At one point, your choices for contact center technology were pretty limited to telephones. This resulted in the establishment and standardization of the call center as the de facto way to handle customer service. Well, this worked alright for a while, but then we decided that we should increase the sophistication of the technology powering this. We eliminated operators, and replaced it with awful automated relays, giving us phone trees. We created call waiting and hold mechanics, creating a purgatory in which customers are driven slowly insane by elevator music, sequential advert recordings and often a crescendo of someone who didn’t even speak the language of the customer fluently.
Oh, the humanity. Well, thankfully, in this modern, more civilized world we now live in, there’s more diversity with contact center technology, and you can go multi channel with how your customers may contact you. There are two reasons for this being a brilliant idea.
First, it reduces the payload handled by the call center, reducing hold times for them. Second, it gives customers options for other ways to contact you, because some people don’t like phones that much, at least for handling this sort of thing.
#1 – Help Desk/Ticket Systems
These aren’t new, and they fell out of favor for a while, because the technology to make them fast, responsive and easy to use just wasn’t there yet. But, with systems like Zendesk, help desk and ticket systems are actually pretty good nowadays.
Systems like this can update agents in real time when pressing issues are filed, and handle email alerts when the agents respond, and even transfer this over to chat systems if the issue can’t be handled over the static messaging of the desk system. Many also offer integration with social networks as well, bring in that vaunted social network support system.
#2 – Live Chat Systems
Like I said above, sometimes live chat is needed, because a real time rapport needs to be established. Systems like LivePerson helps with this much more easily than trying to coordinate a proprietary char system, or using an external instant messaging system.
#3 – WalkMe
WalkMe is an onboarding system originally designed to make step by step tutorials to guide users through using a web interface so they can train by doing. It integrates directly into a given web interface, where it can control and watch the state of the entire form, and thus interact with the user.
This allows it to stop a process, and use popups and focus control to guide a user to the right steps at the right times, opening up immensely complex processes to users with minimal levels of technical skills. It can be easily programmed with a point and click setup.
This is the ultimate solution to self service – the holy grail of support, and it kind of snuck in under the radar. People thought self service would never be practical, and then, one day, it was.
These sort of contact center technologies make your lives and those of your customers much easier, and none of them are terribly expensive, so it’s a good idea to adopt them all to some fashion, and get the support trifecta that puts your company on top.