How smart enterprises are satisfying the sophisticated demands of today’s omni-channel consumer
Chicken or egg? People or technology?
In today’s most modern contact center space, it’s often hard to put your finger on what came first – and, more importantly, what should now be the priority.
Human agent-to-customer interaction is of course still a huge and vital part of the whole.
Bots, Interactive Voice Response, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning: none are capable of delivering the interpersonal feel that human support provides.
At the same time, contact centers devoid of any of the smart software or automation out there are also bound to fall way short of delivering high-grade, efficient customer service experiences.
A mix of the two, then, is of course the right way to go – and yet, for enterprises of all kinds and sizes, getting the blend just right can be a challenge.
Business-specific pain points must be understood; desired innovations identified; required investments calculated.
No surprises, then, that businesses and CX leaders need the close support of an expert provider partner as they seek to strike the balance between business goals and delivering on customer expectations.
“Customer expectations are changing every day, which means organizations of every kind must constantly evolve the contact center experience,” says Cory Glover, Amazon Connect Product Marketing Leader at global contact center solution provider AWS, which has recently hosted ‘AWS Contact Center Days’: a free, virtual two-day learning event showcasing perspectives and best practices from industry analysts, CX leaders, and innovation and technology evangelists tackling the people, operations, cultural, and technological challenges of today’s digital-first customer experience.
As is so often the case, it is technological innovation which appears to be dictating the overall customer service experience transformation. But technology itself is not enough to deliver on customer expectations at scale, it’s process and culture that also play a key role.
Kent Lemon, SVP Contact Center Customer Engagement at U.S. Bank, leads cloud and CX transformation. In his session with Chris Hennesey, Enterprise Strategist at AWS, Kent spoke about the importance of creating consistent customer journeys that ensure that, no matter where a customer comes in, their experience meets their personalized needs and that the bank is not dealing with things in silos.
From a cultural aspect, Alice Sesay-Pope, VP of Global Operations at Amazon, spoke of the criticality of Amazon’s leadership Customer Obsession and Strive to be the Earth’s Best Employer behind her team’s worldwide “Engage and Delight” North Star global mission for one of the largest customer service operations in the world
In the case of AWS and Amazon Connect, both the pace and scale of technology innovation provide users of the solution with all the tools they need to respond to the ever-more sophisticated demands of today’s tech-savvy consumer.
And it’s all geared towards delivering that five-star customer rating and better outcomes for the business.
“We’ve always seen an incredibly high value in delighting customers and going above and beyond to serve their needs,” says Pasquale DeMaio, Vice President and General Manager of Amazon Connect, AWS.
“The last couple of years have been an incredibly challenging time to run a contact center, maybe more challenging than any time in history. We’ve seen more folks staying at home, leading to more at-home purchases and more contacts that used to be in person become virtual.
“Our Amazon Connect customers are delivering customer experiences that delight, that solve common problems quickly; freeing up agents working from anywhere to focus on more complex issues where human touch really matters most.”
Historically, delivering that kind of high-end customer service has been viewed as a necessary cost.
Now, according to Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce – who was also a guest speaker at AWS Contact Center Days – service should be seen as a driver of business growth and revenue.
“Call center agents, customer success managers, customer service agents, even field service agents all have a huge opportunity to drive increased loyalty and increased revenue,” she says.
“The only way a company can deliver compelling and meaningful experiences is if employees are actually able to deliver that.”
So, not so much people OR technology as people AND technology.
Get that blend right and pretty much everything else is likely to slot into place.
In case you missed the event, all sessions are available now on demand at https://amer.resources.awscloud.com/aws-contact-center-day