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Customer data is the lifeblood of customer-centric organizations. They thrive because they use unique insights to create truly differentiated, personalized experiences. And they can offer an unmatched customer experience (CX) because they know how to use behavioral, interaction and customer data.
The contact center is one of the richest sources of customer data — not just from interactions that happen there, but also from interactions in other, connected channels and functions across an organization. Forward-thinking businesses recognize this value; they’re leading the trend toward a more strategic CX model — making the contact center a hub of advocacy and insight.
The goal is twofold: Enable teams to improve their piece of the overall customer experience while also improving CX across the organization. Sharing information broadly can help with efforts like optimizing omnichannel experiences (i.e., end-to-end customer journeys that cross channels and functions). This creates a virtuous cycle of data sharing to and from the contact center, positioning it as a center of excellence that advocates for the customer.
Few organizations harness contact center data so broadly today, which presents a significant competitive advantage to those that do.
Only 13% of CX leaders say their business offers multiple channels for customer interactions with completely integrated technology and connected data. This enables them to gain insights and adjust in real time. Half take a multichannel approach of limited channel and data connectivity.
CX leaders say silos create the greatest barriers to improving the customer experience, such as:
This lack of cross-channel and cross-functional connection produces data blind spots that lead to repeated requests for customer information and context. And the lack of real-time insights makes it nearly impossible to rapidly uncover customer needs or monitor quality across channels. This insight is a must to make performance improvements in the moment to streamline the customer journey.
For the organizations at the forefront of positioning the contact center as a strategic hub of customer advocacy and insight, technology helps to streamline data sharing. It also provides access to real-time insights from across touchpoints. CX leaders and their peers in other lines of business can act on that data and insights.
One key technology is a robust cloud platform that integrates solutions such as CRM systems, enterprise resource management, unified communications and workforce planning tools. CX leaders globally say the top benefits of a cloud-based CX platform are better access to data across channels and the ability to add new capabilities, channels and functionality faster than with on-premises systems. This agility and connectedness are key reasons why 71% of CX leaders say implementing a customer experience platform that integrates systems is a top technology priority. Half of leaders say the same about connecting data and technology to deliver an omnichannel experience.
More than half of CX leaders believe data ad analytics tools have the most value for improving the customer experience. And 57% consider real-time analytics to be extremely valuable. Executives who are leading the charge listed “enhancing analytics for real-time insights, analytics and reporting” and “using data and AI for customer understanding and personalization” at the top of their CX strategic agendas for the next two years.
And there’s good reason why. Cloud-native platforms that are flexible and focused around microservices and open APIs will pave the way for greater connections across teams and channels. These capabilities also make it easier and more secure to share data in real time — at lower cost and with fewer risks. The ideal cloud-based CX platform provides access to a best-in-class ecosystem, unifies data and communications, and supports organizational collaboration.
Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics enable these customer-centric organizations to access and share customer insight across teams.
Some organizations are using solutions such as conversational AI to triage interactions in one channel and direct customers to the next best (other) channel or employee. And many use tools like predictive engagement — proactively engaging specific customers with an action or resource to drive conversion. Predictive routing is also helpful, by routing interactions to employees best able to resolve them. The ultimate goal is to personalize the customer experience, often drawing from cross-channel and cross-functional data to drive optimal actions.
Consumers worldwide say the type of personalization they prefer most is getting the services they need, when they need them, in the channel they prefer. And 80% say they’ll buy more — more often — from brands that consistently personalize their service experience. Plus, those loyal customers will then recommend those brands to others.
The best way to gain the loyalty and revenue benefits of giving customers what they want is to position the contact center as a strategic hub of customer advocacy and engagement. Supported by a cloud-based CX platform and advanced AI, this will ensure smooth data and insight sharing across channels and functions to deliver uniquely personalized, seamless end-to-end journeys. And that empowers organizations to deliver more empathetic customer experiences that help them drive long-term profits.
To learn more about contact center trends and innovations, watch this on-demand webinar “Navigating the future: CX and EX trends for 2024.”
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