'Tis the season to be giving — to give thanks, to give gifts, to give your customers an experience that makes them want to keep giving you their business. The customer service bar has been raised in the digital era. Modern consumers expect informed, personalized service where and when they want it.
Enter contact center as a service (CCaaS) — a customer-centric platform with powerful analytics, business systems integrations, and AI capabilities that streamline service and boost customer satisfaction.
How does CCaaS help you give back to your customers during the holiday season and all throughout the new year?
Benefits of CCaaS for Customers
A robust CCaaS platform gives your customers the gift of:
1. 24/7 Service
This might be the most wonderful time of year, but it's also the busiest. Between work, life, and holiday festivities, your customers might not have time during normal operating hours to shop for gifts, make travel arrangements, schedule appointments, or otherwise engage with your business.
Even if you're not open for business around the clock, your communications technology can be. CCaaS features like after-hours call routing let you forward customer calls to mobile phones or answering services. Better yet, communications APIs like chatbots and voice bots can answer basic questions for customers, assist with self-checkout, and — with the right integrations — deliver personalized suggestions, support, and service.
That kind of digital self-service appeals to many customers, according to the American Express Customer Service Barometer: More than six in 10 U.S. consumers prefer to use a self-serve digital tool, such as a website (24%), a mobile app (14%), a voice response system (13%), or online chat (12%), for simple questions.
With skills-based routing, customers reach the right agent the first time, so issues get resolved faster and agents don't waste time talking to people they can't help, and chatbots and voice bots can pick up the slack.
2. Omnichannel Communication
Multichannel is good, but unless those channels are connected, you're getting a fragmented view of each customer, and they're getting fragmented customer service.
Everyone has their own preferred channels, but however customers reach out, they expect to be recognized. With CCaaS, customers can communicate with company representatives via talk, SMS, chat, video, or even social — and reps can field all those inquiries from one convenient web portal. If a customer suddenly needs to switch channels, the rep can transition the conversation seamlessly. Meanwhile, data from each channel (and from CRM) flows to the CCaaS platform, so reps know who they're talking to, how the customer has interacted with the company in the past, and why they're reaching out now.
3. Frictionless Support
Recognizing customers is a good start, but then you need to get them to the right person — preferably without making them endure confusing phone trees or repeat themselves ad nauseam. In the American Express survey, 81% of consumers said that "getting a satisfactory answer" was the most important criterion for a satisfying customer experience, and 74% noted their desire to speak to knowledgeable professionals.
A robust contact center platform helps with that, especially if the solution includes AI-based CCaaS features such as skills-based routing, pre-call prompts, and sentiment analysis. Skills-based routing directs customers to not only the next available but also the most relevant representative. Pre-call prompts prep agents for the next caller so they have time to research the customer and find the right script. Meanwhile, sentiment analysis algorithms monitor the customer's tone of voice and word choice for signs of frustration so managers can intervene when necessary.
4. Prompt Service
Don't let the holiday rush slow down your customer service. When asked how businesses can improve customer satisfaction, 40% of respondents in the American Express survey said speed was of the essence.
Because CCaaS is cloud-based, the solution scales easily and works from anywhere, so you can get seasonal employees up and running quickly. They don't even need a phone and a desk — just an internet-enabled device and login credentials.
Communications APIs also make reps more efficient. With skills-based routing, customers reach the right agent the first time, so issues get resolved faster and agents don't waste time talking to people they can't help, and chatbots and voice bots can pick up the slack.
5. World-Class Agents
How good is your customer service team? Where do individual agents excel? What could they be doing better? Just as importantly, what could your company do to help them better meet customers' needs?
CCaaS solutions include advanced analytics and reporting capabilities that help answer these questions. Administrative dashboards let supervisors monitor agent performance in real-time so they can intervene on tense customer calls, provide individualized coaching and training for agents, and optimize customer service processes across the board.
Contact Center as a Service: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
If you give your customers what they want, they'll give you what you want — more business.
When you employ well-trained agents who deliver prompt, personalized service across channels, you win customers for the long-haul. And you also earn more from those loyal customers. U.S. consumers will spend 17% more with businesses that provide excellent customer service, and millennials will spend 21% more, the American Express survey noted. Now that should make for a happy holiday season.