How Businesses Reshaped Their Operations for Customer Service During COVID-19

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By Blayne Shell

As organizations throughout the world continue to reshape their business operations under the “new normal” lights of the pandemic economy, many have taken a close look inward to identify areas where they can become more streamlined and efficient, as well as pay closer attention to how they can cater to their most critical asset – human capital.

Sure, it’s important to find ways to recover lost revenue as quickly as possible, and this most likely was driven by the need to reshape and rebuild a company culture that may have worked pre-pandemic. However, while businesses have the tools and technologies available to work remotely, many companies have found this to be an entirely different journey when their entire workforce found itself working from home.

Call Centers Among Hardest Impacted

Among the hardest hit were companies that rely upon call centers, whose number-one job is to be a direct point of contact with its customers handling everything from new sales to resolving customer satisfaction inquiries on previous sales and experiences. 

Many business leaders today are reflecting on how agile teams built with speed and precision were in many cases able to make important decisions faster and better. The lesson learned in many cases is that an organization that delegates decision-making  to a constantly fluid network of teams is extremely effective. This means decisions can be made faster, with more positive outcomes for customers by leveraging real-time data and advanced technologies that are based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) architectures. 

These steps are not only helping to navigate the unprecedented waters of today, they are paving the way for leadership positions tomorrow.

Technology Helping to Reshape CX Cultures

These leading organizations have quickly redesigned their customer service operations to outsource critical customer needs and engage with expert teams that leverage resolution-centered customer experience (CX) technologies that seamlessly combine call-center agent support with AI-driven self-service functionality. Sophisticated chatbots have also been deployed to assist both the agent and customer where necessary. In some highly technical cases, customers originating with self-service support and chatbots are seamlessly redirected over to a human agent. 

The days of frustrating long wait times resulting in customers failing to get resolution are a thing of the past for these companies. This process is helping organizations to grow revenue, reduce costs, and deliver a resolution-centered, differentiated customer experience.

AI-powered customer resolution technologies and chatbots have grown increasingly important to leading businesses. Over 80% of companies expect to compete primarily based on their customer experience this year, up from only 36% in 20101. Furthermore, companies that are leading in customer experience are three times more likely to have significantly exceeded their 2019 business goals2.

Through the use of advanced technology, these contact center solutions improve overall CX efficiency without sacrificing the human element through a balanced human/digital CX model: self-service and bot technology work in concert to simplify transactional support  and AI-empowered human engagement teams to resolve complex or emotional customer needs.

Solutions for At-Home CX Agents

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the way brands handle their contact center operations, and many agents were immediately displaced to handle their call-center duties from home due to health guidelines for many office environments. Organizations are leveraging AI and bot technology to transition part or an entire CX operation to home-based agents without disrupting customer engagement levels. Outsourced partners are proving effective in these environments to mobilize PHI- and PCI-compliant data centers, HIPAA and HITECH-compliant practices, and proprietary  management systems like CX360® to deliver the same quality and stability customers expect from brick-and-mortar CX operations.

Helping Healthcare Brands Resolve Customer Inquiries

Healthcare organizations constantly face many customer inquiries, even pre-pandemic. Issues such as noncompliance penalties, low customer satisfaction, high repeat-call volumes, inadequate resolution rates due to inexperience in healthcare support; and sub-optimal sales revenue are all overcome through today’s leading AI-enabled CX solutions. 

The pandemic forced many companies to quickly re-evaluate the best way to continue operations and sell to customers while adhering to new health guidelines that displaced many employees to their homes. Through the use of sophisticated technology, leading companies today have found a way to engage with the right partners that offer resolution-focused outcomes to keep employees safe while maintaining optimal customer experience levels. 

About the Author:

Blayne leads ResultsCX Enterprise Sales and Marketing and is responsible for strategic positioning and revenue growth for ResultsCX solutions. He brings more than 30 years of contact center experience including key leadership roles in operations and sales as both a client and partner.  His approach to building win-win relationships is based on a fundamental belief in making client success the core focus of every partnership.

1: https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/articles/key-findings-from-the-gartner-customer-experience-survey 

2: https://www.adobe.com/content/dam/acom/sea/about-adobe/newsroom/pdfs/2020/Businesses%20leading%20in%20customer%20experience%20are%20three%20times%20more%20likely%20to%20have%20exceeded%202019%20business%20goals.pdf 

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