Business as usual isn’t business as usual anymore, as we continue to see transformation in technology, work environments, customer engagement, employee expectations, economic impact, and other fast paced evolutions. Although changing needs and technology were the initial instigators, COVID especially kicked these transformations into high gear for call centers. They had to find ways to stay available and keep customers happy despite the shutdowns and health concerns. It’s safe to say that the “call center” of old is dead (or should be). In its place has risen the full-on “contact center” for omnichannel support, service, and sales.

Let’s look at the features you should be offering your customers in your modern contact center to meet their expectations and keep them happy:

10 Features Your Contact Center Needs

  • Self-service Options: According to Statista, 88% of people expect businesses to have self-service options and 79% have used self-service options at some point. You can give your customers easy to find and use self-service options such as FAQs pages, resource centers, knowledge bases, tutorials, help centers, courses, webinars, and other self-use educational materials. This practice is considered a part of good customer service these days.
  • Chatbots: Another great self-service option which doesn’t feel like self-service is to use chatbots. You can build your most frequently asked questions and most important product features into your chatbots to customize them to your specific business experience. Customers and visitors can use the chatbot to navigate to their solution, and still feel like they’re getting personal service. In fact, many internet users prefer interacting with chatbots rather than live agents.
  • Live Chat: Depending on the situation, up to 90% of consumers and customers expect an immediate response when asking a question. When a chatbot can’t help with an inquiry, it’s important to have your team on hand to answer live, seamlessly.
  • Omnichannel Support: Consumers today could use up to 13 different channels to engage with your business. It’s important that you’re able to connect the dots and follow their needs where they’re at without disconnecting the experience. Two-thirds of consumers report that waiting on hold, only to have to repeat themselves again is the most frustrating part about contacting a business. That’s where omnichannel comes in.
  • AI and Automation: Using AI and Automation tools are what help omnichannel options to work, so these two go hand in hand. Chatbots are also AI. Machine learning and algorithms through AI tools can take your customers, and their information, from one step or channel to the next while keeping everything connected. It can also tie together data points to build personalization into your customer profiles.
  • Appointment Scheduling: AI and automation can help with appointment setting features as well. Consumers should be able to easily schedule more in-depth calls, call-backs if wait times are too high, demos, and more at their own convenience.
  • Social Media: Business outreach and customer service is expected on social media today. Whether it’s responding to customer inquiries in comments or messaging in social media apps, it’s important to have a presence. In fact, 31% of customers will look to social media to make inquiries prior to a purchase.
  • 24/7 Availability: 50% of today’s consumers believe a business should always be available for customer service and inquiries. Perhaps as a small business, this seems like an impossible task. But by using some of the other features and technologies in this post such as chatbots, self-service options, and appointment scheduling, any business can do this.
  • Work from Anywhere: Remote and hybrid work environments have been making their way into contact centers even before COVID required it. This type of flexibility and availability allows your team to be available from anywhere, anytime. It can help you to meet expectations such as always having support available for your customers and weathering any storms or disastrous events that might increase the need for support.
  • Cloud Unified Communications: Contact centers that want to stay ahead of the curve will benefit from cloud unified communications. Cloud unified communications allow a business to integrate all the features and technologies in this list into one simplified, seamless platform to handle all their customer service, support, and sales communications needs. The right solution will integrate your messaging, calls, and CRM information together and offer features such as real-time availability, one-click handoff, information sharing, report features, and more.

To learn more contact us today at [email protected] or (248) 922-1150 and experience the ChoiceTel difference.