Customer values and priorities are shifting. Today, customers place greater value on the total brand experience, which involves more than just the product and its cost. This shift has made customer service more important to businesses than ever before. In fact, Gartner estimates that poor customer service is costing U.S. businesses over $75 billion in lost revenue every year. The time has never been more critical for businesses to look inward and identify how they can transform the customer service being provided by their contact centers in order to outpace the competition and build brand loyalty.
For most businesses, marketing and customer service are separate parts of the organization. Marketing does, however, stand to benefit substantially from the valuable customer feedback and data contact centers can collect, giving it both a reason for and a role in enhancing customer service.
Read More: Why Tone is Everything in Marketing!
The Digital Contact Center
Enhancing the customer experience involves making changes at both ends of the conversation. For support teams, intelligent customer service platforms provide the customer context and automation needed to improve both customer satisfaction and agent effectiveness. For customers, empowering them to leverage their smartphones helps further streamline and otherwise enhance the experience.
Contact-Center-as-a-Service (CCaaS) platforms securely access the wealth of data available about customers, products, common issues, agent expertise, contact center activity, and more. These data-driven insights make it possible to route each call more intelligently to the agent who is best able to resolve the issue without having to transfer customers or put them on hold.
As more companies of all sizes and industries turn to CCaaS platforms, customer expectations are evolving. According to Microsoft’s 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report, two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed expect a customer service agent to know their contact information, product information and service history as soon as they engage.
The Multimedia Service Experience
The smartphone has become the device of choice for all forms of communication. Having a product or service that is optimized for a mobile experience has become a critical factor for customers when deciding which products and services to purchase. In fact, Microsoft found that more than half (52 percent) of respondents in the U.S. already had a more favorable view of brands that offer mobile-responsive customer service.
People communicate with each other today through multiple modes: Voice, Text, Images, Video, and more. In many cases, using multiple forms of media during each conversation. The way customers interact with support agents should be no different.
For example, customers can be presented with a list of recent purchases to select the one with the problem, and then be presented with a choice of available self-service options. Details can be gathered via text prompts during wait times. Images can be uploaded to substitute for the proverbial 1000-word description. Customer identities can be verified by fingerprints or facial recognition. A shared browser can enable customers and agents to interact online as they talk. The potential is limited only by the imagination.
Sales & Marketing’s Role
The arrangement with the contact center is a two-way street, with sales and marketing getting an ongoing stream of valuable data, and in return, needing to provide some existing data as input to the CCaaS platform.
The direct, daily contact trained agents have with customers provides an ideal means for gathering valuable data to better understand market needs and trends, identify new opportunities, inform sales and marketing campaigns, and more. This direct, indirect and inferred feedback on customer experiences and perceptions is certain to make messaging and marketing campaigns more effective.
As for the existing data sales and marketing organizations have, the more that can be made available to the CCaaS platform, the better the results, including more satisfied customers. This includes utilizing information from a CRM for hyper-personalization. Marketing usually has data that characterizes customers with buyer personas or other measures, and may have how-to and troubleshooting information.
The mobile and cloud revolution has made it easier than ever for organizations of any size to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies, including platforms being offered as services. With the cloud, large organizations get virtually unlimited scalability, and smaller organizations get a complete solution without needing to hire and retain a staff of experts.
If your business stands to benefit from making the contact center a competitive advantage, take the initiative to start a conversation with the customer service organization about the win/win potential afforded by cloud native and mobile first CCaaS platforms.
Read More: Why Tone is Everything in Marketing!