Opentalk 2017 was packed with thought leadership from some of the most customer-centric leaders and companies of our time. The Opentalk 2017 Video Library is your team’s chance to re-experience those speaking sessions. Here’s more information on one of the videos available in this library.

Five Trends That Will Make You Rethink the Contact Center Experience

  • Gadi Shamia, COO, Talkdesk
  • Todd Enders, VP Product Marketing, Salesforce Service Cloud

In this session, Gadi and Todd cover five important contact center trends:

1. Customer Expectations Are Rising 

“55% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service today than they had just one year ago.”

Likewise, despite the expectation that phone customer service would disappear, 68% of contact center communication continues to happen over the phone. This is because expectations are rising. Technology has made it such that with the click of a button, we can order a car. We can get any item from anywhere shipped to us within two days using Amazon Prime. So, the slow nature of email customer service where a reply may not go out for 48 to 72 hours no longer resonates.

2. Personalized Customer Service & Proactive Service Drives Customer Engagement

“75% of US customers have a more favorable view of brands that offer proactive customer service.”

Gone are the days when a customer would expect nothing of their customer service agent when they called in. For example, having a customer service agent tell a customer that they’ve never heard of their previous complaint would now be considered a very poor customer experience. The customer expects that complaint to be on file and for the customer service agent to have it pulled up in front of them. This is happening because of how quickly and easily we can all have information at our fingertips. Customers are expecting the companies they do business with to know them, their purchase history and whether they’ve called about this specific issue before.

3. It Pays To Invest In The Customer Experience

“The #1 driver of our growth has been repeat customers and word of mouth. Our philosophy has been to take most of the money we would have spent on paid advertising and invest it in customer service and the customer experience instead.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos

This philosophy served Zappos so well they sold the company to Amazon for $928 million in 2009. Likewise, 62% of companies view the customer experience delivered by their contact centers as a true competitive differentiator. It is part of the company decision making process. It has a seat at the table. If it doesn’t yet at your company, it definitely should!

4. Harness AI to Deliver a Smarter Experience

Within customer service, this means transforming the first 11 seconds of a phone conversation and eliminating the question: “what are you calling about today?” Instead, through AI learning, we can make a prediction about why a customer is calling, then route them to the best agent to field questions on that predicted topic and auto-fill all the data for the agent so that they can interact with the customer  in more of a relationship format and feel.

5. Customers Expect Effortless Experience

This means getting rid of all of the elements of a call that don’t actually help the customer. They called for one reason — to get a solution to their problem. In fact, right now it can often take anywhere from 5-20 minutes for a customer to start talking with someone who can actually answer their question and solve their problem. At Talkdesk, we believe the future is in intelligent routing where these initial 20 minutes are cut down to 2 minutes. This allows for the call time to be spent on the meat of the conversation, which is solving the customer’s problem.

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