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Where is the Customer Contact Centre going in 2015?


In an increasingly competitive world just meeting customers’ expectations is no longer going to cut it. 2015 can be a great year for the customer contact centre, for companies that exceed customer expectation. It’s time for companies to rethink their servicing strategies, by putting more focus on the customer experience and going digital. Investment in customer experience innovations are in the increase and the employee is becoming as important as customer experience, if not more. 24/7 service is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to remain competitive. In this article I will delve into 4 key trends every company should be acting on in 2015.

1. Customer Experience – The Year of the Customer

This year is set to be dubbed “The Year of the Customer.” 75% of companies recognise service as a competitive differentiator. Expectations continue to increase, in particular a demand for personalised and customised service and a seamless customer journey across communication channels. This expectation is driven by the standards set by leading brands, social channel development, the increase of Millennials in the market and technology. Gartner predicts that by 2017, 50 percent of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovation. Customer experience design, customer journey mapping and solution testing is becoming more critical in identifying the gaps and improving the customer experience. Competitiveness is no longer only dictated by cost. Brand loyalty is playing a much larger role. In the Year of the Customer, customer experience is the ultimate way to attain a customer for life.

2. The new reality – Every Customer is a Digital Customer

10 years ago there was no web chat, smart phone apps, social media and very little email. Today, digital interactions account for over 35% of all interactions, and at the current rate will overtake voice in two years’ time. Yet, according to Dimension Data’s Global Benchmarking report, 57% of contact centres have no capability in this area. Customer service in contact centres is undergoing a transformation, so contact centres have to change to meet the challenge. Digital is here to stay! Organisations have to adopt new technology and innovative delivery models to remain relevant and competitive.

3. The Employee Experience is as important as the Customer Experience

Companies leading the way in customer experience in 2015, will prioritise their culture and their people. More motivated employees provide better customer experience, which attracts and retains consumers.

Employee engagement traditionally sits with Human Resources, while the customer experience is the responsibility of marketing and customer service. More and more companies are realising the importance of these departments working together to ensure employee engagement and ultimately enhancing the customer experience. Connecting employee engagement with customer experience needs to be an organisational-wide approach.

The employee experience not only affects the customer experience, but more and more companies are using the voice of the employee to enhance customer feedback and drive improvement.

4. The right time is all the time and immediate

Customer service game changers don’t work office hours. Customers control how and when they want to reach you in the palm of their hand and they expect to find the answers and resolutions they need immediately. 24/7 customer service support is becoming a non-negotiable, and how fast you respond is just as important. I recently read an article mentioning that 53% of customers, who pose a question on Twitter, expect a response within an hour…and 72% expect resolution in an hour if it’s a complaint.

Technology is making this much easier for companies. In our centres we use intelligent routing capabilities and cloud based technologies to move calls between our centres. Our centres have been strategically selected to cover all time zones. Allowing us the ability to offer seamless 24/7 coverage improving the customer experience, but at the same time address agent satisfaction and reducing operating costs by limiting overnight shift.

The 4 key trends I have highlighted are not new trends, but their relevance and importance are growing rapidly. Customer experience, Digital, employee experience and 24/7 accessibility will continue to impact, drive and change the Customer Contact Centre in 2015 and beyond. Companies left behind, will no longer be relevant, and will struggle to compete, as traditional industry norms become obsolete. The customer is driving this evolution, so don’t get left behind.

Author: William Pattison | 27 Februar 2015