Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented growth of outsourced contact center services. The global outsourcing market has reached US$88.9 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach US$262.2 billion by 2022 according to Statista.
This success is driven by significant cost benefit achieved in outsourcing non-core business processes, sustainable development of new generation technologies, and the enhanced and specialized services from global outsourced providers.
Having an efficient customer contact center that can provide quality value-added services to clients is imperative to make your business remain competitive and top of mind.
In selecting the right outsourcing solution for your firm, here are five important factors you’ll need to weigh carefully before you decide:
Excellence in Quality Assurance
Your business has unique value propositions and expectations in place. Your customer service team should be consistent in meeting these expectations and not lose them in the outsourcing process.
Check the provider’s proven track record of delivering outsourcing benefits and business improvements. This is the first step in qualifying a contact center provider. Verify if it has been certified for quality systems by national or international organizations.
The second step is to correlate the contact center’s performance. Ask for client testimonials and find out the industries or domains that they service. If you’re business is in the vertical markets, such as healthcare and finance, you’ll need a specialized set of requirements and premier services compared to retail. Check if the contact center assures a standard of excellence for every aspect of its services.
Effective Risk Management
Companies can incur huge losses that lead to bankruptcy due to operational failures. To protect your business from this debacle, check if the contact center provider has an effective risk control framework that can ensure absolute operational risk mitigation to maintain client confidence.
Initially, you can agree to undergo a pilot project to see if the vendor can deliver proof-of-concept. Be ready to spot critical issues that may be brought to your attention during this period, such as performance, reporting, and scalability. Analyze whether or not the outsourcing vendor is a cost effective investment. Make sure your business will not be short-changed.
Robust Capability-driven IT System
In choosing to work with an outsourced contact center, make sure that you’ll gain access to the latest cutting-edge information technology capabilities. A reliable BPO partner will remain up-to-date on best business practices and IT innovations with the aim of significantly improving your operational processes.
To ensure delivery of the highest quality of service, your strategic BPO partner should take measures to invest in a robust technological infrastructure, while your business reaps the rewards of such innovation.
The regular visits of a senior engineer from the BPO provider to your site can help ensure a clear project understanding. Likewise, visiting your outsourced service provider can give you actual perspectives.
Accurate Reports and Management Tools
It is vital to set up accurate reporting and management tools between your business and your outsourced contact center. Even if you’re not physically present in the site, you will still need to be making the key decisions or calling the big shots.
Having efficient access to all important reports enables you to clearly set up goals and metrics for your outsourced team and gives you insights into the service level at how your BPO partner is performing. Furthermore, to ensure deliverables are fulfilled, the contact service provider should be easy to reach.
A designated point of contact should be assigned to you for efficient communication for the duration of your contract.
Stable Corporate Financial Health
With changing geopolitics and economics, it is prudent to take time to look into the BPO provider’s financial health, as well as the economic status of the country where it is based. Aside from its geographical advantage, you may want to check if it has a stable financial health and positive growth potential.
Think about how your business would function cost-effectively and afford you bigger savings and profits. Assigning non-core business operations to outsourced providers has the potential to boost your core business exponentially. A reliable outsourcing provider can help you handle any scenario, whether it be ramping up or scaling back.
Too busy to keep up with your outsourcing needs? We’ve got you covered! Infinit-O is ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified and has high-performing Six Sigma Teams providing smarter business solutions and better customer relations. We offer Multi-Channel Back-Office Support services that allow your organization to respond rapidly to changing business environments, while meeting your customers’ needs consistently in a more cost effective manner. Contact us today here!
Over a decade ago, the explosion of the social media phenomenon opened the floodgates for all organizations to market their products and services for free. With the use of Facebook and Twitter, businesses were able to increase profit, improve brand visibility, and extend awareness in a global scale. Today, consumer behavior trend has dramatically shifted from using social media networks to popular messaging applications such as Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp to communicate with brands and technology. This rapidly emerging trend is known as Conversational Commerce and it is a term that refers to how organizations are utilizing automated chat bots to interact with consumers across all available channels of communications. With Conversational Commerce, the world of business has yet another ground-breaking platform to generate substantial revenue. Here is why and how.
Why Conversational Commerce Generates Revenue
To understand why Conversational Commerce is able to generate revenue for an organization, it is essential to take a closer look at two trends that are greatly fueling this emerging business concept. These trends are:
Today people are spending more time on messaging applications than social media. In fact, one of the top business and financial news websites: Business Insider, released an online article reporting how messaging apps have surpassed social media platforms and are continuing to do so with great momentum. As most individuals are now spending more time on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, business organizations are now milking this trend by developing applications that tap into these messaging platforms.
The second trend fueling Conversational Commerce is the rise of chatbots. Technology has certainly made tremendous strides in creating bots, which are artificial intelligence with machine learning and the ability to process natural language. These bots are more and more becoming ubiquitous as they are incorporated into websites and applications to deliver continuous customer service that humans simply cannot perform. With the software developing community continuously improving and enhancing these bots, organizations are now able to provide a customized customer experience unlike any before.
Due to the rise in usage of messaging applications and the continuous development of chatbots, Conversational Commerce is essentially the merging of these two technologies. It is allowing individuals to use applications to order food or book transportation while the organizations providing those services to communicate back via an intuitive messaging interface facilitated by a chatbot.
How Conversational Commerce Generates Revenue
The main goal of Conversational Commerce is to take all the functionalities of any specific application and make them all available in a conversational interface where organizations can fully interact with their consumers via a chatbot. By achieving this, an organization will have the opportunity to continuously generate a substantial amount of revenue. Conversational Commerce achieves this in many ways such as:
If an organization is already using an intuitive conversational interface where a chatbot is facilitating communications, they can program the chatbot to suggest other products or services that they may offer to online visitors. Oftentimes, consumers do not know a business’ full range of products or services. When consumers visit the website and the chatbot is able to offer the full catalogue to consumers, this could translate into a sale as the consumer may be looking for something that the organization already offers.
Another manner by which a business can generate more profit via Conversational Commerce is to use their messaging interface as an advertising platform. Whenever a person visits their website, they can program their bots to suggest the websites of their affiliates complete with description. If the website generates a lot of online traffic, a business can charge their affiliates more for advertising.
Personalized Customer Experience
It is a fact that consumers always want to feel special whenever they are engaging with a brand. Conversational Commerce allows customizing how chatbots are able to engage consumers. This can work to enhance customer engagement and may certainly lead to repeat consumers, which translates to more profit for the organization.
Identifying Target Consumers
Being an extremely intuitive artificial intelligence with machine learning, chatbots can be programmed to communicate as if human beings. They can also be programmed to identify where the customers’ physical locations are, what hobbies they have, what food they like, and what similar websites they have visited. Utilizing this data can improve the manner by which a business is able to identify their target customers.
With more than a decade of providing the best Outsourcing Solutions in the Philippines, Infinit-O has successfully partnered with many organizations that have since attained financial success in their respective industries. These organizations belong to major industries that have provided substantially for the country’s economy such as:
In today’s business landscape, consumer oriented organizations must be up-to-date with all the latest and greatest technology has to offer in order to provide the ultimate customer experience possible. When consumers contact organizations to resolve specific issues, one of the most bothersome experiences is slow customer service, which is a result of contact center agents using various Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and technology as well as having to deal with multiple consumers at any given moment. The Chatbot is a next generation Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool that allows any organization to dramatically improve customer journey tracking as this technology engages consumers intuitively. In order to ensure the best customer journey tracking, organizations should consider looking into personalizing their chatbot technology. Here is a closer look into the value of Chatbots on customer journey and how this technology can enhance customer journey tracking.
Understanding the Current Value of Chatbots on Customer Journey
It is already becoming a general consensus with most consumer-oriented organizations that if you are not developing a chatbot for your business; chances are, your company is already behind in your marketplace. For those new to chatbots, this technology is a computer program that automates customer journey by interacting with a user via a conversational interface. Chatbots meet users the moment they visit a website. They work to engage consumers by starting a conversation, providing references and ideas, as well as gathering information via intuitive questions that accurately solve customer inquiries and problems in real-time. This technology empowers your organization to create the ultimate customer journey through seamless engagement.
Personalizing Chatbots for Customer Journey Tracking
Delivering the ultimate customer journey certainly requires a personal touch where your organization must adopt an approach that helps you effectively engage, convert, and nurture consumers. Succeeding at providing the best customer experience begins with understanding what influences brand engagement. Most consumers today do their due diligence by researching online on products and services before they shop. A good percentage of these consumers already know what they want to buy before they research, therefore, it is imperative that your business is immediately able to engage consumers as they shop. Implementing Chatbot technology is an effective strategy that works to secure the early advantage at engaging consumers as they visit your website. It is also a very effective strategy to personalize your Chatbots at tracking a customer’s journey. Personalization of this technology requires various tactics such as:
Delivering high-value content
When your organization partners with Chatbot software developers, it is essential to keep in mind that people need information immediately. Chatbots are highly intuitive in the sense that they are able to search and provide useful content according to the interaction they have with consumers. When a customer sends a message to the Chatbot conversation service, the AI has the capability of using the information sent by the customer in creating a dynamic search that locates related content that gives consumers more information. When your chatbot technology is able to provide this, your consumers will get the information they want when they need it.
Addressing customer needs and wants
Another feature that your Chatbot needs to deliver is the ability to address all needs and wants of your consumers. It should automatically tap into your website’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to address the queries of your customers. In addition, they should be able to become smarter by utilizing your organization’s existing CRM initiatives with past conversations with consumers to facilitate personalized conversations with existing customers.
Speaking their language
If the goal of you organization is to target consumers on a global scale, one of the main challenges you will be facing when developing good chatbot solutions will be to create a cross-channel, multi-language chat application. This is very effective for communicating with consumers who speak a different language and is also very crucial at separating your website’s technical setup from the actual content that you show to consumers.
Tracking their behavior
Many of the most successful businesses use Chatbots to gain valuable insights on their customers and increase consumer engagement. The current technology is now able to check previous and current customer support conversations to provide better consumer engagement. Additionally, the technology is able to segment consumers on their preferences and behavior. Moreover, it allows your organization to better understand which leads are ready to buy right now and which require a little bit more persuasion.
For any consumer-oriented business, the customer is always the most important individual to satisfy. It is extremely important that your organization is able to provide them with the means to connect with your business on all channels available. With the explosion of new technology and communications platforms, it is now easier than ever for customers to choose who they do business with and when to leave for another competitor in the event that they are not getting what they are looking for. As losing customers is simply not an option for your organization, it is imperative that you are able to constantly provide the best customer engagement management that will secure new customers, retain old consumers, and retain brand loyalty to name few. To organizations looking to gain more profit and sustainability, here is why customer engagement management matters and how your organization can improve this best practice.
Why customer engagement management matters
As technology is exploding out of the woodwork, more and more businesses today are creating divisions with the sole responsibility of managing customer engagement. Organizations from industries such as healthcare, finance, contact centers, and IT are all expanding their business models by not just selling products; but services as well. Customer engagement management is all about providing solutions to your customers aside from your products. It matters tremendously because most consumers today seek a deeper connection with products from organizations that they patronize. We are currently living in a technology-driven world where people are constantly using mobile devices to accomplish daily tasks such as shopping and interacting on social media. For this simple reason, organizations should invest into bettering their customer engagement management.
How to better customer engagement management
Today’s businesses are definitely faced with a far greater complexity of channels that result in more unstructured data that needs to be managed. At the same time, consumers in this age of digital communication have become ever more demanding as they expect high-quality services within minimal response times with zero processing errors. To achieve this, your organization must improve its customer engagement management by:
Being more personal to your consumers
As a business providing products and services, it is essential to personalize customer experience by offering the right product at the right price through the right channel of communication to your consumers. You cannot afford to wait for customers to visit your website or to contact your call centers. You must be proactive in contacting your consumers by sending them personalized emails, texts, and instant messaging. In addition, you will need to create online content such as videos and presentations that show what your products and services are all about.
Being anywhere and everywhere at the same time
As customer engagement management requires your brand to be present on all channels of communication, managing each channel can become a challenge especially if the business lacks manpower. Thankfully, there is an online solution that offers “All-bound” channel management, which includes inbound and outbound channels. By utilizing this type of software, your business will be able to manage all traditional and digital channels being used.
A lot of businesses today have websites, social media presence, and even mobile applications. Having these is a great way to improve customer engagement management as you have the means to connect with consumers on all popular channels. To better manage the relationships and engagement with each and every one of your customers, you must be contextual by using all available data that exist in your organization. This includes first-party data that is combined with third-party data in order to better understand and act on the context of your customers. For this, your organization will need to use data analytics and real-time analytics software to gather data and manage the data in the context of each consumer.
Providing a continuous journey
To better communicate with consumers online, your company must establish an adaptive dialogue with each of your customers. When you communicate and with them, you must decide how to engage them based on their response, behavior, and preferences. When your customers are treated specially, they feel appreciated. This substantially improves the chances that they become repeat customers, which is essentially the end goal of providing good customer engagement management. For this, your organization will really need to consider investing on technology that supports and drives digital customer engagement.
With more than a decade of providing the best outsourced customer management services, Infinit Contact has successfully partnered with many organizations that have since attained success in their respective industries. To learn more about us, contact us here.
Modern businesses have been making the chief customer officer or CCO a staple in their lineups. Ten percent of Fortune 500 companies have included this role in their business, making it a total of 22 percent for those within the Fortune 100. One annual study reports that established brands are hiring C-level professionals to be responsible for improving the company-customer relationship and resolving their customer issues. Creating more profitable customers is also part of their job scope.
For those who are unfamiliar with the position, what is a chief customer officer? How exactly do they help a business grow and what kind of growth will they provide for the company?
What is a CCO?
By definition, the CCO is in charge of cultivating deeper relationships with the brand’s customers so that the rest are able to gain a better understanding of their customers. MarketingWeek editor Ruth Mortimer observes that this position signals how more companies are tying the marketing division “more firmly to the wider business performance” particularly through anchoring it “more firmly to the bottom line.”
This also means businesses are prioritizing their customers at a much higher level compared to before. The empowered customer wants to be seen as a brand partner and having a CCO keeps the organization under a customer-centric mindset. There needs to be someone in charge as a customer-centric organization has to be highly collaborative, according to Christine Crandell of Forbes. This collaboration will enable the brand to deliver what she describes as consistent, meaningful experiences and relationships. Customers are even more accessible thanks to social media and the Internet, so companies have to work on the points Crandell points out: “enterprise-wide transparency, proactive feedback, information sharing, and ideation and communication patterns that transcend hierarchal organization structures so teams can respond to customer expectations and quickly resolve issues.”
The CCO is in charge of leading the teams that will engage these customers. It is his or her job to train the members to listen to the customers concerns, understand what they want, and use that information to create the experience they seek in the brand. This job isn’t limited to marketing but cuts across sales, creative, product developers, and other teams within the company. While the COO handles operations and the CFO manages the money, the CCO leads all the customer-related teams towards earning the trust of customers and advocating for their needs. It’s also been observed that sales and marketing teams tend to work on different goals. The CCO will be the one to align and merge these goals together to ensure better company growth,
The CCO’s goal is to not just increase and improve customer-centricity. He or she also has to ensure that profit-related actions and growth within the organization is also aligned with what the customer is seeking from the company.
The CCO’s Rise to the Top
An EY survey reports that 73% of CCOs are confident that using customer feedback will help develop the business. This is much higher than the 58% of chief marketing officers and 68% of chief security officers in the same survey.
Understanding the customer is no longer limited to the sales or marketing department alone. IT has knowledge on the online customer response, while operations can also contribute to how the company’s processes can improve how the product or service is delivered to the customers. The CCO brings together all these concerns and more, along with accelerating growth within these departments and the entire company as a whole with the customer they serve in mind.
An example is how the Boeing Training and Flight Services division decided to reorganize according to the customer to drive company growth. According to CCO Roei Ganzarski, they realized that they needed to be more focused on their customers than ever before in order to continue growing successfully. Before the reorganization, each department was only focused on its internal goals. The finance teams were collecting payments, operations only taking care of products and services, while sales and business development teams were only fulfilling short-term revenue goals. Not one team aligned any of its goals to the customers’ holistic perspective. Ganzarski saw how the company had to change the culture so they could serve who fuels the business in the first place: their customers.
Other companies have the CCO manage the customer experience team directly and then take on an advisory or change management role for the rest of the organization. They are more focused on training and improving the customer experience team in their direct roles. But their involvement in executive management enables them to redirect long-term company goals, strategies, priorities, and budgets. In terms of growth, there are CCOs who have been promoted to chief operations officer (COO), chief executive, or as a president of a business unit. Those who have sales, marketing, finance, and customer related experience should consider gunning for this position if it’s available in their company
For businesses that have yet to have a CCO, they need to set the stage internally before hiring or promoting someone from within. If a company is considering having a CCO, it’s important for CEOs to establish an environment for them to thrive in. According to the Harvard Business Review, the CCO would need three preconditions within a company to enable overall success: a portfolio of successful projects that enable buy-in and cultural maturity in the organization, a strategic mandate that will differentiate according to customer experience, and the executive management team’s uniform understanding of what the position will accomplish for the business.
If you need to discuss customer related matters, you could tap the knowledge of Infinit-O’s customer service experts at Infinit Contact. Just like a CCO, Infinit-O understands how important customer service is in driving and increasing growth within your business. This Philippine-based company provides a variety of contact center outsourcing solutions for your customers, from inbound and outbound services to social media and even back office processing. Your customer’s needs are considered across channels and your CCO could align cost-cutting goals by outsourcing these services to an affordable but reliable company like Infinit-O.
It is a well-known fact that the Asia Pacific region is by far the most prominent provider of contact center outsourcing solutions in the world with the Philippines and India seemingly atop the list of countries. The simple reason as to why the Asia Pacific or APAC region accomplishes this with ease is because English is a predominant language in many of its countries. In fact, many American, Australian, and European companies outsourcing various services to the Philippines and India have thrived substantially in their specific industries. Because these organizations have found success of the greatest magnitude, the entire world is now looking at the region as a primary destination to outsource their services. In fact, it is safe to say that the region’s fast growing contact center market is at its peak and here are 4 examples that prove why.
New Zealand and Australia looking to gain a foothold in the Philippine Contact center market.
The Philippines has long been considered the top 2 contact center market in Asia simply because of the ability of Filipinos to speak excellent English with perfect diction and excellent command of verb tenses. Another reason is many contact center agents are college educated and have the mental capacity and patience to offer excellent customer service unlike most other APAC countries. As the United States has been long considered the largest outsourcing partner of the country in the past decade, the number of New Zealand and Australian partnering firms have been substantially growing beginning 2016. This could mean more jobs and commerce for the companies of all three countries involved.
Cloud-based contact centers looking to set up base in the Philippines.
A primary driver that is currently changing the contact center marketplace is Cloud-based Contact Center Solutions. This solution infrastructure allows any consumer-oriented organization to provide the ultimate customer experience by streamlining technology to benefit consumers. Utilizing cloud-based technology is extremely flexible and cost-effective strategy where organizations avoid spending an exorbitant amount of funds on hardware and software as well as the human resources to manage both. They also avoid allotting extra funding for maintenance and upkeep of that equipment. With Cloud-based Contact Center Solution technology, the cloud model is subscription-based, which means all hardware, software, and management is handled by the cloud provider. It also means not having to pay for things like servers, routers, and other hardware. Currently, TCN, Inc. a leading provider of Cloud-based Contact Center Solutions in Asia is looking to expand operations in Australia, New Zealand, and APAC’s very own Philippines.
Omni-channel customer service solutions being implemented in Singapore.
Most businesses today face a far greater complexity of managing their channels. This results in the accumulation of unstructured data that most organizations do not have the technology to manage. This becomes a problem for businesses striving in this age of digital communications as consumers are now becoming more demanding and expect the highest quality of services with minimal response time. Omni-channel customer service solutions are technology that combines high-level data processing and artificial intelligence such as robotics to digitally transform an organization’s data management and customer service. It allows managing data, structured and unstructured in all channels of communication via robotic process automation. This robotic technology ensures that all customer service processes are done efficiently, and more importantly; error-free. To make matters even better, the technology is able to run around the clock, seven days a week. Currently, this technology is being implemented in Singapore.
Bangkok contact center implements self-service technology with their outsourcing solutions.
Self-service Technology, otherwise known as SSTs is innovative technology that empowers consumers to experience service that is autonomous of human interference. As a lot of customer services are currently delivered through technology, consumer-oriented organizations must develop technology ideal to all the current technological platforms or mediums that consumers utilize in placing orders, making inquiries, and tracking packages among other. Another amazing benefit provided by SSTs is consumers no longer have to deal with delays in transactions. They are simply able to request, purchase, and trade assets with other entities without having to interact with a customer service representative. Through the implementation of Self-service Technology, prominent Thai contact center Advance Info Service has been able to reduce operational costs substantially in their contact centers located in Bangkok and Korat, Thailand.
For more information about contact center outsourcing, feel free to contact us here.
Customers no longer have the patience to wait before their calls get answered on a customer hotline. Apart from the wait, consumers often have to deal with dropped calls and customer service representatives who don’t really see the problem being discussed. As a result, the customer has to repeat him or herself and ends up discussing matters using a raised voice. Digital platforms offer faster and more convenient alternatives, such as talking to a chat bot, researching the solution on your own, or getting in touch with the company through social media. If a customer ends up waiting too long on the phone, they’ll end up complaining about the company’s service online for the rest of the world to read, react, and share to an even bigger audience.
According to Bromford Lab innovation coach Paul Taylor, organizations’ main problem is keeping up with customer demand in their service. The company has to be able to meet the demand for immediate and personalized service, which is something that traditional call centers don’t provide. If customers end up frustrated with that unmet demand for better customer service, they’ll worsen that brand’s reputation and consider switching to another provider in the future. Yet positive customer service experiences aren’t without their benefits. A 2014 American Express report states that three out of four consumers will spend more money on a business if they have a positive customer service experience.
Positive and personalized customer service is key to retaining and gaining new sales and profit. But given the quick updates on social media and the ease of going online, should business invest in real time customer service and completely forego the traditional form?
It’s the Customer’s Decision, Not Yours
Before anything else, companies need to recognize that customers still dictate how they want their service. So if they don’t prefer waiting for more than an hour for their call or even don’t consider this as an option, it’s time to keep up. Instead of limiting yourself to this traditional form of customer service, the business has to venture into serving customers in the social media platforms they opt for. Engaging your customers where they are will not only increase your brand’s presence but also begin that personalized relationship customers seek even on social media.
Get Real on Real Time
Don’t overextend your resources to all kinds of social media. See which channels your customers prefer to use and how often they go on these sites or apps. A thorough study will help you better understand not just the channels they prefer but also the issues they often bring up and the types of habits your customers have. From there, you’ll see which channels require more staff or a skilled staff member that can handle even the most irate and demanding online customer.
Empower the Customer
As indicated earlier, customers want to find the solutions themselves and not rely on someone else. It’s crucial to make sure the customer’s self-service options are able to answer all possible queries and clarifications. Ninety percent of customers actually expect a self-service portal and 60% see brands more positively when brands have a self-service accessible via mobile, says a Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report. Make sure you have an app that addresses this need. Don’t forget to improve your website, especially its FAQs and interface so that users can easily navigate to find the answers they need.
The Other Benefit: Collection of Real Time Customer Data
Providing customers multiple customer service channels also provides the company real time customer data. The information they give, the problems they bring up, the plans or products they avail of will enable you to make more informed decisions about serving your customer better and improving what you have to offer.
While traditional means of collecting customer data could be more comprehensive and specific, the situation poses a problem in terms of the information given. According to Harvard Business Review’s piece on real time customer insight, traditional customer information research relies on the rapid decay of customer memories. Genuine memories also end up being recalled under a positive bias. So if the customer recalls a major purchase, she will recall the experience in a positive light so that he or she will feel good about what was bought.
Internet-based data doesn’t include any of these biases. Social media captures the customer as he or she plans to address the matter. Because the concern is in real time, you’re able to read or even hear how the customer feels in that moment. There is no need to sit them down and have them recall an unreliable in the future to gather the relevant data. It’s just a matter of having the platform to gather the relevant information and render the customer data for your company’s analysis.
Given the benefits of having real time customer service, you’ll want a top notch expert to handle this endeavor. Infinit Contact offers all kinds of customer service, from social media, email support, live chat, and even an inbound and outbound call center. All these customer service platforms can work hand in hand to serve consumers whenever, wherever, and however. Outsourcing the work lets the company expand the reach rather than limit it, leaving the responsibility of taking care of every customer in the hands of an expert. By availing of the best service for your customer’s needs, you provide them that real-time service they’re after and assure them they won’t be left out in any platform or channel.
With almost all consumer-oriented businesses, establishing a strong online marketing presence is indeed a requirement especially in today’s interconnected world. In order to thrive in their respective industries, businesses must have a strong online presence, a vast consumer base, and the ability to provide the best customer journey that they are able to. Providing the best customer journey is not just about engaging consumers; it is also about giving them choices. Offering multi-channel customer solutions is one of the newer and most effective business strategies that allow consumer-oriented organizations to achieve this; however, it must be done correctly. As a business looking to thrive in your respective marketplace, should you invest in this solution?
Defining Multi-Channel Customer Solutions
In the past, many businesses lost a significant amount of customers due to their inability to offer good customer service. As customer service is an integral part of the customer journey, it is critical that you are able to attend to their needs and wants in the channels that they want to contact you. These channels include:
Voice and Telephone
As most organizations were able to offer these channels, their customer service was still considered inadequate as the channels were isolated from each other. This resulted in frustrated customers who provided information on one channel only to be required to start all over and provide it again on another channel. A multi-channel customer solution is the integration of all available channels of communications between an organization and its consumers. It is the partnership of your organization with an experienced and skilled multi-channel contact center to increase the value of all areas of your business. By leveraging the skillsets that only a good multi-channel contact center can offer, your business will be able to synchronize all cross-channel communications to give a unique customer service tailored to your consumer.
How Multi-channel Customer Solutions Work
When you partner with an experienced multi-channel contact center, your business will be able to collaborate with consumers on all channels on a real-time basis. The proliferation of all media platforms gives your consumers more control when they engage with your brand. It also allows the agents of the multi-channel contact center to align their customer service practices to your customer service strategy to provide customer service that will exceed expectations of your business and its valued consumers. With your business offering multi-channel customer solutions, consumers will be able to communicate by methods such as:
Chat online with an agent
Text a message
Email an order
Voice call an inquiry
Fax a change of address
Comment on a company’s social media profile
They can also use any mobile platform that they own to make contact about anything from delivery dates, stock availability, store locations, and store hour schedules to name a few. In addition to providing real-time multi-channel customer service, all customer interactions will be recorded into individual customer records that you can use to build strong relationships that will translate into more profit.
Is it worth Investing in Multi-channel Customer Solutions?
Many organizations have experienced hardships with the integration of multi-channel customer solutions in their customer service. One of those hardships was they lacked the infrastructure needed by this innovative technology. Another is many lacked the financial resources required in being able to secure the infrastructure required. If your business aims to provide the best customer journey possible to your valued clients, it is highly recommended to invest in multi-channel customer solutions immediately. Pooling the resources necessary at being able to implement multi-channel customer solutions will greatly benefit your organization in 2 ways.
1. Your organization is accessible on all top platforms
The implementation of this solution will allow technology to take your organization to new heights. Your brand will have its own website, a smartphone application, and social media presence among others. Having these will certainly make you more accessible than ever before.
2. Your organization will be able to align its customer service to multi-channel solutions
As many organizations have websites, social media presence, and smartphone applications, many of their consumers are still frustrated when they access these platforms. The reason is that the technology is not aligned with their customer service strategy. When you integrate multi-channel solutions in your organization, you have the opportunity to align your websites, social media, and applications to your customer service strategy. With this, you will be able to offer the best customer service possible.
The best practice in providing customer service has always been to create an exceptional customer experience. By being able to attend to the needs and wants of your consumers at real-time is an effective way of showing that you value their business. This is why investing in multi-channel customer solutions is definitely worth it.
For more information about multi-channel customer solutions, feel free to visit our services page or contact us here.
Every day, we allow technology to take the reigns in the most monotonous of tasks. From the alarm that wakes us up, reminders on our daily appointments, checking out the latest news, to interacting with our peers online, we depend on the ease and availability from smartphones, mobile apps, and constant connectivity. Automation is one major upgrade that has changed how we book hotel rooms, flights, and even ordering our food. It’s only inevitable that automation has become the disruptor to call center services.
The Inevitability of Automation
Right now, the call center industry is still employing analog systems and interactive voice responses despite the increasing dependence on digital solutions. Call centers will have to eventually upgrade as millennials, the world’s largest market, prefer self-service options over human interaction. One study showed that 72% of millennials believe a phone call isn’t the best way to resolve a customer service problem. Instead, they would opt to read FAQs, online forums, or engage in chat or bot services. This generation is much more self-reliant, removing the likelihood of more individuals requiring interactive customer service. With customers only opting to call customer service agents after or if self-service options did not provide a solution, it is the job of a call center agent to retain the customer rather than service them. Thus it’s only practical for call centers to upgrade and invest in the digital interactions that millennials prefer.
The main automation disruptors come in the form of AI and cognitive technologies. As indicated earlier, customers would prefer to discuss their issues with chatbot technologies. But apart from the customer preference for these technologies, the automated solutions are also able to keep up with the customer’s demands. A small 36% of contact centers are capable of tracking a customer’s queries across multiple channels. An even smaller percentage at 17% can easily locate the problems that lead to a negative customer experience. It would be much faster and more practical for call centers to make the most out of user-friendly online customer experiences. In fact, there is a predicted increase in the following platforms for digital channel planning this year alone: web chat going from 44.3% to 81.1%, social media increasing to 76.1%, and mobile apps rising up from 41.6% to 75.45%.
The Financial Impact
Customer satisfaction isn’t the only benefit to upgrading and opting for more automated call center services. There is still a high turnover rate within customer care centers, estimated between 30 to 45%. A single turnover comes at a minimum cost of $6,440. Other costs include recruiting new hires at $4000 up and training these agents at around $4800 or more. These costs would also rise over time and cause a serious dent on the company’s finances. Automated customer service solutions bear controlled costs. There’s no need to re-train different individuals, just simply upgrade or re-configure the software according to any new need that arises.
Addressing Customer Issues Before They Happen
Unlike current and outdated call center interactions, automation can provide an advanced level of responsiveness. One form of automation would provide pre-emptive customer services that can anticipate the needs of customers through context, preferences, and prior queries, says the 2017 Customer Service Trends: Operations Become Smarter and More Strategic Forrester report. Artificial intelligence agents would be the main technology behind this service, adding conversational interfaces to static self-service content, the report describes. The AI would monitor potential issues through the company’s website, checking for any distress indicators and identifying customer experience issues. At the same time, the system would respond as either virtual service agents in different platforms or through real-time support via FAQs.
Immediately resolving customer service problems even before they occur won’t just improve the company’s reputation and increase customer satisfaction. It would also lower customer abandonment rates during that purchasing cycle and reduce the complaints the call center would have to deal with.
Unlike human call center agents, an automated service will still be present and more than ready to take on requests and queries during holidays and extremely late hours. Your company doesn’t have to worry about having dissatisfied customers come Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Continuing to provide these services even at such odd hours and “dead” days can level up your brand’s reputation. At the same time, you give all your employees the break they need and have them return with a refreshed mindset after the long holiday.
Working Hand in Hand with Human Agents
AIs, however, won’t provide all the solutions for better and improved customer service. Call centers employ the Hybrid AI or the Agent Assist, where in a bot gets information from the customer before turning over more complex concerns to the human agent. It should be noted that majority of automated technology is still being developed and that bots have yet to achieve the empathy levels of humans. The AI would take care of simple and frequently asked questions but more complex, multi-level and situation-specific queries would still require the human agent.
Collecting Valuable Information
While a call center’s human employees are focused on empathic and complex servicing situations, the AI will also be responsible for analyzing the data gathered from all those calls and other interactions. The technology will be able to sift through all that data and see how else the call center can improve its customer interaction. The main goal of data analytics would be to see how the data can improve the company’s personalization, particularly in the products they are using or consume and how else the brand can recommend the rest of its services. Having automated technologies in your call center doesn’t just improve customer service but also helps in building the rest of your business.
Understanding What Else Automation Could Provide
The customer service industry is an entirely separate entity that most businesses outsource to save on costs. If your company wants to understand more about automation and how this disruptor can improve your business, it’s best to tap experts in both outsourcing and contact services such as Infinit Contact. Our experience includes call center and customer service outsourcing, along with social media and tech support outsourcing.
It is a fact that excellent customer service is the main goal of most consumer-oriented organizations as it is the factor that guarantees repeat customers and a continuously growing consumer base. This is why many consumer-oriented businesses believe wholeheartedly in training employees on customer service principles geared at achieving excellence. Some of them even consider the fact that excellent customer service begins way before the actual training, as it is the individual that either has the right traits or not. There are various basic qualities and characteristics customer service representatives must possess in order to interact with your organization’s most valuable asset, the consumer. These traits also define the person’s ability to become a good overall employee that strives for excellence. For organizations looking to hire only the best, here are some activities to do as well as some traits to consider when hiring the right people:
Where to Look
As a consumer-oriented organization looking to excel in your specific industry, it is paramount that you find only the most qualified candidates. To achieve this, your organization may need to consider setting aside funds to invest in placing ads on various local newspapers. Another is to place ads on the most popular and reputable online job search websites in your local country. In the Philippines, the top 3 job search websites are: JobStreet.com, JobsDB.com, and Onlinejobs.ph. These websites aid job seekers in filtering out potential employees that possess the right educational attainment, traits, and characteristics that will benefit both their specific organization and their target customers.
How to Create the Best Job Advertisement
When it comes to creating the best job advertisement on your local newspapers and online job search websites, it is essential to be clear and concise in listing required qualifications. It is even recommended to explain why your organization is unique and what makes working there interesting and worthwhile for potential employees. Too many organizations focus primarily on what they need. They seem to forget that finding the right employees is a two-way relationship that requires attracting the right employees. When your advertisement is concise and attractive, your organization will have better chances of finding the brightest and the best. In addition, your advertisement should clearly describe the job with a list of all possible responsibilities an employee must achieve. Finally, your advertisement should include information about the value of the position. When you attract people who want to be valued in the workplace, you are attracting those who will value your customers.
Traits and Characteristics of a Great Customer Service Representative
For most consumer-oriented organizations an ideal customer service representative is a people-person. This means that the representative must be comfortable engaging with other people of all background and races. When brainstorming the list of qualities that your organization requires in potential candidates, it would be a great idea to consider the qualities and traits of your best existing employees. Hiring experts recommend bringing in associates who are team players. Among the traits team players have are:
Empathizes with Others
Able to Exhibit Self-control
The 3 P’s in Customer Service Representative
When hiring potential service representatives, you may need to consider individuals who are able to cope and overcome any difficult situation that may arise when dealing with consumers. For this, you will need to consider hiring employees possessing the 3 P’s of quality traits in a good customer service representative. These 3 qualities can go a very long way in making and keeping consumers happy. These P’s are as follows:
How to Conduct an Effective Interview that will filter out only the Best Candidates
In the hiring process, your organization may want to consider tailoring its interviewing process by asking the right questions that will ascertain whether the candidates truly embody what your organization stands for. Consider each trait and characteristic that is listed on the job advertisement placed on the various newspapers and job search websites. Compose your interview questions according to these traits. An example is if you placed “Loyalty” as one of the traits. When you interview potential employees, ask them a series of questions that test their loyalty. If you listed “Problem Solver” as a trait, it is essential to give them scenarios that test their ability to solve problems under a short time period. By following the list advertised by your organization, you will be able to filter out the best potential employees during interviews.
To help you find the best people for your outsourced customer support team, contact us today here.