Why Customers Love Contact Center Unified Communications is the third in a series on Contact Center Unified Communications.
In the last blog, we cited some survey data from Aberdeen Research that says unified communications improves customer satisfaction, customer retention, and reduces the number of customer complaints significantly. See figure 1 below for the increases in year-over year improvement metrics. Now we will discuss how Contact Center Unified Communications achieves these results and why customers love Contact Center Unified Communications.
Customers are More Informed and Have High Expectations
The research by Aberdeen, “How to Maximize Customer Satisfaction: The Role of Communication & Collaboration, September 2017, Aberdeen Group”, shows that today’s customers are demanding more. Of the contact center survey respondents:
- 36% say customers are more empowered with insights into their competitor’s products/services
- 22% say customers expect consistent experiences across all channels
Customers shopping for a product used to come to companies to be educated about a product or service in order to make their purchasing decision. But today customers do a lot of research ahead of time, and they come to companies more educated about what features they want and what they should be able to expect from a product or service. To provide these empowered customers with information on why your product is better, agents have to be armed with more information. They need to be able to collaborate with their teammates to provide customers with the information they need when they need it. Contact Center Unified Communications help them get the information that customers expect on a real-time basis.
While the Aberdeen research shows that companies without Contact Center Unified Communications struggle with information access, outdated communications infrastructure, and delivering a seamless customer experience, the same study shows that companies with Contact Center Unified Communications have happier customers.
Unified Communications Increases Customer Satisfaction
Businesses with Contact Center Unified Communications have been shown to triple their customer satisfaction improvement rates year-over-year. When it comes to omni-channel interactions, customers are demanding a consistent experience no matter what channel they use to contact you. Your message about your products and services needs to be consistent no matter how it’s delivered. You need to understand their needs and be responsive. Giving agents Contact Center Unified Communications allows them to meet these customer requirements. This is the bottom line for why customers love Contact Center Unified Communications.
Collaboration Through Unified Communications Helps Agents Help Customers
Contact centers without Contact Center Unified Communications have ineffective communications that make their customers unhappy. The same research by Aberdeen shows that only 37% of contact centers align their service, sales, and marketing functions. Their agents don’t have the information they need to meet the demands of today’s customers. The company may have the information their agents need to help customers, but their agents struggle to find it.
On the other hand, contact centers with Contact Center Unified Communications empower their agents to meet customer needs on the first call. Adding unified communications in the contact center allows agents to communicate on-demand with the people who can help them solve the customer’s problems. In other words, it helps them help the customer to reach their goals.
One of the reasons customers love Contact Center Unified Communications is because unified communications in the contact center sets up companies to implement these Best Practices to make customers happier as indicated in figure 2 and detailed below.
- Because systems that bring together contact center and unified communications tend to have strong integration capabilities, agents can easily create follow up tasks in other applications, such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application. During an interaction, if the customer is promised something, they expect the agent to follow through. Allowing the agent to easily create a follow-up task and the associated reminders increases the likelihood that the customer’s expectation will be met. This is 34% more likely in companies that have integrated unified communications within the contact center.
- When omni-channel communications and unified communications are well-integrated, customer and interaction data can be retained when customers are transferred between agents or escalated to managers or subject matter experts elsewhere in the business. This makes customers happy, because there is nothing more frustrating to customers than to have to repeat their contact information and the reason for their call over and over again. The Aberdeen research shows that positive interactions for the customer are 36% more likely when all communications are unified within the contact center.
- If the integration of these various communications and contact center systems is properly done, when an agent interacts with a customer any updates they make regarding that interaction can be systematically included into other enterprise applications, such as the CRM. This makes it more likely that the next time the customer calls, the answering agent will have the most up-to-date customer contact and interaction history information at hand, which makes for a better customer experience, since they feel that they are known and understood by your company – a very big reason why customers love Contact Center Unified Communications. Another benefit of having the most current information is that it makes it easier to identify the customers with particular issues or questions if you need to proactively contact them.
All of this unification, or integration, between contact center and communications systems and their ability to retain customer interaction history and customer information means that every time the customer calls, the conversations can be “in-context.” And according to the Aberdeen Research study, enterprises with Contact Center Unified Communications experience year-over-year improvements in first contact resolution rates, average handle times, and agent utilization rates. This is all due to the fact that Contact Center Unified Communications instruments agents with the best tools and information to do their job. As a result, agents resolve more calls on the first call, which makes customers happier.
Contact Centers Using Contact Center Unified Communications Have Happier Customers
The Aberdeen Research indicates that empowering agents with the communications tools and information they need, and on-demand access to their colleagues when they need it:
- increases annual improvements in customer satisfaction by three times
- increases annual improvements in customer retention by two times
- increases annual improvements in customer complaints (reductions) by three times
- increases annual improvements in first-contact resolution rates by just under three times
Why Customers Love Contact Center Unified Communications
Making unified communications an integral part of the agent experiences increases collaboration among agents and other groups and improves their responsiveness which results in a better customer experience. Unifying workflows across channels and systems improves agent productivity, enhances agent effectiveness across channels, and creates consistency in communication, which results in a better customer experience.
Contact Center Unified Communications will make your customers happier, which will improve your customer satisfaction and retention, which in turn will improve your bottom line. And that’s why customers love Contact Center Unified Communications.
In two weeks we will publish the next blog in this series, Practices of Best-In-Class Companies – Processes. The next two blogs will be about exciting new product announcements from the BroadSoft CC-One team.
For more in-depth information on the Aberdeen Research “How to Maximize Customer Satisfaction: The Role of Communication & Collaboration, September 2017, Aberdeen Group”:
- Listen to the Aberdeen Research on-demand webinar The Business Value of Contact Center and UC Integration
- Download the Aberdeen Research Infographic Maximize Customer Satisfaction through Communication & Collaboration.