Raise Retail Experiences with Next-Gen Contact Center Tech

Retailers are responding to new expectations for customer experiences and growing demand for ecommerce, but how do they keep pace with emerging consumer expectations? As shoppers return to storefronts, they are now incorporating a broader combination of online and offline shopping experiences. McKinsey’s recent research reveals statistics about the evolution of the digital CX over the past few years:

  • In the first quarter of 2020 when the pandemic began, U.S. ecommerce grew at the pace it would have taken 10 years before COVID.
  • 75% of US consumers tried a different store, website or brand during the COVID crisis.
  • 60% of these consumers expect to incorporate new brands and stores into their lives after COVID.

A recent Five9 consumer survey found that 43% of consumers worldwide now make the most of their shopping online (up from 22% before the pandemic). Even as in-store traffic continues, 74% of consumers do online research before visiting a physical store, according to a 2021 study by Google Think. And omnichannel customers buy up to 70% more often than their offline-only peers.

CX Stakes are Higher

Delighting customers not only leads to sales – it can also lead to brand advocacy. More than half (51%) of consumers surveyed by Five9 about ecommerce said they were more likely to share positive online shopping experiences on social media.

But make the user experience wrong, and you risk losing customers forever. Five9 research also found that the percentage of U.S. respondents who say they are very unlikely to do business with an organization after a bad experience rose from 31% to 35%. Expectations rose. Low patience.

The Need for Advanced CX Technology

Three factors drive new needs to modernize the customer experience:

  • Mixed omnichannel shopping experiences that require greater expertise
  • A lack of labor
  • The trend towards automated and streamlined workflows

The leading cloud contact center platform now offers innovative ways to deliver positive CX while using automation to assist agents and improve productivity. The benefit: Retailers can deliver personalized experiences while streamlining the experience for both agents and customers.

Here are some of the latest developments:

Digital Enhancements and CRM

Great customer experiences happen across multiple channels. Innovative technology and integration between CRM and contact center software includes new functionality with features such as click-to-SMS within the CRM UI and population of SMS-related contact data, enabling screen-pop functionality for SMS interactions. This helps agents provide the best customer experience regardless of channel.

Messaging channels such as webchat, SMS/text and social messaging continue to grow as part of customer communication, resulting in more channels for agents to manage. Eliminating application switching and extra training with a single, unified interface for all messaging sources simplifies the deployment, maintenance and launch of new channels.

Changing Agent Desktop Environments

The agent’s desktop should be the central hub for efficient delivery of exceptional customer experiences. If more agents can focus on customer interactions rather than navigate siled systems, the better. AI that integrates directly with CRM environments-such as Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, ServiceNow, or Zendesk-is a game-changer for streamlined agent workflows. Agents can use a UI to manage call controls; view transcripts, summaries, and real-time call guides; and access CRM data. Agents can spend less time finding information in systems, boost productivity, reduce average handling time and improve the customer experience.

The Latest AI-led Automation Technologies

Customers who initiate an interaction on a digital channel may need a live agent-and they expect the agent to have the context of the digital interaction to provide a smooth and efficient experience without them being overwhelmed. to search for information.

Agent assistance tools that use AI, natural language processing and machine learning guide interactions. When a call arrives, the system routes the contact history to an agent and evaluates the current interaction in real time to provide “next best course of action” recommendations. The latest agent assistance tools can serve as a checklist that triggers tasks based on customer content or intent. The checklist can track verbal actions, identify keywords and automatically review items from the list, helping agents improve their quality scores.

Smart virtual agents or IVAs are the next generation of self-service. Offloading repetitive activities such as password resetting on digital agents means that live agents can focus on more complex interactions. And if a customer needs to move from self-service to a live agent, IVA provides the full context of interaction.

Workflow Automation

Retailers can easily automate workflows using a low-code approach and a library of pre-built connections to popular business systems. Workflows standardize process execution, deliver consistent results and make customer experiences regular.

Modern contact center solutions include workflows that start automatically in response to system events or data, such as a case made in a CRM system or a metric that exceeds a threshold. The flexibility to automate simple to very complex workflows can streamline repetitive processes and ultimately allow agents to spend more time focusing on the customer.

UC Integrations

The use of integrated unified communication (UC) and contact center (CC) solutions allows retailers to increase first-contact resolution and reduce customer effort. Agents can instantly see the availability of experts and connect people in real time – without searching, waiting or missing the customer. With real-time access, agents can quickly loop expert calls. Customers spend less time on the second or third call because issues are resolved in real time – leading to greater customer satisfaction.

Better Metrics for the Innovative CX

The use of modern technology is a part of the coin; the other side is metric. Progressive KPIs are an integral part of optimizing the digital user experience. It’s important to track metrics that deliver valuable, actionable insights that can lead to direct improvements in CX.

However, research firm Metrigy recently discovered that 88% of organizations use the same KPIs regardless of channel. For many retailers, it’s time to rethink metrics and determine where it makes sense to measure differently, including:

  • Channels used: Retailers can help CX leaders expand or reduce staffing across specific channels or suggest investments in self-service and communication AI.
  • Self-service containment: This metric is important because it reduces costs and increases customer ratings-as long as self-service leads to resolution. If detention falls short of goals, leaders can investigate why.

It’s Time to Implement What’s Next

As retailers move into a new era of omnichannel shopping, implementing the latest AI-driven, cloud contact center platform will ensure they have the technology to deliver a new, innovative CX.

Improving AI-powered self-service is one of the top areas of growth this year, according to Metrigy’s research. By 2025, CX leaders estimate that 56% of customer interactions will begin with self-service. Organizations need to begin measuring containment to document success and growth.

Meanwhile, retailers can address a tight labor market by using AI and automation technologies, empowering current staff to do more with minimal effort, and enabling self-service options. which keeps customers happy and coming back.

Now is the time to move to the cloud or upgrade to the latest generation of cloud-based software.

Scott Kolman is an SVP of Marketing at Lima9 responsible for the overall positioning, messaging and promotion of the Five9 intelligent cloud contact center offering. In this role, Kolman oversees corporate marketing functions including media relations, analyst and influencer relations, brand and creative, content strategy, and social and customer marketing. Kolman has an extensive background in enterprise software marketing and is a recognized professional with expertise in customer experience, customer service, and cloud contact centers. Prior to Five9, he held leadership positions at Genesys, Synchronoss Technologies, SpeechCycle, Amdocs, Lucent Technologies and Octel Communications.

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