This past holiday season, UPS and FedEx experienced what can only be summed up as a customer nightmare when an influx of orders created shipping delays and prevented on-time delivery of hundreds of thousands of packages. Both companies immediately kicked into damage control mode, and issued public apologies to customers about not being able to meet the high expectation of delivering gifts in time for Christmas morning.
While this blunder isn’t enough to make customers abandon online shopping, it will certainly have a long-lasting impact on the delivery companies who must now increase their shipping capacity for future holiday seasons.
This is but one example of what can happen when a company is faced with unexpected customer-related circumstances. As we enter the New Year, BroadSoft shares five tips for contact centers in 2014 to prevent similar mishaps:
1. Be prepared for a crisis with a flexible system
In crisis situations, the contact center becomes the company’s main line of defense. What transpired with UPS and FedEx, can happen to any business without warning. So it’s important to implement a flexible infrastructure that can handle this unexpected boost in activity. Companies who have an adaptable system already in place during a crisis will be able to handle disgruntled customer calls with much more ease, minimizing the ultimate impact of the impending disaster.
2. Be ready to handle economic growth
Alternatively, as the economy continues to improve, contact centers must be able to absorb the influx of business that comes with this growth. Economic growth requires better agents, advanced technology to handle the additional customer engagements, and a stable sales team to tackle incoming business.
3. Contact center software should look to better understand agents
Operational efficiency, while important, still remains too high of a priority for contact centers. This is particularly true for how contact centers track the performance of agents using metrics built around average handle time, service level, abandon rate, first call resolution, etc. This year, contact centers should focus more on understanding agent skill sets, what types of customers and inquiries they perform best, and then matching the right agent to the right customer and type of inquiry to improve business outcomes.
4. Cross-analyze data to unlock customer happiness
As contact centers empower their customers with omni-channel communications and increased access, companies should have the ability to cross-analyze data to unlock hidden customer insights. Companies will need to take a big step forward in getting a complete customer picture by making correlations across customer touch points and internal business operations. Once they successfully unlock this data from their silos, companies will see a more substantial payoff from their big data initiatives. Learn more about customer engagement analytics.
5. Utilize multi-channel analytics to complete the customer journey
At the end of the day, all companies need to do a better job of getting to know their customers by analyzing the information that’s at their disposal. From the customer’s perspective, interactions across the contact center are viewed as one experience, not multiple distinct interactions. By stitching together these customer touches, companies get a clear view into that customer’s journey. This insight will allow companies to get a better understanding of the customers themselves and ultimately improve business.
As we prepare for the New Year, companies can’t afford to leave their contact centers in 2013. Take advantage of these tips to ensure success of your contact center and most importantly, the happiness of your customers.