Many businesses rely on contact or call center software and tools to automate and streamline customer communications. While contact center software improves operational efficiency—reducing hold and average handling times—it does not deliver the proactive, personalized communications necessary to improve the overall customer experience.
What Is Contact Center Software?
Contact center software enables inbound call queueing and routing, outbound dialing, call analytics, and workforce management. Call center software typically includes several features:
- Automatic call distribution (ACD)
- Interactive voice response (IVR)
- Omnichannel support
- Computer-telephony integrations (CTI)
The average customer spends 43 days of their lifetime on call hold, which leaves plenty of room for improvement in CX. Contact center software focuses on individual touchpoints (usually phone calls or emails) within the contact center, but is unable to analyze and manage the entire customer journey across multiple interactions and channels. For example, a payment IVR system simplifies bill payment but cannot send reminders or allow customers to pay via text (if that is the customer’s preferred channel). With the addition of artificial intelligence (AI), businesses can expand their self-service offerings and allow customers more ways to complete and upgrade their purchases.
Drawbacks to Contact Center Software
It offers limited personalization. Contact center solutions often lack the necessary data integration or analytics capabilities to understand customer history, preferences or context. Without that information, it’s virtually impossible to personalize communications. For example, when contact center or live chat agents don’t have access to information the customer already shared when describing the problem during a chat, they cannot tailor their interactions accordingly. Instead, the customer may have to repeat the same information again or receive generic chat responses that miss the mark. Both scenarios lead to frustration and a negative CX.
It provides inconsistent omnichannel support. Customers expect their interactions with a brand to be seamless across channels (phone, email, chat, social media and self-service). Contact center software may not deliver consistent, integrated experiences across these channels. Customers who start by chatting with the AI-powered chatbot may receive a different answer when they speak to a live agent 10 minutes later.
Support is usually reactive—not proactive. Call center software often focuses on solving customers’ problems after they occur (putting out fires instead of preventing them). It does not deliver proactive support by identifying and addressing customer needs before they reach out for assistance. Proactive engagement, such as personalized recommendations or timely notifications, can significantly enhance the customer experience and even deflect calls completely. For example, sending payment reminders to customers with a history of late payments may prompt on-time payments, saving the customer money (no late fees) and time (no calls to customer service).
Better CX Management Improves Customer Interactions
Delivering exceptional customer experiences across interactions and channels requires a journey orchestration (JO) decisioning engine. JO solutions analyze real-time customer data from various sources—such as browsing and purchase history, channel preferences and customer service interactions—to anticipate customers’ needs and preferences. By monitoring customer behavior and triggers, JO delivers the right experience when it matters most to solidify an emotional connection and long-term loyalty to a brand. It improves the customer experience before, during, and after contact center calls, keeping continuity across the greater customer journey.
Great CX means call deflection. An intelligent decisioning engine anticipates customer needs and provides the right information to solve the problem, eliminating the need to call the contact center. The system can:
- Recognize real-time customer patterns and intents that typically lead to a contact center call—such as reviewing the billing questions on your website’s FAQ page.
- Send outbound communications (in the customer’s preferred channel) whenever a “call the contact center” trigger is identified. For example, a bill explanation solution or AI-driven chat bot activates while the customer is viewing billing FAQs.
- Personalize the solution to the customer’s specific issue. Customers at high risk of delinquency receive a text message saying “pay your bill now” with a link to the online billing portal.
Great CX means intent-based call routing. When customers call, the JO system determines their intent by analyzing their responses using natural language processing. It then directs the call to the right agent group, reducing call transfers. The system also provides background information to the agent via a transcript of the customer’s description of the problem, preventing customers from having to repeat themselves. This also creates a seamless interaction between the AI-powered routing software and the human agent, who won’t need to switch between different screens.
After the call, details from that interaction become part of the customer data profile. The JO system uses this real-time profile to determine what notifications to send (such as targeted offers) and when to send them. The system can also determine when not to send them; if someone just had a negative contact center encounter, that person is not likely to respond favorably to an upgrade offer, for example.
Experience the Power of Journey Orchestration
To deliver superior experiences that delight customers and keep them coming back for more, you need an intelligent journey management system that meets customers’ needs and expectations at important customer lifetime value touchpoints.
Our CX solution that goes beyond contact center software is CSG Xponent. This purpose-built solution comes with a customer data platform, journey management, journey analytics and real-time decisioning at the core of its cutting-edge technology. Xponent delivers the best next action option via each customer’s preferred engagement channel, integrating with your existing systems—CRM, billing, contact center software, marketing systems—with no need to rip and replace. You won’t need to purchase multiple systems to understand what your customers need and deliver the superior, personalized experiences they expect. CSG Xponent makes it simple to deliver customer-centric experiences every time.