Is your contact centre mobile-ready asks Clare Ansgood of Aspect Software
Today’s consumers have lofty expectations when it comes to customer service. Whether they’re getting in touch with a company via the phone, the web or a purpose-built app, they anticipate more or less instant access to information and support. And it just so happens that they can now do all of this via the tiny computers they carry on their persons at every waking moment.
The mobile revolution has had massive implications for the contact centre industry. Nowadays, when a customer has a problem that needs solving, they can flit between a phone call, a social networking app and a website in search of the solution – all in the time it takes to commute to work or queue for a coffee. This puts enormous pressure on the company at the other end of the exchange – it not only needs the ability to deal with queries in each of these channels individually, but also to ensure a seamless overarching customer experience.Looking to make your contact centre mobile-ready? Here’s what you need to do to get ahead in this new era of customer service.
The multichannel versus omnichannel debate affects just about every consumer-facing industry today, so it should really need no introduction. In the simplest terms, though, it means that it’s no longer enough for a company simply to have a call centre, a website and a mobile app: it needs to provide a consistent experience across the whole, and give the user free reign to design their own customer journey.
This may sound like the holy grail of customer service, but it’s readily achievable and can also help contact centres to fulfil their other goals vis a vis efficiency and agent availability. The nature of a smartphone makes it easy to funnel a customer towards the channel where their problem will be solved the most quickly, such as a disposable app or voice or text conversation with an agent, and the use of integrated solutions such as Aspect Zipwire make contextual information available every step of the way.
Blur the lines between IVR and live calls, and apps
Mobile also makes it possible for contact centres to blur the lines between two or more kinds of interaction, such as a live call with an agent and a mobile app. So, for example, you might give a customer the ability to initiate a text, voice or video conversation from within a self-service app, co-browsing with an agent and sharing images and annotations in order to solve particularly complex problems.
Another good example is visual interactive voice response (IVR). IVR is often frustrating for smartphone users, who might be getting in touch mid-commute or coffee break and not have the time to listen to a long list of menu commands. Launch a disposable app in parallel to the call, and that customer gets the option to deal with their query or request a callback far more quickly.
Bring self-service to other platforms
Finally, the mobile revolution has created a ton of new opportunities for contact centres to deliver effective self-service offerings. They’re no longer limited to web forms, email and IVR, but have mobile apps, SMS and even social networking apps at their fingertips.
As an example of the latter, Aspect’s Social Self-Service solution allows a customer to engage in a self-service dialogue by sending Direct Messages to a company through the Twitter app on their smartphone. They can still communicate with the company via Twitter in the normal way, of course, and their query can be routed seamlessly to a live agent if it proves unexpectedly complex.