Author: Leigh Hopwood
Doing nothing is like going backwards.
Surprise, we’ve changed. Yes, you and I. We text our friends and family, we socialise on Facebook, network through LinkedIn and get the latest news about train delays through Twitter. We spend more time than ever with our faces glued to a screen, in a variety of sizes.
In 2012 you’d see headlines like ‘social media is dead’. It was deemed a fad. But finally the realisation has hit that the digital business is here to stay. And we’re only now seeing the term ‘digital disruption’ being bandied around. The digital phenomenon has been here for years – its businesses that have been slow to adapt.
So who's in the driving seat?
Have you heard of Gen C? Gen C, or Generation C, is the connected generation. Unlike Generation X, Generation Y and the Millennials, Generation C is defined by its behaviour – not their age. They use devices, apps and web sites to interact with friends, family and companies. They use these approaches to go about their daily business.
According to infoMENTUM's research report, 81% of Generation C consumers shop online, 87.5% use online banking, and 86% use social networking to connect with friends. As employees, 75% of Generation C people value the freedom to be creative, 55% value using their own technology and 73% value flexible working. Unfortunately, 60% of businesses have IT systems that are only ever updated occasionally.
It’s this connected generation that are driving the adoption of digital technology both by the consumer and employees.
What has this got to do with the contact centre?
Oh, so much. Where shall I start? First, your people.
Whether you like it or not, your people are increasingly becoming tech savvy. That means that they are using functionality in their home life that they expect to get access to at work. It’s not just about having the latest devices, it’s about having systems and processes in place that take full advantage of the streamlined approaches that can be achieved with digital technology.
From being able to connect with an expert or accurate/up-to-date information seamlessly to help a customer, to being able to access their HR data from home to monitor their own performance, your employees now know that not only can processes be completed more efficiently, but they can probably tell you how to achieve it.
Now let’s take a look at your customers. Whether you are in B2B or B2C, your customer has high expectations in how you might sell to them, and in your customer service. It’s no longer acceptable to only interact via the phone with FAQ’s on your website aimed at reducing call volumes.
Customer profiling is so important to ensure that you are delivering the right service, at the right time, through the right channel to satisfy your customers. Understanding why your customers are getting in touch, and how they prefer to communicate is crucial.
Integrating the right digital technology into your contact centre processes, and working with your people to enable them to use them effectively, will give you a huge wave of benefit. Your people will be happier working with the latest functionality and having the right tools to do their job well, and your customers will be happy because they can do business with you much easier.
And if everyone is happy, then your profits will rise. Happy days!
What happens if you do nothing?
That’s not an option. Gone are the days of sitting and waiting for technology to settle down. You can no longer wait to see what the next big thing is. If you don’t respond and invest now, you might as well throw the towel in. Expect to make mistakes, expect to have to change course and expect the unexpected. That’s life.
Leigh's post originally appeared on callcentre.co.uk