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What Contact Centers Can Do Now to Address Shifting Customer Behaviors

What Contact Centers Can Do Now to Address Shifting Customer Behaviors

Unprecedented times in 2020 have led to ongoing changes in consumer behavior and a scramble by businesses to meet their customers’ shifting demands. In response, companies must renew their focus on delivering the best possible customer experience every time, and across all touchpoints. They must also keep in mind that customer expectations are based on the best experience they have ever had with any brand, not just your competitors.

Earlier in this 3-part blog series, we looked at recent changes in consumer demands (Part 1), including the top five contact center customer behavior trends that are here to stay (Part 2). They include: higher expectations of agents, a demand for multiple communication channels, and a more personalized and consistent experience. Here, we discuss how contact centers can prepare now to address both current and future changes in customer behavior in order to future-proof their contact center operations.

Here are the top things that contact centers can do now to deliver on the ever-shifting demands of customers.

• Anywhere customer service and engagement

Thanks to COVID, companies learned quickly that a flexible, omnichannel cloud-based technology that supports on-site, remote and hybrid working models is fundamental to being able to deliver the best possible experience to customers from anywhere at any time. A cloud-based infrastructure allows companies to pivot when necessary from an on-premise to remote workforce with little to no business interruption. It also allows businesses to quickly scale operations up and down.

• Omnichannel provides seamless communication across multiple channels

An omnichannel cloud-based platform is the key to supporting multiple channels of communication in order to meet the ever-increasing expectations that customers have of contact center agents. Not only do customers want to interact with companies anytime and anywhere, they also want to interact on the channels of their choice. Plus, they want the experience to be seamless from one channel to another. This means that every interaction must be an extension of the last.

Today’s customers quickly lose their patience when they call into a contact center (or text or chat, etc.) and companies don’t have the technologies in place to automatically identify them and, in some cases, know why they are calling. To meet customer expectations, agents must be able to access all pertinent customer data in one place from a variety of sources – CRM, external databases, speech analytics and other enterprise systems. Customers don’t really care how it is done, they simply want companies to answer their questions or fix their issue expeditiously.

• Leveling up agent skills to ensure the best customer experience every time

Shifting customer needs and preferences can make it challenging for contact centers to train and coach agents to ensure that they provide a consistent and exceptional customer experience during every interaction. To help agents level-up their skills, many contact centers are turning to gamification for everything from new hire on-boarding and coaching to perpetual training and development.

• Self-serve is the new “preferred” service

Limited self-service options and the typical tiered approach to customer service are no longer hitting the mark. According to a recent article, 67% of customers prefer self-service, and with a continued increase in options and improvement and AI, this number is expected to go up.

• AI delivers on its promise

Although Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for a while it has really come into its own this past year. It enables speech analytics to provide more and more precise insights on customers and processes. It also powers intelligent IVR, optimized and scalable workforce management, predictive analytics, self-service, and hyper automation. AI is playing an increasingly significant role in powering all forms of digital transformation and accelerating its adoption. As AI continues to evolve, it will help deliver more personalized and relevant experiences and reshape how businesses and customers communicate.

 



Interested in learning more? Check out these related resources:


Webinar on Demand: Expert Panel Q&A: How Changing Customer Behavior Will Impact Contact Centers in 2021
Customer behavior is shifting when it comes to contact center communication. These changes have been amplified by the impact of the pandemic. Contact centers must learn to adapt and provide responsive services to retain the loyalty of their customers. What does your business need to meet these changing customer expectations? Join us as our Panel of Experts addresses issues that are critical to contact center businesses today. Don’t miss this chance to learn from industry specialists and discover how you can take advantage of the changing environment to deliver a better customer experience in 2021.

Infographic: Top 5 Customer Behavior Trends For Contact Centers
This infographic provides a snapshot of survey results from companies around the globe, highlighting how they are addressing shifting consumer expectations with advanced communication technologies.

Ebook: Changing Customer Behavior and the Impact on Contact Centers
Customer behavior has seen a major shift in recent years, and changes were even more accelerated due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. A recent global survey conducted by Noble asked companies to assess the behavior of their customers to help determine the current state of consumer needs and to learn what changes contact centers are making to keep up with these demands. The results provide some interesting reading, including how customer expectations are changing and how contact center leaders are taking action to respond to the changing landscape.