By 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for businesses, according to a report from Walker.
If call centers aren’t actively trying to leverage call center technology to improve customer experience, they could start losing revenue to competitors.
That’s why, in this post, we’ll detail 5 call center technologies that rapidly improve customer experience.
We’ll also cover a few more reasons customer experience “management” or strategy is vital to a call center’s growth in the coming years.
But first, let’s quickly review what customer experience is.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is a mix of customers thoughts and beliefs about a business – their total perception of a brand and its products, service and delivery, and more.
When businesses deliver sparkling service, a unified experience where people seem to know what they need before they need it – agreements, experience, sales and collections will soar.
But if they’re not delivering this type of experience…
They could start losing in the market.
What’s the Importance of Customer Experience?
According to Forrester, 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority.
But only 63% of marketers prioritize implementing technology investments that will help them reach this goal (which we’ll be covering in the next section).
The report ended with this advice to businesses looking to improve customer experience:
“A customer-obsessed operating model requires your technology infrastructure to evolve at the customer’s pace. To respond, firms must build a flexible technology architecture that continuously adapts to changing customer expectations with the capability to deliver new sources of customer value through advanced data analytics and machine learning.”
With that in mind, let’s see the call center technologies businesses can use to enhance customer experience.
5 Call Center Technologies That Improve the Customer Experience
Customer experience software and hardware help call center agents answer questions more easily, improve their own service over time, and better serve the caller’s needs overall.
Here are 5 technologies call centers need to improve customer experience:
1. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive voice response is an automated customer service system that presents different menus and uses pre-recorded responses to guide the caller towards the information they’re searching for.
IVR allows businesses to create their own greetings, menu options, and routing procedures to hand the customer over to the right call center agent.
This allows customers to pay bills, request information, and get a human on the phone quickly and easily.
2. Blended Call Flows
Call center agents are rarely excellent at both inbound and outbound calling.
For that reason, blended call centers can perform both functions while allowing skilled agents to focus on what they’re best at.
Of course, if an agent is good at both, they can seamlessly switch between each task without a loss in productivity.
This type of call center technology makes call centers very attractive and valuable to businesses looking for an all-in-one solution.
3. Outreach by Text Messaging
AgentSMS allows call center agents to answer customer questions or push out important information through text messages directly to customers’ phones.
For example, medical patients can text numbers or specific phrases to accept or change appointments – saving everyone a lot of time and giving customers more flexibility, which usually means an improved customer experience.
4. Cloud-Based Call Center
According to Software Advice, 58% of call center software buyers were interested in SaaS (software-as-a-service) or web-based systems operated off-site by a 3rd-party.
A cloud-based call center can employ agents remotely, allowing businesses to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world. All they need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a headset and they can get to work.
Cloud-based call centers are scalable. Businesses can pay for what they use and nothing more. If a business grows, they can expand the services they use. If it shrinks, they can move down a tier with ease.
And perhaps most importantly, cloud-based call centers help businesses stay TCPA compliant by offering cell phone scrubbing capabilities, predictive dialing software that adheres to regulations, and ensuring agents don’t call anyone on the Do Not Call registry.
5. Business Intelligence
Here are a few metrics businesses should consider tracking:
- Average speed to answer calls.
- Customer satisfaction rating.
- Number of active calls.
- Number of waiting calls.
- Hold times.
If Businesses Really Want to Improve Customer Experience, They Should Consider Using Business Intelligence
We just covered a handful of important technologies call centers can use to improve customer experience, but BI gives them a holistic understanding of each agent in their organization and measures how well they’re achieving organizational goals.
This information can be used to schedule the correct number of agents to reduce hold times, incentivize agent performance using the reports BI provides, and maintain overall efficiency by tracking a number of other metrics.
To learn more about using BI to enhance the customer experience, check out our free report on BI today.