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How to deliver exceptional customer service

Chris Nunn, head of business unit, contact centres, unified communications & collaboration, Dimension Data UK

Chris Nunn, head of business unit, contact centres, unified communications & collaboration, Dimension Data UK

A recent report by UK consumer group Which? found that call centres are the nation’s biggest gripe. Some 3,500 British consumers were asked what annoys them most about the retailers and companies they do business with and nearly half – 46 percent – of people said they were annoyed by call centres that are based overseas, while just over a third (36 percent) dislike automated telephone systems. Unsurprisingly, Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: “Firms need to up their game – those that don’t give customers the care and attention they deserve risk losing out to their competitors.” Both the findings of this report and Lloyd’s call to action reflect the findings of our 18th annual Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. Launched earlier this year, it found that satisfaction with customer services provided by brands is dropping year on year.

In particular, it seems that the call centre industry has been caught massively unprepared for the arrival of ‘all things digital’ – failing to evolve and, by doing so, losing step with customer habits. Whether it’s email, instant web chat, social media, mobile applications and self-service channels, digital contact is fast becoming the preference for today’s increasingly mobile customers. Though this might be one of the most significant changes to take place in the contact centre business in 30 years, to us, there is still no need for those in the call centre industry to miss out on the myriad opportunities such a development brings. Especially given the technology is already readily available to transform the end-to-end customer contact experience for the better – capable of empowering customer services teams with the right tools and client account information when they need it.

Here at Dimension Data, we know that you must define your customer service procedures and processes alongside your technology – they go hand-in-hand. At this year’s Customer Contact Expo (CCE) 2015 event, we delivered a theatre presentation which discussed the need for contact centres ‘to up their game’ and go digital in order to improve the customer experience and deliver more interactive digital conversations. The days of just answering incoming calls efficiently are long gone – it’s all about a completely integrated and responsive customer experience.