Gone are the days when contact centers could rely solely on phone calls to provide customer support. A new breed of consumers has arrived. They can get exactly what they want, when they want, via their mobile phones. As a result, consumers are more demanding and impatient than ever before. They expect brands to answer their questions quickly, via the channel that is most convenient for them, and in addition, to anticipate their needs.
In a salesforce research study, 64% of consumers said they expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real-time. As the millennial generation becomes more powerful in the marketplace, the issue will only become more pressing as 66% of millennial consumers expect real-time responses and interactions. Moreover, 80% of consumers report that immediate responses to requests influence their loyalty to a given brand.
Embracing messaging channels in the contact center
The rise in social media in just about every aspect of business means it should come as no surprise that contact centers have started to introduce messaging channels as an additional means of communication with consumers. Offering these channels has the potential to enhance your contact center and bring your customer service team to the next level. Whether it be WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, SMS and more, find the combination that best suits your audience.
Adding Multiple messaging apps can sound like more complex communication for your business but with a Business Messaging API, you can manage conversations across all your messaging apps through one centralised platform, thereby streamlining your conversations.
Beyond increasing customer happiness and loyalty, which ultimately drives revenue, customer support via messaging channels reduces the time employees spend answering phone calls.
Many companies realise that the traditional way of calling isn’t going anywhere when it comes to support, that’s because you need to adapt to the needs of every single consumer for positive service. Younger consumers particularly love live chat and messaging apps for the familiar user experience of talking with friends, whereas “older” consumers, (although becoming more accustomed to WhatsApp for customer care), prefer traditional, offline channels such as speaking to a human.
It's not just about the channel: Customer Data
Ensuring your agents have access to customers' entire journeys is critical to contact center success. For consumers, it will avoid the need to repeat themselves. For contact center agents, it will empower them to answer questions more efficiently, and where possible, without the need to stick to traditional scripting. Meeting these expectations requires a 360-degree view of each customer, so when interactions are initiated there is enough understanding for an accurate response.
A customer data platform contributes towards this 360-degree view, it creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. Data is pulled from multiple sources, cleaned and combined to create a single customer profile. This structured data is then made available to other systems from customer service to marketing campaigns.
Customer-centric businesses can capture data about their customers’ inquiries and use those insights to intelligently channel that data to the relevant contact center agents. Combine that data with multiple messaging channels and create a customer service enabler.
Where price and convenience once prevailed, customer service has become the primary deciding factor - a make or break for the modern consumer.
The most forward-thinking companies – those that work at anticipating customers’ future needs, creating valuable personalised experiences, and offering convenient support via the channels customers' use daily – will win over consumers now and in the future.