3 Innovative Contact Center Best Practices to Enhance Customer Experience

Learn how contact centers can improve CX beyond the service experience

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3 Innovative Contact Center Best Practices to Enhance Customer Experience
Contact CentreInsights

Published: November 23, 2022

Charlie Mitchell

Approaches to customer experience are changing. Just a few years ago, many businesses hired external agencies to help them build customer journey maps and CX strategies.

Unfortunately, these third parties did so with little consultation with various business departments. As a result, only some proved operationally useful, and many missed the mark.

Recognizing this disconnect, lots of businesses have tried to re-engage department leaders with the broader strategy, often changing their job titles to include “customer experience.”

Such a trend is particularly prevalent in contact centers. However, many still need guidance to enhance customer experiences beyond improving what they already do.

Here is where the following three best practices come in. They allow contact centers to transcend their service silo, connect the enterprise, and play a leading role in CX transformation.

In doing so, contact centers can help solve upstream issues, lower pressure on their operations, and stake their claim as the cornerstone of CX.

If they achieve this, the results are potentially significant. Indeed, Forrester finds that experience-driven businesses outperform their counterparts by 1.4x in revenue growth.

Moreover, operations can reduce long wait times and foster better first contact resolution (FCR) rates: the two biggest priorities for customer service teams – as per ContactBabel research.

1. Understand Customer Intent

Demand driver data is often an enterprise’s most underappreciated source of insight.

After all, it uncovers customer intent and – when assessed – this can spotlight costly pain points within the customer journey.

Yet, perhaps why it is so underappreciated is that traditional methods for collecting and assessing demand drivers are often unreliable.

For instance, many contact centers still ask agents to manually input disposition codes. Alternatively, they may tie these up with the IVR.

Unfortunately, both methods are subject to human error and static – i.e., they do not account for new and emerging demand drivers.

As such, contact centers have two options to gauge customer intent accurately:

  1. Automate the process with conversational analytics.
  2. Stick with agent dispositioning but increase agent coaching and monitoring while running periodic reviews to identify new demand drivers.

The latter tends to take too much time. Meanwhile, conversational analytics allows contact centers to dive deep into each demand driver, pick up on repeat phrases, and spotlight broken processes that mire customer experiences.

By addressing these – as below – contact centers can fight back against rising contact volumes and improve customer experiences beyond service touchpoints.

2. Spread Intent Insights Across the Organization

Having highlighted broken processes through customer intent analysis, contact centers can separate these into three separate groups:

  1. Internal Issues – Contact centers can resolve this in-house.
  2. External Issues – Upstream problems that require other departments to address.
  3. Policy – These issues require a fundamental change to how the business operates.

By following this framework, contact centers can methodically improve customer experiences by fixing broken processes.

Internal issues often offer quick wins. Yet, helping resolve external issues is likely where contact centers can make the greatest gains.

Such a process starts by broadcasting the issue to the relevant department.

Yet, how can the contact center inspire them to take action? Opening up communication lines, perhaps with the help of a UC platform, is an excellent start.

Next, offer them support in solving the broken process and use conversational analytics to quantify its associated costs. By spreading such insight, the contact center can inspire action.

Unfortunately, issues relating to policy are much trickier to overcome. The contact center can rally for board intervention. Yet, considering self-service and other automation tools is likely the only way for operations to combat the demand driven by these queries.

3. Lead the AI Charge

When it is impossible to address the root cause of a broken process and remove the issue, conversational AI provides the next best solution to smooth over the experience and lower demand.

Such demand is often transactional and routine. Here, virtual agents can help. Unfortunately, such AI often misses the mark.

Indeed, recent research shows that 60 percent of customers suffer from “frequent disappointment” when interacting with chatbots. Just consider the example shared in the video below.

Yet, the video doesn’t only highlight the problem; it also spotlights a possible solution: Qollective.CX

With this new approach to Conversational AI, backed by intents and personas curated specifically for various sectors – businesses can accelerate the process of building and deploying virtual agents that resonate well with their customers.

Moreover, when queries are too complex to automate completely, a virtual agent can collect customer information – as they wait in the queue – and pass that on to the service rep.

As a result, the business streamlines the subsequent interaction.

Agent-assist technologies – also highlighted in the video above – can also help, feeding reps with additional insight and next-step recommendations to improve conversations.

Final Thoughts

By following each of these best practices, contact center leaders can make a more strategic contribution to their company’s vision for customer experience.

Of course, it is not easy. Yet, when successful, these leaders can unlock insights, drive alignment across departments, and harness AI to its full potential.

Moreover, this conversation analytics and AI-powered approach utilizes innovation to improve customer, employee, and business outcomes. As such, it is ideal for brands aspiring to achieve total experience success.



Artificial IntelligenceConversational AI

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