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Why do contact centres deserve greater strategic consideration?

A man and a woman play a strategic game of chess.

Contact centres have come a long way from the lines and switchboards of call centres past.

Today, contact centres are hi-tech, multi-functional business units that can manage everything from customer service to marketing, collections, sales, billing, technical support and appointment setting. They’re no longer just a channel for serving customers and solving problems, but can play a strategic role in attracting new consumers, delivering on-brand experiences, and driving higher lifetime spend.

Covid-19 really brought this to the fore, demonstrating the value and versatility of contact centre operations when shops and offices were forced to close.

Our Evolution of the Contact Centre research with the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) revealed contact centres very quickly became the face of their organisations, communicating with customers and supporting them when they had nowhere else to turn. Now thanks to their efforts, contact centres are enjoying greater recognition from leadership teams and have had their budgets boosted to invest in hiring more talent and implementing more advanced technology.

“There’s a strong recognition now of our frontline workers and the role they play,” said Jonathan Cowie, the COO at Vivid Homes. “It’s not just about they’re there to answer the phone. They are the brand and they are the person that’s solving the problem” [1].

So, why does your contact centre deserve greater strategic consideration?

Customer experience anywhere, anytime

Covid-19 has proven customers don’t need to travel in-store for effective, on-brand customer experiences. Contact centres are more than capable of attending to customers’ emotive and functional needs through voice, bots and other digital channels.

Data-driven insights

With the right technology, contact centres can be data goldmines. The wealth of customer feedback that flows through contact centres every day can be captured and tracked over time to help inform wider product, sales and marketing strategies. “That’s how you put the customer at the heart of the organisation – through analysing data, learning from that, and taking action from it,” Simon Butler, the Director of Resource Planning EMEA at Fiserv, told the CCMA.

Customer service drives profits

Gartner predicts customer service will evolve from a cost centre into a profit centre as more customers migrate from in-person to digital-first channels in the wake of the pandemic [2]. Organisations will be able to shift customer acquisition and retention from in-person to online self-service tools and human- or bot-assisted interactions, it says. This will see contact centres become even more critical as they take on greater responsibility for the customer relationship and journey.

To learn more about Puzzel and how we can support your strategic contact centre, visit our Why Puzzel page. To learn more about the trends transforming the contact centre sector in the wake of the pandemic, download your free copy of The Evolution of the Contact Centre report here.

[1] https://www.puzzel.com/white-papers/part-1-the-evolution-of-the-contact-centre-research-report-six-trends-that-are-transforming-the-sector/

[2] https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-customer-service-and-support-predictions-for-2021-and-beyond/

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