Bryan R. Martin at 8×8 outlines 2023 contact centre trends and how contact centre tech will get new decision makers.
The turmoil of the past few years has brought the contact centre to the forefront of the leadership agenda.
C-suite leaders who previously had little understanding of the customer support organization finally understood that the contact centre is an anchor for customer loyalty and revenue.
Without operational brick and mortar locations, the contact centre became—literally overnight—the first touchpoint for every customer.
Agents became the face of the organization and brand stewards for the company. Protecting an organization’s brand, and by association its revenue, became the new battle cry.
Businesses were so disrupted that investments in the contact centre, and other customer-facing areas, became a board-level focus. CIOs, CTOs, and IT leaders were charged with how to arm agents and employees with the best communication tools to deliver optimized customer experiences (CX.)
The New Contact Centre Decision Makers
A recent Metrigy Customer Experience Transformation 2022-23 global research study validates this. According to the report, CIO, CTO, or technology leaders are the decision-makers on contact centre vendor selection nearly 60% of the time. Chief Customer Officer and/or CX leaders are involved 35% of the time.
We would expect that, in the face of absolute economic challenges, these numbers will rise as organizations seek to balance costs and preserve long-term loyalty and revenue.
Just as the financial crisis of 2008 resulted in heightened levels of shared decision making, the impending financial crisis will require IT leaders to take a hard look at the ROI of their customer support and CX investment.
IT Responsible for Powering Company-Wide Customer Service and Support
While “customer satisfaction is everyone’s job” may have been a mission statement for many organizations over the years, the actuality of delivering on this was without a doubt realized during the pandemic.
While acknowledging that the entire enterprise should share ownership of the customer, these same leaders were challenged by how to deliver on that vision. In premises-based environments, the conversation quickly turned to the cloud.
When the contact centre was a premise-based, siloed solution, providers sought out customer care leaders and contact centre managers because they had the decision-making power.
IT was involved to make sure the new technology was not going to interfere with the other systems they had in place. And conveniently, as the name “siloed” implies, they did not. This is one reason for the lack of extreme involvement in these decisions.
Cloud-Based, Enterprise-Wide Solutions Deliver
To arm remote agents and connect all employees in the servicing and support of customers, these leaders knew they needed to take a hard look at benefits of cloud-based contact centre and communication platforms.
In many cases, the band-aid solutions (i.e., disconnected voice, video, messaging, meetings, and contact centre) put in place at the start of the pandemic were already showing signs that they were not viable for the long term.
The most cost-effective and easiest-to-manage approach is an enterprise-wide solution. With a cloud-based, single-platform solution, all of these disconnected applications are brought together to support all employees across the organization.
With a single platform, both agents and employees can access all the information they need to help customers because all the systems are integrated.
With integrated voice, video, messaging, meetings, and contact centre, agents have all the information they need to help customers.
And if they don’t have the right information or need something unique, they can quickly access CRM data and/or reach out to a subject matter expert for help. This improves first call resolution and leads to a great customer experience.
How are these changes affecting your organization? Are you being pulled into conversations regarding contact centre solutions? What changes have you made to your overall CX strategy?
Want to read more contact centre trends and predictions for 2023 and beyond? Click here.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of 8x8 – View the Original Article
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