Top CX contact centre challenges

Establishing a positive customer experience (CX) continues to be the focus for contact centres everywhere. In fact, 43% of contact centres report more than five CX metrics to their senior executives while only approximately 7% of companies do not measure CX at all; a clear indication of how underestimated customer experience metrics are as a critical business lever to contact centre success. 
Top CX contact centre challenges | Probe CX

But maintaining CX in a contact centre environment can get tricky. Customer demands are dynamic and organisations need to adapt to the changes in their customer service needs.

For example, during pandemic times, customers were far more lenient with hold times and understood that most organisations were struggling and doing their best to keep their customer service functions at the ready. Today, that patience has worn thin. Organisations have had more than enough time to regroup and get their contact centres back to full capacity.

In this blog, we address the top CX challenges contact centres are still facing and the solutions available to combat them.

What are the top CX challenges for contact centres?

While each contact centre will have its own individual challenges, there are a few popular barriers that are faced by organisations wanting to optimise CX in a contact centre environment.

Lack of hyper-personalisation

Accenture reports that 75% of customers are more likely to purchase from organisations that offer personalised services based on their individual preferences. What does this look like in a contact centre? The answer is automation and digital transformation.

Hyper personalisation leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and real-time data to deliver more relevant product and service information for each caller and ultimately personalise their entire experience. The vast majority of customers have not only come to accept that algorithms can tap into their online habits but now expect brands to tune into their specific needs.

It is evident today’s customers are attracted to organisations that can identify them, track their every interaction on every channel and know how to solve their issues based on captured data. It is all about meeting customers where they want to be when they get in contact.

Knowledge management systems (KMS) can provide scripting and product knowledge in real-time to your agents. It acts as a single source of truth and is easily accessible, providing instant and recommended suggestions to optimise a customer’s journey. Only 54% of organisations have a KMS in place with functions that enhance CX.

According to Metrigy’s research, “companies with the highest success metrics who use a single, cloud-based provider see revenue increase by 99.6%, costs decrease by 14.4%, CX ratings improve by 56.6% and agent efficiency rise by 37.4%.”

They can capture all the information within an organisation about a certain customer, break down restrictive silos and help achieve the goal of better customer experiences. They can help your agents find more answers in less time, especially when they know a customer needs accurate information. It helps your agents not only tap into an internal knowledge base but seamlessly upload their own knowledge.

Seamless omnichannel experiences

42% of customers state that a seamless experience across all devices and channels is a mandatory expectation for a good CX. So how come only 11% of decision-makers see seamless, omnichannel experiences as the most important factor when delivering quality experiences?

Omnichannel refers to the use of more than one channel to communicate but with a key difference – all channels are fully integrated, which in a contact centre means information can follow customers as they switch between them. It is all about offering convenience and choice and an omnichannel contact centre may include social media, SMS, chat, async messaging and email, not to forget traditional phone support. The contact centre can then funnel each interaction a customer has with the business into one location, thus putting the information at the fingertips of agents and centralising data for use in sophisticated CX strategies.

Only 39% of organisations have an all-in-one platform that is used across all communication channels. These platforms can help organisations optimise customer communications and establish quality management consistencies in a contact centre.

Cost of employee attrition and the availability of labour

Hiring employees for your contact centre takes up 40% of an organisation’s overall recruitment. In Smaart Recruitment’s 2022 Contact Centre Best Practice Report, the top two concerns for contact centre recruiters are the low volume of applicants and the salaries not being competitive enough to satisfy candidates. This is having a knock-on effect on how many individual vacancies a single recruiter is working to fill. With 32% of internal recruiters working on 50 or more vacancies at any one time, it’s no wonder they are struggling with heightened workloads.

As unemployment and job seeker volumes decrease, many contact centres are actually reporting a decrease in the quality of candidates. In the report, only 15% of recruiters believe the quality of candidates has improved from January 2021 to now. A staggering 46% believe the quality has significantly decreased during the same time period.

To combat the poor quality of candidates coming through the doors and to meet higher salary expectations organisations should re-assess their employer branding, improve candidate attraction methods and focus on building strong talent pools and pipelines.

Outsourcing as a solution

If a contact centre agent can resolve a caller's query efficiently and quickly with little to no errors in communication, it’s unlikely that the caller is going to be concerned with knowing where the agent is located. Whether they are in Australia or in the Philippines, if they leave the call having had a positive CX, all is good.

When you partner with the right outsourcing provider, you can establish contact centres that have the ultimate combination of people, processes and omnichannel technologies to ensure you maximise every interaction in every channel. Be it onshore or offshore, business as usual or seasonal surges, outsourced contact centres recruit, train and nurture the best people to deliver the CX results you need.

Digital uptake and intelligent automation

We mentioned before how solving a lack of personalisation in your contact centre could involve investing in automation, but where is the proof?

A leading Australian full-service supermarket, operating with over 800 stores across the country, wanted to improve the customer experience of its online retail site which managed around 1.5 million customer interactions annually.

By implementing a virtual agent they were able to achieve a:

  • 41% decrease in effort to service customer interactions handled by contact centre agents
  • 28% shift from conventional voice channels to digital channels resulting in significant cost benefits
  • 96% response accuracy rate.

Learn what initiatives were implemented to achieve such results in our 'Driving digital uptake case study'.

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