Research by IDC shows that call centers are playing an increasingly strategic role in the European financial industry as they support a growing number of business functions and processes.
The integration of call centers or contact centers and CRM solutions isn’t new of course. In 2001 IDC already stressed the growing role of the call center as it becomes a multifunctional customer interaction center.
Customer service and loyalty: the integration of new channels
Thanks to this integration and the support of the digital channels in this online and multimedia world call centers are decreasingly seen as cost centers and more as profit centers, offering up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.
Furthermore, customer loyalty can be enhanced by providing integrated and personalized customer service.
Ad Nederlof, since the beginning of this year Chairman of Genesys, acquired by Alcatel and the number one player in call center solutions, says that research indicates that 56% of consumers see excellent customer service as having the biggest impact on customer loyalty. The other way around, Nederlof states, 85% of customers claim they stop working with a company due to a bad customer service experience.
“People don’t care if a company has hired the right people or uses the right business processes”, Nederlof told us. All customers care about is being helped. And that help needs to occur via the channels they use. That’s why more companies start having call centers where telephone, Internet support solutions, email and SMS are integrated.
For Nederlof this integration is obvious as customers don’t want to repeat themselves, for instance when calling a contact center after having sent an email first. Customers simply expect that the call center agent already disposes of the information shared via email or other channels when they interact in other ways later.
The promise of CRM integration and VoIP
It’s one of the reasons why Genesys offers CRM integration with its call center solutions and works closely with CRM vendors such as Siebel.
In the next version of its suite, Genesys 7, the integration with CRM will be further enhanced says Chief Technology Officer Paul Segre, among others with CIM (Customer Interaction Management) and CIA (Customer Interaction Analytics).
On top of that, the integration of IP technology in the call center should make it possible for organizations to simplify their infrastructure and save costs as today they typically dispose of multiple call centers whereby all functions and the underlying infrastructure are replicated. By moving towards virtual IP contact centers with a VoIP (Voice over IP) solution, this replication isn’t necessary anymore.
Along with voice recognition and response, the support of multiple channels, self-service, advanced CRM integration and VoIP, customer interaction and service should reach new heights and meet the demands of today’s consumer.
Yet, technology alone isn’t the answer. Hopefully it does help in making the lives of customers who want fast answer and hate repeating themselves easier.