The Evolution of Customer Service
The contact center evolved from the
call center in order to support more channels of interaction with customers, and
this evolution continues. Within 18-24
months, the contact center will transform into an experience hub – an entity
that is essentially responsible for underpinning and driving the customer
experience as well as for the interactions a company has with its customers and
The vocabulary we use will change to
reflect this evolution in thinking. A call center, and even a contact center,
conjures up an image of scores of people working shifts while sitting in
cubicles being constantly monitored on productivity.
Historically, a call center role was reactive
with the emphasis being to respond to customer enquiries, queries and
complaints as quickly as possible – success was essentially interpreted as
minimising the cost to the company. For a long time, many enterprises used traffic
diversion techniques to reduce the possibility of actually talking to customers
due to the perceived expense, diverting
them to lower cost channels irrespective of whether this met the customer’s
need or not. Outsourcing support to third parties was another popular trend,
but was not motivated by customer-centric measures such as increasing customer
satisfaction or service levels, instead it was concentrated on internally-focused
drivers such as cost reduction.
This thinking has essentially become obsolete
by the rise of social media. Finally, businesses can see the benefits of not
just being available for customer contact which is focused on resolving
negative and stressful experiences,such as inaccurate billing, confusion or
service failure, but on truly interacting with their customers to focus on
driving more positive experiences.
Enterprises also now recognise that by
focusing too much on minimising the direct cost of running their contact centers
they failed to factor in the opportunity costs they were incurring. Frustrated
customers, reduced customer loyalty, the loss of valuable cross-sell and upsell
opportunities, and the squandering of customer ideas, comments and data resulted
from treating the contact center as an afterthought or ‘necessary evil’, a silo
whose performance was measured outside the full range of corporate goals.
ENTERPRISES CAN’T COMPROMISE ON
Within 18-24 months this approach will
be ancient history and contact centers will morph into experience hubs and their
performance will be placed more clearly within the context of the overall functionality
of the business. They will no longer be a reactive service silo focused on
problem resolution or campaign-based selling, but will be a proactive and
interactive experience hub that will drive positive customer experiences This
is a big step forward for businesses, customers and those working in contact centers
today, as this transition will have profound effects.
Not only will interactions between the
customer and the business take place across an ever-widening range of channels,
some of which don’t exist today, but those interactions will be very different
in nature. Experience hubs will add new, positive roles and responsibilities to
their remit. For example, some responsibilities will come from marketing teams
acting as a social media hub, where the experience hub takes full
responsibility for the role of educator in addition to problem-solver, and
drives up digital adoption amongst the customer base. Experience hubs are the
natural home for most social media interactions, as the staff takes
responsibility for the customer relationship and integrate the disparate
elements of support, marketing, education and sales. They will become the
operational delivery engine of experience, with marketing, ensuring their goals
are met and while adding creative ideas into the mix.
Even the word ‘center’ will be
challenged, as ‘center’ implies a large centralized facility at a time when
service provision will be decentralised and include more home-working, virtual
teams and more amateur or community-based support. The experience will be blended
and supported across multiple channels, including brick-and-mortar stores, in
order to provide a consistent, seamless, unified front-end to customers. When
stores are not busy, staff can be redeployed into digital channel support, and
when digital channels are quiet then staff could be positioned via presence
applications to provide support to customers in-store.
WHERE TO START?
For over 30 years NICE has helped customer service organizations, and contact centers in particular, evolve by uncovering customer insights, predict human intent and take the right action to improve their business. NICE has always taken great pride in our unique perspective, at the forefront of being able to support and enable contact centers to respond to the complexities and challenges of creating perfect customer experiences.
Our core offering, NICE CXone™, is the world’s leading cloud Enterprise customer experience platform, combining smart Omni channel Routing, advanced Analytics, Adaptive Workforce Optimization, Robotic Automation & Artificial Intelligence (AI), all based on open native cloud foundation.
CXone helps enterprises to evolve their contact centers to experience centers via the following:
NOT work for your data, with CXone ANALYTICS, your data works for you!
Communication with the customer will be
delivered in a channel and way that is appropriate to the customer. This
includes the ability to support customers in the language they prefer. IVR
systems will evolve to route calls through natural speech commands and real-time
speech translation will support agents to respond to customers in their
preferred language , which will be contained in their profile or detected when
they initially contact the enterprise. The goal, and the metrics used to
measure performance, will be making everything easier for the customer by
reducing customer effort.
Speech analytics and video biometrics
will provide a wide range of capabilities to the contact center including
highly secure customer ID verification, the identification of buying signs and
customer satisfaction, fraud prevention capabilities and so on. This type of
technology will significantly reduce customer effort by replacing current
inconvenient methods of verification such as security questions, while at the
same time increasing security levels.
NICE CXone™ allows you to route
customer requests to the best available employee across any communication
channel, based on advanced employee and customer analytics. Manage the entire
customer journey across all touch points, understand the context of each step
in that journey and taking the right action in real time. Additionally CXone provides the latest in
Automation & Artificial Intelligence capabilities empowering enterprises to
improve and streamline customer experience processes.
only what you need, CXone SCALES when you need
Moving call center technologies to the
Cloud will deliver far greater flexibility, but the enterprise will also need
to consider how it delivers service anywhere and at any time, as well as how it
will utilise more distributed models of operation. Such models will require
support from a new infrastructure as well as a new recruiting approach.
The NICE CXone Open Cloud Platform is
the enterprise-grade foundation that lets contact centers scale securely,
deploy quickly, and serve customers globally. CXone delivers an industry-best
99.99% uptime with extensive integration options and extension.
CXone is the fully scalable and elastic
single cloud platform you’ll never need to replace. You only pay for what you
use and are free to scale up and down as required.
on innovation and NOT on integration.
Contact centers will need to move
beyond supporting all channels (omnichannel) seamlessly to becoming a hub of
customer interactions for the enterprise. Becoming an interaction and
experience hub means that the contact center will take responsibility for customer
communications rather than these being driven by individual departments’
internal timescales and goals. In contrast, the experience hub will deliver
these interactions in a more customer-centric manner, at a time that is most
convenient for the customer, and based on their knowledge of when the customer
is likely to be most receptive, thereby mediating between intermittent conflicting
corporate goals and customer needs.
NICE CXone™ offers a powerful
combination of the industry’s leading Omnichannel Routing in the cloud with the
industry’s leading Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation &
Artificial Intelligence Capabilities.
In addition, adapting the ever-changing
customer experience and market needs means being able to leverage additional
partners and capabilities, through connectivity and integration to a variety of
NICE CXone™ comes with over 250 APIs
and over 65 development partners that have delivered value-added solutions.