Over the last few years, a troubling customer service trend has been spreading among businesses. Many organizations are now choosing to abandon traditional contact centers in favor of solutions like online knowledge databases, email and chat systems. The theory is that customers would rather solve their own issues, rather than take the time to call in and speak with live agents.
Now, in theory this may seem like a good idea: Avoid opening a resource-intensive contact center, while still providing a way for customers to resolve their issues in a timely manner. In reality, though, it doesn’t work. It just makes customers angry when they can’t get in touch with live agents over the phone. Phone support is a basic, integral part of the customer experience — and it’s not right to take this away from customers.
Aside from the operational complications that will arise if you eliminate your contact center, there are other pitfalls that you will need to consider as well. For instance, it’s very difficult to enable outbound communications when you don’t have a contact center. Yes, sales associates can work remotely — but they are far less effective, as it’s harder for managers to monitor and coach them. Outbound communications tend to work best when you have small teams of agents working closely together as cohesive units. After all, customer service requires teamwork. It’s not a one person job. And when you enable remote work, elements like teamwork, trust and collaboration can all get lost.
Plus, there are far fewer risks from a security and privacy perspective when managing an onsite contact center. This is particularly true for healthcare companies that must adhere to strict Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) regulations.
It’s also worth considering the value of customer engagement — and the total price that a business will pay by not having a contact center. Customer interactions, after all, can be very lucrative. This is the whole basis behind the “customer journey,” or the idea of following a customer throughout their journey with your enterprise, nurturing their interest in your brand and eventually pushing them to point where they feel comfortable making repeat purchases.
If you remove the contact center, you remove a vital piece of customer support — and you risk leaving every one of your customers’ journeys to chance.
For these reasons, it’s absolutely critical to offer customers access to a reliable and efficient contact center — a place where they can come with questions, concerns and ideas. A high quality contact center will benefit the company as much as its customers.
By partnering with a contact center solutions provider like InfoCision, you can stay under budget while still providing amazing customer service. To learn more information, click here.