Death of Dumb Contact Center

Oct 31, 2017
blog

“All the agents are busy. Please wait while we connect your call” — For most of us this waiting for a human to talk with us end up being the almost an acid test of our patience. It absolutely sucks!

It was not supposed to be like this. The customer service was supposed to solve our problems when we called them. It was not supposed to make us hate the experience and the product. What went wrong?

IVR — the interactive voice response system, in nut-shell; and the underlying systems that companies use to route, sort, respond and manage the customers are the culprit. If you were to visit a call center today you will find the rows and rows of identical human queues affixed with headphones and planted in chairs asking and responding to customers queries in a monotone that will embarrass the most boring of their corporate overlords. The “Agents” are given flow diagrams to follow, to solve the customer’s problems in a predictable and timeline manner. It ends up being none.

The limitations are acutely obvious. After waiting for 10 minutes, when finally the customer gets to speak with the agent, the first thing asked is his name, customer information etc. This is a dehumanizing experience for the customer. When he calls his friend, he is greeted warmly. When he calls his bank, the first thing asked is “Who are you”? This is not exactly the warmth the bank promised when they asked him to open his bank account with him.

Lack of the personalization is just one of the many of the ills. The other problem is the absolute lack of context. The bank would know nothing about his conversation with his relationship manager couple of days back. They wouldn’t know what he spoke when he had called in the morning and the call was disconnected because of some problem with the mobile network. They would ask him to repeat himself when he has to speak out his social security number, customer ID or other information over the phone. All in all — it is a painful painful customer “Delight” experience for the customer.

CEO deeply cares about their customers today. Repeat customers are the biggest source of profits for them. But given the customer interactions are so dispersed and so un-trackable, they have no idea what customers are telling their employees. They do not know how many times their Relationship Managers forgot to call back after they missed the call from the customer. They have no idea on how many times their best customers today might have been handled rudely by their employees. They would love to have this visibility but they have none. Consequently, the experience continues to remain average.

Today technologies exist to make these painful experience a thing of the past. Why can’t we use the customer caller ID to identify him and come straight to the point? We don’t have to ask questions. We can solve problems for him. We have all his data. If we can become so good in marketing that we can tell which prospect needs to see what ad on Facebook and Google, why can’t we do the same for the customer — the most likely problem he must be calling about?

The Contact Center technologies have remained stagnant in last 20 years. It needs a big jolt of change. The Dumb Contact Center, that is killing the customer experience across industries and countries, for so long, must now die. The time has finally come. The time has come for distributed, personalized, pro-active, mobile, hosted, integrated contact center. It is quite a mouthful. We want an all-knowing AI enabled customer service to pick our calls and solve our problems.

How will that work? We have an answer. Customer experience management for large organizations with geographically dispersed presence will be transformed by Knowlarity.

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