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Business and Technology Insights

Unlock your Contact Center Capabilities – Automate, Optimize, and Transform

 
August 3, 2017

Contact centers today hold immense potential to reinvent your customer experience, or CX in short. The then underplayed tele-caller centers are increasingly being turbocharged with robust technology and efficient training to increase customer loyalty and profitability.

There can be various approaches to modernizing your contact centers based on your unique business needs. What is the importance of customer service for your company? Do your products demand continual customer support? Is your product or offering an indispensable component of your customers business or everyday life? I suggest three practical stages for contact center modernization.

Stage I: Automation to improve service and cost efficiency

Stage II: Optimization to increase customer engagement

Stage III: Transformation to refine the customer experience

At the outset, automate your processes to streamline workflows, prune operational costs, and increase efficiency by using the right technology. Use self-service capabilities like chatbots for repetitive queries. User friendly phone and web menu options enable quick problem solving. Use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) channel can be the difference between keeping and losing business. Use on-demand cloud resources to consolidate your data centers and reduce real estate as well as hardware costs.

Once this first stage of automation is crossed, you can invest your time and resources into training your cost center agents. Customers want agents with high-level customer management and analytical skills, and a passion for solving problems. Needless to say, a pleasant and effective contact center experience can enhance customer satisfaction and retention. Train your agents to use social mediaextensively to solve customer problems and identify customer needs. As well as adding to their skills, keep your agents motivated and satisfied. Simplify and streamline the systems they use. Even small improvements in often-used software tools can mean big gains for the enterprise.

After optimizing your contact center agents, you are ready to transform your centers capability to make customers themselves your loyal brand advocates. In this third stage of cost center modernization, find ways to anticipate customer problems instead of simply responding to them. Use prescriptive analytics and technology solutions that use the IoT to access customer data and understand consumer behavior. Use remote diagnostics tools to enable agents to monitor equipment and reach out to customers.

To have a detailed understanding of these three stages of modernizing and transforming your contact centers into profit centers, understand the benefits arising therefrom. You can read my article Reimagining the Contact Center with Digital Technologiesin the latest edition of Perspectives, our management journal.

Baskaran "Basky" Natarajan is Global Practice Leader – Oracle CX, Enterprise Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services. An expert in Oracle’s suite of CX applications, Basky serves as a trusted advisor to TCS’ clients around the world, helping companies in all industries design and implement customer experience strategies that leverage smart technology to meet the rapidly-evolving needs of today's connected, multi-channel consumer.