Recent technology development focused on CX (customer experience) has increased consumer expectations to unprecedented levels. Organisations that are able to offer competitive prices, a seamless and personalised purchase journey and high-quality customer service are leading their industries.

The customer journey is becoming increasingly valued; customer service significantly influences the purchase decision. Whether inquiring about new functionality or asking vital questions regarding a product’s specs, customers expect to be assisted by reliable experts that can solve their issues immediately. Under these circumstances, managing customer relationships is a critical priority for all companies that want to thrive and stay ahead of the competition.  Furthermore, organisations are starting to grasp the vital importance of truly listening to a customer’s voice and are using the insight they learn to adjust their strategies, not only to meet expectations but to exceed them by providing flawless pre-sales and aftersales journeys.

Sourcing the right CX partner

A key component of delivering excellent customer experiences is a high-performance contact centre. One where companies communicate with clients and ensure their needs are addressed quickly and easily.

Organisations that have adopted the right methodologies and technologies towards CX are winning, and can:

  •    Manage customer journeys and optimise their experience to improve satisfaction
  •    Build efficiencies to lower costs
  •    Reduce employee churn and engage staff
  •    Improve customer acquisition to fuel growth

Workforce Optimisation is integral to the success of any CX solution. Open platforms that integrate omnichannel functionalities and connect their contact centre with multiple CRMs and communications systems are paramount. When implemented correctly and with proper training, they empower agents with easy access to all the data required to resolve customer issues quickly. As a result contact centres have become a sophisticated ecosystem of processes, technologies, data, knowledge and people.

However, sourcing the partner for a high-performance contact centre and negotiating best-in-class pricing, beneficial terms and conditions is complicated, time-consuming and a resource-intensive process.

CIOs and contact centre managers face a wealth of sourcing challenges and an overwhelming number of vendors and distributors. Moreover, while a competitive market allows businesses to compare products and negotiate prices, it can take significant time to evaluate vendors, understand what technology to invest in and find the right fit for the company’s needs and development plans.

The process becomes exponentially more complicated when companies migrate from on premise-based solutions to the cloud. CIOs now have to consider a higher number of functional capabilities and have to decide what will be needed immediately, in the mid-term and the longer term.

And while migrating to the cloud is a significant challenge for many companies, adopting solutions leveraging Machine Learning, RPA (Robotic Process Automation), the Internet of Things and Blockchain, it’s not a ‘nice to have’ anymore but a ‘must have’, if companies want to deliver personalised customer experiences that increase brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

Because there are so many variables involved in configuring a contact centre, in many cases, companies get lost on vendors’ features and functions, losing sight of the primary purpose of the contact centre – improving customer satisfaction and retention rates by managing all communications from customer inquiries to distributing marketing collateral via email or social media and other channels.  The ability to handle the customer on their terms, whether it is by phone, email, live chat, social media or text has become crucial. In addition to being able to handle multi-channel communications, contact centre analytics and Workforce Management Software are also vital components in operating a world-class contact centre.

At the same time, every business has unique KPIs, traits, strengths and weaknesses and needs a personalised contact centre configuration to deliver the desired business outcomes.

Agnostic expertise

Under these circumstances, partnering with sourcing experts who understand the company, its products and services but also the importance of customer satisfaction becomes a critical step that can have a significant impact on a company’s future development.

Thankfully, sourcing services available to the contact centre market have kept pace with technological advancement, and nowadays companies can use agnostic sourcing companies that can help CIOs and procurement navigate the complexity of choosing the contact centre technology that is the right fit for the specific needs of an organisation.

A significant benefit of using an agnostic tech sourcing agency is that they do all the heavy lifting with researching available technologies and top-tier suppliers, and the organisation can ditch cumbersome and expensive tender programmes, reduce costs when negotiating prices and save time with vetting suppliers.

Furthermore, in many cases vendors and suppliers are driven by sales quotas they have to fulfil while a sourcing agency acts as an advisor, only focusing on the best technology for the project.

Additionally, a CIO doesn’t have to deal with numerous contracts, SLAs and providers – they can manage everything within a single agreement with one point of contact whose team manage the delivery of the agreed outcomes.

The bottom line is that many new-generation technologies can and will provide practical solutions to common day-to-day challenges faced by contact centre managers, but matching the right technology to the company’s priorities and goals might make the difference between a highly successful organisation or a struggling one.

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Gareth is a strategic business leader with over 20 years of experience in designing and delivering IT, network communications and connectivity solutions to leading companies across many sectors. With a wide expertise in selling and integrating complex IT&C systems, Gareth has an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of aligning business needs with the right technology in order to deliver high priority business outcomes. With Marketlinx, Gareth is disrupting the IT sourcing market and helping organisations source business technology services more efficiently, optimising cost and significantly improving customer experiences.