Taken from Blog Cisco Latin America

Providing a better customer experience is currently one of the top business priorities for both CEOs and managers in the areas of marketing, technology and, of course, contact centers.

The emergence of new communication channels, changes in customer behavior and expectations, and the proliferation of information sources pose major challenges for organizations and at the same time offer new opportunities to improve the customer experience and achieve sustainable competitive advantage.

Just as customer needs have evolved, so have contact centers, but much more slowly. Many of the existing contact centers already have a wide multi-channel functionality, but they are still more focused on meeting the needs of the business than the client per se. This may have worked for a long time, but today, companies need to develop a new strategy much more focused on the needs of the customer and for that, they have to know it.

Who is this new consumer? He is a consumer who adopts new technologies, who does his own research and prefers to search and find answers by himself moving fluidly between websites, forums and social networks. An informed, empowered, analytical consumer who openly shares his experiences and opinions, which – if necessary – will seek to establish direct contact with a representative, assuming that he already knows who he is, what he needs, what he has bought, what interactions he has had and you should therefore be able to anticipate your needs proactively. This behavior leads to three reflections on how organizations can offer better care and improve the experience of this new consumer.

First, since it is a fact that self-service is overcoming direct contact, it is critical that organizations can monitor all activity that the client is having before contacting an agent, to provide a better experience. The contact centers must have customer service tools in social networks, which allow to follow up and give proactive answers.

The second reflection refers to the relevance that comes from direct contact since it will be focused on addressing situations that could not be resolved automatically. The client expects the agent to be ready to serve you without having to explain everything again. Is that possible? Absolutely; with tools that enable and empower agents, to offer a service in context, having access to all the information of the interactions that the client has had over time, thus speeding up the resolution of problems and delivering a truly personalized attention.

A final point of reflection is the omni channelity; an omni-channel approach enables agents to use a wide range of communication channels, such as voice, video, and messaging; but the real value is not in having that technology, but in the ability to use the most appropriate channel for each consumer, which is only possible when the context information is available. A contact center with an omni-channel strategy adds value to the customer by offering personalized attention while increasing the productivity of service agents.

When it comes to setting business priorities, revenues and margins are always at the top of the list; however, the improvement in the experience of the customers, occupies also a privileged place today. How can an organization align these priorities? The contact center plays a very important role at that intersection. When care is delivered to the expectations of customers, they are more likely to stay loyal and keep buying.

But this goes far beyond technology; it is a cultural shift from an organization that is not focused on sales to being customer focused, which can be challenging but rewarding at the same time. Working with the right technology partner is key in this process and Cisco has the experience, the right vision and the ability to execute to accompany the organizations in this transformation of their customer service centers.