Transform Your Contact Center, Accelerate Engagement

Does your contact center offer the tools, intelligence, and agility needed to anticipate and exceed customer expectations? Part 1 of a three-part series on how businesses can better engage customers by modernizing their contact centers.

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Transform Your Contact Center, Accelerate Engagement

Customer engagement is crucial to your organizational strategy. It has been proven to increase customer loyalty, improve employee productivity, and have a positive impact on the bottom line. Today’s most progressive businesses are adopting a customer-first mentality to exceed client expectations: at its center is a vibrant contact center which leverages customer engagement technologies and processes that are innovative, agile, intelligent, and proactive.

Modern customers expect businesses to interact with them on their terms—at any time, and on any channel. More importantly, when engaging with businesses, customers expect conversations to transition seamlessly between channels, whether via text, voice, social, self-help, or web chats, and they demand an inherent understanding of their intent.

Does Your Contact Center Have What It Takes?

In this day and age, many contact centers are in need of a major overhaul to meet the ever-increasing demands of digital consumers and to win their loyalty. To determine if it’s time to invest in a programmable contact center platform that empowers your employees to develop, customize, and manage communications in a more intuitive and customer-centric way, be sure to ask the following four questions:

#1 Is your staff empowered and connected?

If your company is grappling with how to provide a single view of the customer, eliminate departmental silos, or work more efficiently, your employees are probably also struggling. Staff may feel unempowered and disconnected by too much process or lagging technology. Break it down by department and ask:

  • Is your marketing department unable to contextualize personal communications?
  • Are your sales teams not getting the hottest leads first?
  • Do agents navigate multiple systems to respond to a single customer inquiry?
  • Does your IT department take way too long to adapt to today’s digital demands?

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, your contact center is probably outdated and your staff is desperate for innovative tools to do their job. Look for digital solutions that let you build a contact center that empowers your staff with the flexibility they need to interact with customers in a more engaging and productive way.

#2 Are you able to easily connect on your customer’s preferred communication channels?

According to Accenture, nearly half of today’s consumers are comfortable switching back and forth between digital and physical interactions with companies. If you’re among the many businesses who are unprepared for this, consider the following:

If you’re making it difficult for customers to engage with your business, they may not give you a second chance. In fact, over 50% of customers leave a brand after just one bad experience! To prevent this, consider an omnichannel contact center solution that allows your employees to easily engage with customers in whichever channel the customer prefers, be it Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, and many others. Extra points if you select a platform that can scale and adapt to future digital channels as quickly as your customers adopt them.

#3 Do you have the necessary insight into your customer’s journey to actually improve engagement?

It’s tough for a customer to love (or trust) a brand that doesn’t recall their last purchase, their most recent conversation, or their preferred way of reaching out. To facilitate better connections, create a single view of the customer and use analytics to provide more accurate and intuitive responses. Does your current contact center:

  • Provide your agents—and marketers—with access to a real-time repository of all customer data?
  • Apply new analytic capabilities to examine and understand the data trail for an adaptive customer journey?
  • Integrate AI-based “conversational assistants” into self-help tools to move the conversation along?
  • Leverage natural language processing to automatically interpret meaning and deliver context into every conversation?

By employing real-time data analytics within your contact center—leveraging the latest artificial intelligence technologies—each person that interacts with your customer will have the history and personal information needed to have enlightened conversations to better serve, nurture, and grow these relationships.

#4 Are your systems allowing you to adapt to changing times as quickly as your customer?

In a recent study, 40% of contact center leaders revealed that their systems don’t meet today’s needs. Worse, more than half feel their systems won’t be able to address future needs. If your technology isn’t up to par, how can you expect to engage your customers? To remain competitive and keep from being left behind, modern businesses are turning to cloud communication providers to:

  • Eliminate lengthy configuration processes innate with legacy contact center systems.
  • Empower developers with easy-to-use APIs that make it easy to add real-time communications features into applications without having to build backend infrastructure and interfaces.
  • Stamp out the expense of maintenance, licensing, and professional services by discontinuing legacy systems.
  • Easily expand telecom usage needs on-demand, without additional time or expense to update hardware, via a secure, global infrastructure.

IDC notes that the demand for cloud-based contact center solutions is outpacing the demand for on-premise solutions, and with good reason. By moving your communications from legacy, on-premise systems to cloud-based software, you can experience greater reliability, global carrier connectivity, and robust security. With the right platform, you can build the exact solution needed to best communicate with, and service, your customers.

If your answers to the above questions didn’t score very well, all hope is not lost. Many companies have quickly and seamlessly turned call centers into customer engagement contact centers by leveraging innovative cloud technologies. Case in point: National Debt Relief (NDR) accelerated customer engagement by redesigning their contact center. And they did it in just 90 days by employing Twilio’s Cloud Communication platform.

Contact Center Turnaround: NDR

With a workforce of over 1300 employees focused on helping customers improve their financial situation, NDR needed as much information as possible about their customers to ensure optimal customer engagement. Armed with such insights, NDR was certain that they could have better-informed conversations, help customers resolve their financial issues more easily, and engage on whatever channel customers prefer: text, phone, and web. However, their legacy contact center system simply couldn’t do the job.

The challenge they faced, as do many that have invested in large legacy systems, was how to migrate to a better system without disrupting the business. They also wanted to ensure that any new communications apps they might use would integrate easily with Salesforce, the CRM their company already used. NDR was looking to avoid investing in expensive hardware, hiring a large team of IT consultants, or building a costly contact center infrastructure. Instead, a group of six NDR developers used Twilio’s Cloud APIs to quickly create a contact center that they would be able to enhance over time, as needed. "With Twilio’s platform, we were able to build the exact experience our customers needed and had it up and running in 90 days, for a fraction of the cost," said CEO Dan Tilipman.

Best of all, since Twilio’s APIs easily integrate with any CRM solution, NDR agents can easily access customer journey data points in the CRM platform they were already familiar with, taking customer engagement to the next level.

"With Twilio’s platform, we were able to build the exact experience our customers needed and had it up and running in 90 days, for a fraction of the cost." — Daniel Tilipman, President, Co-founder, and CTO, National Debt Relief

Improve Your Contact Center To Accelerate Customer Engagement

Swapping out technologies may seem ominous, but many businesses, just like NDR, have successfully made the leap and—because they’re more agile, connected, and responsive—they aren’t looking back. Twilio’s Communication APIs make it possible for companies to enhance their contact solutions cost-effectively, while adapting to current systems, based on each business's unique requirements.

Twilio Flex, a complete programmable contact center platform that allows you to easily develop, customize, and manage your customer communications, has recently been made generally available to all developers. Flex ushers in a new era of fully programmable applications, the next evolution of enterprise software, so enterprises can build the exact experience that supports their business needs.

Built on Twilio’s global infrastructure and proven communication APIs (employed by over two million developers ), Flex is reliable, flexible, and scalable. Best of all, you can provide your employees with a single customizable interface with the communication channels, tools, intelligence, and agility they need to anticipate and exceed customer expectations during their entire lifecycle.

Ready to engage? Learn how Twilio Flex can help you re-engage your customers in a whole new way.

Dive deeper by reading the rest of this three-part series:

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