The forecast is cloudy with a chance of AI


Andrew Small | Digital Solutions Director | BT | mail me

Creating a seamless performance means understanding your audience’s ever-changing needs, choosing the right tools, partners and systems, orchestrating this effort across global touchpoints, systems, people and processes, and adjusting on the fly, to create a best-in-class show for every customer.

During this past year consumers have truly gone digital, changing how we interact with businesses for good. As shopping centres shut and we stayed at home, millions of people shopped for goods and services online – many for the first time. Almost overnight, companies and their contact centres had to adapt to a vast surge of customers streaming through their virtual doors.

With so much up in the air, we commissioned a special run of our regular Autonomous Customer research to explore consumer behaviour and expectations during this time of turbulent change.

It revealed that many organisations still have a way to go to find a contact centre set up that’ll provide a great customer experience. Outdated technology and management practices are holding them back – and consumers are suffering, often left frustrated and disappointed by their dealings with businesses. Eight in ten consumers reported having a problem with service in the last six-months and three quarters said they find dealing with customer service issues ‘tiring and exhausting’. They’re just not getting the easy, convenient and secure service they want.

80% say they could not purchase a product or service online, make changes, choose a delivery slot, or pay for an order.

So, what’s the best pathway for organisations wanting to deliver an outstanding customer contact experience?

Put people first – not technology

As a technology provider, you might expect us to focus straight in on the technology and how it can make a difference. And it’s true – there’s so much brilliant technology around, it’s easy to get pulled into it. But we believe you have to start by understanding the people aspect of the equation first.

When it comes to contact centres, ‘people’ means a complex set of stakeholders, reaching beyond the obvious consumers and agents, to supervisors and wider interests in the business such as IT and the digital team. Taking all these stakeholders with you on a change journey and keeping them on board all the way is extremely challenging.

However, by solving the problems people face, it’ll be clear what you need the technology to do and decisions about it will almost be made for you.

So, what do we know? Consumers are really

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Read the full article by Andrew Small, Digital Solutions Director, BTas well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the June/July 2021 edition of BusinessBrief.

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