6_happy-call

19, April 2016

Setting context to conversations – the context center

You get an alert for an online credit card transaction that you are not sure you made. You want to call your service provider to get details. You go through a serpentine IVR menu where you enter your customer number and other details. You reach a call center agent who asks you for the exact same details. You are then redirected to another agent of the ‘concerned department’ where you have to repeat the whole list of details.  This can also happen when you look to renew insurance, want to know the status of your passport application or of your internet connection.

Can be frustrating right?

You most likely consider changing your service provider. And then tell all your friends about this painful and mundane waste of time. Now imagine a customer experiencing your brand the very same way. The call center representative of your brand not having all the details of the customer at hand or not having the means to pull all data together to give the relevant answer even before the question is asked. Ouch.

Instead, what if…

  • The system could predict you are calling to reset a password and provides that as the first option in the IVR  menu?
  • (even better) You get an inbound call from your bank asking if they should reset your password even before you call them?
  • The agent knows all about you and your interactions and never asks you for the inputs repeatedly?
  • You are connected to the same call center agent who resolved your issue the last time?
  • In case of a lost connection, when you call back the agent starts from where you stopped?
  • The system calls you back without keeping you on queue when you are in a hurry?
  • The urgency of your situation is gauged and you are put on to an agent directly?
  • You are connected to all concerned teams in one call and the problem is resolved at once?
  • Service is made device friendly and channels of your choice at specific times of the day?

And WHAT IF George, Tom and David are treated as George, Tom and David and not as “THE CUSTOMER”.

In the rat race to automate, modernize and personalize, we ironically lost just that. Reference numbers and subject lines once served a purpose that helped connect the sender and receiver. This ensured they were on the same page before they even started the conversation. It set the background and to be precise the” context” for the conversation.

Reference numbers and subject lines once served a purpose that helped connect the sender and receiver. This ensured they were on the same page before they even started the conversation. It set the background and to be precise the” context” for the conversation.

All we need to do to set the context to the conversation and translate customer interaction from one causing annoyance to true assistance is probably a better understanding of your business and customers, redefining workflows and menus to suit them. With the advent of customer analytics and expertise in integration, the opportunities to personalize and humanize customer interactions is at its pinnacle today.

The more you delay action, the quicker your customers leave.


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