As businesses are discovering in fairly large numbers these days, any time to improve the contact center is the right time, and benefits are often seen fairly quickly afterward. A recent report from the Genesys (News - Alert) blog points out the importance of making the contact center all it can be, and even offers some insight on ways to make those improvements.
Some of the pain points of a customer service operation like a contact center are obvious; frequent repetition, interactive voice response (IVR) systems that seem more like active impediment than help, misdirected calls, and all the while, even more repetition. It's easy to feel like no one cares in the middle of that level of customer disservice, so customers increasingly demand a personalized service that knows who they are when they call, and have a good idea of how to fix problems right away.
That takes a contact center that's on par with the best, and focuses on the customer as much as possible. Achieving such a level of service is difficult in some cases, but it generally can be done. The good news here is that any level of improvement will be felt by the customer, and reciprocated with improved chances of return business. So what should the business do to modify the contact center and get those benefits? Start with a focus on customer engagement, on making sure the customer doesn't have to repeat him- or herself to get help. Some companies will note that, along the way, they've formed silos, or centralized places where information is kept with one specific target, marketing, sales, human resources or the like. Wherever these are found, break them. Silos do no good for the business as a whole, and everyone needs information to provide the best service. Don't forget to focus on the future; being ready for today just ensures you won't be ready for tomorrow, so be sure to include new contact methods like social media and text messaging.
In the end, it's all about meeting the customer's needs as quickly and effectively as possible. Contact centers that can meet those needs, and as close to the first call as possible, will have a major advantage over firms that can't meet customer needs quickly and effectively. Having all the information necessary on hand to help prevent repetition, and an IVR with an option to quickly contact a human can be a huge help here, especially if always considered from the viewpoint of delivering the best in service.
There's a lot more to improving the contact center than this, of course, but these are some worthwhile starting points. Doing anything here by way of improvement will help, so there's no reason to delay. Now is the right time to make those upgrades, and help keep customers in the fold.