'This Chat, Email, Text, or Social Media Post May Be Recorded for Training Purposes'

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The days of customer service being call-centric are over. With the proliferation of channels like chat, email, SMS, and social media, customers are using more pathways than ever to resolve their service issues. In fact, customers have, on average, a choice of nine channels available to engage with organizations, according to Dimension Data’s 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking report.

The analyst firm expects the number of channels to increase to 11 this year. And as mobile devices continue down the path to ubiquity, consumers have access to all of these channels simultaneously, anywhere and at any time.

The growing number of channels presents companies with a number of challenges, particularly as they look to collect and manage all of that data, make sense of it, and ensure that it is handled responsibly, but it also affords them an enormous opportunity to gain more information and insight about their customers.

To get those insights, companies need to record all of their interactions, regardless of the channels where they occur. It sounds easy enough, but for many, it is still a tall order.

By most estimates, roughly 90 percent of contact centers employ some form of call monitoring and recording software or have contracted with a third party to carry out those functions. While it was once an expensive proposition requiring a lot of complicated hardware, call recording is now a standard feature in most, if not all, business phone systems.

Unfortunately, businesses in every industry are coming to realize that their existing contact center strategies don’t support true omnichannel customer engagement. They are hampered by outdated, legacy contact center infrastructure that handles voice channels separately from other forms of communications. The various channels operate in silos, preventing companies from linking what happens in one channel with other channels.

Cost has also been a big concern, with many companies unwilling to invest in the infrastructure needed to handle more channels. But cloud-based technologies are bringing costs down, significantly reducing up-front expenditures, lead times, hardware requirements, and the amount of professional services needed to bring everything together.

Whatever the reason companies cite for not turning to a more unified interaction recording strategy, experts agree that recording contact center interactions of all types is essential, citing benefits such as a better understanding of the complete customer journey, improving processes and agent performance, driving faster issue resolution, ensuring adherence to company guidelines, and maintaining regulatory compliance.

“The primary reason most contact centers conduct call recordings is for quality assurance purposes. Recorded calls can be reviewed and analyzed for understanding what went well, what didn’t, and help determine what to change from a process-and-procedures standpoint to constantly improve the overall customer experience. As today’s consumers are expecting alternative channels to communicate with their businesses, it’s up to the contact centers to provide the right channel for the right customer,” says Curt Gooden, experience leader for technology at C3/CustomerContactChannels, a contract center outsourcer with operations in the United States, Latin America, and the Philippines.

“As contact centers want to provide consistent service across all channels, it is very important to record all interaction types for quality assurance purposes and assistance in developing proper procedures for ensuring the most consistent and best possible customer experience to the end user, regardless of the channel that they choose to interact with,” he adds.

Gooden also notes that in addition to improving customer experience, analytics applied to recorded interactions can deliver “a great deal of value to the company as a whole.” This analysis can, for example, help companies understand which products or services are performing well and which ones are causing customer complaints.

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