A brief history of Centralised Service Centres is as follows:
1) Telephone calls via the PBX
2) The introduction of the Call Centre(ACD for inbound, Diallers for outbound – but not together on the same solution!)
3) The introduction of the multi channel Contact Centre (different, but disparate, technologies introduced into the Call Centre including eMail, WebChat, etc etc, and sometimes from the same solution, but not often the case.)
4) The introduction of the omni channel Contact Centre (bringing it all together and linking it so that a customer journey could be followed).
OK, I know I have over simplified things a little, and that the above covers from the early 70’s to the present day, but they all have one thing in common. The services provided by the company reflect how they want to communicate with their clients. Agreed, some of the services were introduced to help their clients, indeed, at the time, some of these services were ground breaking and seen as real improvements from clients trying to contact their suppliers/partners/companies. BUT, the services were generally to the benefit of the company in reducing costs, manpower and “doing it as the company wanted”.
However, clients have also evolved. They are much more involved and connected. They have a variety of ways to communicate with you, but only if you are providing those methods of communications. Are you?
I would suggest that we need to stop, look, listen, investigate, and provide whats really required. – The Customer Experience Centre.
Let me use a good, old fashioned analogy.
Imagine you are the customer, take yourself out of your work environment, and lets pretend you are the customer of a Bank (most, if not all of us, are). There are a number of reasons that I want to contact my bank. How much money is in my account (or not), querying a payment or an amount of money exiting my account, ordering a statement, a bank card, a credit card, arranging a loan, making a payment and, and, and, ……..
Now imagine buying a pair of shoes! Does one size fit all? Does one style satisfy all? Is one colour enough? No of course not. So why do many companies offer just a couple of contact medium? Why do they insist on driving their clients down one route or another? Regardless of if that’s whats wanted.
Back to the bank, if I’m overdrawn I don’t want to talk to someone, its embarrassing. A web based service, or an automated telephony service is what I want. However I want to talk to someone, and quickly, if money has gone out of my account. WebChat might suffice but I might even want to turn this into a call. The bottom line is, as a customer, I want to make the choice, I don’t want the company to make that decision for me. If you dictate to me, then its all to easy to vote with my feet and go to your competitor. Let’s remember that we are in a throw away society, and that includes your company and its services!!
The whole idea around the Customer Experience Centre is exactly that – its a Customer Experience, and we should make that as easy, as quick, and as professional as possible. We should be offering different services, addressing different requirements, at any time, to all of our clients.
Let me leave you with one thought to end this Part 1 of the Customer Experience Centre.
Have you called someone recently? Have you been kept waiting for minutes (in some cases 15 mins, 30 mins, more)? When eventually answered did you feel wanted, appreciated, or more like a burden, or as a “necessary evil”? Were you transferred or did you reach the person to answer your query? After explaining your concern or query the first time did you have to do it again, and again, and …? Did you get your query answered or did you need to escalate? If you escalated was their even a supervisor or manager available? Did you remain calm? Was your query even answered? AND … did you have to call back and start all over again? Worse of all – did this sound like YOUR Contact Centre?
Guys, it’s time to evolve. its time for the Customer Experience Centre ! And guess what? It may not mean “rip & replace”, it doesn’t mean huge expense, it just takes a little time and thought. We are there to help so contact us now. (www.CustomerExperienceCentre).
Does any of the above ring true? Does any of the above touch a nerve? Contact us now, we’d be interested in your views.