- In 2018, 66% of companies competed directly on customer experience. In 2010, this number was only 36% (source Gartner)
- 81% of companies see customer experience as a competitive differentiator (source: PR Newswire)
You want better understand what a contact center is and what are the advantages ? Read on.
What is a Contact Center?
The contact center is a multi-channel service model. In other words, it’s about supporting and creating relationships with customers via email, chat, SMS or social networks, for example.
In general, a contact center is based on a software system that centralizes several contact channels in a single virtual environment. The tool can be department-specific, part of a CRM, or an API integrated into the company’s internal system. Thus, operators can contact customers through different communication channels, using the same tool.
Furthermore, the contact center centralizes data on consumer behavior and allows the automation of certain tasks. It is reminiscent of a call center, in which several operators communicate with customers via a software system. The difference of the contact center is that several channels are accessible through the same tool, which simplifies the work and strengthens the customer relationship.
What are the differences between contact center and call center?
Despite the similarities, contact center is very different from call center. Indeed, they are service models designed for different behaviors. Therefore, they have different methods and goals.
The call center is geared towards telephone contact, whether for assistance or telemarketing. Its main characteristic is the high volume of daily calls, made and received. It is a model whose image has deteriorated sharply due to inappropriate practices, such as incessant telemarketing calls and unjustifiable charges. This model also does not allow for customer segmentation or personalization of calls, the goal is to speak with as many people as possible.
On the other hand, the contact center goes against the grain, its main objective is to build a lasting and stable relationship with customers. Therefore, the focus is on in-depth understanding of consumers. In addition, as mentioned above, the multi-channel service facilitates contact with customers and helps strengthen ties with the company.
What are the advantages of the contact center?
The contact center can offer several advantages to your business and generate excellent results:
The contact center is a multi-channel service
The multichannel service is the main differential of the contact center. Currently, the omnichannel strategy is essential for companies that want to build strong relationships with their customers through the offer of multiple communication channels. If most companies adopt this service model, it is because it brings results that improve several indicators such as customer satisfaction and the retention rate.
In summary, without a suitable contact center solution for your business, the management of all your communication channels cannot be centralized or optimized, and you may miss many sales opportunities with your customers.
Contact Center provides an enhanced experience
In addition to the ease provided by access to different contact channels, the customer experience is also enriched by the development of a continuous and contextualized conversation. Thanks to the centralization and integration of information, thehe contact center allows you to personalize the conversation with the customer on all your communication channels.
For example, suppose a customer requested help via live chat on your company’s website and a few days later requests an update to their request via Facebook Messenger. What will happen if there is no integration and centralization of communication channels and information? You will probably need to create a new ticket as if this customer has never contacted the company before.
The contact center provides context. In other words, the customer experience would be much better because the process is more accurate and efficient.
The contact center enables optimized productivity
The integration and centralization of communication channels and data is positive for operators. The ease of access to a single interface helps improve the productivity of these professionals. Thus, it is possible to respond to customers with greater agility, quality and personalization.
Additionally, contact center systems often provide automation for routine tasks, such as triggering emails. It further helps to increase staff productivity by eliminating lower priority tasks from operators’ daily operations.
The contact center offers complementary sales opportunities
With easy access to data, operators can identify good upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
For example, a company offers a customer a laptop twice as powerful for just $100 more. It’s upselling. Now, if the company offers in addition, a protective bag, a mouse, a USB key and speakers. It’s cross-selling.
The key point here is that these sales strategies will not be effective if applied by targeting certain customers. For them to bring good results, it is necessary to know the behaviors and desires of the customers. To know their desires, you have to answer their questions, personalize the exchanges and identify their needs. This is why the centralization and integration of information by the contact center is an undeniable asset for creating a link with customers.
Contact center: choose the right tool
You now understand what a contact center is, how it works, the differences with a call center and its advantages. In addition, the benefits of the contact center depend on a good tool for integrating and centralizing communication channels and data. Contact center software should strike the right balance between simplicity and sophisticationallowing rapid implementation.
Contact center software is a technological tool that increases contact center efficiency, with a focus on simplifying interactions between customers and contact center operators.
The primary function of contact center software is to route customer contacts to operators, and track and report actions taken regarding those interactions. Contact center software contains user-established rules to help route contacts to operators with the appropriate skills to handle specific types of requests. Originally, contact center software had limited functionality, mainly routing incoming phone contacts.
Today, the contact center software has expanded its capabilities to be able to route contacts from multiple channels including email, chat, SMS, social media, and more. In addition to routing and reporting, some contact center software has the ability to record and monitor interactions between customers and operators, the ability to conduct customer satisfaction surveys, and more.
Historically, contact center software was an integrated service on the corporate site and required significant capital expenditure. Today, with software moving to the cloud, contact center software has become a more affordable technology for a wider range of businesses.
The final word
No matter the size of your business or what you do, customer expectations change quickly and steadily, and you need to keep up.
Your employees need the right tools to help customers seamlessly when they come into contact with your business. These tools must work seamlessly and be accessible wherever employees are: at work, at home or elsewhere. No matter where your employees are located, your customer experience should always be the same. Give your employees the tools they need to increase their productivity, Satisfaction and customer loyalty.