Updated: Apr 29, 2019
The key to meeting your customers on their channel of choice is having the right technology.
There is a whole new era happening in contact centers. This era is bringing about disruptive changes in how an effective contact centers function. What is causing this change? One word, preferences. Today’s modern customers want to communicate when they prefer, the way they prefer and how they prefer.
Modern customers represent a wide range of customers, including baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z. They all want great customer service, but that requires flexibility. Generational routing is needed to satisfy all these different age group preferences. This means letting each generation transact in the manner they choose. Baby boomers want a telephone conversation, Gen X likes email, Millennials are all about texting, and Gen Z leans on social media. Let’s look at what is happening with the current U.S. population.
The chart above shows the current U.S. population breakdown by generation. Baby boomers and even Generation X’ers are on the decline from their position of prominence. Millennials and Gen Z are moving into the majority position as consumers. This next generation of customer delivers a very different set of expectations when it comes to the customer experience. They bring about a unique set of attitudes when dealing with customer service expectations, including:
Support of various forms of technology
Expectations are higher and the next generation of customer does not have the patience that previous generations had. The next generation grew up with information available instantly to them, so why would they expect anything less when it comes to meeting their customer service requirements. They want a highly responsive and intuitive experience like the apps on their smartphones. They don’t want, nor will tolerate being bounced from one agent to another during a call. Generation Z grew up with the internet, they are the first generation that always had it. They operate at digital speed and expect their customer experience to do the same. It’s all about efficiency and meeting their preferences.
Gen Z’ers and Millennials are not shy in sharing their customer experiences on social media, both positive and negative. They aren’t loyal to brands but to the experience of their purchase or service, and they won’t hesitate to switch their business to another company after just a single interaction.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the past 40 years is inbound customer call routing. Forty years ago, calls were routed to the first available agent, with no consideration of their ability or skill to handle that call. Call routing today works much the same way, with one major exception, Skills-Based routing - which can be used to make sure that interactions get routed to an agent with the skills to handle the call. This routing can occur because of specific knowledge needed, bilingual skills, and ability to handle all types of transactions; i.e. voice, email, SMS (text), chat, or social media.
The contact centers that will survive the generational routing changes that the industry is experiencing are the ones that retire the old methods in favor of call routing more suited for all generations of customers. Omni-channel contact center technology allows interactions to be routed based on the wants of the customer. Voice calls, emails, SMS (text), chat, and social media can all be routed to individuals that are trained on that media. Each type of interaction can be measured and has full analytical reports. We can measure the effectiveness of each media, and staff accordingly. So don’t be afraid of the rapid changes in the contact center industry. Disruptive change means opportunity for the savvy company to stand out as an industry leader in customer service.
Request a quote or give us call at 713.910.1401 to speak with a Technology Advisor today to explore the available solutions to ensure your business has the necessary tools to meet the changing needs of your customers.