How to Maximize Your Contact Center

Companies big and small will generate hundreds or thousands of data points from a wide array of programs and systems.
Unfortunately, while all of this information is crucial, it’s worthless if we can’t digest it. Thankfully, artificial intelligence is here to help. In this article, we want to discuss how an AI customer experience can provide the analytics possible to build a better sales team and a streamlined customer experience.

Contact Center Old New

Now that we’re living in the age of technology, it’s never been easier to create and cultivate data. How does an AI customer experience play into that contact center? Companies big and small will generate hundreds or thousands of data points from a wide array of programs and systems.

Unfortunately, while all of this information is crucial, it’s worthless if we can’t digest it. Thankfully, artificial intelligence is here to help. In this article, we want to discuss how an AI customer experience can provide the analytics possible to build a better sales team and a streamlined customer experience.

To help us understand the possibilities, we’re talking with Todd Abbot, COO of InsightSquared. His software compiles data and makes it easy to understand with customizable dashboards. Here’s where the future is headed with CX and AI.

Improving Productivity With Machine Learning

When it comes to customer retention, most companies assume that the primary selling point is the quality of the product itself. While that does have a significant impact, one element you might be overlooking is the contact center. How easily can a customer get a hold of someone when he or she has a question? How many channels do you offer, and what’s the satisfaction rating for each? If you’re not paying attention here, you could have a hard time reducing customer churn.

In this article, we want to discuss the best ways to improve your contact center operations. To help us out, we’ve enlisted the help of Patrick Dennis. Patrick is the CEO and founder of Aspect Software, a SaaS company that focuses on building better contact centers for businesses. Let’s go over his customer retention strategies in SaaS.

Step One: Understand Your Customer’s Needs

OLD WAY – NEW WAY – how a good contact center helps you and your customers better communicate

In many cases, the problem that companies have is that they are too focused on product development and marketing to recognize the value of a contact center. Yes, the business might have multiple channels, but it doesn’t utilize them as effectively as it could.

Rather than adding new communication methods, you need to focus on how your customer will want to use them. Patrick outlines this as the “coffee and car” model. On some days, Patrick wants a fast cup of coffee – the quicker, the better. On other days, he prefers quality over speed, even if that means waiting half an hour for a quality cup. Your customers likely have preferences that shift based on a variety of factors.

So, as a business, you need to understand how these interactions and touchpoints will differ for your customers. Are they in a rush and need quick service, or do they have questions and need additional help? You can’t have a one-size-fits-all approach.

Step Two: Look at Your End-to-End Customer Experience

These days, most companies are getting better about analyzing specific interactions. Data analysis and machine learning make it easy to gather insight into various channels individually. However, you need to take a step back and see how they flow into each other to get a sense of how satisfied your customer is from end-to-end.

Patrick puts it like this. Let’s say there are four interactions on average with a customer. That customer has a 90-percent satisfaction rating for the first two, but only 85-percent with the last two. Individually, those ratings seem high. However, when taken together, it results in 58-percent satisfaction.

Overall, by taking a macro-level look at your contact center, you can begin to see where you can boost interactions. Remember that they don’t exist in a vacuum. The same customer can reach out via email, chat, and a phone call, so each touchpoint has to be consistent and high-quality.

Step Three: Let Your Customers Determine the Channels, Not the Other Way Around

Because technology is developing so rapidly, there’s a tendency for companies to adapt to specific channels, believing that it will improve interactions. However, that can be a mistake. For example, what’s the good of building a system around SMS messaging if your customers have no interest in using it?

While some channels have stood the test of time (i.e., phone calls), various apps and new technology will drop off and get replaced. Yes, Facebook Messenger might be big now, but what about in 10 years?

Because channels will continue to evolve, and considering that your customer’s preferences will change, your contact center has to be adaptable. Rather than focusing on one or two communication methods, focus on the priorities of your customers and let them choose the channel that works best. Overall, you should have a cluster of channels available for each customer, not the other way around.

If you want to hear more about how to reduce customer churn with the contact center, check out the SaaS CX Show here. You can also find out more about Patrick and Aspect Software at www.aspect.com.

Author: Frank Bria

Frank Bria is the author of the internationally bestselling book Scale: How to Grow Your Business by Working Less and founder of High-Ticket Program, a strategy firm dedicated to scaling B2B service businesses. A trained mathematician and systems engineer, he launched several fintech startups in the advanced analytics space. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and multinational tech firms on quantitative marketing solutions including AI and predictive analytics. Now he works with SaaS companies leveraging advanced analytics to improve customer experience and retention. Frank is the host of The 6 to 7 Figures Show and The SaaS CX Show podcasts. He lives in Phoenix, AZ.

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