The Age of Me
Delighting consumers in an age of rapid fulfilment and new technology
Vodafone and the CCA (Contact Centre Association) recently conducted research into the readiness of large organisations to deal with the changing behaviour of consumers (report below). It is clear that businesses know that there is much to be done and they understand the issue. What is also clear is that few are sure that they have a clear path to get there.
What is going on?
Consumers today have high expectations that their needs and requests will be dealt with fast.
No longer will people wait 24 hours for a response to a problem; the days of writing in and waiting are well and truly over. Suppliers continue to provide a service via the post and the phone, but more and more people are moving to webchat and social media to get a response now.
Buyers also want organisations to know them better. “Don’t give me a standard answer, help me with my particular issue”.
Social media has a big impact on organisations as they can no longer control what is being said about their products and services. More scarily, comments can be made, magnified and spread around the world before they are even aware that their brand is being impacted.
Existing contact centres have been optimised over the years to deal with telephone enquiries. Agents have screen popups that bring relevant information about the caller and their products.
However, now people are sending in detailed emails, or posting problems on twitter or asking questions on webpages. All of these are handled by different systems and different teams. Consumers often get an inconsistent experience which delays resolution.
Finally, consumers are more mobile. From apps in smartphones, consumers can interrogate, update and interact on the move at any time. The challenge for existing customer relationship teams has become immense.
However, all is not lost. There are some powerful upsides.
Organisations can collect much more information about buyers and consumers. This includes their previous interactions, likes and dislikes and experience.
This data enables agents to be much better informed about a consumer’s needs, speeding resolution. Further, this data helps agents suggest additional products and services that are relevant to the interaction.
- Automation helps consumers resolve their own issues with access to knowledge base and self service portals. This frees up agents away from problem handling towards revenue generation activities. While users are serving themselves, agents can help co-browse, that is to show consumers relevant information or popup appropriate offers.
- The Internet of things enables consumers to drop routine tasks such as meter reading. Now meters and other equipment can report usage and status directly to a supplier. Human error is removed and more data made available to organisations.
Agents previously occupied with chasing up or clarifying readings can now spend time on sales and marketing campaigns looking for new business opportunities, while being much more targeted in their communications with individuals. Vodafone Contact Centre, a cloud based service, combined with migration services provides enterprises and government departments with a powerful system to provide the best possible customer experience with multi-channel support, knowledge capability and flexibility for fast changing organisations.
How do we know this?
The pace of technological innovation continues to be rapid and channels of customer contact such as social media and mobile device use have become ubiquitous. Customers have become increasingly tech savvy and have high expectations for the speed, simplicity and effectiveness of contact.
This infographic visualises the perceptions of digital transformation of senior executives from a wide range of organisations in the UK. The results are based on a joint research between Vodafone and the Contact Centre Association. (CCA Industry Council Benchmarking Survey Digital Transformation, August 2015).
Vodafone has 20 years experience in consulting, migrating and running Contact Centres for large organisations in government, utilities, finance and retail sectors, focusing on business transformation. The new Vodafone Contact Centre service continues this capability with omni-channel support assisting customers with their consumer interactions.