Guest Post by Bassam Salem, Chief Business Officer at inContact, the largest provider of cloud contact center software and infrastructure solutions.
The world has massively changed in the last decade. Technology has evolved sooner than many of us expected, and lead to a complete transformation of how the customer experience is regarded. From marketing to customer service, everything has been revolutionized. Nowadays everything seems to have become fully automatic, and customers expect to receive everything they want in an instance. Not surprisingly, such progress has affected a business department who is mainly responsible for engaging customers and providing an above-the-par experience: contact center.
Customers still need to interact with a human being from time to time, but this doesn’t mean they lower their usual expectations. In this regard, there are 3 reasons why many businesses fail to adapt to customers’ expectation:
1. They expect to use their own communication channel, every time
When it comes to communication progress, a short history is to be noted. 30 years ago, customers expected businesses to provide a unique toll-free number to them, where they could relation to a human being. 20 years ago, customers expected to receive the option to email the same business to receive help. Fax technology was also increasingly popular at those times, though it was gradually replaced by the modern systems. 10 years ago, customers expected to be able to access a company’s website and possible even engage in a web-based chat conversation with it. In present times, customers expect to be able to reach a company via all the available means, which were introduced since 1983 and until now. These include email, chat, social networks, text messages, mobile applications and more.
This omnichannel increase is expected to continue its upward trend over the next years, since the number of concurring channels is already on the high rise.
2. They do not provide immediate answers
We live no more in those times when contact centers returning voice-registered answers were deemed as popular. In fact, even the automated email responses letting us know that someone will get in touch with us shortly are not able to satisfy us anymore. Customers request an instant reply, regardless whether its to the call addressed, live chat conversation or tweet posted.
A modern contact center should have a high level of flexibility and staff trained to respond immediately to customers’ queries, regardless of the channel they prefer to use.
3. Customers give businesses only one chance to affirm themselves
You might remember how things used to be a few dozen years ago. Changing the cable TV provider was impossible in most neighborhoods, and we were stuck with a fixed phone and a standard dial-up internet connection. By comparison, present days offer customers an infinity of choices. There are multiple cable and satellite TV providers on the market, changing the website hosting or contracting a new ISP can be done with minimum of effort and switching costs, and cloud allows us to benefit from a variety of applications and SaaS, all at out finger tips.
It became imperative for the modern contact center to adapt to all its clients’ requirements, regardless of their nature and approach used. For a business to survive the highly competing market, its contact center must be equipped with the latest cutting-edge technologies, and also with reps able to deliver a smart and immediate reply to all customers’ queries.
Bassam is an Egyptian-born American living in the mountain town of Park City, Utah, home of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. He is in love with his family, has been “trying” to CrossFit for years, is a lousy skier and average mountain-biker, but spends every day trying to get better.
Bassam has spent nearly twenty-five years in technology with companies such as Omniture (acquired by Adobe during his five-year tenure), Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle), and IBM (not yet acquired ).He is Chief Business Officer at inContact (NASDAQ: SAAS), the largest provider of cloud contact center software and infrastructure solutions, where he has been instrumental in the company’s growth to over $125M in revenue run rate. Over his 3-year tenure with the company, its market cap has quadrupled to $400M.