About six-in-ten workers who report being able to do their jobs from home, now do so all or most of the time.
Because of these changes, organisations have had to extend their operations far beyond the normal boundaries of the contact centre due to rising customer expectations. While workforce teams have also had to adjust to new ways of providing better customer experiences.
This work style changes required all customer-focused operations to expand their capabilities to meet consumers within local communities and across global territories. And to serve this broader network efficiently, operations were moved to the cloud – replacing limited premise-based solutions.
“In a digital-first world, customers now expect all points of contact to be available at any time of the day.”
Fewer communication options can lead to customers moving on to other providers who offer the 24-hours assistance they desire. This is supported by research showing 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.
Reimagining customer experience and the many systems that support the contact centre has been critical for achieving meaningful customer satisfaction, as 86% of customers say they’ll pay more for a better customer experience, according to Forbes.
Building and delivering more meaningful customer experiences depends on the contact centre solution and its framework. Here, I offer key operational strategies to help employees working-from-anywhere to improve the customer experience – which in turn fosters brand loyalty.
Contact centre solutions engineered for global accessibility
Working-from-anywhere means every user can easily connect to the host system. However, remote accessibility is often complicated by licensing issues, telco accessibility, and WebRTC options for voice desktop connectivity.
An in-depth look at user connection options and any associated licensing issues should therefore be a key factor when evaluating contact centre solutions.
Having interchangeable connection options provides flexibility when managing a distributed workforce. Although licensing more than one device to connect to the contact centre solution might be more costly.
But ultimately, the efficiency it provides is crucial to provide great customer experiences that build brand loyalty and as a result, better returns on investment.
Contact centre cloud adoption
During the pandemic, online spaces became an essential means of communicating and selling, causing the number of organisations investing in omni-channel experiences to increase from 20% to more than 80% since 2020.
The forms of communication adopted over that period – such SMS and social media – has continued to be the preferred mode of contact for most customers, both due to ease and immediacy.
And any deviation from this accessibility is seen unfavourably by customers. With technological advancements in digital access, cloud-based innovations now drive many business operation, and directly impacts customers’ overall experience.
“These innovations have also shifted old ways of operating traditional call centres. Today, providing an exceptional, personalised experience to customers requires an omni-channel engagement strategy, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve agent productivity and customer loyalty.”
As a rule, having a plug-in-play option to bring data together should be a primary feature of any chosen contact centre solution. The majority (90%) of global enterprises will leverage API-enabled Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offerings to enhance digital competitiveness by 2023, Gartner reports. And 42% expect to dedicate their global contact centre spending on cloud-based solutions, according to IDC.
So, organisations should work with partners that can enable customer engagement solutions – such as Tata Communication’s DIGO – which offers a full suite of device-agnostic communications tools that seamlessly integrate and connect fragmented communications channels, AI platforms, and connectors (SaaS and IoT) into an enterprise’s current applications.
This will enable intelligent, 360-degree human-to-everything (H2X) interactions that provide the ultimate customer experience.
Company culture, agent experience and productivity
As organisations adjust to new work-from-anywhere policies, focusing on how company culture directly impacts employee retention is essential.
This is because not only is it costly to replace staff, but demotivated workers can have a negative impact on the customers they deal with.
So, there’s incredible value in keeping workers happy and engaged. And to do this, organisations need a company culture that prioritises it.
“For today’s workers, the ability to work flexibly is important.”
Two-thirds of employers report increased productivity for remote workers compared to in-office workers. And in another study by Gartner, 43% of employees say flexibility in working hours help them achieve greater productivity, while 30% say that less or no time commuting enables them to be more productive.
Given the disruptions in the global economy, competition is fierce for market share and more than two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.
So, an organisation’s growth is dependent on its employees’ productivity (amongst other factors) and their productivity is in turn dependent on how valued they feel by the organisation.
It’s time for organisations to work with a digital customer experience enabler that has the expertise to help them become more customer-centric and efficient, to achieve an improved customer experience that will build trust and loyalty.