Consumers these days have the need for speed, and anything less than prompt is considered an inconvenience. A cloud contact center with self-service options is the modern approach to building exemplary customer experience. Ultimately, it should provide a choice for the customer, putting them in the driving seat, and allowing them to select the mode of communication, the platform, the time of day, and whether they want a bot or a human.
Give them more control over their experience with you, and you’ll have happy customers. Not only are happy customers loyal, but they are the most organic brand ambassadors you’ll ever have.
Catering to the digital native
It’s true that customers have become very demanding, and it’s likely that this only become more apparent as technology advances. Today, 23% of the world's population are millennials. Beating them to the top spot though is Gen Z, the rising generation of true digital natives, making up almost a third of the people on the planet (32%).
This demographic shift means retailers need to adapt – and now. Speed, convenience and instant gratification are key, so contact center processes need to be flawless. While it feels like a tall order, the important thing to remember is that the customer wants the same things as you do:
- Fast resolutions to queries, issues or complaints
- Zero complications along the way
- No time wasted (more time to focus on other tasks)
The speed of resolution could be the difference between a returning customer and one that chooses a competitor the next time they shop. That’s what makes a cloud contact center with efficient omnichannel routing and self-service vital to your success with the digital generation.
Accelerating response times
Looking at global social media stats, the expected response time for queries on brand social platforms is largely on the same day, with over 80% of shoppers deeming this to be an appropriate turnaround. However, over a quarter actually expect a response within the hour, and 18% expect an immediate response.
This is also backed up by NICE inContact research, which shows both consumer and brand desire for faster response times. Other important highlights include:
- 8 in 10 consumers are willing to switch companies due to poor customer service
- Almost three quarters (72%) of customers now expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of method of communication
This is where omnichannel comes in as the solution for elevated customer service, because a prompt and joined-up experience can make customers happier and more likely to stay with you.
The power of the cloud contact center
In order to deliver faster response times, your contact center needs to be up to the job. What businesses must also factor in is the rising remote workforce, emboldened further by the recent global pandemic. With more at-home agents than ever before, assigning staff and making sure customers queries are dealt with quickly can be challenging.
The cloud contact center is efficient, reliable, flexible and capable of supporting distributed teams working anywhere in the world, and in any time zone. Not only does a cloud-based omnichannel hub improve the lives of customers, but it empowers employees to achieve targets and provide the best possible service.
Another huge benefit of cloud services is improved workforce management. This is key for assigning the right agent to the right customer, and for scheduling staff effectively. There needs to be a balance in people and technology too, providing a choice for customers when it comes to getting in touch.
The research by NICE inContact tells us that while 67% of customers prefer agent-assisted customer service (such as phone, email and online chat), a third prefer self-service. With the rise of conversational AI voice technology and chatbots, you can serve more customers and resolve issues faster. By freeing up your agents with self-service technology, you can manage resource better, ensuring your best people are able to focus on those higher-value interactions.
All made possible through cloud, and reinforced with AI and automation, retailers can delight digital natives with their speed and efficiency.
Self-service is growing
Happy customers are often the ones you never hear from. But when there is contact, it needs to be streamlined and effective. A certain percentage of customer problems are relatively easy to solve, and require little interaction with your team. This is why self-service technologies are on the rise, with the market poised for growth at a significant pace from now until 2027.
No longer just “nice to have”, self-service should be an essential part of your contact center strategy. The benefits include always being available (even outside of office hours), being easy and convenient to use, and being low-cost to run. However, despite the fact that many organizations have self-serve channels today, it doesn’t translate to satisfied shoppers. The future is in conversational AI, and bots that mimic human language for more natural, personalized assistance.
To really make self-service systems successful, there needs to be context across the customer journey. Investing in the right technology is the first step, and integration is the next. After that, your entire operation needs to be aligned, with data being shared in the right places, actionable insight being used in the right way, and channels joined up to deliver a united front.
It’s not just the direct benefits for your customers that you should be celebrating either. Self-service technologies can provide your workers with the tools they need to excel. Together with a performance-driven, remote-worker-focused cloud contact center, chatbots can alleviate workload, helping to keep your staff engaged. This leads to increased productivity, better performance, and customers that are satisfied with outcomes.
A contact center that is fit-for-purpose does more than just getting the job done. It can change culture and alter ways of working, giving your business the edge in today’s competitive digital environment. In a time where experience is paramount, the secret lies in choosing the right technology and making it work to your advantage, always with your staff wellbeing in mind.