The coronavirus pandemic has brought about the most radical changes throughout the world, be it in individual lifestyles via social distancing or in global business operations via remote working. Ever since the outbreak, the social distancing measures have disrupted not only peoples’ lives but also organizations’ ways of working. Enterprises who were slow to walk the path of digitalization or were not keen on going the digital way had to adapt to the unexpected situation created by the pandemic. They eventually accelerated digital adoption, but at a greater expense of customer dissatisfaction and, by extension, their overall customer service.
The social distancing measures and remote working led to a drastic increase in wait times, much higher than those in the pre-COVID world. With myriads of questions and doubts, and limited access to physical locations, customers turned to digital channels of communication in addition to voice-based mediums which resulted in a tremendous spike of inbound calls in contact centers. For customer-centric businesses, creating a customer persona became even more difficult.
Based on its experience and expertise, HCL has envisaged three ways to make customer service resilient in this new normal post COVID-19:
- Migration to a cloud-based offering - Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
During the pandemic, it became difficult for businesses to predict the demand and serve their customers in the best possible way. On one hand, lockdowns led to a sudden surge in interaction volumes, and on the flipside, they led to a reduction in the workforce due to social distancing measures, leaving several interactions unanswered and increasing estimated wait time. Customer-centric organizations took a hit on their CSAT and NPS scores due to bad customer experiences since their legacy or on-premises contact center infrastructure was incapable of scalability and flexibility on demand.
Moving to a cloud-based contact center platform better equips organizations to tackle such unprecedented times with minimal business disruption. CCaaS platform not only helps reduce CAPEX but also improves capacity management. Businesses can scale capacity up/down on demand with minimum hassle.
With flexibility for agents to work remotely or from office, serving customers seamlessly becomes convenient even in unforeseen circumstances.. With its Fluid.Plat, not only can HCL help organizations envision the journey to cloud but also can take them there. HCL’s vendor-agnostic approach makes it easier for our customers to pick and choose their fit-for-purpose platform. Our Dev.X offering can be leveraged to realize the transformation using industry leading practices of software development and offer better customer service.
Cloud adoption has been growing at par with technological advancements in all sectors of infrastructure including contact centers. In 2019, Genesys, an Industry leader, alone has seen about 500 of its customers move to CCaaS in a span of 1 year, which signifies that companies are proactively looking to transform their legacy platform.
Adoption of cross-channel orchestration and experience testing
The market has seen a drastic change in preferences. In the wake of social distancing and remote working, customers have grown aware of the choices available and the ways to avail them. When the pandemic led to a tremendous spike in call volumes and EWT, customers switched to different modes of communication such as chat, email, social media, etc. Businesses, however, were under-equipped to serve their customers across different channels, thus leading to increased frustrations among customers. Organizations not only lacked the platform to provide varied modes of communication but were also mostly unaware of their customers’ experiences.
HCL, with its rigorous experience and numerous use cases, realized this gap, and understood that to help businesses deliver the promise, they need to adopt cross-channel orchestration wherein customers would be given freedom to choose their preferred modes of communication and receive accurate and informative service, thus overcoming a siloed experience. With its Fluid.Plat offering, HCL has helped several organizations transition from primarily voice-based contact center to a digitalized one seamlessly, without losing sight of any context and improving the ease to connect with the contact center. HCL has also enabled personalized customer journeys by cross-channel orchestration and data-driven ACD to improve on CX and increase loyalty. In addition, our Assure.X offering enables organizations to keep an eye on their existing CX. It provides tools, which are highly scalable and codeless, that can be easily rolled out to ensure that the customer experience remains under your purview all the time.
- Incorporate self-service and analytics across channels leveraging AI/ML
Today, businesses want to modernize and digitalize their contact centers to deliver superior services keeping their well-informed modern customers in mind. People have come a long way from making voice calls to their banks to utilizing self-service options for immediate information. In fact, the synchronous communication (i.e., live chat) has slowly given way to asynchronous interactions wherein customers do not look for immediate answers but are rather willing to wait for the resolution over a period of time. Moreover, despite varied options in hands of the customer, their voice is often left unheard.
In line with changing trends and demands, HCL came up with AI:1 under its contact center offerings. It is aimed at helping businesses change their customer experience by increasing self-service opportunities. It leverages AI/ML-based bots capable of answering queries at the front tier, leaving the complex queries for the agents. In addition, when customers opt to talk to agents, the smart bots help agents with the appropriate context of the interaction to make it more personalized. When there are many channels for customers as the mode of contact, intricate journey touch points such as the voice of customer are often missed out. With HCL’s Sentiment.Quant and Predict.X, organizations can not only monitor customer journeys and understand when to engage them, but also understand their sentiments by analyzing all interactions. The solution offers powerful and intelligent tools to capture keywords or intents in interactions across channels in an automated fashion.
As the world is changing, so are the people and their ways of life. We, at HCL, believe that the time to bring resiliency in customer service is right now so that the organization, its customers, and their CX do not suffer, thus leading to higher conversions and increased loyalty. For more information, please feel free to write to us at Contact.FluidCC@hcl.com.