Three Digital Customer Engagement Must-Haves for Contact Centers to Level-Up in 2017

By Caryne Say - Jan. 30, 2017

Digital technology is fast transforming the contact center industry.  In 2017, predictions spanning from artificial intelligence to cloud have been made concerning technologies that will dominate customer experience success. For businesses looking to level up their game, here are three fundamental customer engagement strategies that must not be missed.

First.  Omnichannel Integration

Businesses have started to invest in customer service as a key revenue driver. However, in a 2016 Customer Satisfaction Index report by CFI Group, customer satisfaction, scoring 68 on a 100 point scale, has never plunged any lower in the past 9 years.

One key culprit for this decline is the less-than-stellar attempts businesses have made in delivering digital customer experience.  Today, there may be more channels than ever for customers to air their grievances and get help from brands.  But, when service is accessible on different channels at different times to a different degree, or when service means transitioning a customer from one channel to another only to be put on hold or be required to start all over again, engagement is fragmented, creating frustration and contributing to a poor customer experience.  

“90% of consumers say they expect consistency and continuity from a brand across channels.”-Microsoft Dynamics 365

To circumvent this, businesses need to shift their focus away from a multichannel approach towards an omnichannel paradigm that integrates all relevant channels to drive a more connected customer experience.  Well executed omnichannel customer service means a conversation that begins on a web chat can be transferred to a co-browse session or phone call with the relevant context preserved across the channels.  This seamless transition not only fosters a positive outcome for the customer, it equips the business with a single view of the customer, turns them into more valuable customers and drives business profitability. 

“In 2016 59% of US retailers claimed that omnichannel customers were also more profitable.”- RSR Research

Second.  Live Video Engagement

According to  Gartner research,  approximately 100 of the top 500 corporations worldwide will be using video chat for customer-facing interactions by 2018.  

Over the years, millennials have risen to become the largest generation domestically and globally. With expected spending power of over $200 billion annually starting in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes, millennials have also become a force to be reckoned with in today’s marketplace. For businesses seeking to compete for wallet and mind share of this influential market, not serving them the way they expect is a risky oversight that can cost the business.  In an era where our day-to-day functions, from laundry to food and transportation, can be “uber-fied” and serviced on-demand, when it comes to online customer service, it is no different, and very few solutions are more powerful and millennial-friendly than the “uberfication” of customer service using live video engagement.  

Unlike phone calls, where customer service agents don’t know beforehand who the caller is or what information might be needed, live video engagement automatically connects the customer with an agent so the agent can quickly build rapport, identify issues and guide the customer through complex instructions.  Live video engagement allows businesses to meet customers at their moment of need.  Face-to-face collaboration also helps businesses elevate customer experience to unprecedented levels by facilitating the integration of communication, emotional expression and real-time sharing of content that delivers a richer sense of presence and a more personalized customer experience (Brian Manusama, research director at Gartner).  

For many businesses that are turning to customer service as a competitive advantage, real-time visual engagement is an excellent way to stand out and stay ahead in a noisy market.  In a recent 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data, many contact centers reported to have plans for employing video technology in the near term.  Today, only a small number have done so.  To start differentiating on stellar online service, there truly is no better time than the present to go live with video and claim that edge.  

Third.  “Mobile Everything”

Mobile tech has been trending in recent years, and this year it deserves a repeat mention.

When over a third of millennials research a product via a mobile device while in a store, and nearly one-fourth purchase a product online from a mobile device while in a store, businesses are being compelled to prioritize mobile within their overall customer experience strategy. Going beyond launching a mobile friendly website, a comprehensive customer mobile strategy means all digital touchpoints, especially customer service and support, are accessible seamlessly, live and across mobile.  

“By 2020 40% of sales organizations will rely primarily on mobile digital technology for their sales force automation initiatives.” - Gartner

In response to a prevalent mobile-first technological reality, businesses can tap into innovative technologies such as in-app co-browsing to deliver comprehensive mobile customer experiences.  In particular, CaféX has seen contact center agents across financial services, insurance and many other industries consistently delivering impactful mobile customer experiences by leveraging Live Assist, CaféX’s award-winning co-browse technology. Live Assist  allows agents to view the customer’s mobile app or web page, draw annotations, push files, fill out forms and perform other remote functions within the customer’s app.

Read CaféX’s Live Assist Case Study at Wells Fargo in 'Perfecting the Art of Mobile Engagement' here >>

Customers seek convenient, on-demand service, on whatever device is on hand. It's no longer a world of big eating small, but fast eating slow.  Businesses that can quickly serve their customers when and where they want to be served lead the pack.  

Want to learn more about trends and best practices to empower your contact center strategy in 2017?  Contact us for more information!