Expectations for customer service are steadily increasing. As Generation Z and Alpha come of age and start interacting more with large businesses and service providers, they are bringing a fresh set of needs and wants. Not only are they facing more cost pressures, they're also less likely to put up with bad experiences. There is an expectation that they'll be able to engage with businesses in a seamless way that suits their individual needs and expectations.

Businesses leading the way in customer experience (CX) innovation are embracing a new approach. Instead of reactively resolving issues, they aim to engage customers on a deeper level, building lasting relationships and fostering trust and loyalty. How? By replacing traditional reactive contact centres with more human-centric “engagement centres” and by being more purposeful with their digital assets, organisations can use predictive engagement strategies to support customers there and then.

Contact centres themselves have experienced an evolution over the years. We have seen the tools and technology change, and the roles that we play in our operations are changing to ones that are more challenging and rewarding. By crafting a customer contact and experience strategy that meets the needs of both your customers and your team members you can build customer and brand loyalty. Moving from traditional contact centre operations toward an engagement centre model that better meets your customers’ needs requires some core shifts. Here are some approaches Datacom has adopted in our own operations:

1. Tailor your customer channels and be consistent

Meet the customer where they are – if they call, if they message, in app, or on your website. What is critical is that no single channel has preferential treatment. You need to be delivering a consistent service experience across every touch point that you offer. With a growing preference for digital interactions, this also offers a new platform for you to actively build a valuable interaction. Examples of how you can do this include allowing customers to resume conversations over multiple hours or days and transition effortlessly between channels, including phone, chat, email, asynchronous messaging, and social media. Consistency across touchpoints reinforces your organisations brand identity and builds trust, while seamless transitions enable customers to switch to their channel of choice without losing context – creating smoother experiences.

2. Be proactive

Think about how you can appear proactively at just the right moment. This could be when observed behaviour online suggests that a customer is not understanding the information that is being shared, or if you can see customer engagements are stalling at a particular point you can spend time understanding the issues that cause customers to switch off or end conversations with your agents. You can also apply this proactive approach in other areas – if sales are stalling at common points think about how you might present an offer to inspire the customer to complete a sale.

3. Personalisation

Customer data is being collected at a greater rate than ever before, but distilling key insights and putting strategies into practice can be difficult. With artificial intelligence (AI) now more powerful and accessible, it can be used to drive valuable data insights and deliver tailored experiences that resonate with customers. A simple way to do this might be using an identification and verification (ID&V) process in your IVR. This could be achieved effortlessly through passive voice biometrics authentication or by using more traditional Q&A responses. This can then move to performing actions in the IVR or presenting all of the information to an agent upon answering the phone. What is important is your consideration in tailoring interactions to individual preferences and past behaviours. This fosters a stronger emotional connection with the brand, encouraging customers to return, and leading to higher retention rates and positive word-of-mouth referrals.

4. Be curious - use social listening strategies

Use social listening strategies: We don’t know what we don’t know – until we activate our curiosity to understand more. It’s now possible to leverage social listening strategies, as opposed to merely reactively responding to direct messages (DMs), allowing us to hear and see what people might be saying about your brand. Taking this approach gives your organisation a genuine opportunity to amplify positive experiences and actively manage negative ones before they spiral out of control and your external communications team need to go into damage control.

Anish Sharma sitting at a desk in a suit
"While modern contact centre solutions are designed to enable more personalised interactions, technology alone cannot deliver the customer experience (CX) required,” says Anish Sharma, Datacom Senior Solutions Architect..

Contact centres can add immense value to your business, but they need to evolve to keep pace with increasing customer expectations. They are there to solve problems, to empathise, and to advise. There are now technologies that enable you to deliver these same experiences proactively. That proactive engagement will undoubtably drive new revenue, elevate your satisfaction scores, and inform you when and where things aren’t going quite right so you can correct them.

The Engagement Centre model is a key approach to delivering better CX. Done well, it can deliver incredible benefits to businesses, including higher customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention, reduced churn rates, increased customer lifetime value, improved operational efficiency, cost reduction, and higher employee retention.

“I've seen businesses invest in modern solutions, expecting that doing that alone will help create a thriving Engagement Centre. And while modern contact centre solutions are designed to enable more personalised interactions, technology alone cannot deliver the customer experience (CX) required,” says Anish Sharma, Datacom Senior Solutions Architect.

Our expertise lies in striking the perfect balance between technology and human elements. We specialise in guiding organisations to adopt and leverage the right technologies effectively while ensuring seamless integration with human components to deliver a cohesive and exceptional customer experience.

To learn more about how Datacom can help you develop a roadmap for your future engagement centre or optimise your contact centre, reach out to our team of specialists who can help get you started. 

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