Is your contact center ready for today’s demanding customers? Answer these seven questions and find out.

 

shoretel contact centerWhen Amazon, FedEx and Apple battle it out with their competitors, they rarely spotlight their product features as their primary weapon. Instead, they go to the front lines determined to deliver the best possible customer experience at every touch point. A customer-first strategy has paid off for these companies, as each ranks among the top 10 in the 24/7 Wall St. and Zogby Analytics’ 2015 Customer Service Hall of Fame.

Exceptional customer service, as doled out by these leading businesses, is highly desired by customers and will be a decision-making factor in the coming year and beyond. According to Gartner, 89 percent of companies believe that customer experience will be the basis for competition in 2016. Customers are more discerning than ever, and the contact center is often their first touch point.

Does your customer support team have the technology needed to deliver exceptional service? Answer the seven questions below to find out:

  1. Can customers choose how they want to communicate with agents? Picking up the phone is often a first choice among customers, but it’s not always their preference. Many want to text, engage in a web chat, send an email or post a comment on social media. Letting customers choose their preferred channel is an easy way to start a positive conversation.
  2. Are agents using screen pops? Screen pops give agents immediate access to valuable customer information. When someone calls into the contact center, a screen pops up that is automatically populated with purchase history and personal information from the CRM. Agents can respond more quickly to questions, and there’s no need for customers to re-state their stories with each call. These personalized interactions go a long way toward erasing the anonymity that many customers feel when contacting an organization.
  3. Can agents work from anywhere and from any client or mobile device? There’s a world of talent to be hired out there and your organization’s geographic location shouldn’t limit your reach. Many successful contact centers allow agents to work from home and from their own laptops or mobile devices. When an organization hires the best agents with the best skills and lets them use the devices they prefer, they typically have a staff full of overachieving agents who earn glowing customer reviews.
  4. Is your IVR up-to-date and relevant? The best IVRs guide customers to the information they want quickly. When an IVR is stale and out-of-date, it can frustrate callers and waste their time. IVRs can be customized to answer customers’ most frequent questions and address seasonal activities. Providing useful information makes customers feel like someone is listening to them—even when they never talk to an agent.
  5. Can you customize your apps and contact center suite to meet your unique needs? The most customer-centric companies are always coming up with ways to better serve their customers. To support those new ideas, the contact center must have options to customize and tweak processes and apps as needed. Today’s fickle customers are quick to move to a new service or product. Having the flexibility to respond quickly to changing needs and expectations will keep customers loyal to your brand.
  6. Can you adapt to volume changes in real-time? The first priority for a good customer experience is to get callers off hold ASAP. Real-time reports tell you what you need to know about adding staff, changing campaigns, average resolution times and more. Instead of reacting in days, you can react in minutes or hours, thereby improving service in the moment versus after the fact.
  7. Does your contact center solution provider discuss the latest industry innovations and technology advancements? If your provider is more focused on upgrades and seat licenses than the latest trends and technical advancements, you need to change the discussion. The dynamic contact center market is moving fast, so it’s important to partner with an innovator that brings you fresh ideas and thought leadership. Having these future-looking discussions will keep your contact center from falling behind and losing customers due to bad experiences.

 

If you answered YES to all the questions, your team is well on its way to having the resources that enables a premium, long-lasting, positive experience. Four-to-six YES responses rate you as average in the customer-centric category; less than three means there’s a good chance you are losing more customers than you realize.

                     If you’re looking to improve, learn more about ShoreTel Connect.Learn more about brilliantly simple business phone systems at our website.

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