“Keeping the customers happy is one of the keys to any businesses’ success. So naturally, achieving that is easier said than done, but the fact remains that satisfaction often drives more revenues than new sales”, Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne, Technology Journalist for UCToday*, reports in his latest article.
A significant facet of customer satisfaction is how efficiently the contact center works and deals with problems. But, as Dan Hayes, Chief Customer Officer at Spearline, says, in many ways, the agents that take customer service calls are the face of the business, adding that it is not just the contact center where the quality of communication has an impact.
“Agents are the business face to their customers. Suppose a customer has a poor experience when engaging with an agent. In that case, it has a negative impact on that business’s brand and will ultimately negatively impact their business,” said Hayes.
“The underlying communications infrastructure is the foundation on which a quality customer experience is built, and it’s interesting how a single degraded audio line can have a pretty substantial impact on different customers.
“Obviously, poor audio quality is going to lead to a poor experience for the customer. In particular, a conference may have multiple participants joining the call, and that one terrible audio line can deliver a terrible and frustrating experience for all parties involved. In addition, some of these participants could be from different levels of an organization, such as members of the exec team, hoping to meet and close a global deal with the business.
“But if terrible audio quality is stopping that from happening, it can easily ruin a meeting and lead to frustration between all parties, ending the deal on bad terms. Loss in revenue, tarnished relationships, and terrible brand reputation overall are just a few penalties businesses could face.”
The Elephant in the Room
As with every business out there, the contact center has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with agents dispersed into domestic settings, juggling the frantic demands of instant fixes from impatient voices and homeschooling their children.
Hayes added that the pandemic just goes to illustrate the importance of quality connections when conducting customer support.
“The pandemic has had a major impact on Contact Centre communications,” said Hayes. “Once the pandemic hit, most organizations moved their agents from working in an office environment to working from a home environment.
“Office environments have designed networks with reliable and quality assured communications channels between the agent and the contact center. However, these communications channels were replaced almost overnight, with home internet connections between the agent and the Contact Centre.
“This change impacted other family members and bandwidth share these connections and thus audio quality. The underlying communications infrastructure is the foundation on which a quality customer experience is built; Whether it is a private peer connection or public internet, it must be reliable and have the necessary bandwidth to provide for a quality audio experience between the customer and the agent.”
Looking forward, a lot of businesses are convinced that the future of work will be a hybrid mix of office and remote workers. However, Hayes said that, whatever businesses decide, connectivity needs to be at the heart of the solution, adding that SD-WAN may hold the answer.
“In environments where agents are working from home, it is essential that the business supports the agent and provides an internet connection that meets the business need, which has sufficient bandwidth and is reliable to provide for an excellent customer experience.
“SD-WAN is a technology that can be used within contact centers to ensure reliable and quality connections between the buildings from which the agents work and the location hosting the Contact Centre infrastructure.
“This technology is continually monitoring for service reliability and quality, and can automatically reroute traffic if service reliability or quality deteriorates, ensuring the communication is disrupted as little as possible.”
*article originally published on UCToday.
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