To improve customer experience is the supreme objective for every contact center. But our industry is changing fast. Customer needs are evolving and client requirements are shifting from a transactional focus towards quality and value. Players in this industry need to adapt quickly, but changes need to be implemented with a holistic strategy. So far, many companies in the sector are struggling to define and implement a consistent approach.
To analyse the situation more deeply, Damovo, a leading provider of enterprise Information Communication Technology (ICT) services and solutions, conducted a survey in collaboration with the research and consulting firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC). For the study, contact center executives and managers from related subject areas were interviewed at this year’s Call Center World (CCW2014) in Berlin.
Transcom, as a recognized high-quality service provider, contributed to the study. Innovation, agility and best practice implementation are some of the most important things our clients say that they expect Transcom to bring to their customer service organizations. In this context, it is also important for us to collaborate with leading providers of enterprise ICT services and solutions.
Let me give you some details about the study. Five fields of action for modern and sustainable contact centers were identified, and respondents assessed the current situation in terms of these key areas:
- Strategic integration and cooperation
- Social media integration
- Knowledge management and exchange
- Performance Management
- Customer focus
More than three quarters of the respondents rated “Knowledge management and exchange” among the top three areas with the greatest need to modernize. “Strategic integration and cooperation” came next, followed by “customer focus”.
It is indisputable that customer focus is still crucial for every contact center, and the trend is towards an increasing importance of knowledge management and exchange. This result should come as no surprise, as knowledge management and exchange is fundamental for companies that offer customer contact services. And it becomes ever more important, as solutions become more complex and diversified.
The extract below, from an expert talk with PAC in March 2014, illustrates how Transcom is trying to improve processes with the help of reliable quality management and intelligent analysis methodologies:
‘Classical outsourcing doesn’t work in Contact Centers any more. Future trends move towards complete solutions with a clear focus on customer satisfaction. Important pillars of our model to cope with these trends are reliable quality management and intelligent analysis methodologies. This way we are able to identify ways to optimize and work on improved processes together with our clients.
Our clients actively participate in and contribute to this approach. This has for sure been supported by our early positioning as a quality service provider. In my role I solely service clients who are interested in reliable, long-term improvements of their customer contacts.’ (Hans-Rainer Michels)
For Transcom, and the industry at large, there is another field that is gaining quickly in importance: Social media integration. Gartner predicts that non-voice services will overtake the voice channel (phone) in 2016 or 2017, with the highest growth in the web, chat, SMS and mobile app channels.
Our clients use plenty of channels to communicate with their customers. A classic contact center is mainly responsible for e-mail and phone support. But nowadays many customers prefer to communicate on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In some projects, Transcom manages the Facebook account of the products and services we support. There are agents that are only responsible for answering these online requests.
The customers are satisfied because they expect to be able to resolve their issue via the channel of their choice. Our clients are satisfied that they can hand over the responsibility to deal with their customers’ requests on social media networks. This form of communication can be delicate and it requires professional skills. In the end, this open dialogue and intensive exchange leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The overall results of Damovo’s study are sobering. Most contact center executives recognize the need for change, but it’s not strategically implemented in many organizations. If you are curious to find out where weaknesses still exist and how to eliminate them, you can download the study (in German) here.
I am glad that Transcom has recognized the risks and opportunities of the sector and is setting its priorities accordingly. Our share of non-voice services has increased significantly in the last year, and we expect this trend to accelerate. Transcom helps clients who want to provide a consistent customer experience that can move seamlessly across voice and non-voice channels as the customer requires.