In my recent blog, Customer-Centric Digital Transformation, I discussed the strategy for ensuring the customer is at the center of digital transformation. Today, I’d like to discuss one particular channel, the Contact Center.
Today, most firms are discussing the need for a Customer Engagement Center, which provides seamless customer support and service over any channel of interaction, but it’s not surprising that many don’t have one. Large firms likely have a Contact Center where agents can serve customers in one of many channels. However, many still have a Call Center dedicated to a single channel. Whether it is a Call Center or a Contact Center, it is likely a siloed channel, forcing clients to repeat their journey regardless of whether it started with a relationship manager or on the website. Contact center agents are also typically faced with multiple applications on their desktop that conspire to increase call durations and make it difficult to service customers quickly and effectively.
American Family Insurance wanted a new contact center paradigm where agents are tasked with efficiently resolving customer requests, positively impacting the customer experience, and further improving the company’s bottom line in every interaction. Essentially, they wanted a Customer Engagement Center. Their existing Call Center was disconnected from the other silos, and their agents had to use multiple applications to service a customer. When a customer called in, an agent had to use at least 3 systems to direct them to an agency, cutting and pasting or retyping information multiple times. With many of their systems being policy-centric, they found it difficult to create an omni-channel customer experience. Call Center agents spent more time navigating systems and viewing shards of customer information than solving customer problems.
How did they implement a modern, customer-centric Customer Engagement Center?
The key was following the strategy outlined in my blog. The end result was a comprehensive, customer-centric view of front, middle, and back-office customer information that also combined Vertical CRM functionality with customer-centric workflows in a flexible portal container. The container provides seamless context passing across multiple applications presented to Contact Center agents as a single integrated desktop.
For American Family, integration was the critical factor in their transformation. This is not surprising, because lack of integration is the enemy of a customer-centric digital strategy. Continuing our Customer Engagement Center example, when agents are deprived of customer insight from all lines of business and interactions, call durations increase, first call resolutions decrease, and the customer experience suffers. Agents have a short span of time in which to resolve issues and present relevant upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Creating more channels in which to deliver poor service and disappoint customers is not the answer. Success in all channels requires that agents have a unified view of up-to-date, comprehensive customer data and an integrated desktop that combines best-of-breed finance specific tools, like CRM, to engage and service customers.
Are you upgrading to a Customer Engagement Center?