new cloud contact center can leverage best practices and experiences from similar businesses.
- Make sure you can measure service levels. You’ll need good metrics to evaluate the affect of a channel on the customer experience as well as your own efficiency. Analytics + insights = great cross-channel management in the cloud.
A cloud contact center delivery model means that you have the flexibility to integrate your voice and non-voice channels into a seamless customer conversation that includes context, history and all customer data. And because it’s delivered from the cloud, you can put the right people onto the task, no matter where they’re located.
For more information on the Ovum research and a discussion of strategies, download the Ovum white paper, Best Practices for Deploying a Contact Center in the Cloud. And, find out more about Genesys Connect for Service Cloud.
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