by Kurt Schroeder and John Seeds
Customer expectations are changing at an unprecedented rate. Contact centers that struggle to keep up with the accelerated rate of change run the risk of potentially alienating customers or losing business to their competitors. To meet the challenges posed by the modern workplace and emerging technologies, organizations should start by identifying the problems they’re facing so they can develop strategies to handle them.
Can you adapt in time to prepare your organization for what’s ahead? Here are five challenges facing the contact center today and different methods for tackling them head-on.
1. Navigating the Complex Web of Government Regulations
Customer data is an essential tool for knowing your customers and resolving their issues quickly. However, government regulations make using this data difficult since laws differ depending on your region, industry and use case.
While collecting and intentionally using data is challenging, ignoring it can have negative impacts on your CX. Organizations need to find methods for guaranteeing compliance in an automated way to reduce the burden on their team. Using data in a compliant manner is the only true solution to this challenge. By using a combination of contact center technologies and proactive policies, executives can ensure that data isn’t mishandled, and that agents still receive the valuable insights they need.
2. Overcoming Staffing Difficulties for Improved Employee Recruitment and Retention
Contact centers rely heavily on well-trained employees to provide exceptional customer service. This of course requires ample time, resources and training to best empower employees to efficiently handle customer issues. This is especially difficult when you consider the high turnover rates for customer service workers.
To reduce employee turnover, contact center executives must understand the causes of burnout and cater to the needs of a multigenerational workforce. Additionally, they should strive to hire people who are the right fit both in terms of skill and culture. This will help improve job satisfaction from the beginning and limit the loss of accrued knowledge from employees leaving. If you need help tackling this challenge, Avtex has deep expertise around contact center transformation and has studied the impact of staffing challenges on contact center performance.
Looking to overcome contact center challenges?Read our eBook
3. Managing Volume Spikes Effectively for Better Customer Experience
Spikes in volume can disrupt the normal operations of your call center. From seasonal increases in traffic to disruptions due to natural disasters and global pandemics, executives must be prepared to handle these often unpredictable fluctuations. But, due to the temporary nature of call center volume spikes, these challenges aren’t necessarily best solved by simply hiring more staff.
Instead, organizations should intelligently form a cohesive customer engagement strategy and use technology to provide customers with enhanced transparency, seamless routing and helpful, personalized, self-service options. Customers will appreciate your transparency and efforts to provide them with alternative channels they may not know exist.
Investing in new strategies and technologies is equally beneficial for your team. The evolution of the modern workplace, catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, led to many workforces becoming decentralized, empowering agents to work remote. With a streamlined, automated omni-channel agent experience, can agents have the information they need right at their fingertips, and are able to provide “wow” experiences to customers at every interaction.
4. Mitigating the Effects of Rapid Change on CX
Companies are evolving now more than ever, and many have changed more in the last year than in the previous five years. This evolution has been accelerated by the pandemic, and many large organizations like Microsoft and Google have shifted to prioritizing remote work. Employees now expect work-from-home options, and value the flexibility to accommodate their unique circumstances.
Contact centers are no exception. To succeed, they must adapt to changing employee needs while making their business more flexible and customer centric. Cloud tools can help your business unify agent software and provide detailed analytics that show how their team is performing. Additionally, these tools can empower agents with data collected across the customer journey to increase successful call resolutions and shorten call time.
5. Optimizing the Pre-Agent Experience
Automated systems will never completely replace voice. This is a truth that the customer service industry must accept to design IVRs that actually help customers. Ensuring that your customers feel known, helped, and valued is critical to providing exceptional CX, and situations will always exist that require a human touch to solve customer problems.
When organizations accept that they shouldn’t get rid of voice, they can design IVR as a supplement that helps prepare customers for interactions with agents, provides answers customers can’t find via an FAQ, and correctly routes calls to agents without frustrating the caller. Don’t let IVR feel like a barrier to speaking with an agent – turn it into a helpful tool that helps your brand provide exceptional experiences.
Ready to build stronger pre-agent customer experiences?Watch our webinar
You Don't Have to Overcome These Challenges Alone
It’s likely you’re feeling the pressure of these industry challenges. Fortunately, by putting customers and employees first, you’ve already taken the first step on your way to solving these challenges. Our newest e-book, Resolving Contact Center Challenges for Hyper-Engaged Customers, discusses these challenges in more detail and provides tips for how you can solve them.
We are here to help. Our team at Avtex has deep expertise in transforming customer experience through strategic design and technology orchestration. We are dedicated to helping businesses use the right tools and tactics to overcome customer experience challenges. Consider us your partner along every step of your customer experience transformation journey. If you would like to discuss how you can turn CX challenges into your competitive advantage, set up a conversation with one of our experts today.