It would be difficult to exaggerate just how important the contact center is in the context of an organization's customer service strategy. Without a robust, coordinated, well-run contact center, firms can't hope to fully meet or satisfy their clients. And these days, an unsatisfied customer isn't likely to stick around and give a company another chance – instead, he or she will quickly search the Web and find an industry competitor with better reviews to patronize.
Obviously, every business needs to avoid that fate whenever possible, which leads directly to the importance of optimizing the contact center. To this end, companies should bring unified business communications technology into the contact center. In a number of key ways, UC can have a powerful, positive impact on operations in this area.
"A UC-enabled contact center can offer collaborative problem-solving."
1. Collaborate to solve problems
One of the greatest benefits that a UC-enabled contact center has to offer is the potential for collaborative problem-solving. Writing for Forbes, customer service expert Adrian Swinscoe recently asserted that technology-based collaboration is an essential component of any effective, proactive customer service strategy.
"Given that customer problems exist across the different stages of the customer life-cycle, this will require a collaborative approach across organizational functions to ensure the design and delivery of a successful strategy," Swinscoe wrote.
UC is essential for achieving this level of collaboration. With a high-grade UC solution, employees throughout an organization can engage with one another more quickly, easily and deeply. This means that customer service agents, sales personnel, managers and IT professionals can all communicate to identify the biggest customer-related problems the company faces, as well as develop optimized strategies to respond to these issues. When employees are able to understand one another and each other's roles, customer service personnel will have an easier time understanding and responding to clients' complaints and needs.
2. Maximize with metrics
Another key aspect of successful customer service plans, according to Swinscoe, is the use of pilots. Specifically, he emphasized the value of proactive customer service efforts, which require significant testing to prove effective. Firms should identify common customer problems and then develop pilot programs that can potentially address these issues before they cause the customer any distress. However, such experimental attempts can only prove effective if the organization can accurately measure both the impact of this proactive outreach and the way this impacts employees' day-to-day work lives.
That's where high-quality UC enters the picture. These platforms should feature monitoring tools and database integration capabilities that enable business leaders to truly see how well or poorly the proactive plans are performing in the contact center. This will allow decision-makers to determine whether to expand an experimental customer service pilot program or to instead redirect efforts elsewhere.
3. Get personal
Personalized support is among the most important trends gaining steam in the realm of customer service. Consumers greatly appreciate the attention and care that personalized support demonstrates, and will be much more inclined to remain loyal to a firm that can accommodate their unique preferences.
To provide such customized support, companies need to encourage multi-team collaboration, as Skyword recently explained. Technology is imperative in this capacity. In almost every scenario, delivering a personalized customer experience will demand input and effort from several different departments within the company. UC allows these disparate employees to engage each other as needed, both on a strategic level and in order to address individual problems.
Furthermore, a robust UC system allows a contact center to provide multi-channel support to customers. Clients can choose between video conferencing, instant messaging and more. In a sense, then, UC allows the company to accommodate clients' personal preferences at all times, improving the customer experience as a result.
"Customers remember those times when their expectations are not just met, but exceeded."
4. Go further
Finally, a UC-enabled contact center allows businesses to go further than their rivals, gaining a major competitive edge in the process.
To an extent, this ties together all of the advantages highlighted above. The key, overarching point is that customers remember those times when their expectations are not just met, but exceeded. By providing a customized, personalized support experience, one that combines the best resources from throughout the organization, UC allows companies to truly impress their customers.