Customer engagement is linked to revenue. We’ve seen this correlation recurring everywhere customer experience is studied, from executive-level surveys to the voice of the consumer. A 2016 report from Microsoft found that across all customer groups surveyed, 60% of people have stopped doing business with a company or brand because of a single poor customer service experience.
But this isn’t just about the importance of delivering good service, or even about gaining better insight into your customers’ needs and expectations. This is about bringing the customer experience out of the contact center silo and breaking down the walls between people, processes, systems and data sources. It’s about closing the loop on the customer journey.
Business are losing an average of $1.1 million each year because their employees cannot efficiently access customer insights (Aberdeen). Disconnected solutions set up barriers between different departments and functional areas, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction on the part of the consumer. In a world where customers can use a single device to order a pizza, pay a phone bill, record their daughter’s recital and approve a vendor contract, the expectation that they will “call back during normal business hours” to resolve an issue no longer fits. The traditional contact center is being pushed into obsolescence by consumer demand for a more modern approach, reemerging as the customer engagement center.
Gartner defines a customer engagement center (CEC) as:
“A logical set of technologies and business applications that are engineered to provide customer service and support, regardless of the interaction (or engagement) channel. The goal of the CEC is not only to provide service to customers as they move among communications channels — including social media and community forums — while retaining the customers’ context, but also to deliver the appropriate business rule to determine the next best action, information or process with which to engage the customers.”
Shifting to a cross-functional customer engagement center model empowers your entire organization with the agility, flexibility and operational structure needed to drive profitable growth by addressing changes in consumer behaviors and expectations. In our newest eBook, we explore these inherent benefits by pointing out six expected business outcomes. Here’s an excerpt:
Outcome #1: Customers are empowered to effortlessly get the information they need using the self-service channels they want
As mentioned in the example above, today’s consumers have a strong preference for self-service channels that make their lives simpler. According to a recent Amdocs survey, 76% of us would rather use a mobile app than call the contact center. The CEC provides a framework for supporting omni-channel communications, including the ability to easily adopt new channels as they become available or as your business requirements evolve. To ensure a consistent experience and reduce development costs, it enables business logic, application design and back-end integrations to be re-used. Equally important, it provides access to the latest technology. For example, Natural Language Understanding (NLU), is an Artificial Intelligence (think of Siri or Amazon’s Alexa) that enables automated voice and text interactions to be intelligent and conversational. Users simply ask a question and get an answer.
How a CEC adds value:
- Improve customer loyalty. It costs 5 times more get to a new customer than it does to keep an existing one
- Improve customer satisfaction and increase “promoters.” 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision (Ogilvy, Google and TNS study).
- Be where your customers and prospects are to increase engagement and drive upsell and cross sell opportunities
Keep reading about all six outcomes that you can expect from a CEC and the specific value they can help create for your business in our latest eBook, From Contact Center to Customer Engagement Center: The Executive’s Guide to Customer Service Essentials in the Digital Age.
Latest posts by Chris O'Brien (see all)