As we continue to meet with customer experience professionals and get underneath the realities of the challenges they’re facing – an explosion in customer demand, changing expectations and the realities of the “tsunami of now” – there is a second story emerging. We have spent a good portion of the last couple of decades in this space, and we think it is an important movement.
The criticality and value of the "humble" contact centre is again being recognised by the CSuite.
If the last few years have been all about frictionless digital interactions, self-service and chatbots, this year has been about giving customers the service they need where, when, and how they need it – which has largely ended up being the contact centre.
This has widely been reflected across the industry, as shown by this recent article from IT Wire, 'Why the COVID-19 crisis has made contact centre agents more important than ever' or The Australian's piece 'Contact centres in the spotlight: will the COVID-19 crisis be a catalyst for improving customer experience.'
As we practitioners know, the contact centre has always been a critical part of the customer experience. But in the last few years, there has been an amount of executive currency lost amongst the noise around digital transformation and the "cool" new tools and the promises they make around efficiencies.
The reality remains - when customers are under stress, they want the fastest access to a human as possible.
As a contact centre manager of a long-time client said:
"If their house is on fire, they don't want to self-serve via a chatbot to get to the fire department."
COVID has brought this reality into stark relief, which is promising – it gets the contact centre back to the top of the agenda, where it belongs. This highlights the next challenge for us to face – how do we seize this moment, and stay there.
One of the benefits of Customer Driven advisory is that we talk to many different customer experience professionals from a broad range of different industries and companies. This gives us a unique and interesting insight into the different thinking that’s going on at the moment, as companies grapple with the change required.
We’ll be sharing a series of posts on what this looks like, to help you capture this opportunity and lead the conversation.