According to Forrester’s Digital Rewrites the Rules of Business Vision Report: “Digital innovation is the untapped hero of customer service. A service call is an indicator of an unmet expectation. So why does it get so little airplay?” When done right, implementing new and digital technologies can reshape business processes, customer experiences, and create enduring competitive advantages. One area primed to reap the rewards of Digital Transformation is the contact center. A digitally-transformed contact center delivers substantial increases in customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, customer lifetime value, revenues and profits.
While the benefits of digitally transforming the contact center extend far beyond customer service, the road to doing so looks different for each organization. Here are five critical steps needed in order to successfully digital transform your company’s contact center.
Step #1: Deeply understand your customer preferences, goals and behaviors.
Any sort of Digital Transformation must start and end with your customers in mind. You cannot identify ways to improve business processes or identify the right emerging technologies without first understanding the needs, desires, and habits of your customers. It is important to recognize certain teams or roles within your organization that have the means and ability to build out a robust profile of who your customers are and what makes them tick. This can be anything from collecting customer feedback, to integrating existing systems and technologies.
Step #2: Identify all possible Customer Service use cases and determine the best way to enhance the Customer Experience for each.
Include every possible interaction, from the moment they engage in Pre-Sales, throughout the purchasing process, and any Post-Sales touch points. Although the focus here is the contact center, be sure to include all other customer support channels, such as self-service portals, chatbots, and social media. Also be sure to include any channels not sponsored by your company, such as third-party online forums, review sites, or users’ groups.
Step #3: Evaluate all your Customer Ssupport channels for Transformational opportunities.
The contact center does not exist in a customer support vacuum, and other channels may be equally worthy of their own independent Digital Transformations. Customers today expect to be met on the channel of their choice with a seamless experience that can allow them to move from channel to channel without compromise. This includes not only calls, but chat, text, video, in-app, and more. A useful way to evaluate your channels is to assess each using these five metrics: preferences, usability, frustration, time/effort and results.
Step #4: Automate the contact center to streamline and enhance Customer Support experiences.
The impacts of automation are being felt everywhere, perhaps nowhere more than customer service. Automation not only helps streamline the customer experience, it empowers your support agents to resolve issues faster and allows them more time to focus on critical issues. A cloud-native, data-driven support platform can not only help provide the context agents need in real-time, it can also make it possible to intelligently route interactions, making it much more likely that issues can be resolved more quickly.
For customers, smartphones present an even more transformational opportunity. Rather than limit the smartphone to voice communications only, enable the use of its powerful imaging, texting and other capabilities to enhance the conversational experience.
Step #5: Monitor and continue to Optimize and Transform your contact center operations.
This is an ongoing process with two points of emphasis: First, optimizing operations in real-time; and second, pursuing additional transformations over time. Optimization occurs by making strategic adjustments to how the contact center is operating. The additional transformations address changing needs and take advantage of emerging technologies, both of which require a foundation for meeting the customers’ current needs while setting yourself up to go above and beyond for them tomorrow.
Digital Transformations are proven to improve operations, and in doing so, improve customer satisfaction. And it bears repeating: Nowhere is the potential for improvement greater than in the contact center.
The availability of Cloud-based Contact Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) offerings now make it easier and more affordable than ever to digitally transform customer support. Operating in the cloud also makes it possible for CCaaS offerings to deliver carrier-class high availability, high performance, scalability, versatility and security.
To help get transformational initiatives off to a good start, more detailed guidance for all five steps is available in There’s only one brand experience – and it’s far reaching white paper available today.