Is Your Contact Centre Equipped to Handle the Impact of COVID-19?

COVID-19 has accelerated the integration of digital and knowledge services and has forced enterprises to redesign their CX strategy. Personalization, Self-Service and Customer 360 are the new trending words making rounds and trying to fit themselves into The Customer Service Experience. 

But, the Best Customer Service is still the one that exactly fits the needs of your customers.  

We have prepared a list of actionable and practical To-Dos you need to tick to provide your customers with stellar Customer Experience and ready you for the contact centres of 2025 :  

          1. Workforce Empowerment 

In today’s times when remote work has all of us struggling, it’s important to make sure your agents are not overworked and remain engaged to provide the right support to your customers.

As the landscape of customer service is changing, the roles of customer agents are changing too.

It’s important to note that agents are no longer just for opening-closing cases, instead, they are addressing each customer on a personal level and treating each interaction the way a customer demands. Agents serve as the bridge between your customers and your enterprise; thus, it is necessary for enterprises to include their agents while developing new business processes. 

Not to be forgotten, the contact centres will remain the epicentre of all interactions with customers but the agents will become the knowledge workers. Agents should be the brand ambassadors of your business and receive assistance from these innovative technologies to be highly successful. 

When enabled by technology, agents will create connections with customers to create loyalty and eventually drive revenue.

          2. Knowledge-Centered Services

COVID-19 has disrupted the customer experience space and the ticket volumes for enterprises continue to surge. Your customers are looking for quicker resolutions and aren’t willing to wait long hours. There is no better time to invest in Knowledge-Centered Self-Service Solutions. 

Most organisations have vast amounts of intangible knowledge assets such as FAQs, product information, but making them easily accessible to customers and human agents can be tedious, especially in a crisis. Knowledge Management Softwares will help in curating, maintaining and organising a centralised repository for your company’s knowledge assets and ensure operational continuity. (Read more here)

With Knowledge-Centered Self Service, customer satisfaction will skyrocket as queue times come down and your human agents can serve multiple customers at the same time. 

          3. Omnichannel Support 

You may be dealing with customers who have been financially hit by COVID, and want seamless digital and touchless experiences.

However, as consumers, we all have become accustomed to disjointed multichannel experiences and enterprises trying to find a one-size solution that fits all. In reality, businesses consist of multiple touchpoints- e-mail, Whatsapp, social media, etc..

Just like consumers, enterprises have also been impacted financially. It is thus necessary that consumers have a seamless, unified, and connected experience across all these touchpoints for you to stand out.

Recent research by Hubspot found that all consumers use an average of 3 channels to contact their service providers. 

Omnichannel Integration

The following chart gives a detailed analysis of the different channels your customers would most likely reach out to you on:

Omnichannel Software

An omnichannel centre would enable agents to switch flawlessly between channels and provide a uniform experience across them continuously. 

          4. Data Understanding and Personalization

There is a glut of customer data coming in through different channels at all times. This data is redundant if you can’t leverage it to enhance your business processes. 

All relationships have an emotional component- and that’s certainly true for customers and brands as well. Your customers expect a personalized experience now more than ever across all your touchpoints. Intelligently routing them to the right agent, giving VIP status and ensuring they don’t have to repeat themselves are becoming the norm.

This is possible by leveraging and merging all previous conversations and providing meaningful insights to your agents. 

          5. Frontend Automation and AI

The use of AI in customer service may currently be nascent but a recent Gartner report suggests that 40% of the leading organizations plan to deploy AI solutions by the end of 2020. 

Omnichannel Integration

The goal of incorporating AI in your day-to-day business is to augment human agents and automate business processes to save up on time and resources.

As the world is impacted by the pandemic, it’s important to let AI-enabled services like chatbots take the reign and direct incoming queries to the right human resources. 

Frontend automation will improve personalization by routing your customers to the right agents. 

Gartner predicts that by the end of the year, 85% of all low value, high-frequency conversation interactions will be handled by bots.

          6. Business Intelligence and Analytics

As contact centres are becoming remote, CX leaders are no longer able to ‘walk the floor’ and gauge the success of their strategies and performance of their employees. They must rely highly on business analytics- performance, workforce management, SLAs, customer satisfaction, sales and more to ensure maximum throughput.

That’s not all. The capabilities of ML-powered data and speech analytics are passing the standard norms. According to a survey, 66% of call centre businesses are looking forward to investing in Advanced Analytics to provide a better customer journey.

The correct storytelling of your data will help improve your business processes exponentially and is vital to your enterprise’s growth.  

Companies are further looking into investing in BI tools such as predictive analysis, sentiment analysis, and speech analysis to automate your customer data and provide a more unified, personalized customer experience.

While we can’t control a crisis, it is in our hands to control how we make the best out of a bad situation. The coronavirus crisis has put a spotlight on enterprise’s problem areas and forced CX leaders to re-strategise. We feel following the above practices will help you shape your contact centres and grow exponentially even amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Author Icon
Maitri Taneja