The underlying fundamentals of customer engagement have altered significantly. And that is largely due to widespread telecommunications availability. People can now contact organizations, and vice-versa at the touch of a few buttons. How this new reality is leveraged, both strategically and tactically, will be a significant factor in determining sector leaders over the next few years; across sectors like banking, insurance, pension, retail, aviation , automobile sales, consumer retail, and even the public sector to mention few sectors.
Mobile devices represent the most pervasive, cross - cutting denominator amongst the populace. This new state of being means that the customer, or prospect is now empowered to engage, or be proactively engaged anytime and anywhere. Engaged customers deliver more business, propagate the brand positively and consequently yield added revenues. Unhappy ones, especially in a social media enabled world, can erode brand value in an instance.
At the heart of this critical engagement landscape is the Next Generation Contact Center, in conjunction with applications and tools such as Customer Relationship Management applications, Performance management, feedback management, analytics and other important components; and of course, skilled personnel working to well established business processes.
These platforms are beginning to drive strategy in a significant way within some sectors. The insights can impact product development and service delivery in profound ways. For example, some financial service players are shifting towards much smaller, rent - friendlier boutique style retail outlets within shared infrastructure environments like malls and hotels, that undertake cash and a few other specialized services, whilst moving a significant amount of customer support activity to consolidated Contact Center environments that perform proactive outbound services as well as inbound activity.For example, a leading Nigerian Bank leverages these platforms extensively to record impressive debt collection outcomes that see agents earning enhanced pay packets based on their recovery volumes.
These approaches underscore the shift towards a converged experience management environment that can be tracked and measured to an extent that is simply not achievable in the conventional retail model, as service gaps with severe implications often occur untracked.
Furthermore, the success of innovative schemes, products and marketing campaigns etc; will still place service and support demands on the organisation. The Contact Center, rather than retail points, is better positioned to handle majority of these interactions, delivering cost savings, revenue potential and monitored service levels.
The real paradigm shift required is for business leaders to recognize these interactions as profit opportunities, rather than service costs and to develop ROI models that reflect their business peculiarities. The technical complexities associated with getting the Right Fit solutions should also not be underestimated.
In Conclusion, we believe that the late adoption of high-end Contact Center technology in Nigeria actually affords organizations a window of opportunity to rethink their entire interaction models. Those who get it right will delight customers, lead their sectors, increase profits and obtain cost effective brand ambassadors.