MULTI OR OMNICHANNEL COMMUNICATION
It is no longer okay to have only a telephone number where your customers can reach you. You must meet your customers where they are, this means an omnichannel approach to communication. When the vast majority of your customers have a problem or an issue their first step is to search for the solution online. Your online presence, through social media, google or through webchats, must be a tool that your customer service center uses to communicate.
Taking it even a step further, utilizing digital letters through email and SMS campaigns can help to increase your contact and penetration rates in accounts receivable campaigns. These strategies have grown in the past decade at call centers, but as we move into an ever more digital age post-pandemic, they become an even more critical part of your customer experience strategy. The CFPB’s final rules under the FDCPA, specifically the limitations on call frequency and standards for digital communications, will create demands on digital.
The pandemic has pushed a lot of companies outside their comfort zone, more companies are allowing work from home solutions for their employees, and research indicates that Cloud spending rose 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020. The current economic downturn is pushing companies to find reliable, off-premise, and cost-effective solutions to their computing problems and cloud computing provides that opportunity. Due to the nature of their business, many call centers were already embracing cloud technologies and have years of experience that you can utilize to protect your business through the shift. What were once years-long plans to migrate to the cloud, have been launched in a matter of months. Cloud computing provides you and your employees with greater availability, reliability and business continuity as your teams can access systems from the safety and security of their home office.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AUTOMATION
Call centers have faced unprecedented volumes as consumers forego brick and mortar for digital experiences (E-tail, Online banking, etc.). In the past year, they have learned a lot about how to manage volume spikes and one key takeaway from this has been the use of artificial intelligence and automation. As your strategy grows to an omnichannel approach, automation and artificial intelligence will help you to ensure that your team can focus on the customers with complex concerns. The past few years have seen several new digital solutions being developed and brought to market. At M&G we have had the pleasure of working directly with these developers and with institutions to implement these solutions.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another form of automation that the Contact Center industry has been using. RPA allows companies to perform small, repetitive tasks without the use or cost of an agent. For example, an AI chatbot could help your customers handle tier one concerns (balance inquiries, payment information, hours of operation, etc.) and can move tier 2 and above to the agents who can support the more complex concerns.
The pandemic was unexpected, and many companies did not have an adequate plan in place to handle such a massive change in the way we do business. The pandemic showed cracks in the offshoring focus of the past few decades. Many of the countries that are popular locations for call centers, India and the Philippines for example, were hit hard by the pandemic and many businesses were forced to close call center operations in these locations. This has shown how important a business continuity plan is to all businesses. Was your organization prepared to close physical locations with virtually no warning? Creating a plan that you can execute the next time something catastrophic happens is essential for the ongoing success of your business. You must make sure that your outsourcing partner has a plan in place so that you are not negatively impacted by something that is out of your control.
The post-pandemic landscape is complicated, let M&G Solutions help manage these changes. We will help you build strategy and maximize the performance of your Business Process Outsourcing Partner. Contact us today to see how we can help.