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Contact centers must cater to consumer needs

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The contact center has become a critical component of business operations in today's highly competitive private sector. Because companies need to stay relevant and deliver quality service to prospective and existing customers, contact center managers need to find unique ways to do so, as providing a generic experience for clients is no longer rewarding. Finding the right way, however, can be a challenge, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with fewer resources.

A recent report by Call Centre Clinic highlighted the ongoing need for contact center employees to develop robust relationships with clients to produce loyal and reliable customers. This is especially true today when consumers value a healthy connection with a business. In fact, most individuals would choose being able to communicate with a company over low prices for a particular good or service.

Fortunately, there are several things contact center managers can do to improve the odds of keeping customers satisfied with service. Because voice is still one of the main contact methods between consumers and company representatives, decision-makers should consider monitoring their business phone systems, Call Centre Clinic noted. By combining the information captured through this process with online surveys and general satisfaction polls, executives can gain a wider perspective on the client landscape and determine if anything else needs to be done to deliver the highest quality service.

The news source stated that contact center managers often prioritize their needs to streamline internal efficiency and meet compliance requirements instead of focusing on customer experience. Fortunately, there are ways to address this imbalance that begin with understanding the fundamental ways in which the client wants to communicate.

Meeting customers on their ground

There is no doubt that the old saying "everyone is special in their own unique way" is true, as some customers prefer to speak on the phone, while others appreciate web chatting or email. Unfortunately, this can make matters in the contact center slightly more complicated, especially now that consumers regularly use smartphones, tablets and other platforms in nearly every aspect of their lives. This complexity has given rise to the multichannel contact center that enables employees to communicate with clients through a variety of platforms.

A report by Interactive Intelligence highlighted similar findings, noting that contact centers are beginning to embrace a number of new technologies to effectively "capture the voice of the customer." In some cases, decision-makers are implementing hosted PBX systems and other cloud-based offerings to provide individuals with a uniform experience at all times, regardless of location. Other organizations are incorporating social media, smartphones and tablets into their multichannel tendencies, providing a more holistic experience across several platforms.

"Contact center technology and the dynamics of delivering a great customer experience are changing at a rapid pace," said Joe Staples, chief marketing officer at Interactive Intelligence.

In addition to providing clients with a number of communication platforms to reach company representatives, decision-makers also need to monitor these conversations, according to Call Centre Clinic. By doing so, executives can learn what employees are doing right and what aspects of their operations need to be improved to deliver a better overall experience and enhance sales effectiveness.

In the coming years, adopting a multichannel contact center strategy will become the norm, especially as the telecommunications landscape evolves into a more diverse environment. By planning ahead and implementing advanced tools, businesses of all sizes can improve customer interactions and potentially gain a competitive advantage over rival firms.