Contact Center Transformation Featured Article
Why Contact Center Transformation Must Focus on Technology
February 06, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Before the arrival of the Internet and social media channels that rapidly influence consumer perception, store owners could view their approach to customer service on a case by case basis. The unwelcome customer could be refused service and the potential for negative word of mouth was limited to an estimated 10 people.
With the advancements in technology and the way we communicate and share information, this approach to customer service can have a completely different outcome. A customer who has a bad experience in a store can easily tell 10,000 people via Facebook (News - Alert) and Twitter. Likewise, a consumer visiting the store is much more educated about the products offered, knowing where else they can be found and at what price.
This “Win the Customer” report highlights just how much technology has changed customer service. The customer with an unpleasant experience with a provider or a product is sure to spread the word, accessing platforms like Yelp, Amazon and YouTube (News - Alert), in addition to Facebook and Twitter, sharing their perception of the experience and/or product with literally millions. And consumers pay attention to these posts. When considering a new item for purchase, user reviews are often scoured to gauge value and form expectations.
Access to instant information has also played a role in this transformation as consumers are much savvier when it comes to the latest products on the market. Plus, online shopping availability has driven down prices and changed consumer expectations as immediate – and even free – delivery is becoming the norm. And, while this interaction point does lack human interaction, online retailers are working to change that dynamic with live chat and even artificial intelligence built into the interactive customer experience.
These advances are also changing the playing field in the contact center space. As consumers adopt different communication and transaction channels, contact center transformation must include support for these channels and the opportunity for consumers to dynamically interact on their own terms. As more and more consumer activities occur within online environments, customer service channels have to adjust accordingly.
As technology drives contact center transformation, those responsible for the success of the center are keeping a pulse on the latest advancements that can contribute to or even take away from the customer experience. One up and coming standard that is gaining much attention in this space is that of WebRTC. This Real Time Communications standard is a free and open project that has already been adopted by Google, Oracle (News - Alert) and FireFox as a powerful tool for streamlining real-time communications.
Highlighted in this TMCnet article, WebRTC will enable rich, high quality communications in real-time. Users can click-to-text or click-to-call, video conference and even leverage Web-based communications technologies without first downloading a plug-in or application. It’s Skype (News - Alert) functionality without downloading Skype.
The key to the competitive advantage in this technology-laden market is the customer experience. The contact center transformation has to center on this truth, making investments in areas that matter to the customer and performing better in those areas than the competition. It’s a fast-paced environment and one that is constantly evolving. The contact center that can keep one step ahead of these innovations and create the ultimate customer experience will emerge the winner.
Edited by Rich Steeves
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