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The Contact Centre is often viewed as anecessary evil, by both companies andtheir customers. To companies, it can be anexp...
WHITE PAPERContact CentresContact Centre’s generate value primarily in the “buy” and “service/support” phases of thecustom...
3. Consumer have a difference of opinionTake a look at Facebook as an example; there are over 80 Contact Centre Groups on ...
WHITE PAPER:Contact Centres.4. Consumers in the driving seat.In the midst of all the challenges facing Contact Centres tod...
6. Short and long term effects on the business.The upcoming generation is more comfortable with self-service and automatio...
6Gaining knowledge at everycustomer touch point tocontinuously improve theservice experience.8.The integrated experience.T...
Managers need a new multi-dimensional view into service interactions to maximise ContactCentre investments.The magnitude a...
Network InfrastructureFrom consultancy and designthrough to implementationand management.Professional ServicesAn addition ...
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Whitepaper - The Changing Face of Contact Centres | Voyager Networks

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Whitepaper - The Changing Face of Contact Centres | Voyager Networks

  1. 1. The Contact Centre is often viewed as anecessary evil, by both companies andtheir customers. To companies, it can be anexpensive cost centre that produces vagueand immeasurable results. To customers,it can represent an unsatisfactory end to afrustrating quest through the labyrinth ofan Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu.Here at Voyager we are exploring new ways of thinking aboutContact Centres, in order to transform them from a large expenseon the balance sheet to a business differentiator that actuallycreates value for both you and your customers.WHITE PAPER Contact CentresA look at the changingface of Contact Centres.
  2. 2. WHITE PAPERContact CentresContact Centre’s generate value primarily in the “buy” and “service/support” phases of thecustomer lifecycle. Value in the “buy” phase is simple to explain, any sales function has aclearly definable business metric that pays its own way. The biggest challenge faced bymost organisations is with the service and support function, the link to downstreambusiness value creation is less obvious, while the cost to the organisation of running aContact Centre is often painfully apparent.With the rise of the Web, the role of the Contact Centre has expanded to include“e-service,” which includes devices such as mobile phones and modes of interaction suchas chat and video. The essential challenge for organisations today is to find the balancebetween managing costs in the Contact Centre and understanding the impact of ContactCentre interactions on customer behavior downstream.Traditional Call Centre’s are run using very tight operational metrics but with little viewof how their customer interactions affect factors such as customer retention and long-term revenue. In the current economic climate it’s essential to examine how changes incustomer expectations, empowered by technology are changing the calculus and increasingthe complexity of decision making in the Contact Centre environment.1. Contact Centres of the 21st Century.Traditional Contact Centre’s are undoubtedly trying to change. However, many of themetrics used to measure success – such as first contact resolution, speed to answer andcustomer satisfaction – seem to be moving in the wrong direction. Contact Centre’s stillstruggle with the double negative of low agent utilisation and high rates of staff attrition,which has dire impact on costs. This is a situation that is not likely to encourageorganisations to make further investments. Nonetheless, on the cost control side,companies are taking steps in the right direction, with investments in IP telephony,IVRs and other automated systems, outsourcing, virtualisation, and integration ofweb and voice functions, the problem is if they are poorly executed they can lead tomore serious customer dissatisfaction.2. Customer Satisfaction – A priorityOne other factor to consider is the clear disconnect between Executive perception andCustomer reality.If you ask any Executive to name their top 3 strategic business priorities, customersatisfaction is guaranteed to be one of them. And quite right too, in these barren times ofcourse customer retention trumps customer acquisition.Firstly it’s important tounderstand where theContact Centre fits in theoverall customerrelationship lifecycle.2
  3. 3. 3. Consumer have a difference of opinionTake a look at Facebook as an example; there are over 80 Contact Centre Groups on the site,the majority of which are derogatory, with both Customers and Contact Centre staff usingthe site as a platform to bear their grudges. This is not an isolated example, the connectedconsumer is becoming the norm, their voices are now heard and their influence is growing.In the past the consequences of poor service in the Contact Centre were not alwaysapparent, not so today. At a time when companies should be working harder to make theircustomers happy and persuade them to continue spending their hard-earned cash, manyseem to be getting it very wrong, according to new research conducted by YouGov. Theyrevealed that only one in 12 of those questioned “feel valued” by the companies they aredoing business with, after dealing with their call centre.When companies should be investing in ensuring a positive beginning-to-end experiencefor their customers with their organisations, it was found that the majority of thosequestioned (76%) have contacted customer service because of problems that could beperceived by consumers to have been avoidable if the company had taken more carewith theirproductsandservices(i.e.billingerrors,technicalissues,and problems withdeliveries or missed service calls).When consumers attempt to deal with issues, the negative perception of their service /product providers’ attitude towards them is reinforced, with many of those questionedreporting giving up without having their problems solved - 63% when using online facilities and48% after phone contact. And over a third of those questioned had to re-contact customerservices to get their issues dealt with completely when they do persevere.No wonder over a 1/4 of those questioned for the survey have actually postponedmaking contact with a supplier to address a problem, presumably because they couldn’tface dealing with the hassles and delays associated with the call centre. And that 34% ofthose questioned reported that they now expect to get poor service when they finally getdo get through to a customer service agent.With this kind of data, it is clear that the Contact Centre experience is an important part ofthe overall customer relationship and needs to be transformed.34%of people calling a contactcentre expect to get poorcustomer service48%people giving up after onecontact without having theirproblems sorted69%expect a completeresolution on the first call3In the past theconsequences of poorservice in the ContactCentre were not alwaysapparent, not so today.
  4. 4. WHITE PAPER:Contact Centres.4. Consumers in the driving seat.In the midst of all the challenges facing Contact Centres today, a new complication hasarisen. A new generation of empowered customers has arrived, with the both thedesire and the ability to take control. Armed with the power of the Internet and themany options it provides for sharing information, consumers are now in the driver’s seat.We are dealing with a new generation of consumers who have different skills, differentexpectations, and different needs. They share experiences and influence opinions in blogsand social networking communities. They create and share content on YouTube and Flikr,and get involved in consumer-driven product development efforts. They have productreviews at their fingertips, and can write their own reviews to share their experiences withothers. They enjoy nearly ubiquitous connectivity, allowing them to access informationand services from nearly anywhere, using their choice of device. They have grown to expectpersonalisation, customisation, and the ability to serve themselves whenever and howeverit is most convenient for them.All of these new customer-empowering capabilities have raised consumer expectationsacross the board. Customers want a consistent, high-quality service experience regardlessof how and when they interact with the Contact Centre. Organisations have respondedby adding e-service components, but without necessarily connecting them with existingservice channels, especially the call centre. The result is the worst of both worlds: morecomplexity to manage, but little credit from customers, and few of the business benefitsthat accrue from the multi channel environment.The Customer Conversation report fromForrester puts this into context.5. Customer expectations – Customers want a consistent, high quality experience… > 69% expect a complete resolution on the first call > 57% are dissatisfied with contact center experience > 38% try an alternative channel first > 35% want to reach a live agent when required…But Companies interact inconsistently across Channels > Only 43% of firms know about a problem before a customer does > Only 43% alter service based on a customer’s profitability > Only 37% know if they share a customer with another division > Only 23% of phone agents can see customers’ web activityNot only do new technology tools give customers higher expectations, they also givethem a greater ability to broadcast their negative interactions to a mass audience in avery compelling way.In the midst of all these challenges there are also some very positive opportunitiespresented by the empowered consumer.4Customers have grown toexpect personalisation,customisation, and theability to serve themselveswhenever and however it ismost convenient for them.23%of phone agents can sescustomers’ web activity37%know if they share acustomer withanother division
  5. 5. 6. Short and long term effects on the business.The upcoming generation is more comfortable with self-service and automation thanprevious consumers, if these services are well executed. They are also looking to newchannels, such as the mobile Internet and SMS messaging, through which to manage theirservice interactions. These new expectations and capabilities are beginning to force aredefinition of the Contact Centre, which will undoubtedly accelerate over the nextthree-to-five years.Meanwhile, in the face of these rising expectations and new modes of service and supportdelivery, organisations continue to make short-term decisions to manage costs, which canhave highly significant impact on the long-term health of the business.So here’s the key question:Can companies have it both ways?Can they improve their customers’ experience with the Contact Centre and reduce costs?We believe they can.7. System integration is key to a lessfragmented experience for customers.While Contact Centres have expanded their reach in terms of the channels and modes ofinteraction, they have not necessarily created an integrated customer service experience.Web teams have developed standalone web services without integrating them into themain Contact Centre infrastructure. In-store customer service agents donothaveaccesstocustomers’onlineorcallcentrehistory.The result is a fragmented, fractured experience forcustomers. Without integration, customers see the added electronic channels as a meansof reducing call traffic, but not necessarily as a way of improving customer service.5New expectations andcapabilities are beginningto force a redefinition ofthe Contact Centre, whichwill undoubtedly accelerateover the next three tofive years.
  6. 6. 6Gaining knowledge at everycustomer touch point tocontinuously improve theservice experience.8.The integrated experience.The next Contact Centre evolution will be one that takes us from a disconnected, siloedservice and support approach to a rich, integrated, multi-dimensional experience. This newcustomer-centric Contact Centre experience offers a rich experience at every touch point,encompassing all of the following: Multiple channels deliver the service experience consistently, coherently and cost effectively through any device or channel of access that makes sense for the customer. Multiple modes deploy the full range of Web 2.0 and multimedia interaction tools to deliver a relevant, engaging and satisfying service experience across channels, devices and stakeholders. Five years ago, we wouldn’t be discussing contact modality - it was voice, or voice. With the rise of the Internet, Web 2.0 tools, and broadband, the mode of interaction becomes a potentially powerful tool in the service and support toolkit. The array of possibilities is dizzying – from “click-to-chat,” to virtual worlds and social networks. Multiple stakeholders extend the network of service and support providers to deliver an outstanding service experience by including other corporate knowledge holders, partners and customers through use of collaboration tools. The enablers are the new technologies and new business processes that liberate expertise, wherever it may reside, to be shared with customers, wherever they may reside.9. Maximising investments.Finally, this approach is able to derive Multi-point insight from interactions across theservice experience, gaining knowledge at every customer touch point to continuouslyimprove the service experience.To fully understand the value impact of a truly multi dimensional Contact Centreexperience, we need to manage and measure Contact Centre’s in a more holistic way thatrecognises the overall short-and long-term effects of our decisions. Most Contact Centre’shave to manage to very tight operational metrics, primarily cost per contact. Managers donot always have downstream visibility into how customers behave when they move out ofthe Contact Centre: Do they purchase more products? Or do they defect to a competitor?What is their annual per-customer revenue?Without being able to see this downstream cause and effect, Contact Centre managers arein danger of making short-term decisions to meet cost performance goals without beingable to see their long-term effect. For example, cutting seats or putting pressure onassociates to get customers off the phone more quickly will have the required effect onContact Centre costs, but could adversely impact overall revenue and profitability.WHITE PAPER:Contact Centres.
  7. 7. Managers need a new multi-dimensional view into service interactions to maximise ContactCentre investments.The magnitude and relative importance of the various value drivers changes dramaticallyacross industries. There is no “one-size-fits-all” prescription. The precise balance betweenexperience improvement and cost reduction will depend on the particular industry,especially on the revenue per customer and churn rates.So what do you need to get started in the process of transforming a Contact Centreinto a Customer Experience Centre?You begin by asking the right questions.Executives can use these questions to start identifying what kind of opportunities theyhave, what kind of experience they may want to create, and how to develop a roadmap totransition today’s one dimensional, cost intensive Contact Centre into a strategic assetthat delivers sustainable competitive differentiation.In beginning this transformation process, use all the technology tools and capabilities thatare available and appropriate to meet the empowered customer on the customers’ terms.Understandtherichmixofinteractionchannelsandmodes,alwaystakeanintegrated,customercentric approach, and look at the long-term impact of your Contact Centre decisions.And finally, optimise your Contact Centre strategy by aligning customer needs with yourbusiness model to create value for customers, and your organisation.The result will no longer be a cost-draining call centre, but a competitively differentiated,value-creating “customer experience centre.”7Transforming a ContactCentre into a CustomerExperience Centre.Source: Cisco IBSG, 2008Multi – Channel> What are the most appropriate access points for customers?> What is the role of each channel ?> What is the cost to serve by channel?> What role can technology play?Multi – Modal> How do we develop the right content for the right customers in the right channel> How do we ensure consistency across content types> How do we measure effectiveness of different modes of interaction?> How do we develop and manage compelling, engaging content on an ongoing basis?MultiStakeholder> Where does expertise reside? > Enterprise > Partners > Customers> How can the expertise be connected to the point of customer access?> How empowered are employees to solve problems for customers?> How are expertsMulti – PointInsight> How do we measure short and long term impact of service experience on customer value drivers?> How do we derive insight across channels and modes of interactions?> What economic model will help us understand relative benefits of service channels, and the interaction modes most appropriate to our operating model?
  8. 8. Network InfrastructureFrom consultancy and designthrough to implementationand management.Professional ServicesAn addition to your IT departmentoffering you flexible, highlyprofessional Network specialists.Managed Network ServicesComplete management of yourCommunications. Network givingyou the time to manage yourbusiness.Unified CommunicationsSimplifying and integrating allforms of communications in viewto reducing response times andincreasing efficiencies.SecuritySecuring your entire network atevery level for piece of mind andprotection to your critical network.MobilitySeamless integration across all yourcommunication devices allowingreal mobile working.Our strategic partners.The value to our customers is our expertise. We have invested heavily in our peopleso they become experts in the UK’s leading IT vendors products and services. Ourestablished and trusted partnerships along with the highest vendor accreditationsensure our customers receive the highest levels of support and advice with the mostadvanced and innovative solutions.Voyager Networks helps organisations achieve growth,operational cost reduction and increased staff productivitythrough advanced communications technologies.The Unified Communications Experts.VOY|CONCEN01Voyager Networks LimitedVoyager House, Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ.02476 417 417 02476 414 817 info@voyager.net.uk www.voyager.net.uk© Voyager Networks Limited.This document is the Intellectual Property of Voyager Networks Limited.Its contents should not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior permission of Voyager.T F E WVoyager has implemented a variety of solutions, many of whichare pioneering in their sector. For more information on theseprojects please contact us using the methods below.Talk to our team today on 02476 417 417Or visit us online at www.voyager.net.uk