Why your Contact Center needs a Digital Transformation

TechSee explores the need for digital transformation for call centers

Traditional call centers just aren’t as effective anymore. As more and more call centers go through a digital transformation, we need to understand just why digitization is so important in call centers, and how to start the process.

When you consider the tech evolution that has occurred in the last 15 years, it’s actually kind of mind blowing. We’ve been moving at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to remember how things ‘used to be.’ From clunky desktop computer towers and giant mobile phones, tech inventions of the past seem almost comical, but it is because of those giant leaps forward that we can enjoy the modernized world we live in today.

So Why Digitize A Call Center?

The digitization of our lives can be felt in the smallest of everyday actions like using your cell phone to the most advanced examples of transmitting information from outer space. But what might be the most important aspect of digitization is yet to be exploited: getting all of your digital channels and inputs to speak in one unified digital language. The impact of a digital call center will be immeasurable in the lives of your customers as when we combine the ability to harness communication skills with AI and deep learning, we gain access to information systems with unparalleled abilities.

What’s the Difference between Digital and Analog?

As an example of how far technology has advanced, let’s take a quick look at the concept of an analog phone – after all, some of you reading this may not have experienced one. Analog technology has been around for decades. In the case of the telephone, analog is now comically known as POTS
(Plain Old Telephone Service), and this technology refers to the process of taking audio signals like our voices and translating those signals into electronic pulses. 

In contrast, the technology behind a digital device breaks down the human voice into binary code or a series of ‘0’s and ‘1’s. The receiving device then reassembles that code into the original signal or set of words as is the case with a phone conversation. This conversion to binary language is the first step towards a unified digital language. It gives a digital “name” or fingerprint to every sound, image or typed word.

Why is it Important to Digitize a Call Center?

See below for three benefits that come one a call center has undergone a digital transformation.

Call Center Efficiency

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to improving efficiency, and digital forms of communication will be the only way in which contact centers can move faster. 

In a digital call center, software and AI can help detect a customer’s issue by recognizing keywords typed into a chat box and either direct the customer to an online help resource or immediately route a call to an agent who can handle that specific  issue. This means less aggravation and therefore a better experience from a customer perspective, as no one likes to be bounced from agent to agent or to have to extensively search for the right resource.

In today’s COVID-19 era, the less direct contact between customer and provider the better, safer and easier it is for everyone. Digital communication channels also offer more security and reliability with high-level encryption software designed to minimize the risks of hacking.  

The Customer Experience with a Digital Call Center

Nowadays, customers want to be able to get service from any number of digital channels and platforms, not to mention any device. Engaging with customers on their favorite digital channels including social networks, chat, and email is what is now known as Omnichannel support. Soon this type of support will no longer be a luxury for businesses but a necessity for those that want to maintain their customer bases. 

Moreover, the customer experience is no longer bound by the typical 9-5 office hours. When support is needed at 2 am, customers are not going to wait. Add that to the desire for next-gen customers to be able to quickly resolve problems for themselves digitally by using a self-help center and intelligent FAQ section, and we find that a robust digital call center that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year will provide exactly what they need.

Big and Small Data

Data is key to progress. We use it for insights and to improve customer service and experiences among many other things. Digital data is easy to gather, keep, analyze and understand. Having as much of your data as possible in a digital form will help you get the most out of it. When your call center is digitalized, then every interaction, website click, chat session or other touch point becomes a data point that can be processed and analyzed, and referred back to retroactively. Slice and dice the data in any way you like and what you’ll end up with is invaluable insights that can help your business and optimize products and procedures. Analytics can be used by every department in a business from marketing and sales all the way through to customer service and HR.

Preparing for the Future

On the day that all of your communication channels’ incoming data speak the same digital language, the power of unified communication (across sound, sight and typed data) will transform your business! You’ll now have the ability to put this data to work. With a digital call center, all of your data will speak the same language, and eventually different channels will be able to communicate using this unified digital language. Clear communication is the foundation for advancement, and digital language provides the basis for this communication. It supports an endless cycle of service optimization – collect data, analyze it, and enrich the AI technology so it can identify more patterns and provide smarter, faster solutions.

Will Humans have a Role in a Digital Call Center?

Now, of course all of this digitization powered by revolutionary help desk technology won’t replace the human side of things. Although much of the tech that is powering the digital revolution is extraordinary, it is still in a stage of infancy. That’s not to say that it isn’t mature enough to use – quite the opposite is true – but it will continue to evolve and improve. 

For at least the foreseeable future, actual human support agents still need to have a presence in your digital call center because even the most intelligent FAQ section can’t solve every problem.  By digitizing your call center now, you are empowering your live human agents to do their jobs better, as well as keeping everyone safer. Customers can have more and more of their needs met remotely, minimizing direct contact – a win for everyone during COVID-19. All the data that has been collected and analyzed is providing agents with more and more relevant information.This leads to more efficiency, better resolutions, and more opportunities for meaningful engagement, all of which ultimately leads to increased customer loyalty. Digitizing customer experience is the way forward!

What to Consider When TransformingYour Call Center Digitally

When transitioning from a traditional, analog call center to a digital call center, you need to keep in mind the end game: offering knowledge-filled digital service solutions that enable quick, painless resolutions to customers on their terms and preferred platforms or devices. 

However, transitioning to a digital approach for customer service requires a multipronged approach that needs to be thought out and implemented strategically. Make sure to have a call center manager who is capable of guiding the team through the digital transition well.

It starts with your customers and how they interact with your business. Listen to their needs and provide them with the digital solution they need most.  For some businesses it may be expanding first into service channels on social media, while for others it may be enhancing self-service portals with 24/7 chats. Your goal and priority is to attend to your most urgent customers’ needs, while providing them with the ultimate digitized customer experience that best fits their lifestyle..

Even the smallest change to your call center can have a huge impact. Carefully choose how to implement the new call center technology so that your customers and employees get the most benefit from the transition. However, don’t wait too long because your competitors are already fast on the path to call center and customer service digitization and you don’t want to be left behind in the dust.

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