There have been a series of events around the world dedicated to customer contact, but customer week is the largest event in this series. Customer care executives, customer experience professionals, and contact centre managers all convene here to network, learn and experience the latest developments in customer care.

In the world’s largest customer contact week (CCW), innovators, disruptors, and change-makers from all over the world gather in an effort to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices regarding customer contact in an effort to make customer contact a unified experience for everyone. In addition to the sessions, booth conversations, product demonstrations and networking events, each day, there were also a number of opportunities to engage with customers, partners and prospects in order to discuss the emerging challenges and opportunities in the industry.

Customer contact week – Key takeaways.

Throughout the customer contact week, several key takeaways have emerged that are worth considering:

  • Customer service at the point of sale

In order to achieve customer satisfaction, omnichannel customer service must cater to customers’ preferences, meet them where they are, and break down barriers to entry. However, at CCW, a key theme emerged around prioritising and creating the most impactful experiences. A poor customer experience is likely to turn 77% of consumers away from a brand or business.

In spite of the fact that 88% of people prefer to interact with live customer service agents rather than navigating menus, the voice channel holds a significant amount of importance. The customer journey has become increasingly automated, consuming the minds of contact centre leaders.

Nonetheless, for automated strategies to succeed, such as chatbots that integrate conversational AI, automation must not deflect service but rather enhance and deliver the customer experience. By leveraging the voice channel as well as defining service moments and complex interactions, organisations will be able to better navigate requests and calls, improving the quality of service and maximising the value of the human touch.

  • Distributed Workforce Challenges

Due to social distancing mandates imposed as a result of the pandemic, nearly 90 per cent of global contact centre agents were forced to work from home, and many are still operating in a fully remote or hybrid capacity. 

A notable trend is that there is an increased need for coaching on critical behaviours such as energy levels (+20.48%) and slower responses (+3.93%), which indicates that coaching is needed. Based on data, we can see that the energy and engagement of frontline service professionals have decreased since last year, and they require more support cues to keep a productive conversation going and stay connected to their work at all times.

  • The well-being of employees should be prioritised.

A contact centre agent is faced with a myriad of interactions and conversations throughout the day that can have a negative impact on their overall health. As the number of calls increases, talent shortages persist, and the expectations of customers continue to rise, there is an urgent need to prioritise well-being in order to avoid burnout — not just within call centres but also throughout the company ecosystem.

A core topic of the conference was the concept of well-being, which was addressed by top leaders who spoke about the challenges they face in their daily life.

  • There is no end to transformation.

A digital transformation is a continuous process that has no final destination; it is a journey that is never-ending. The moment you are able to answer the question “what’s next,” it will be here at the moment, and it will disrupt the current business processes right on top of it. For enterprise organisations to stay competitive in today’s market, it is more important than ever to embrace an agile approach and cultivate a continuous feedback loop so that they remain flexible and dynamic.