Making the Shift to the Next-Gen Customer Care

Daisy Chittilapilly, VP, Sales, Cisco India and SAARC

It would be no exaggeration to say that the customer care market is undergoing a major transition. How customers choose to interact with companies is changing substantially, and businesses of all sizes are challenged with providing customer care in the manner in which customers wish to be served.

The explosion of the social web – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is prompting consumers worldwide to engage in an ever-increasing number of online conversations and interactions, where they often talk about the companies with which they do business. There is also a marked increase in the number of consumers who use mobile device based video to interact with various organizations.

Customer interactions have moved beyond simple phone transactions, and in response the traditional contact center has evolved into a 'customer interaction network' where speed, efficiency, and accuracy are paramount. Leading-edge organizations utilize a variety of media channels including voice, chat, Web, email and video to deliver content-rich, consumer-centric experience that ultimately and measurably improve client satisfaction.

Solutions that integrate traditional contact center functions with video, enterprise social software, and business intelligence help to tie all pieces of customer collaboration together and deliver on client expectations while improving internal communication, collaboration and efficiency.

By adopting such solutions it is possible to:

  • Increase responsiveness and reduce query resolution time
  • Minimize contact center costs
  • Deliver powerful self-service solutions that will enhance the consumer experience
  • Deploy a new generation of flexible, customer-centric applications to establish an IP-based customer interaction environment
  • Provide personalized service through unique client-centric experiences
  • Virtualize resources within the organization, both people and applications, so that clients are connected to the right resource wherever they may reside

Collaboration is in: Next gen contact centre

Collaboration applications and technologies like unified communications (UC), provide anywhere, anytime, any device access to content on any platform, thereby allowing employees to stay connected seamlessly, share knowledge faster and increase productivity. A converged IP-based networked communications platform is a growing business priority because UC is helping companies achieve compelling benefits.

Adopting a broader network-based approach along with managed services and cloud technologies helps upgradability and modularity of products while ensuring that organizations better utilize their staff. This is because a typical modern IP-based contact centre runs over an organizationÂ’s converged voice and data network and facilitates the complex handling of customer calls as well as other forms of customer communication such as, email, instant messaging and web collaboration.

Enterprise solutions that allow integration of inbound and outbound voice applications with internet applications such as real-time chat, web collaboration, and e-mail support multiple interactions simultaneously regardless of which communications channel the customer has chosen. Unified solutions are capable of performing sophisticated interactive customer management operations, provide data in rich interfaces and also lower the pressure on employees while solving client queries.

With the adoption of newer technologies, and blending of various communication channels, contact centers not only improve their delivery standards, but also upgrade internal communication, collaboration and efficiency. Certainly, this is a win-win situation, since the consumer is satisfied and the employee is relieved of unwanted pressure. Services organizations additionally benefit from consolidated, centralized infrastructure offerings that bring significant maintenance and management savings.

The near-term priority for most organizations seems to be Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), cloud computing, shared services and more selective outsourcing. In their quest for improved efficiency contact centers are likely to rethink

  • Organization structure
  • Customer interaction and experience strategy
  • Relationship management architecture, that is robust and flexible to solve problems across platforms
  • Feedback assimilation process

The key to success is to maintain a relationship management architecture that is adaptable, flexible and modular, aligning the client processes with the available resources and platforms.

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