Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

IT leaders must provide innovative responses to the service demands of today’s customer

October 12, 2015

Technology has transformed the way customers expect to interact with businesses and organisations, putting the IT professional at the front and centre of delivering change.

People expect to be able to access services by any channel, at any time, from any device. This has created what I described as the ‘five moments of truth’ that need to be addressed in digitised customer service (read my blog on this here) – and IT has such as a critical role in helping organisations respond to these challenges.

For instance, customers are expecting an experience that is smooth, channel agnostic, and pain free.

The responsibility of making sure all this runs on point will quite quickly fall with the IT department – so getting those systems in place to enable this is critical.

A big talking point at the moment is how analytics can be best deployed, and firms are getting to grips with the role it can play in helping them understand the customer journey.

Our behaviours are constantly changing, meaning organisations need to be able to use different channels at certain times or day, or different media for varying types of transaction.

This could be voice calls, email, webchat, or even SMS. Consumers are also device agnostic, so you also need to able to reach them regardless if they’re using a smartphone, a tablet or desktop computer.

But if the right systems are put in place, the need to transfer a customer between agents can be eradicated if you can deal with that query on the spot.

By arming customer service agents with the tools and the information to do their job – for instance, pulling up all the relevant and contextual information on the customer they’re speaking to, then the query can be dealt with immediately. Analytics can give you this complete visibility.

It’s even better if technology can be used to let a customer ‘self-serve’ through your website – but you need the information, and the infrastructure in place to ensure this is effective.

The point here is customers expect a level service on their own terms tuned to their own preferences.

Another good example to consider is the issue of transfers – a great source of frustration for customers. This is something 60% of us have experienced, according to research from the CEB. If the IT infrastructure is able to create a smooth and effortless customer journey, the need to move a query from agent to another is greatly reduced.

When you spell it out in those terms, embracing new technologies to Connect, Converge and Leverage Insight, has to be the way forward for organisations with customer service offerings.

IT leaders are central to delivering this, and so they will play a critical role in shaping what customer service looks like in the coming years.

We recently demonstrated Cisco’s Connected Analytics for Contact Centre at Customer Contact Expo 2015 which we attended in conjunction with our partners including BT, Dimension Data, eGain, PC1 and Vodafone. If you missed the Expo, you can find out more about Cisco solutions for the Contact Centre here.

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