Digital Transformation: Redefining Call Centres for the 21st Century
By Gerhard Heide, Director, Global Market Strategy, Pitney Bowes
Call centres are on the front lines for customer engagement. For all intents and purposes, the face of your company are the agents on the phones who directly interact with your customers on a given day, at any given time. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to make sure that their call centre strategies are on point. That means Digital Transformation of call centres must be a top priority.
New communications channels provide new opportunities for improved customer engagement and increased revenue. But, if not properly leveraged, these can also backfire, siloing different segments of important customer data away from each other. This could then lead to confused call centre agents, who don’t have access to all of the customer information they need (even if it happens to be stored, somewhere, in their company databases) and irritated customers who don’t think they’re being heard or understood.
That’s why, to stay lock-step with the needs of today’s customers, businesses need to undergo a more intuitive Digital Transformation of how their call centres operate.
Breaking Down the Silos of Multichannel Workflows
In spite of the rapid rise of email, social media and other digital touchpoints, voice is still the most widely used channel for interacting with customers, accounting for about 73 percent of customer communications. After all, if you want to ensure you’re giving the best possible impression of unique and personalized customer service, having a friendly human voice on the other end of the line goes a long way.
But, that’s also exactly why Digital Transformation has to be top of mind for businesses. Any Digital Transformation strategy worth its name needs to ensure that agents are getting access to all of the customer information they need. This breaks down the silos that tend to build up around other channels, and integrate previously disparate data into one unified solution.
Not only does Digital Transformation grant call centre agents high-speed access to customer information, it also enables them to maneuver customer interactions based on past behaviors, transactions or queries. These data-driven insights inform a personalized approach that can recommend best-next-actions for customers, craft targeted outbound communications (email, social media and SMS alerts, for example) and deliver first-call resolutions for a more engaged and satisfying customer experience.
The Benefits are Mutual
And, it’s not as if call centre Digital Transformation only leads to more benefits on the customer’s end. There’s a huge benefit to the business itself, too, including higher rates of sales conversions, more potential cross-sell opportunities and a lower chance of errors. After all, the more access that call centre agents have to customer profiles and behaviour, the better decisions they can make to satisfy customers and generate revenue; a win-win solution for everyone.
Deploying a digital solution like interactive personalised video also helps to maximise the value of your employees and their relationships with customers. Video serves as a handy tool that can field many of the most common queries a customer may have, ensuring that the more routine or repetitive tasks aren’t bombarding your call centre reps. This, in turn, allows call centre teams to focus on only the most high-value communications.
Being a 21st century business means having a 21st century digital customer engagement strategy. Call centres are still as important and relevant as ever, but what really defines a productive, cost-efficient and ultimately successful call centre is the ability to leverage customer information gleamed from tools like interactive personalised video and digital self-service portals to provide more unique, personalised interactions and ultimately drive repeat business.
To read more about how Pitney Bowes is leveraging intuitive new Digital Transformation technologies to generate revenue and higher levels of customer engagement, check out our white paper, “Engagement in the Age of the Customer.”
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