2016-11
How to prepare for contact centre growth
by The Salmat Team
 | 
12 December 2016

Business booming? New products on the way? Customer numbers through the roof? Growth is great for your business, but all those extra customers mean more and more interactions through your contact centre – and more pressure on your agents. Here are four ways you can prepare.

1. Deliver a fast, cross-channel experience

Today’s customers want their problems solved fast, without being pushed off to anyone or anyplace else. Meeting this expectation requires the ability to deliver more than just the bare minimum in support. After all, the world has gone global, and so have your customers. No longer will standard business hours suffice to keep your customers happy. Your contact centre needs to be available when your customer needs to talk to you.

When Micah Solomon wrote 10 Trending Changes in Customers and Customer Service Expectations, he put the shift in customer expectations around response times at the very top of his list. The change has been significant – no doubt you can remember a time when getting a reply from a brand within 24 hours seemed fast.

Today, customer loyalty is born in the contact centre, and it’s kept alive by your ability to respond to enquiries through the customer's choice of channels, whether that's Facebook Messenger, Twitter, email or another platform. What will keep customers thrilled with your organisation? Knowing that no matter which method they choose today, whoever they speak to will have a record of all their past interactions.

2. Consolidate, but stay scalable

As businesses grow, so do their support needs. Nothing frustrates customers quite like an inability to reach your support staff during peak hours. When customers are on hold and don't know when they'll receive support, satisfaction and confidence drop.

It's on you and your firm to bring together a scalable experience that can meet peak hours, or offer alternatives like call-back options. Implementing callback from queue options, where the customer can opt to have an agent call them back if they find themselves facing a long wait on hold, doesn't just improve average pickup times, it reduces telephony costs. If your contact centre regularly experiences peak times your agents can't handle, consider outsourcing overflow, or encouraging on-hold callers to seek alternative support through an online knowledge hub.

Consolidating this strategy can minimise logistical challenges, curtail complexity, and help trim the fat as you continue to scale your support services.

3. Develop and diversify your tools

Support, once upon a time, boiled down to two options: telephone and email. Today, customers seek support through countless channels, including live chat and social media. If you want your business to stay ahead, your contact centre must offer more than just old-fashioned telephone support services.


The Evolution of CX in the Government Contact Centre

Depending on your customer, and the type of support situation, a variety of tools are needed to offer the highest possible satisfaction.

For technical problems, for example, customers expect helpdesks with technical skills and the ability to remotely control their devices. If they're multitasking at the office, they don't want to dedicate the time needed to be on the phone, and instead, seek support through social media or live chat.

In fact, according to a Zendesk Benchmark report, live chat support rates higher in satisfaction than traditional voice calls. Capturing maximum satisfaction depends on giving customers agency in how they receive their support, yet it must remain a consolidated and scalable experience to be viable across these differing tools. Keeping track of these interactions so that customers aren't explaining over email the same issue they've already discussed on a social media chat is vital to an effective cross-channel support system.

4. Map and transform the customer experience

As you build out your support channels, many factors can influence how a support experience is designed and implemented.

As costs, tools, and infrastructure reshape an original vision for support, the customer experience can suffer if your firm doesn't closely monitor just how customers navigate their options. This boils down to the customer journey, which documents how a customer moves from point A to point B (and beyond) in their customer support experience.

How many times must they be transferred to reach the right specialist? How much time does this cost your staff, and in turn your bottom line? These are important factors to consider to maintain an efficient, scalable support experience. It's essential to have an efficient customer journey to ensure your infrastructure doesn't negatively impact customer satisfaction.

The first steps to contact centre success

Customer satisfaction is the foundation of customer success, and it starts with designing a better customer support strategy. If you're looking to put some of these call centre solutions into practice, Salmat provides unrivalled cost optimisation and customer experience performance.

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About the author
The Salmat Team

Salmat is a marketing services business that helps clients with the constant pressure of acquiring customers, week-in, week-out. With media, digital and customer service capabilities, we manage the fundamentals to ensure this happens like clockwork.

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