Getting contact centres right

Read time 2min 10sec

Only 25% to 30% of customers are truly satisfied with the service they receive, and some 91% of customers who have had a negative experience will never support the associated business again.

These stats were highlighted by Rod Jones, an industry analyst with more than 30 years' experience in the contact centre industry, during his presentation at the NICE Systems Executive Thought Leadership Seminar, held in Johannesburg this week.

“Managing the customer experience is vital,” said Jones, who also pointed out that, of the customers whose issues are successfully resolved, 70% would happily do business with the brand again.

According to Gartner, contact centres are under massive pressure to deliver a positive customer experience and increase revenue for the business without relaxing efficiency and service quality.

Darryl Marcus, regional sales manager for NICE EMEA, echoes this. “Today, the agents in the contact centre are the front of the business; the customer expects them to know everything about the business.”

One of the challenges many call centres face is the poor state of their business process management, which ultimately affects customer service. Audits of contact centres found that communication errors were commonly as high as 30%, something Jones believes can be eradicated through the standardisation of agent interactions.

“This will also reduce training time and create a more holistic organisation,” Jones says, adding that workforce optimisation is essential in order for a business to successfully manage the customer experience.

Increasingly, customers are demanding that brands interact with them across various channels. In line with this, Jones asserts that it is in every organisation's best interest to invest in the development of a mobile app, as it serves as another touch point between a brand and the consumer.

For NICE's customer transformation manager, Hayley Kitson, businesses need to recognise the opportunity in each interaction with the customer and capitalise on it.

“Contact centre agents need to be as prepared as they can be. Agents must carefully listen to each unique request and then attempt to solve the problem.”

It is eight times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one, said Jones, thus businesses owe it to themselves to get these interactions right.

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