Self-Service: The Changing Nature of the Contact Center

 
Contact centers have been going through a change for some time. The days of fielding quick and simple calls are in the past. Self-service has put the customer in charge of their experience, leaving call centers tasked with facing only the most complex and difficult calls.

Our websites are a bustling foundation for self-service. Customers visit, explore their options, digest our content and in many cases, can self-serve, all with little-to-no human interaction and expense on our part. We have set them free and our margins benefit from it.

Because of the freedom customers now have, it is our job to make sure they receive the same level of service and speed they have come to expect.

We have empowered our customers with the ease of self-service, there are some scenarios that even the savviest of automated systems cannot handle. For these instances, only a trained contact center agent can provide assistance. Our customers have reached out to us and it’s up to us to deliver service and drive customer loyalty.

Expectations for contact agents: Quality over quantity

Contact center agents used to field any number of calls, but now, because of the sheer amount of information at the customer’s finger tips, agents are only fielding the most complex calls. These calls are too difficult or demanding to be handled through automated, self-service channels and need the extra touch only a trained professional can provide.

This is where the training of your agents comes into play.

Since self-service, customer loyalty is no longer defined by the reception of a quick answer to a simple question. Self-service has seen to that. Today, your company is judged by your agents’ abilities to help customers navigate those complex situations and achieve those difficult answers. Your agents are now the face of your company and customers want a solution, not just information. They want a partner to help them navigate a situation they couldn’t handle on their own or through self-service options.

Are your contact center agents ready to provide that?

Empowering your team

As customers, we expect anyone we come in contact with at a company will understand the product or service backwards and forwards and will provide answers  just as we would get through self-service automation. Empowering your agents with additional training resources and establishing a subject matter expert network ensures your team is ready to provide those answers or transfer the customers to someone who can quickly and easily help.

Self-service isn’t going anywhere any time soon. As customers become more and more tech savvy and information can flow freely between company and consumer, the need for talented, trained agents who can quickly remedy the most difficult needs will only be heightened.

Looking for more? Take a look at our white paper, Simplexity, Break Customer Service Out of Chaos and Move Forward. In it, we discuss how to successfully navigate the increasingly complex environment of the contact center.

Customer Experience Update