As we get closer to 2022, it’s time to reflect on the successes and failures of the past year. What did we learn? What can we improve? How can we find new ways to excel and drive effort into building deeper and longer lasting relationships with our customers? These are all top-of-mind questions for business leaders.
Customer experience (CX) will be a primary focus for companies in 2022. With a seemingly endless stream of innovations over the last few years and massive growth in demand, with subsequent supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, CX has become an even more critical competitive differentiator. Customers now have a world of opportunities—and choices—at the distance of a click and they expect nothing less than a memorable and personalized experience.
What are the five most important CX goals that companies should strive to meet in 2022?
Optimizing contact center KPIs
Establishing the right contact center KPIs and tracking them regularly is crucial to ensure companies are delivering the most impactful customer experience and that the contact center is efficiently addressing customers’ issues and concerns. To do that, they need to ensure they’re using accurate and reliable metrics to measure contact center performance. Metrics such as service level, first call resolution, customer satisfaction scores, or average handle time measure agents’ work, how fast they’re doing the work, and the quality of care they’re giving customers. Optimizing KPIs not only improves customer experience but boosts employee experience and engagement.
Adopting AI and automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is changing the way contact centers work, streamlining operations, and significantly improving customer experience. As evidence of its value grows, AI is increasingly being considered a necessity to compete effectively by delivering faster, more accurate, and inclusive customer service. In fact, 80% of CX professionals believe that AI will empower a better contact center experience.
Contact centers are quickly adopting AI-powered tools, such as virtual agents, voice assistants, and chatbots to perform routine tasks that require very limited to non-existent human intervention. However, even though AI and automation services are expected to rise in 2022, a human touch in customer care will still be essential. AI and AI-enabled virtual agents will not replace human agents in the contact center but complement their services by creating a hybrid model that combines AI and human interaction to provide the best customer service.
Providing seamless customer journeys
Customer experience is the perception and feelings customers have of a business and the type of relationship they develop during the customer’s journey. Today’s customers interact with companies they do business with through various online and offline channels. For this reason, companies must drive their efforts not only into providing customers with options but ensuring a seamless journey, regardless of how the interaction started and the number of channels it went through before coming to a close.
An omnichannel approach is essential to a successful customer experience strategy. Customers must be able to start a conversation on any channel, anytime and pick up from where they left off on any other channel at any other time. The ability to handle interactions seamlessly from one channel to another while maintaining context builds a truly omnichannel customer service experience.
Fostering employee engagement
Creating a better employee experience and increasing engagement will positively impact customer experience. CX has two main components: your product and your people. Your people—the contact center agents—are the interface between your business and your customers, positioning them as essential drivers of revenue. Agents are also the voice of the business, and if they’re happy, engaged, and motivated they are more likely to perform better.
The constraints we’ve all experienced in the past two years and the emergence of a global workforce pool accelerated the development of a hybrid work environment that is both a challenge and an opportunity to a successful employee engagement strategy. A hybrid workplace ensures that companies cater to the needs of each individual employee by allowing them to choose where they want to work. Policies that allow flexibility, foster a culture of communication and inclusiveness regardless of the physical location, and give employees a voice are essential for happy, productive, and engaged employees.
Turning the contact center from a cost center into a profit center
Contact centers must embrace their role as a strategic asset to drive customer engagement. The traditional idea that contact centers are cost centers is falling to the ground as the adoption of digital channels paves the way for contact centers to become revenue-generating hubs.
Contact centers have started to experience business growth by moving away from a purely reactive approach to customer service and starting to deliver more efficient and memorable customer experiences. Contact centers can be growth centers and part of the strategic goals of an organization by proactively engaging with customers to provide differentiated service. In 2022, CX professionals across industries will reshape their business strategies, and make positioning the contact center as a profit center a top operational priority.
The high cost of acquiring a new customer as opposed to maintaining a current customer is familiar to us all, so we have to make every moment, every conversation with customers matter. Repeat business only happens if we provide them with unforgettable experiences. When you set your CX goals for the coming year, these five should be on that list in some form or another. Resolve to meet them and keep fine tuning as necessary throughout the coming months. Your customers will thank you by coming back for more.