Do you know the story of the 2 AM customer? Let’s hear it.
It was 2 AM on a typical Sunday. A customer needed urgent help from a business. He had recently purchased their marquee product but was having some issues with it.
He looked up the business website and called their customer help care. An automated message greeted him, telling him that the business representatives would reach out to him on Monday.
Flustered, he shot off a series of panic emails to the customer care email. He received an automated reply, asking him to wait for 48 hours for the resolution of his issue.
That was it. The customer decided he had enough. He immediately went over to another brand website and purchased their marquee product.
Scary story for any business, isn’t it?
What if we told you this story could be true for your business?
How would you respond?
“But we use call centers, we have a customer experience team, isn’t that enough,” you may reply.
No, it’s not enough. In 2022, having a simple call center will not cut it.
Your business needs to evolve. It needs to switch to contact centers.
Let’s find out why.
What is a Contact Center?
A contact center is a centralized, software-based solution to interact with customers across various channels. All types of customer interactions, including pre-sales support, after-sales services, and outbound lead marketing, can be managed with the help of a contact center.
Contact center technology helps businesses manage inbound and outbound customer communication across multiple channels – video, voice, chat, email, and SMS.
Contact centers come in various avatars.
Businesses can set contact center operations on premises using internal servers. This requires the installation of expensive hardware and employing maintenance staff.
Businesses can also set up the contact center service on cloud-based servers owned by them. This option is cheaper but still requires firms to incur ongoing maintenance costs.
The best option, however, is to use hosted contact center services, offered by contact center companies. These are specialized companies that host contact center software on cloud-based servers. They provide contact centers as a service to many businesses. With Airtel IQ, contact center service is an inexpensive and scalable solution that requires no upfront installation cost or ongoing maintenance cost.
Contact center v/s Call center
Contact center and call center are terms often used interchangeably. However, there are two key differences between the two –
- Omnichannel capabilities – Businesses use call centers for handling only inbound and outbound voice calls. Contact centers, on the other hand, offer capabilities to handle customer interactions across video, voice, SMS, email, and chat channels. Read More: OmniChannel Markting for Seamless Customer Experience
- Advanced integration – Call center solutions simply collect call center leads and help in outbound communication with such leads. Contact centers take this a step further. Contact centers connect with the business CRM and provide agents with relevant customer information, collected over time, in an instant. This helps agents to provide a more personalized experience to customers. Read More: Benefits of Investing in Mobile Call Center Solutions
Technologies used in a Contact Center
Modern day contact centers deploy several key technologies-
- Omnichannel software – Contact centers use specialized software to process all inbound and outbound communication across multiple channels – video, voice, SMS, email, or chat.
- Interactive voice response or IVR system – IVR, in its basic form, is essentially a routing system used to direct customers to appropriate agents. The basic form of IVR can be slow in connecting customers with agents. Advanced contact center services use smarter versions of IVR. These smarter versions use scripts to connect customers with the best agents faster.
- Automatic call distributor or ACD system – ACD is a complementary technology for IVR that helps in prioritizing incoming calls and automatically distributing them to the relevant agents for handling.
- TTY/TDD system – Contact centers use TTY (teletype) /TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) systems to provide support to deaf or hard-of-hearing customers.
- Workforce Management System – Contact center software helps manage agents efficiently by analyzing call volume and appropriately allocating agents.
- Integration APIs – Contact center technology uses several APIs to seamlessly integrate your business applications, such as CRM software. This helps agents access customer data and update it during customer interactions.
- Encryption for security – Advanced contact center services use high-level encryption technology to ensure all customer-agent interactions are secure.
- Advanced analytical software – Contact centers enable businesses to create custom dashboards with measurable KPIs to monitor the health of the customer service processes with advanced contact center analytics.
How does a contact center benefit your business?
Contact centers offer many benefits for businesses –
- Better availability for customers – Contact centers use omnichannel capabilities to ensure your business is always available to interact with customers. With contact centers, customers can connect with you 24/7.
- Better interaction with customers – Contact centers integrate your CRM software and provide essential customer data to agents during customer interactions. Agents can then use such data to provide personalized customer service and improve the quality of customer experience.
- Easy to deploy and scalable – Cloud-hosted contact centers are easy to deploy and highly scalable. They can handle any volume of customer interactions, thus giving a business the confidence to focus on growing their operations.
- Low cost – Cloud-hosted contact centers do not require upfront installation of expensive servers or incur ongoing maintenance costs.
- Reduce workforce burnout – Contact centers use workforce management systems to efficiently manage agents and prevent agent burnout when the volume of customer interactions is high.
The AI-driven future of contact centers
Artificial intelligence or AI will drive the future of contact centers. With the help of conversational bots, contact centers will be able to offer unimaginable scale and language support.
Businesses using AI-driven contact centers, such as Airtel IQ, will be able to build resilient customer service processes that completely transform the customer experience.
With contact centers, we can confidently say that there will be no more 2AM customer horror stories for your business.