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7 key tech steps to successful customer engagement in 2014

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19th Dec 2013
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Will 2014 be the year of breaking down channel silos and embracing an integrated multi-channel operation?

Central to successful customer engagement in 2014 will lie in extending engagement beyond the traditional contact centre.

This doesn’t just involve giving your users a mobile app, or a web chat function. It involves a more collaborative use of technology, which could include an approach that provides ‘smart desktops’ to improve customer engagement across the business.

For more ideas, read these seven key technology indicators for customer engagement centres:

  1. Smart agent desktops

Intelligent agent desktops are the enabler to truly integrated multi-channel management. Desktops bring the different interaction channels together and, alongside customer data, present the agent with the information needed in a single screen to help take customers forward on their journey

  1. Big Data integration

Feeding Big Data into the intelligent agent desktop mix makes smart sense for organisations looking to deliver greater personalisation and stronger customer engagement. The challenge comes in presenting and contextualising key data from transactions, social and mobile interactions, so that agents can use them to identify the appropriate next action for customers

  1. Extending beyond the contact centre

While the role played by the contact centre is key, true Customer Engagement solutions need to involve expert employees across the organisation be these in sales, marketing, support, finance or even mobile field workers. Customer Engagement solutions will start to enable collaboration with these stakeholders through accessible mobile apps

  1. Customer service apps

Will start to change - no longer simple meter reading or balance checking but they will become an integrated part of customer services, enabling customers to chat with an agent if they encounter an issue or need further information

  1. Visual IVR functionality

Customers don’t like being placed on hold when they want to speak with agents, and research always shows that they hate navigating needlessly complex Interactive Voice Response systems. However, the UK consumer generally likes using their smartphone, and is happy to add corporate apps to their devices providing they add value or simplify processes. Building true Visual IVR functionality into apps can provide a fast, simple and cost-effective way of streamlining interactions, particularly when linked to core business processes and supported by features such as call back

  1. Putting web chat to work

Web chat can prove a powerful addition for customer engagement – providing it’s a next generation approach that incorporates powerful multi-way chat capabilities and tight integration with real time knowledge bases. Done well, web chat offers an excellent mechanism for letting customers engage with service experts who can resolve their requests quickly – particularly among the critical 16-30 year old demographic where the channel is especially popular

  1. Simplifying complexity with Touch technology

Intelligent desktops already deliver significant dividends, however they can be even more powerful when combined with touch screen enabled desktop applications. This is where agents benefit from a really simple, intuitive way of dealing with complex interactions

These steps were provided by mplsystems, a multi-channel contact centre technology company.

CEO of the business, Paul White admits delivering a truly joined-up customer experience is a challenge, but that technology now exists to help its success.

“There’s now a consensus that all the necessary technology building blocks - whether it’s Cloud, Mobile, Social or Big Data solutions - are now available for organisations who know how to make them fit together.

“As the recovery strengthens in 2014 we’re expecting to see organisations become much smarter about how they engage with their customers.

He concludes: “Those that get it right in 2014 can expect to secure significant competitive advantage."

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