We’ve all been there. You chat to customer support online about an issue, then follow up with a call. But the support agent on the phone doesn’t know about the issue you’ve just discussed online.
So you have to start from the beginning. There’s a good chance that you won’t get to the right person right away, either. And if your call gets transferred, then you’ll have to start from the beginning again. And again and again.
This kind of experience leaves any customer frustrated. It can also seriously damage a company’s reputation. For example, if it’s clear that an insurance company doesn’t know the first thing about you as an individual, it’s hard to remain loyal. That’s why annual churn rates for insurers are often as high as 20 percent.
In telecommunications, churn rates average about 2.5 percent a month. The same goes for other businesses as well. In industries like telecommunications, finance, insurance and utilities, interactions are often limited to billing and support, which means the call centre is pivotal to creating a positive customer experience.
The contact centre in its current form provides a fragmented experience, but by arming support agents with the right data, businesses can help ensure that customers have memorable interactions with any channel of the business, whether it’s online, by phone or in person. To do that, companies should invest in a comprehensive customer data platform that bridges silos and consolidates information from multiple sources.
Combining Digital and Physical
One of the biggest problems for contact centres is that the information that a support agent needs is often locked away in multiple departments. The digital marketing team, for example, might know that a customer tweeted at the company handle with a question. But when that same customer calls in to the contact centre with the same question, he or she will need to start the whole process from the beginning.
At its most basic form, a great data analytics platform would allow companies to have uninterrupted conversations with customers. When they’re talking to people looking for help, support agents can pull up the history of interactions with a customer across every channel and start off by acknowledging the most recent interaction.
By aggregating multiple sources of data, support agents will be able to get a real-time view of the customer and respond accordingly. In telecommunications, support agents can analyse a customer’s digital self-service experience and pull that up if a customer calls in with a question. Or a support agent for a utilities company could observe energy usage and billing trends for a customer’s household and recommend different ways to make things more efficient.
Businesses that want to centralize data also need to ensure that it’s deduplicated and cleansed. Otherwise, even if you manage to mobilize every department to share the information, much of it will be useless.
Offering contact centres the right data requires a cohesive initiative with executive buy-in, something that shows the potential value for a seamless customer experience and maps out the plan to consolidate and cleanse all the data within the company.
Sentiment and Action
When the contact centre is empowered with the right data, support agents can build long-lasting relationships with customers. Just by having a full view of the company’s interactions with a customer, it’s possible for agents to offer more personalized recommendations. Not only that, support agents will be able to use the data analytics platform to think about future interactions based on the complete data and history of the customer.
This is the most important part of leveraging Big Data for customer relationships: the competition doesn’t have the same data about your current customers. If you make the most of the information that’s currently siloed across the organisation, you can build an unforgettable customer experience that’s impossible for other businesses to replicate.
A support agent for a financial institution could offer advice based on credit history and past purchases. At a contact centre for an insurance agency, support agents could talk to customers based on a recent move or home purchase. By building a history of customer interactions that can be leveraged at the right time and the right place, businesses can simultaneously build better customer relationships and a more profitable business model in the long run.
When contact centres have the right customer data at their fingertips, they become much more than a help desk… they become one of the strongest selling points of the company.
Want to learn more about how to empower your contact centre with the right data? Register for our webinar, “4 Next-Level Customer Engagement Strategies to Boost Contact Center Efficiency.”