Trends in Call Center Customer Experience
I attended Enghouse Interactive’s Customer Interaction Tour yesterday and wanted to share a few key take-aways. First off, it was a very insightful discussion, led by three executive panelists, two from the Healthcare space and one from Financial Services. All three panelists acknowledged that the pace of technology has forever changed how businesses operate and that we face unprecedented challenges, as well as great possibilities to perform better than ever before, if we optimally leverage that technology.
The meeting’s central topic was improving customer experience in call centers, a subject near and dear to our hearts at Clicktools. Within that broader discussion, these subjects rose to the top as the most pressing issues on the minds of the panelists and attendees alike.
- All about mobile. Even in the notoriously slow-to-change Healthcare industry, mobile is the next frontier. One panelist gave many examples about a new generation of customers who expect to be able to book appointments and manage other aspects of their healthcare program through mobile apps. Similarly, in Financial Services, people don’t even want to open their laptops much less travel to the branch to make banking transactions. We expect to be able to perform everything from bill paying to money transfers from our mobile devices. All new technology initiatives must include a mobile option. Period.
- Savvy with surveys. I asked the panel how they were incorporating surveys into their mix of customer communications. Thankfully, all three were heartily surveying customers throughout their journey and reporting on those results. However, I was a bit shocked to learn that they believed surveys should be “owned by marketing.” While this isn’t uncommon, we believe that surveys belong to all customer-facing departments, which is why responses need to be in CRM. Access to centralized feedback is critical to good customer experience. Based on what I heard yesterday, access and action seem to be areas of improvement for many companies.
- Stymied by social. As a cloud company, we warmly accept social media as an integral part of customer interactions. It was quite surprising to learn from the panelists that big financial services companies “don’t want to deal with social.” They use it as an outbound communication platform, but haven’t integrated it into their call centers as a legitimate form of customer feedback. It’s inevitable that they will need to “deal with it” soon. Isolating social media from other communications is burying your head in the sand. Companies that don’t include social interactions into their broader customer experience strategy will be left in the dust.
Thanks to Enghouse Interactive for a great afternoon. I was thrilled to participate and hear the latest call center trends. All in all, things are looking quite positive for how companies leverage various technologies (from mobile to IVR to surveys) to improve the customer experience. It’s a good time to be a customer!