“Start thinking of CX as a team sport, and tap alliances to accelerate your transformation!”
Such is the advice of Forrester, as the market analyst promotes enterprise collaboration to improve customer experiences.
The contact centre often sits at the heart of such an approach, sharing customer insights and breaking down journey siloes.
Yet, in lots of cases, this is a pipe dream. To get to this stage, contact centres must strive to enhance internal perceptions of their operations and foster better cross-function relationships. Here is how.
Enhancing Perceptions of the Contact Centre
“Cost centre” perceptions are still prevalent within numerous companies. As such, the goal of the contact centre becoming a strategic resource that tactfully adds value to customer experiences seems a stretch for many.
So, why are contact centre perceptions so slow to change?
A disconnect with the company-wide CX strategy is a likely cause. After all, external agencies typically put together customer journey maps and digital transformation plans. Too often, this third-party mindset seeps its way into various departments, leaving these parts of the business isolated, and the contact centre in the cold.
The good news is that many companies have recognised this worrying trend and are taking action. Louise Newbury-Smith, UK Country Manager at RingCentral discusses how organisations are moving forward:
“Many businesses set a vision, develop metric targets, and change job titles to reconnect departments with the CX strategy. Such changes have impacted contact centres more than most. For example, many customer service managers are now customer experience managers.”
While such a switch of job title implies a change in focus, it often comes with little guidance for how contact centres can become the cornerstone of CX and build a better reputation.
Thankfully, industry analysis by consultancy CX Effect identifies four helpful tactics:
- Understand customer journeys
- Balance the use of AI and human support
- Manage the technology architecture
- Adopt a digital mindset
Consider the first. Contact centres play host to a significant amount of customer data. By delving into this with tools such as speech analytics, companies can pinpoint possible pain points and journey improvement opportunities.
By surfacing these insights and sharing them, contact centres can demonstrate the value they bring to the table, foster better cross-function relationships, and inspire collaboration.
Sharing Valuable Insights Across the Enterprise
UC platforms allow contact centres to distribute customer insights across the company and build an authoritative presence. They also enable clear lines of communication that pave the way for enterprise connectivity and collaboration.
Microsoft Teams is the most prominent example, letting contact centres distribute customer insights through knowledge sharing tools and insight dashboards.
However, few companies integrate Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service – its CCaaS solution – with Teams. Explaining why, Zeus Karravala, Founder and Principal Analyst at ZK Research, told CX Today:
Teams is a really good chat product, it’s an okay meetings product, [but] the telephony is substandard, which is why so many UC partners have the Microsoft “operate and connect” type of offering where you can add telephony features.
RingCentral is one such partner with a blossoming Teams offering, with its uptake increasing 500 percent year-over-year. Such a statistic underlines how significant the trend of blending UCaaS and CCaaS platforms has become, increasing enterprise collaboration.
Companies can also integrate Microsoft Power BI – a leading analytics and business intelligence solution, according to Gartner – into this environment. By doing so, they can connect data sources and fuel further enterprise connectivity.
Taking the lead on such a project – and perhaps partnering with data and marketing – again enhances perceptions of the contact centre and allows it to unlock further invaluable insights.
Working Together to Improve CX
With an authoritative voice and positive cross-function relationships, contact centres can begin collaborating to improve customer experiences.
An excellent initiative is working with various functions to fix upstream issues and lower customer effort.
After spotting these issues – perhaps with the help of speech analytics, voice of the customer, and reporting tools – contact centres can split particularly prominent problems into three buckets:
- Internal – Issues they can fix internally
- External – Issues that require other departments to take action
- Policy – Issues that are fundamental to business operations and necessitate board action to overcome
Internal issues are those that the contact centre can address immediately. Yet, fixing external and policy problems requires support and action from those outside the service team.
Good relationships and enhanced contact centre perceptions are critical here, as leaders across other functions are more likely to engage in solving the issue.
However, if they still need convincing, Newbury Smith suggests:
Contact centre leaders can twist their arm by using analytics tools to assess failure demand and estimate cost-savings. These figures often prove eye-opening and inspire action.
Other tactics include offering support to the relevant department and expressing broken processes in the customer’s words, ensuring business stakeholders understand the issue.
Of course, such an initiative may seem like lots of work. Yet, it smooths customer journey frictions, enabling effortless experiences. Meanwhile, by removing the need for service altogether, contact centre teams can lower the strain on agents.
Unlock the Collaborative Contact Centre With RingCentral
Offering a native UC platform and a highly-regarded Microsoft Teams integration, RingCentral is a CCaaS vendor uniquely placed to connect the contact centre with the wider enterprise.
The vendor also provides the expertise – alongside the analytics and reporting tools – to build an insights engine, break down journey siloes, and support process improvement.
To discover more about RingCentral Contact Centre’s latest features visit: https://www.ringcentral.com/gb/en/blog/top-cx-innovations-2022/