VoiceSage’s John Duffy discusses how proactive technologies are helping contact centre teams engage with even the most sensitive customers
Ask any contact centre manager about the reality of their job today, and you’ll get an answer along these lines: customers are becoming both more demanding, and more sensitive.
After all, today’s modern, wired-up, multi-channel customer expects a consistent and seamless experience from their service provider, no matter if that’s for their banking, travel, car insurance or dating needs. And if any service provider fails to satisfy those expectations, rival brands connected to the consumer in multiple other ways will be the ones they turn to.
We recently had the chance to capture some of the thinking that’s shaping the sector when we debated these issues with our partners and customers at an industry conference.
We conducted some vox pop interviews at the conference [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj76qUnfh__fDVTWxhTvHyg], as well as some written interviews [http://www.voicesage.com/index.php/the-sensitive-demanding-customer-reality-you-have-to-deal-with/].
A key topic we explored in these exchanges: ‘What can we do to help customer more?’ Perhaps current contact centre thinking is best summed up by Martin Williams, Business Development at the CX Company, who told us, “Give us tools to allow customers to be more demanding. That’s really, really important.”
Sensitive is another form of choice
Meanwhile, customers appreciate the need for sensitive and discrete communications. As Lee Trenam, Senior Account Director at my company comments, “There’s still a challenge around making sure the contact medium used matches the needs of the particular environment or scenario.”
Lee’s point centres on the most sensitive area of contact centre work – credit collections. Most people are reluctant to take a voice call, due to the likely embarrassment of speaking to an agent to explain their current financial situation.
However, they are far more likely to respond, practitioners are finding, and in a timely manner, to a text that appears quietly on their handset offering a call to action that they can respond to remotely/anonymously. “So much easier for many people than speaking to someone,” he points out.
In sum, the modern customer landscape is one that demands maximum choice, which means we must be able to adapt to changing preferences.
And in collections it’s particularly important that communications are always customer-centred, focusing on the customer’s needs and respecting sensitivities – which are really, surely, just another form of customer choice?
To check out our interviews, go here [https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj76qUnfh__fDVTWxhTvHyg] for the full video version of our conversations and here for the written interview [http://www.voicesage.com/index.php/the-sensitive-demanding-customer-reality-you-have-to-deal-with/]
The author is Enterprise Consultant at VoiceSage [www.voicesage.com], a leading provider of proactive customer outreach solutions