March 7, 2022
Is your customer contact operation a cost center, rather than an important contributor to business and revenue growth? If so, it’s time to consider a change. Companies that invest in building top-tier call centers – with advanced technology and well-trained people – understand that providing an excellent customer experience (CX) helps the bottom line.
The customer contact center is a primary point of engagement between the enterprise and its customers, whether B2B or B2C. It’s as much an operational service as a strategic asset, key to driving both customer loyalty and brand goodwill.
Research shows that:
- Almost three-quarters of customers agree that customer experience helps to drive their buying decision.
- There is an 80% increase in revenue for businesses that focus on improving customer experience, and businesses that prioritize customer experience have a revenue increase of 4 to 8% higher than competitors.
- 60% of customers say they trust product reviews that come from friends, family and other customers.
- 89% of consumers have moved to a competitor following a poor customer experience with a brand.
Changes in customer interactions
The last couple of years accelerated changes that were already underway in the way customers want to interact with a business.
In the thick of the pandemic, as the load on call centers and hold times significantly increased, customers became more interested in options to help them resolve their queries more efficiently. This has led to a marked rise in companies’ providing self-service CX to simplify customer journeys. They also are striving to create streamlined digital experiences using natural language processing, conversational artificial intelligence (AI), and voice and facial biometrics, to name a few.
For more complex processes, such as refunds, billing, complaints, loan applications, overdrafts, etc., many customers still prefer to be assisted by a qualified, empathetic agent -- an agent who is empowered with sophisticated tools and technology that enables them to service customers better. An enterprise that empowers their agents with tools to quickly access knowledge and produce consistent, accurate responses is the ideal outcome. We have all been in a “computer says no“ scenario, haven’t we?
Don’t let your customers’ experience suffer
“The most successful companies spend more on their call centers and have the highest measured success – including increased revenue, decreased costs and improved customer ratings – when using advanced technologies in their CX initiatives,” according to Metrigy Research.
But companies may have to contend with the fact that brittle legacy IT infrastructure makes it difficult for them to innovate to the degree they would like to. With so much focus on everything as a service, organizations that want to move their contact center capabilities forward may want to consider “experience as a service.”
DXC offers that capability, with a comprehensive suite of end-to-end contact center outsourcing solutions that brings together advisory expertise, global operational delivery capabilities and technology delivered in a cloud as-a-service model. We provide the next-gen capabilities, data backbone, industry blueprints and hybrid machine/human global workforce needed to improve customer experiences, while dramatically increasing efficiency and lowering costs. We have thousands of contact center agents across multiple locations around the world, serving hundreds of customers.
We seamlessly weave together people, technology and processes to deliver the optimal customer experience. Technology and processes are critical, of course, but companies sometimes forget that the people side of the CX is incredibly important. Agents must be able to demonstrate empathy for customers.
I am a judge at the Customer Experience Awards based in London, and I recall a story from one agent who worked at a well-known bank. She took a call from a customer who was clearly in a distressed way - the customer’s baby was crying in the background and she had called the bank to resolve some last minute matters before she returned to work after her baby’s birth. The matters were resolved and the agent, who clearly had her emotional intelligence “switched on”, AND who was empowered by her employer to “make magic happen” (as they term it), decided to send the lady flowers a week later saying simply “I hope your first week at work is going well - from your Bank”.
This agent turned the contact center from a cost center into a value center, and good news travels so fast. I wouldn’t be surprised if that customer told this story to friends and family, building the bank’s reputation in their eyes, and I also would guess that she’ll look to that bank first when she needs a new financial service.
You can’t buy that kind of goodwill and loyalty – which are incredibly valuable to stay competitive and differentiate in your market – but you can build it by providing a great customer experience.