Making the customer experience run smoothly from start to finish is the number-one priority of US contact center leaders in 2018.
That’s the finding of a recently published report by Customer Contact Week. Entitled Contact Center Priorities for 2018, the report surveyed a wide variety of contact center and customer experience leadership to determine what matters to them.
Answers varied, but a common thread emerged: “Reducing customer effort ranks as the #1 customer experience priority for the coming year.”
Keeping up with Customer Expectations
This prioritization is consistent with rising customer expectations.
“Empowered customers are starting to take for granted that a company will know and understand their individual needs,” writes customer experience consultant (and Voiance contributor) Stan Phelps in Forbes. “You don’t have to deliver Amazon-level service, but you must know that expectations are increasing and you have to stay one step ahead.”
Smoothing any bumps in the road of the customer journey should help meet those increasing expectations. Allowing consumers to access the product or service without encountering an obstacle may prevent them from shopping elsewhere in an era when customer loyalty is in decline.
Clearing a Path for Millions of Potential Customers
65 million US residents speak a language other than English at home. For them, the biggest source of friction in most interactions with a business is simply finding someone who can speak their language. Companies that fail to offer any type of multilingual support in their contact centers run the risk of leaving millions of potential customers on the outside, unable to reach them.
But simply having multilingual support available doesn’t guarantee a frictionless experience for these non-English speaking potential customers. When choosing a vendor to provide these services, make sure you ask:
How long does it really take to reach an interpreter?
Calls to Voiance reach interpreters in seconds, rather than minutes. That matters because customer time spent waiting on hold while your agent tries to reach an interpreter adds friction to the customer experience. Our large-scale US interpreter contact centers employ interpreters, enabling us to schedule them to meet fluctuating call volume and minimize client wait times.
We also make it easy to dial an interpreter, offering auto-authentication options that allow your agents to bypass entering complicated authorization codes and reach an interpreter with the literal push of a button.
How accurate and efficient are the interpreters?
An unskilled, inattentive, or poorly-trained interpreter may damage, rather than improve, your customer’s experience. That’s why it makes sense to ask how potential vendors hire, train, certify, and monitor their interpreters. At Voiance, all of that takes place in-person with an in-depth application process, 120 hours of classroom training, and regular quality monitoring and coaching from supervisors who share a section with their interpreters.
How reliable is the service?
Some multilingual support providers make choices that save them money in the short term, but which may impact reliability:
Relying exclusively on independent contractors who cannot lawfully be required to work a certain schedule and may only log on to interpret when they feel like it
Hiring interpreters overseas, which may place them beyond the reach of legal recourse if they compromise customer operations
Housing vital infrastructure and/or personnel offshore, making call function reliant on overseas telephone infrastructure
Calls to Voiance route to geographically diverse large-scale US interpreter contact centers, staffed with scheduled employee interpreters, all located in the continental US, reducing the likelihood that an adverse event will compromise service levels.