ChannelVision Magazine

at your service: Xaas Financial Executives International, for instance, recently referred to CX as the new currency of omnichannel retail. The majority of enterprises are now implementing advanced, data-driven CX strategies to better understand how their customers think and act. Of course, the nature of data col- lection is in flux due to GDPR and the California Consumer Protection Act of 2018 (see p. 12), but looking forward, it’s clear that big data and artificial intelligence will continue to be a main driver of CX initiatives. It’s important to realize, though, that a strong CX rating doesn’t just happen on its own. CX is a massive ongoing production that requires hav- ing the right people, processes and systems in place. The contact center — often the first place a customer will interact with a brand — plays a pivotal role in shaping it. Your customers that fail to modernize their contact centers and implement smart solutions will be left in the dust as their competitors skyrocket ahead in the coming years. For agents, this should be a call to action. The changing landscape As customer expectations have changed in the digital era, so too have the challenges and needs of contact center managers. Customers today spend most of their time on their computers and mobile devices, and have gotten a bit spoiled as a result. They expect seamless, fully optimized omnichannel support across all of their systems and have little patience when companies can’t deliver. Some companies are now offering amazing omnichannel support while others are lagging far be- hind. For consumers, the experience of moving back and forth between optimized and outdated channels can be jarring. Digital, as Forrester explained in a recent report, is just one piece of the CX puzzle though. “Enterprises should think beyond channels — and beyond just shifting conversations to digital channels,” For- rester stated. “They must focus on de- livering the best experience based on context and inquiry type, including via chatbots, visual engagement, and voice interfaces.” Strong customer service, Forrester continues, is not just about reducing expenses or streamlining backend processes. Rather, the company says, it requires a systematic reinvention of technology, data and operations. It involves leveraging automation, data and agents together to exploit their unique strengths. Liveops echoed this sentiment in its recent “2018 Call Center Industry Report,” where the company described a top-flight — or fully-optimized — contact center as one where the company’s customer experience is a “dynamic and evolving part of the or- ganization’s business processes.” At the opposite end of the spectrum, traditional contact centers have “little By Gerald Baldino Full Contact T o say the customer experience (CX) is important would be a massive understatement. Navigating the rise of the smart contact center Channel Vision | July - August, 2018 36