My experience at the 17th Annual Call Center Week Conference & Expo in Las Vegas from June 27 to July 1 was an eye-opening one.
I learned a number of things at the event, but what stuck out to me the most was this: In the customer service industry, a sector that demonstrates a steadfast dedication to efficiency, organizations need to also remember to focus on the big picture of providing customer value and benefits.
My cable provider simply isn’t cutting it
I’ve remained a loyal customer to my cable provider for several years. The company has accompanied me in two states and three different home addresses. In many industries, this would constitute as an intimate relationship. If this were a restaurant, for example, the eatery would probably know me by name by now and greet me with a knowing smile upon each visit.
This is clearly not the case, however. My relationship with my cable provider is one focused purely on efficiency. If I’m experiencing problems, the cable provider is tasked with trying to solve the specific issue at hand – with little to no regard for any other aspects of our relationship.
Moreover, the customer service support that my cable company provides is rarely connected. The call center rep who can solve my set-top box problem is an entirely different individual, using a different set of tools, than the person capable of addressing my billing issue.
What’s even more frustrating is the fact that resolving these problems may require using entirely different tools or channels of communication. And more often than not, there are no opportunities for me to benefit from what the company has learned from its other customers, or vice versa.
Maybe this experience was sufficient in the past, but it is definitely not meeting my expectations today.
Help customers throughout their journeys with your business
At Call Center Week, I saw dozens of vendors demonstrating amazingly nifty tools for a range of specific aspects of call center needs, from resource management and call transcription to multi-language support and machine-driven call categorization.
But few solutions provided the services that customers are truly expecting and demanding. Few companies showcased solutions that enable customer service professionals to support customers throughout their entire journeys, bringing together assisted and unassisted service across multiple touch points and engagement channels.
Technology solution vendors have a responsibility to remind customer service executives that efficiency is important, but it’s not the only objective. Companies must deliver convenience, relevancy, and value to their customers, wherever they find themselves in their journeys and through whichever channel they chose to interact with an organization. To achieve this, enterprises need to focus on the big picture, not only a small part of the challenge.