The contact center of the future is here. Customer service centers have constantly been transformed and reinvented with the goal of improving the customer experience (CX).
Increasing call volume, increased competition for customer retention, and pressure to increase revenue have all contributed to call centers becoming the focus of customer interactions. These trends have led contact centers to invest in increased capacity, workflow automation, and process improvements.
So, COVID-19 started and everything changed. Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, customers changed their behavior, which in turn affected the way that business centers and call centers were expected to meet their needs. Call volumes skyrocketed and call wait times lengthened as frustrated customers looked for a better way to interact with businesses.
The Importance of Multichannel in Customer Service
Digital channels became more important as a way for customers to interact with companies. Call centers began to evolve not only to provide alternative avenues of contact for customers across multiple channels, but also to integrate infrastructure, processes, and workflows internally to facilitate cross-channel engagement.
This led to the digital transformation of contact centers looking to turn a call center into a customer-focused, multi-channel, cloud-based business center that is optimized to deliver a positive customer experience, increase revenue, and improve operational efficiency.
What Are the Business Drivers of Digital Transformation?
A Forrester survey indicates that while CX is one of the main drivers of digital transformation in financial services, operational efficiency has now become the most important factor. Revenue growth and cost reduction also remain crucial.
Therefore, digital transformation is a very complex, comprehensive and important technology strategy with multiple interconnected moving parts. Additionally, this transformation strategy must be carefully calibrated to deliver a satisfying customer experience, superior security, data, and efficiency to organizations that can generate higher revenue and lower costs.
Digital transformation is a key piece of a call center’s forward-looking strategy that could help with customer retention, engagement, and satisfaction, which is key in a post-COVID world.
6 Things Contact Centers Should Do
Digital transformation is a very long journey that requires an organization to get a number of things right, including choices for technology platforms, vendors, integration partners, technology strategy, user data, and workflows. It’s not just about transforming the call center, but about how to achieve the business goals that drove that transformation in the first place, which are customer experience, revenue growth, and operational efficiency in a protected environment.
From this perspective, contact centers must pay close attention to the following aspects of digital transformation:
1) Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning is used to automate processes and route interactions through the call center. However, what is less implemented is the ability of machine learning tools to provide real-time analytics for decision-making that can improve CX.
- Well-optimized machine learning models can provide a wealth of intelligence about user behavior, patterns, and identity, which can be used to make intelligent decisions about authentication, personalization, and call routing.
- Artificial Intelligence is essential for chatbots, analytics and workflow optimization that makes the technology environment work efficiently and scalable.
- Different forms of AI such as machine learning or natural language are key to customer identification and authentication, speech and intent recognition, as well as to managing user interactions in an omnichannel environment.
- The quality of AI models, data sets, learning environments, and equity are vital to ensuring that the technology platforms that drive digital transformation are effective and accurate.
2) Voice Biometrics
- Voice biometrics is a system that allows identifying and authenticating the identity of an individual through the recognition of their voice patterns.
- A frictionless, fluent and passive voice biometric platform can enable customer identification and authentication not only on the phone, but also in mobile applications, chatbots, and IoT devices.
- Protects call centers against malicious actors using synthetic voices or replay attacks.
- Voice-based interactions can replace time-consuming manual workflows.
- Contactless voice interactions can improve customer satisfaction by allowing them to authenticate in various circumstances.
3) Superior CX Using Multi-Factor Authentication
Identity verification and customer authentication are the backbone of the contact center. In a process of digital transformation, authentication methods and policies take on even greater importance in protecting calls and transactions.
- Relying on a single factor for authentication is less secure and more error prone. Leveraging synergistic factors (voice, behavior, device) can increase trust in the authentication process while giving customers more options to identify themselves across multiple channels.
- Better authentication that eliminates call-handling times can help improve customer satisfaction and improve Net Promoter Score (NPS) scores.
- The ability to continuously authenticate customers across all channels, from the telecom network to the agent branch and even between agent transfers, can further streamline the authentication process and improve CX.
Self-service is one of the axes of the digital transformation of the call center.
- The number of customer interactions (via phone or digital channel) has increased after COVID. In view of limited agent capacity (staff, hours, and efficiency), this has increased the burden on agents while creating longer queues and wait times. Giving users more self-service capacity can ease the burden on agents and improve wait times.
- Interactive voice response (IVR) is a key component of the contact center and an underused aspect of digital transformation. As the first point of contact for many users, IVR improves call center efficiency and reduces agent call handling costs.
Closely tied to better authentication and self-service is the ability to deliver a more personalized calling experience to customers. This personalization can be provided in the form of an initial greeting recognizing the identity of the caller or even providing a personalized menu of services based on past behavior patterns.
- The authentication experience can be customized for callers based on varying risk and enrollment profiles.
- IVR menus or agent greetings can be customized for callers based on their enrollment profiles, comments, and call center authentication policies.
6) Call Center Protection and Fraud Detection
In the call center of every digital transformation process there is the question of whether you can keep scammers out and prevent data breaches and identity theft that could lead not only to monetary loss but also to loss of reputation of the company. Protecting your contact center from scammers enables all of the above processes and provides enough confidence to be able to serve genuine customers.