The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business across the globe. Retail stores, service centers and banks are closed or operating with new restrictions in place. Even as businesses begin a phased-in reopening, customers are relying on new channels to connect via voice, mobile, web, social and chat. Concurrently, organizations are finding it challenging to deliver the experiences customers expect or need, as many help desk or customer service agents are also working from remote locations, limiting their ability to deliver a seamless customer experience.

To contend with these challenges, businesses are relying more than ever on customer service center solutions that enable them to define and deliver a consistent and personalized customer experience. These centers need to function as self-enabling engagement hubs that span every channel of customer interaction, from marketing to sales and service.

Here are four ways businesses can enhance their customer experience efforts in these uncertain times:

1. Bolster the global availability and scalability of your infrastucture.

With new practices in place to ensure employee safety and well-being, it’s even more challenging to provide even average customer service. But now is not the time for call centers to fail due to overloading, non-availability of agents, long wait times or lack of scale. With cloud-based contact center solutions, businesses can scale instantly to meet unprecedented spikes in customer service. Agents are also able to support customers from anywhere.

2. Enable digital channels.

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in customer service channels being flooded with customer calls. The volume of calls has spurred businesses to encourage more use of digital channels that offer self-service options so that customers can get answers more quickly. Tools such as conversational IVR, bots, mobile, social channels, seamless two-way messaging, etc. can help improve the customer experience while taking some of the load off customer services reps.

We worked with a leading U.S. bank to turn its contact center into a next-gen experience center built on the AWS stack. We powered the center with artificial intelligence, blending cognitive computing, machine learning, natural language understanding and voice biometrics capabilities within four months. The client has increased its self-service containment rate by 15%, thus reducing the load on its agents.

3. Ensure consistency across multiple channels.

When customers use digital and self-service channels, they expect service reps to immediately be on the same page. Customers resent having to repeat information or retrace steps after transitioning from self-service to human-assisted interaction. Businesses need a solution that delivers a single view of the customer across all channels and ensures a seamless transition when customers move across channels.

4. Anticipate and proactively resolve customer issues.

To anticipate and proactively resolve customer issues, businesses need to incorporate insights from real-time and past engagements, such as speech, text and customer journey analytics. These insights need to be coupled with cognitive intelligence, including customer personas, linguistic analysis and emotional quotient. For example, a customer who repeatedly buys a premium product could be offered free next-day shipping. Alternatively, a customer could be immediately routed to a human service rep because historical data shows that she typically bypasses all self-service options. Predictive modeling algorithms leveraging machine learning ensure that the right service is delivered at the right time, resulting in a better first-time resolution rate.

Transforming a Leading Life Sciences Company’s Contact Center

We worked with an industry-leading life sciences company to modernize its customer contact center within 21 days. The existing solution was unable to deliver a best-in-class digital experience via self-service capabilities. We worked with the client to design and build a modern cloud-based contact center using AWS and replaced the existing solution in two weeks. We also integrated the contact center with Salesforce.com CRM software, enabling agents to gain a 360-degree view of end customers, while handling their service requests. The results:

  • Improved customer experience metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, first-time resolution and average handle time since customers now have a complete view of the customer.
  • A 50% reduction in total cost of ownership due to zero CapEx and migration from a license-based to a “pay-as-you-go” OpEx model.
  • A highly scalable platform with 99.95% availability.

To learn more, please visit us at our cloud enablement website. 

See our COVID-19 resources page for additional insights and updates.

Venugopal Muraliprabhu

Venugopal Muraliprabhu

Venugopal is a Director at Cognizant Enterprise Application Services, under which he  heads the contact center technology and consulting practice. He has... Read more

Sanjeet Sahay

Sanjeet Sahay

Sanjeet Sahay is a Partner Solutions Architect at AWS, dedicated to the AWS Cognizant partnership. He works with Cognizant to help its... Read more

X Close