In recent years, more and more businesses have recognised that excellent customer service sets a brand at the front of the pack and enriches customer loyalty. This new standard is not just a challenge for companies, but a necessity if they want to retain their core customer base and remain competitive in the next five years.
Back in their 2019 Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service, Gartner predicted that by 2022 CCaaS would be the preferred adoption model in 50% of contact centres, up from approximately 10% in 2019 (and this prediction was right on the money). In years past, having contact centres on-site was the status quo, but the pandemic helped accelerate the digital transformation of many companies' operations, and cloud-based contact centres, like Twilio Flex, grew in popularity. In addition to the flexibility they provide, other advantages of cloud-based contact centres include lower overhead and better service delivery for global customer bases.
The digital transformation of contact centres also makes room for a deeper personalisation of the customer experience by allowing agents to leverage data from other systems and enabling the engagement of customers through the communication channels they would use to connect with friends and family.
Bringing your contact centre into the modern era may seem daunting, but with the right platform in place, just a few small tweaks can help bring your customer experience into the future. By incorporating these three strategies, you can carve out your space as a best-in-class service provider and generate more revenue through your contact centre.
1. Train your agents to handle customer conversations on all channels and enable them to control which channels they work on
A common practice in on-site contact centres is to train some customer service agents on phones and others on chat during their onboarding. But by ensuring that all agents are comfortable working in all channels and by using a platform that allows users to switch seamlessly between them, exchanges become more personalised. The customer’s service experience improves significantly when they can stay with the same agent instead of getting passed off if a change in channels is required, because they don’t have to repeat their story over and over again. This fosters the relationship between agent and client, and makes the customer feel cared for.
Giving agents the flexibility to choose which channels they work on throughout the day can also improve their experience as employees and even cut down on sick leave. For example, if an agent using Flex has a sore throat and has a hard time talking but otherwise feels well enough to work, she could simply toggle off the Voice channel for the day but still field service inquiries via Chat or SMS.
A cloud-based contact centre also gives agents the freedom to work from anywhere. Putting agents in control of their workdays can improve their overall job satisfaction and reduce costly attrition.
According to the 2023 Contact Center Forecast by Customer Contact Week Digital, 45% of companies are setting the goal of improving agent engagement and workplace culture in 2023. Is your organisation among them?
2. Implement a threaded conversation interface
Organising conversations into threads not only provides better context to agents so they can easily view and build upon what was already stated in previous conversations, but it also provides an experience similar to a digital conversation a customer might have with friends or family, making communication effortless and natural.
Twilio Flex now includes Conversations, a new and simplified platform architecture that builds asynchronous channel flows within the contact centre platform and allows the creation and customisation of threaded conversations across multiple channels, including SMS/MMS, WhatsApp, and Chat.
By mimicking the way we communicate with people in our personal lives and allowing customer service interactions to take place on those same channels, these conversations are simplified for both the customer and the agent, improving satisfaction on both ends.
3. Integrate a customer data platform (CDP)
Capture, synthesise, and activate the first-party data you collect from your customers across various business systems by feeding it to agents in real time during service interactions. Your CRM is a great system of record, but it doesn’t tell your customer’s entire story, and without a CDP like Twilio Segment working alongside it, you could be missing out on key insights.
In fact, the recent Contact Center Forecast from CCW Digital found that 49% of companies do not have a 360 degree view of their customers’ journeys. As a result, only 15% of customers stated that most CS experiences were tailored to their specific preferences, needs and previous interactions last year. This may translate not only into sub-optimal support experiences, but also into missed opportunities.
For example, data from your marketing automation platform on the web pages the customer visited or the advertising campaigns they engaged with could inform proactive engagement for personalised discounts. Or perhaps, aggregate buying patterns from billing systems could be used to recognise cross-sell and upsell opportunities that could be leveraged by agents during service conversations.
Putting the complete collection of data from your entire tech stack at your agents’ fingertips puts them in full control of the conversation and empowers them not only to deliver a more personalised experience for the customer, but also to act on buying signals in the moment to drive revenue.
Moving to the cloud, integrating digital channels, and familiarising your agents on the different platforms is a great place to start when modernising your contact centre, but don't stop there. Your clients will reward you with recurring business and loyalty if you emphasise individualised exchanges. As conversational messaging becomes more similar to our personal text messaging experience, both agent and customer happiness will increase, laying the groundwork for increased customer engagement across sales, marketing, and consent activities.
Twilio Flex is a fully customisable, omnichannel cloud-based platform that is designed to enable the digital transformation of contact centres across the globe. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how Flex can help bring your contact centre into the modern era, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We can’t wait to see what you build!