Contextual Routing Takes Contact Center Efficiency, and Customer Satisfaction, Up a Notch

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Context is an important element in helping contact center agents respond to customer needs efficiently; it also supports cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
  • Customer online activity provides a wealth of information; using this data in real time to address negative experiences supports customer retention and protects brand perception.

Everyone should be well aware that every time a mouse is clicked on a website or a call is made to purchase a product or service, both transactional and personal information is collected in a database.  Contact center operators collect a wealth of information from customer interactions; this information is often stored and reviewed at some later date for a variety of purposes, including employee training, outbound marketing campaigns and customer satisfaction surveys.

While reviewing transactions may help a company refine customer service practices going forward, this does not help a company correct a negative experience that has occurred.  Maybe a customer just slogged through a frustrating experience with an IVR and finally just gave up and disconnected.  Or maybe that customer got through to an agent, but was transferred around and had to repeat the same information to three different agents.  While the company may take steps to ensure future customers do not have the same trouble, the damage is done; that customer had a less than satisfying experience, which can impact the customer’s perception of the company.  If the customer is a social media user, the negative experience can rapidly be communicated to a wide audience, further damaging the company’s brand perception.

These examples illustrate the need for agents to have access to contextual information about the customer and the transaction: geographic location, website activity and input from the IVR are just a few examples of this data.  Call routing and handling based on contextual information can streamline a company’s ability to respond to customer needs and improve agent efficiency by utilizing customer data from past transactions alongside current information.  Today, many contact centers have integrated contextual routing capabilities into their solutions, supplying agents with screen pops containing relevant customer information to address an immediate requirement.  In the example above, the customer would not have been routed to multiple agents; his call would have been directed to the correct agent based on information he provided at the beginning of the call or links he clicked on the website, and that agent would have relevant information about the customer at the ready.

But, what about the customer that disconnected the call or abandoned a web transaction?  In those situations, the ability to reach out to a customer proactively allows the company to correct a problem immediately.  LiveOps’ recent acquisition of UserEvents is an example of a contact center provider integrating automated proactive contact into its solution.  UserEvents’ service, CxEngage, supports the contextual routing capabilities discussed above, but its differentiator is the ability to collect customer activities and patterns in real time, using that information to make decisions about the best way for proactively reaching out to a customer if a transaction becomes a negative experience.  For the customer that abandoned a web transaction or call, the CxEngage platform can be configured for proactively contacting that customer with a chat link, text message or maybe a phone call from an agent to assist the customer in completing the transaction.

Always-on communications such as e-mail, instant messaging and social media are driving companies to find ways to monitor customer experience to support revenue growth and to manage brand perception.  The ability to reach out immediately to a customer before a transaction moves into negative territory gives companies the opportunity to meet both of these needs.

About Cindy Whelan
As Principal Analyst, Business Network & Wholesale Services, Cindy analyzes companies, events, products, technologies and technology initiatives in the telecom network services industry.

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