The role of the contact center is making a major shift. In the past, the goal of the contact center was to handle customer calls as quickly as possible. Time spent on the phone was time paying for an agent.
Today’s customer calls are being recognized as a powerful opportunity for businesses to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one. In addition, these calls are being used to capture useful information a business can use to improve its operations and bottom line – shifting contact centers from what was viewed as a cost center to a profit center.
To this effect, many organizations are actively investing in developing customer relationships through their call center. The shift is from a customer avoidance strategy to a customer experience strategy.
Connecting with and learning from customers requires more than just a shift in how agents interact with customers. To be able to capture and subsequently utilize information from customers, the underlying supporting technology needs to shift as well.
In “Cameo Global and Cisco Improve the Omni-channel Experience for Customers”, Tim Brannock, VP Marketing from Cameo Global describes how omni-channel cloud services can be used to extend the capabilities and reach of a business to its customers through its contact center. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, omni-channel refers to the integration of different channels – in-store, website, email, social and mobile devices – to create a uniform and consistent user experience across these channels.
According to Cameo, the omni-channel experience can also include a business’ contact center. By providing real-time information to agents, agents can better understand the context of customer questions and provide faster and more accurate resolution. In addition, information can flow from the customer to the business. This enables a business to learn from its customers and improve its operational efficiency and offerings and achieve stronger business results.
The beauty of these solutions is that they can be implemented in an organization’s data center, in the cloud, or in a hybrid implementation that gives businesses the flexibility to seamlessly extend their capacity. The blog also links to an informative case study describing how Talbots, a successful retailer with nearly 500 stores in the US and Canada and a global presence with its online store and catalogs, was able to give outsourcers the same access to customer data available to its internal call center.