Leading contact centres through change
The global pandemic has thrown up several challenges for contact centre businesses. 89% of UK contact centre leaders say COVID-19 has changed the UK contact centre industry forever.
According to the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), customer satisfaction is at its lowest level since 2015. Insight from contact centre managers tells us they faced key challenges that could have contributed to this dip in CSAT levels. It’s time to look at the problems and how to approach them during the latter stages of a global health crisis.
This Leading Contact Centre Teams through Change series gives a view of the problems contact centre managers faced during the pandemic, the solutions they introduced and how they got their teams through it all.
We’ll start by highlighting some of the core challenges.
Complexity and volume of customer queries
Across many industries, customer queries are becoming more complex. For example, the pandemic heightened the need to understand finances. Ever-changing restrictions have, at times, confused both frontline agents and customers. All of this means that inbound call volumes have increased, as have handling times.
Buy-in and support from other departments
This new complexity of customer queries means frontline teams are increasingly stretched and require support from other departments. This throws up internal challenges as other departments grapple with their depleted capacity and resources due to high demand, staff on furlough and even redundancies.
Customers expect a smooth experience
As contact centres navigate these internal challenges, customer expectations continue to evolve. The fact that 86% of customers now say they will pay more for a better experience means customer experience, above price and product, has become the key differentiator. Frontline agents must endure this increasing pressure and continue delivering an exceptional experience despite resources being worn thin.
Demand for communications across channels
As demand for exceptional CX grows, customers also expect to be met via their channel of choice. 90% of consumers say their purchase decisions are influenced by whether brands offer their preferred communication methods. Contact centres using legacy systems and outdated technology fall behind on this front, and investing in better solutions can throw up even more challenges internally.
As leaders grapple with this somewhat vicious cycle, they need to prioritise building connections between departments, staying responsive to agents and taking a proactive approach to evolving customer needs.