The Top Customer Care Trends Contact Centers Must Consider

Due to the recent advancements in the contact center space from more intuitive technology to more strategic multichannel marketing services, organizations have been able to adjust their brand focus to what (or who) truly matters most: the customer.

In fact, Forrester’s report “Trends 2015: The Future of Customer Service” suggests that customer-forward technology and communication methods are becoming increasingly omnipresent in the customer care industry—as they should be to improve the customer experience. After all, technology and marketing tools are meant to help your agents have more meaningful conversations with clients to bolster their satisfaction with your brand.

The report highlights a number of customer care trends that will continue to develop throughout 2015. Below are the three that will impact contact center customer care most:

  • Customers Embrace Emerging Channels to Reduce Friction: A great many of today’s consumers prefer to make customer care inquiries on the go. As such, contact centers must ensure they provide their consumers will a multitude of avenues for connecting with agents. For example, adding supplemental services such as live Web chat or texting services to your telecommunications services will provide consumers with more flexible options. By providing these multichannel services, your consumers will feel empowered to make customer care inquiries over the platforms they prefer.
  • Companies Explore Proactive Engagement: This trend regards the emergence of proactive engagements that anticipate the “what, where and how” for customers. In the contact center space, this means leveraging predictive analytics so that agents—whether handling the phone lines or answering live chat queries—can better prepare themselves to address queries efficiently. This also means using insights derived from predictive analysis to boost your multichannel marketing efforts. For instance, by using data to understand consumers’ needs, you can leverage email marketing, for example, to send potential customers messages about your brand that resonate with them before they even realize they need your products or services.
  • Predictive Analytics Will Power Offers, Decisions and Connections: This trend further encompasses predictive analysis at the technological level. More specifically, organizations will use predictive analysis as a catalyst for more in-depth levels of data analysis. For example, in the contact center space, predictive analysis can be used to match a consumer to his or her most suitable customer service agent. This process—or what we at InfoCision refer to as skills-based routing—helps streamline customer care interactions so that agents with the most experience in specific fields are linked to customers with inquiries in those areas. As a result, agents are able to make more informed decision and furthermore, establish more meaningful connections with consumers.

In summary, contact center leaders should focus on implementing more data analytics into their strategies as well as utilizing multichannel marketing channels more effectively to drive customer satisfaction and boost their bottom lines.

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Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.


Akron’s Own LeBron James Passes Tiger Woods on Forbes’ Brand List

As an Akron-based business, the entire InfoCision team was thrilled when our hometown hero, LeBron James, decided to come back to the state of Ohio by signing as a free agent with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron, an Akron native, has long been a source of pride for our community and we are so glad to be welcoming him home.

We were also excited to see that LeBron overtook Tiger Woods as the most valuable athlete brand on Forbes’ list this year. This is the first time since 2007 Tiger does not occupy that top spot, which is a tribute to the way LeBron has marketed and conducted himself over the past few years.

When LeBron left the Cavs to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010, many Ohioans—and basketball fans in general—were upset by what they viewed as a betrayal of his home state. Since that time, however, the basketball star has made almost no missteps in front of the public, maintaining a clean off-the-court image, which Tiger was unable to do. Additionally, LeBron has excelled at:

  • Starring in a series of fun, entertaining commercials
  • Continuing to expand his brand through marketing avenues like social media and the “LeBron James” app
  • Maintaining sponsorships with reputable brands like Nike and Coca-Cola

Just like successful companies are doing, LeBron has excelled at building brand awareness by taking full advantage of all available channels. Businesses can take a page from his book by investing in multichannel marketing solutions, which help you grow by getting the word out beyond your existing customer base. After all, Forbes valued the LeBron brand at a whopping $37 million for 2014, not to mention the $53 million the superstar pulled in on endorsements this year.

In other words, our hometown hero must be doing something right.

In Marketing, as in Life, Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

A successful investor on Wall Street is confident a hot stock is going to soar, so he throws everything into it. However, unaware that negative company news is about to hit, his entire investment is quickly wiped off the map. Just like that, he learns the hard way to diversify.

The same goes for marketing; no longer is a one-channel approach effective. Even businesses that have relied primarily on one channel for years—such as email marketing, social media, or blogging—have had to re-adjust their thinking and create a broader marketing strategy. That’s because customers expect to be able to interact with businesses through their favorite channels. In addition to providing what the customer wants, change is also a natural progression for innovative leaders in any space; in fact, it should be a welcome one. Accordingly, companies need to adopt multichannel marketing solutions.

According to a Zendesk survey, commissioned by Loudhouse, two-thirds of online shoppers said their purchases involved multiple channels in the last six months. Furthermore, 87 percent believe that companies need to put an emphasis on making the customer experience more seamless.

So how can businesses migrate to omni-channel customer service and sales strategies? To begin, they can look into collaborating with a one-stop shop marketing partner with expertise across a wide range of marketing channels. By teaming with an organization dedicated to providing customized marketing solutions, business can focus on their core competencies without worrying that customer experiences will suffer.

Here are some other reasons why omni-channel customer service is the way of today and the future:

Customers are Everywhere

Long gone are the days of customers simply sitting at home and ordering a product from a land line. People are now constantly on-the-go, purchasing from any Internet-connected device and reaching out to agents across a variety of mediums. Multichannel marketing solutions are necessary to reach customers as they traverse the globe and surf the Web.

Faster is Better

The more channels a customer can access, the quicker his or her inquiry/complaint will be solved. Faster is better for all customers, and if their experience is adversely affected because the company does not offer Web- or mobile-optimized channel capabilities, the consumer is more likely to head elsewhere (a.k.a your competitors).

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